Half Baked

I’ve been drifting along in my knitting, working on my socks while I wait for the next big thing to come along.  There’s always something.  I see something, think of something, have an idea about something, and this time was no exception.  The muse turned up last week when I was poking through the fibre collection looking for, well.   Something, and I happened upon two big bags of processed fibre that’s fall out from an episode I had while with Denny at the Royal Winter Fair last year.  (Hint.  If you think you have enough fibre, don’t go anywhere with Denny.) There’s a big bag of a lovely grey/brown wool, and an equally large bag of creamy wool of the same ilk, and I had an idea.  (Well, first I had another idea, to spin enough wool for a sweater and take it with me to Portland next week and force ask Tina if she would help me dye it, but really, I leave Tuesday and I must have been hit with a common sense stick because I realized almost straight away that I was being a lunatic.)

What if I spun three bobbins of each brown and white, and then combined them as a three ply in a graduated manner. The first skein would be three plies of brown. The second skein two plies of brown and one of cream, the third skein two plies of  cream and one of brown, and the fourth skein would be the opposite of the first.  Simply three plies of cream.  What then, if I took that yarn to Tina and got her help dying it all one colour? Would that be cool?

The voice in my head thinks it would be.  Mind you, the voice in my head also thinks that books and yarn should be free and that cheese should make you skinny, so who knows if it’s to be trusted.  I’ve started already, and come Monday I should have all four skeins to show you.  At the end of this little enterprise I will have 4 skeins of a  three-ply light worsted yarn… each about 100 metres, all dyed to match, each lighter than the last.   I think that when I knit that up into…

Well. There’s the half-baked part.  No idea what I would knit it up into. None. I have this crazy obsession with bringing this yarn into being, and no idea what I’ll do with it when it gets here.  I’ve decided not to worry about it, since I’m helpless in its grip anyway, and leave the ideas to you.  One of you, I don’t know which, has just the thing in mind… .don’t you? 400m worsted, graduated colour.  Go.

In the meantime, I leave you with this, thoughtfully emailed to me by Catherine M, who thought I would love it.  She was right.

I am a knitter, however not one who had the time to knit all off the sweaters I like to wear during the rather long rainy/cold season that lasts from October to June in Portland, Oregon. This means that I am also a Goodwill shopper, constantly looking for wool sweaters. Naturally, I always check the fiber content, but I had never seen a label quite so…amazing as the one I came across last week.

Not only is this sweater 100% "Virgin Acrylic," is proudly states the fact in gold metallic.

And really… that left me speechless.  I suppose it’s technically true, since it’s unlikely the acrylics are not virgin (in either the textile or literal sense) but still.  It raises questions about all the other acrylic sweaters and yarn we’ve ever seen that was NOT labelled as virgin, doesn’t it?

Happy Weekend. See you Monday, yarn in hand.

151 thoughts on “Half Baked

  1. Great label. I have seeni it before (I worked for a yarn manufacturer that had an acrylic line), but never with the caveat not to dry clean it. The directions almost seem more like it should be virgin wool.

  2. Maybe it was partly nylon and mostly acrylic, you know … Verging on 100% Acrylic
    Travel safely

  3. “Where does virgin wool come from?” – “The sheep that runs the fastest.” (Harry F. Banks)
    This really begs the question, then. Where DOES virgin acrylic come from?
    I know this is one I will ponder over the coming weekend.

  4. I like to think of Virgin Acrylic (or any acrylic for that matter) as the cubic zirconia of the fiber world.

  5. Slut acryls, of course. A relative always joked about “virgin beeswax” with “wonder what they do with the wax made by slut bees?”

  6. first,
    thanks for bringing a smile to my tired face!
    i had a dream last night that i spun yarn and asked tina to dye it but she yelled at me and my presumption.
    weird right?

  7. That label gives me the heebie jeebies. My mother was a big believer in acrylic. She would buy me sweaters with this very lable in them. I think it is why I became an avid knitter so I would never ever have to touch “Virgin” or any other Acrylic again.

  8. I, for one, am thankfully that at least the sweater was “fully fashioned”. Or, maybe not. A half-assedly fashioned sweater of virgin acrylic could be interesting.

