A few months ago when I was in Vancouver at Knit Social – I staggered up to the Gauge Dye works booth and gave Catherine all my money. You know. As one does. As I did so, I remarked that she always gets my sock yarn money and my shawl yarn money (yes I have an itemized yarn budget and you should too) and thank goodness that’s where it stops. Her colourways together with the cleverness of self- striping yarn that works for shawls? It might as well be my personal version of knitter kryptonite. As I walked away, I reflected that it’s a good deal that she doesn’t have sweater yarn or I’d pretty much give her all my yarn money, and then a lightbulb went off, and I just about walked backwards to her booth and then I told her.
“If you think about how a shawl works, and whatever magic you run to make the stripes the same length as the rows grow longer – isn’t that” (I said to her, trying not to look as excited as I felt because it’s slightly uncool, while simultaneously pretending I know what math she does) “Isn’t that the same math as a top down raglan sweater? If you have self striping sock yarn, and shawl yarn, and sweater yarn…” (here I paused for dramatic effect) “…you’d get all my yarn money.”
Catherine looked at me. I looked at her. Then I saw the tumblers start to turn in her mind, and I knew my work was done. “Make me that” I said. “I’ll try