  9. This post makes me:
    a) want to finish the art yarn I’ve got going on my wheel (my first arty attempt); and
    b) go spend time at Goodwill like I used to, searching for sweaters to take apart to make better sweaters. I’m ignoring the fact that I already have several sweaters in need of being taken apart so that I may make better sweaters out of them, and also the fact that I’m at critical mass for storage of yarn (yes, you can reach that point when living in a 200 sq ft studio with a 2 year old cat who thinks that everything is a potential toy and a colony of ants that live in the ceiling).
    I’m glad I’m not the only one with unreasonable wool acquiring tendencies.

  10. The colors sound lovely, why dye them? As to what to make, a shawlette dark at the top, then getting progressively lighter at the bottom. Not to say you shouldn’t dye them, and with Tina around it would be spectacular. But maybe an unnecessary step.

  11. Slutty acrylic, of course, would be cheap and easy, but you wouldn’t want to have a long-term relationship with it.
    If it is Portland, Oregon you are coming to, welcome! I hope there is some sunscreen in your bag. And possibly a hat. It only took, eleventeen-thousand days to get here, but we are finally having summer!

  12. Your yarn sounds a little like Candace Eisner-Strick’s blending colors. I have a shawl kit…. It is a lovely concept, and the result will be gorgeous when I get around to knitting it. (I have not yet succumbed to the urge to learn to spin, but who knows…. someday that may happen!)

  13. 400 yards of worsted weight sounds like a scarf to me. Dull and boring, yeah. But maybe you could alternate the skeins in a Jared-Flood-Noro-striped-scarf sort of way?

  14. Oh, you and Tina will have sooooo much fun! I’m totally envious even though at the moment I neither spin nor dye. One of these days, I may bite the bullet. At the moment, I have to decide on which July sock pattern I should knit using my Firecracker yarn. Enjoy your fibery weekend and the trip. Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  15. I don’t get what about acrylic is virgin…
    400m of pretty graduated color? You could make a very nice shawl/wrap, a vest, or matching winter wear (hat, mittens, scarf).

  16. Find a loom somewhere on your travels and do another of those bottom right to upper left gradiations… or a yummy small shawl.
    Happy spinning, dying and knitting.

  17. You could knit a vest. And you could do the graduated color differently by having the darkest or lightest color in the middle instead of the ends.
    Or a round baby afghan.
    Or a pretty shawl that you could wear over your winter coat.

  18. 440 yards – Baktus, or Annis (if it is neck-friendly), felted slippers or a bag (if you can bear to felt it), Snowdrop Leg Warmers (dk weight = light worsted, right?)… just a few suggestions to mull. Have fun!

  19. Cheese should make you skinny! If only we could petition it to be so. I think plying them that way would be lovely in and of itself without dying. It doesn’t matter if you know what to make with it or not. I’m sure it will “speak” to you about what it wants to be. Virgin acrylic, huh? Never seen that before. I think I would have died laughing in the Goodwill if I had. The saddest part about that is that no one else would have seen the mirth in it and I would be labeled an idiot in my obit.

  20. Free yarn and books, and slimming cheese – you’ve just described my ideal world!
    Today I just had my first ever yarn dyeing experience (I did a skein each of burgundy and teal green – never mind that it was meant to be duck egg blue), and I think that dyeing might just be an end in itself…Prettiness is the object, not an actual knitted item!

  21. Depending on the color 400+ yards would make a great vest for my son. That’s what I would knit. I have two sons and I can’t throw another scraf or hat at them that they wouldn’t fall over gasping for air from the wool fumes.

  22. I love the way you think! I’ve seen virgin acrylic before but then I assume that means it’s only been touched my a machine and touched by mere human hands. But “do not dry clean”? Why not? I would have to do a little experiment on that one.

  23. I just posted about this very thing of yarn being spun for the sake of having the yarn to pet and coo over. Making something – that’s just icing! I wonder what it would look like in a sweater using Fibonacci stripes?
    Love the label. That’s so funny!

  24. Well – HONESTLY! I thought EVERYONE knew that VIRGIN Acrylic came from totally unsullied pure petroleum products. No – Not petroleum jelly, either, because we ALL know where that’s been. And not recycled plastics, because they fall under the category of ‘rode hard/put away wet’. No, No. Only the purest of plastics will do for VIRGIN Acrylic. It will, after all, be washed and pampered and offered up to the gods as a sacrifice with prayers to keep us from the ever looming wool plague that waits only to be unleashed on the knitting world. By offering this VIRGIN Acrylic to the gods, we are allowed to live in peace – an underworld of stealth knitters, slowly and quietly dropping wooly bits and pieces on an unsuspecting public. While they think they are buying soft and washable fake yarn, soon the label will change and they will find themselves wrapped in soft merino or alpaca-silk blends and then, and only then, will the last of the VIRGINS be offered up.
    It’s a dirty job but – – – well, you know.

  25. A vest. Not enough there for a sweater, but a vest would be really cool like that. Can’t wait to see it! (Or whatever you do indeed do with it–and if that means getting it to that point and then letting it marinate in the stash till its moment has presented itself, that’s the normal life cycle of a spinner/knitter’s work, is it not?)

  26. Use it as stripes along with a neutral color in a sweater. Look at Stripes by whitknits as an example.
    Fully Fashioned Virgin Acrylic! I do think if you were making a half-assedly fashioned sweater, you wouldn’t bother using the good virgin acrylic stuff.

  27. I know what would be absolutely gorgeous…. a cardigan with the darker colors on the bottom and then go up to the lightest one on top… those tops are all over and quite frankly, I would love to buy one but I tend to have a rather large top half that the lighter color accentuates way too much (To the point if it weren’t for being a Knitter…. and a fearless one at that… I’d never make myself anything because I’d be stuck with the “hangs like a tent” yet fits in the bust or “should be working the street because the bust is exteremely tight yet it fits in the waist and hips” types of tops).
    and yes, Cheese should make you skinny… although Provolone and Cheddar have the least number of carbs.

  28. The yarn will tell you what it wants to be once it is spun and plied. Kinda the way your kids are telling you what they want to be.

  29. Err, you do realize that you will, in fact, need *6* bobbins each of brown and cream, right?
    3a + 0b (first)
    2a + 1b (second)
    1a + 2b (third)
    0a + 4b (fourth)
    Sum this up, and you get 6a + 6b = four bobbins of three-ply wool.
    Whichever way you do it, best of luck to you. One of these days, I’ll buy myself the wheel of my dreams and spin spin spin!

  30. That is so funny – Virgin Acrylic! I recevied a blanket from a friend that was also virgin acrylic several years ago cause she knew I would get the joke!

  31. How about a smaller version of the entrelac Autumn shawl? I think it’s put out by Jojoland and calls for Harmony. I did it with some Noro, which worked well. Or something in Cheryl Oberle’s Folk Shawls. Or put it together with other yarn a la Sally Melville’s Styles.

  32. I like the fact it’s “fully fashioned”. Might there be some sweaters that are only partially fashioned, or not fashioned at all? Also, could it be 50% Virgin acrylic and 50% filthy whore acrylic? Is that possible?

  33. Susan Lawrence’s Forest Canopy Shawl (Knitting as Fast as I can) with an extra repeat or two thrown on the end. It’d be perfect.

  34. Also, the rav link SAYS dk weight, but the description says for it to be worked in a light worsted. So there you go. (Honey Cowl, that is.)

  35. I love the idea of the shaded yarn and then dyeing it. I looked at some of the Master Spinner projects at Olds College, and there’s one with different natural brown llama dyed with intense colours. the range of colour achieved was gorgeous. You’ll end up with something really cool.

  36. With that kind of color gradient, I think I’d make a skinny “longways” scarf and a beret, each with a stripe of one of the solid yarns at the midpoint and the other colors working outward.

  37. !00% Acrylic
    Moth Proof
    Pondering what kind of a digestive tract would a moth need to digest Acrylic.
    A couple of decades ago I bought, for real cheap, lotsa dark green yarn labelled partial virgin wool and partial nonvirgin wool. I knit the only pair of pants (bell bottoms no less) I’ve ever made from the stuff. Really short fiber bits coated my lap at the end of each knitting session. In that case Non virgin meant reused as in ground up and mixed with just enough long fibers to hold it together. They were very comfy but I never worn them out of the house. The pants didn’t last very long, becoming less opaque with each wearing or washing. A perfect example of “crap” yarn not worth the knitting time.

  38. That label is half-baked too…
    Whoever heard of hand-washing acrylic and laying it out flat to dry? Isn’t the whole POINT of acrylic is that it’s low-maintainence?

  39. Hi! I bet that sweater and its label date back to the days when Acrylic was a new amazing thing.
    On the same note, I used to have a calendar full of odd, funny things and fake holidays that suggested celebrating “Virgin Orlon Week”…
    I think your latest idea sounds really cool. Good luck.

  40. One more thing – all this talk about virgin vs. slutty acrylic brings to mind another dichotomy I recently read about in a mystery novel: you know how someone in a household is always looking for the good scissors? Doesn’t that imply that somewhere in said household there are also evil scissors?

  41. Oh, made in Taiwan for the win! Love it. Remember the time when everything was made in Taiwan?

  42. I second the entrelac notion, but this: A wide entrelac shawl collar and cuffs on a wrap cardigan in a complementary shade, belted in leather with a big buckle or D-ring. Your yarn sounds as though it would be gorgeous in its natural brown to cream tones, but how about dyeing it olive? You’d then have pale to deep olive greens … perhaps on a deep brown cardi?

  43. Winter is coming…. perhaps your spun wool would make a hat and mittens. Of course that’s what I’m knitting these days. Many hats, mittens and neck gaiters. Bring on winter!!!
    The sweater label reminded me of the baseball glove our youngest bought at a garage sale when he was about six. It proclaimed on the thumb that the glove was made with “genuine imitation leather”. We still laugh about that.

  44. Dragon’s math is lurvly (from another math geek/pharmacist — I count things for a living don’t cha know). Fourth line should be
    0a + 3b
    Whatever you choose will be wonderful and we’ll all want it!

  45. When they first started labelling in both official languages, my mother was baffled by a new fibre called “woollaine”. The funny thing about woollaine was that it had exactly the same feel as wool, and exactly the same care instructions. It even had the “100% virgin wool” symbol, and how could it have that if it wasn’t just the same thing as wool? Mom suspected that somehow, somebody was getting away with something – until I broke it to her that “laine” was French for “wool”.

  46. Your yarn idea sounds beautiful as is, without dye!
    I picture it being used in a scarf so that you can see the transition of color from light to dark, from one end to the other. I would say something with a Celtic cable, but I’m not sure how or if the middle sections would muddle the cabling. Otherwise it seems like it would be great as a plain knit with a sort of Fibonacci striping between colors, similar to this: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fibonacci-scarf-2

  47. Okay three thoughts.
    1. Dorflinger tee… I’m thinking one of the daughters would think it was cool. You might too, but I think you’re about my size and I don’t know if you’ll have enough yarn. if you like the idea, than you’ll even know what color to dye it as well. Now, it takes about 304 yards of chunky for a size 31.5 chest, but it might be a good effect, if you want to hold it double (either within the skein or between skeins so you could even have up to 8 shade variations).
    2. I have no idea what I’m talking about, so I don’t know if this is possible, but what about weaving something? Of course, I’m thinking of the pink/red thing you made.
    3. Wandering the Moors. I really want to make this shawl and now I think it would look awesome in a gradient. Even go outside the box and go dark to light instead of the traditional light to dark.

  48. Yup, a vest. You know you want to. You just needed outside confirmation. A cardigan vest with a shawl collar, said collar using the lightest shades to highlight and frame the face.

  49. I’m with Colleen in Kansas – get thee to a loom and make another stupendous scarf or wrap. No matter what you do I’m sure it’s going to be really beautiful.

  50. I once had a crazy obsession to bring something into being without having any idea what I would do with it once it got here. I think that’s how I got to be “Mom.”

  51. The colours sound pretty enough without dying the yarn. How about a long vest. With a matching hat if you have enough yarn left.
    What would be really great is if ice cream became slimming.

  52. What a label.
    I’m jealous. Tina’s going to help you dye something beautiful.
    My dyeing space is currently full of tomato to be canned.

  53. Why not make a top down sweater lighter at the top and darker at the bottom. Or the other way around.
    VIRGIn Acrylic??? Lord help us . is this some new marketing ploy?

  54. Free books and yarn? Slimming cheese? I’m waiting for the day they discover that cigarets are good for you!

  55. My mind boggles at the virginity of acrylic, or rather the lack there of in so many skeins.
    As for the yarn, I have a scarf done in something similar that is a simple garter stitch but it gets progressively lighter and then at the centre does the reverse. It’s pretty and was given as a present, but I think as a scarf it could also look nice with the fading colours but done on the diagonal kind of a la clapotis, but less stitch dropping, more pretty fade on an angle. if it were more than 400m I’d say it would make a great blanket knit corner to corner fading from dark to light or going from light to dark to light (or vice versa). I think I’m out of ideas and done blethering.

  56. If you are using wool you’ve spun yourself – it has to be special.
    I think it’s time you invented another COWL pattern to go with the “pretty little thing” you already invented. I love that cowl!
    It’s 83% humidity here and thinking about this made me hot!!

  57. As you were describing the yarn, it just popped into my head – a hat & mittens in some lofty warm stitch like brioche. I think it would look gorgeous in the graduated colorway. Seems to me that it used to be fairly common to describe acrylic as “virgin acrylic” back in the 70’s when it first was widely used for garments. Guess it had to do with the fact that “virgin wool” was generally condiered to be of igher quality so they thought that “virgin acrylic” would make customers think it was high quality.

  58. The virgin acrylic label is always amusing, though not as nutty as it seems. Virgin plastics have not been processed before – just like virgin wool, as I’m sure most are aware, doesn’t come from chaste sheep, but rather is wool that hasn’t been recovered from previously spun yarn or even from woolen fabric.
    Back in the day, using recycled polymer was a sign of lower quality. Today we’d want to see “Post-consumer content acrylic” or some such thing. Though slutty acrylic sure catches your eye better.

  59. virgin… acrylic… 2 words i never thought could ever be paired. hmm..what’s next? 100% organic polyester!!?? HAHAHA!

  60. I dunno, entrelac? I’ve got it on the brain somehow. Or maybe one of those slipped stitch scarves – there’s a free pattern on ravelry and one that’s showing up in all the yarn shops featuring Koigu.

  61. I want to know which Goodwill she shops at…. I to am a goodwill shopper in Portland Oregon and will be checking labels from now on!
    Can’t help you with what to knit with your newly spun/dyed yarn… Sorry, I don’t have the vision for things like that!

  62. Once you have all that wool spun and plied in its natural colors and all merging from brown to white, I can’t imagine dyeing it! It looks really lovely just like that in my mind. A rectangular shawl would be lovely in gradually changing colors. Or a scarf, if that’s all you have enough for. Or a vest.

  63. I suggest you do a shawl of some kind. Something warm and squishy. Something lovely and wrappy. Fo’ sho’.
    Do it in virgin wool.

  64. “100% Virgin Acrylic”. In gold metallic script. Um. Like that is something wonderful…and no, I’m not a yarn snob, I’ve made some lovely handknits using the stuff…but I am discriminating! Perhaps the care instructions should alse state “do not sit too close to fireplaces”.

  65. For the yarn, how about Liesl by Ysolda Teague?
    Loved the label. Makes me think the sweater is Chinese in origin – when I went to China, anything with English on it had a snob value and a premium price. The purchaser probably couldn’t read it (which lead to some VERY risqué t-shirts being worn in total innocence), but bought it to be trendy.
    – Pam

  66. I’m not sure if a goodwill sweater can claim virgin anything… it’s been recycled after all- someone wore it!
    I vote hat. I’m back into knitting my charity hat project after a summer break hiatus. Mind you, I have no idea which hat, but hats look great in striped variegated yarns and work wonderfully well in worsted weight. 400m would actually get you a couple hats- maybe a couple’s set where one gets darker as you go up to the crown and the other gets lighter. Cabled XOs, maybe?

  67. Ombre! scarf or small shoulder shawl?
    Virgin acrylic – hard to get my mind around that. Made from virgin oil? How would we get virgin petroleum? Drill that drill down deep into the earth to the pool of oil….oh! Have to stop! Don’t go there!

  68. While it is a funny label, it is totally possible for acylic yarn to not be virgin. A lot of acrylic fiber is made from recycled plastic (Caron has a line even). The wonders of plastic.

  69. What about a Josephine shawl? Cast on three stitches, knit in garter stitch, increasing one stitch at the end of every other row. It is a great project to keep your hands busy when your mind needs to be occupied with other things.

  70. As the daughter of a proud 1950s / 1960s / 1970s polyester researcher, (Daddy worked for DuPont!) we were encouraged as children to purchase clothes of acrylic and polyester, SO we HAD to read labels. The poor sacrificed virgin acrylics have been a family joke forever at our house. My sister and I always wondered what a virgin acrylic creature was, where it lived, what the pelt looked like!! Daddy took immemse grief from us, until we were teeneagers and the madras and cotton, linen revival (plus our jobs = spending our own money) at which time we abandoned the cloths made of tortured little acrylics and went with natural fibers! Your blog brought back great laughs and childhood memories…

  71. I have a virgin acrylic sweater in my house! It cracks me up every time I look at the label. BAHAHAA.

  72. I like the shawlette idea. It would be a great way to showcase your dyeing genius.
    And that label is too funny! Could you imagine that yarn snob? “I only knit with virgin acrylic.” 🙂

  73. And why in the name of all things knitterly would you have an acrylic yarn that is gently washed and laid flat to dry?
    Talk about pulling the wool over one’s eyes

  74. Wait, cheese doesn’t make you skinny?!?
    I imagine that next you’ll haul off and say that chocolate isn’t calorie-burning, either….

  75. I need to see the finished yarn before I can make a stab at what it wants to be when it grows up. Can’t wait to see photos, I’m sure it will be lovely!

  76. “I have this crazy obsession with bringing this yarn into being, and no idea what I’ll do with it when it gets here. I’ve decided not to worry about it, since I’m helpless in its grip anyway.”
    Kind of like parenting, isn’t it?

  77. Mary had a little lamb,
    she tied it to a pylon,
    10,000 volts shot up it’s B*m,
    and turned it’s wool to nylon.
    Food for thought…maybe the source of your Virgin Nylon!

  78. Shawl. I don’t know what pattern, though, since I have yet to actually knit a shawl. You have lots of shawl experience, though, and should know the right one.

  79. I think that you have to wait and see what happens when it goes into the dyepot, when you overdye a natural brown (I have Jacobs and do it all the time) you never are really certain how it will take. Plus, since you will have the variable number of white plies, I don’t think that you are really going to wind up with a gradual color change like you did with the scarf you wove. I think you are going to have to wait for the yarn to be dyed. The fact that it’s not telling you yet what it can be tells me that it’s not ready to. And yes, I really do believe that fiber, even when it is still on the sheep, will tell you what it is able to be.

  80. That yarn sounds perfect for a scarf knit from the long edge. A nice simple stitch pattern to show off the colour.

  81. Yes, cheese should make you skinny and lower your cholesterol. Can you do something about that?

  82. I have no idea about how far 400m goes, it sounded a long way when I had to run it at school and the teacher said “This is a Sprint Event.” ???? Who was she kidding I walked it.
    But the colourway to me says a nice blanket… maybe a lap blanket if it isn’t much.. failing that the scarf idea sounds good. What about something with short rows to make it really interesting?

  83. That’s one of the pleasures I take in being born late August, I am a perpetual virgin (Virgo).

  84. The term “virgin” is often used loosely.
    Love how it says “DO NOT DRY CLEAN” (in quotes). Like those acrylic-lover people even thought of dry cleaning? Sometimes, I do not even think of dry cleaning.

  85. Love the silly label….a friend is a hopeless handbag girl,(mostly goodwill type shops) every time she is complemented on a bag that isn’t leather, she says “yes it is beautiful, many vinyls died kicking and screaming to make this” always cracks people up.
    Maybe the feel of the graduated yarn will help you decide.

  86. If you admire irony (and I know you do), Summer Flies–http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/summer-flies
    or how about Pogona–http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pogona-westknits-book-one-preview

  87. I was just looking at the Signals catalog & they had a jacket or sweater that was acrylic & recycled acrylic. So, in that context, maybe virgin acrylic does have some meaning.

  88. sorry I have been spelling my blogspot url wrong Ha!
    I vote for a clock vest. There’s a very pretty one in the Folk Vests book I have. I have been wanting to make one for years but just haven’t found the right wool.
    Safe Journey, Steph!

  89. I would knit the Maia Shoulderette by Romi. Disclaimer: I might be knitting one out of my handspun right now – so that might be where I got the idea.

  90. Alright, I’ve been thinking about this yarn for 24 hours now. Here is another idea. If you dye it, you could dye it to coordinate with one of the beauties you spun up for the tour de fleece, because 400 yds probably isn’t quite enough for a vest. Then, if you start with a provisional CO (or knit top down), you can knit the body of the vest in your graduated yarn (I would do stripes, but I’m obsessed with stripes-a pure ombre would be lovely too). Then the bottom ribbing, which would probably be fairly deep, and all the armhole/neckhole ribbing could be in the coordinating yarn.
    I want this yarn. What color are you thinking of over-dying it?

  91. I am intrigued by your experiment! Isn’t it fun when fiber tells you what to do?
    As to what to do with it…a shawl perhaps? Nancy and Judy came to mind…I knit that one up in alternating light and dark naturals, but I think it would be lovely graduating from light to dark…
    Also, is it just me, or do acrylic sweaters smell funny?

  92. I think EZ’s ribwarmer would be fabulous in your yarn, although perhaps some thought as to positioning of colors would be necessary. It could be awkward if not taken in hand properly(mottling, color chunks where you don’t want color chunks, and now that I mention it, doesn’t the phrase “color chunks” just send shivers up your spine?), but with a little care I think it would be beautiful.

  93. How about a scarf that starts with the dark color and has an intarsia pattern in white, then segues to light at the other end with the same pattern in dark?
    Maybe a big heart at each end? The ends could be pointed to follow the shape of the heart.
    I’m wondering if it could somehow be in 1×1 rib to make it reversible?
    I’ve never tried that, but it seems like it should work.
    I think I’m going to try this and write it up as a pattern.

  94. hmmm….. I would dye the yarn the same color as one of your tour de flece colors and make Lloie’s Jerkin by Elizabeth Zimmermann if it were me but that might be me… Love the label, I laughted for hours!!

  95. We had a girl stop by the farm this week who works at a yarn store in Dublin. I was so excited to find out what kind of wool yarn they sold (I’m thinking Ireland must be full of it). Horror of horrors, she said they sell more crappy acrylic than anything else. She is making it her mission to educate the Dublin masses about wool. Crazy world.

  96. I see…. really cool boot socks that come to the knee. Warm for winter. My sock needles are calling me…..

  97. As far as the wool project goes, well, did you really have an idea of what the finished object would be when you started off with each of your wonderful daughters? Sometimes one muse must be satisfied before another can enter the stage. Have fun!

  98. Hi, Steph,
    Love the label. “Define virgin!”
    How about a lovely long vest in a textured stitch for the graduate4d yarn, one that is darker at the bottom and shades lighter at the shoulders, with a deep shawl collar lightest of all?
    How about the dyed color is a ferny green? Or a soft orange so the actual result will be rust to orange.
    Works for me!

  99. On the fiber front I’m excited to see what comes of it. I think that building the plan as you go can often lead you in places you never could plan from the beginning. It will be interesting to see what comes of it. And now that you’ve shared it with The Blog your kind of committed (on the other had if you show us something wooly and pretty we may just develop UFO amnesia).
    I’m most fascinated by the inappropriate use of quotations so the “do not dry clean” adds a little extra thrill. http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com

  100. I used to work in the textile industry, and yes, there really is virgin acrylic. It means the fibre has never been used in another product, same as virgin wool!

  101. Just remembering another textile industry factoid – if you put washing instructions on a garment, you have to do testing to ensure that the instructions are accurate. If you don’t want to do the testing, you just put “dry clean only” on the label. (So if you know your fabrics, you know when you can get away with hand or machine washing!
    And so that’s what’s odd about that label – they paid to document the source of the acrylic, but not to do cleaning tests!

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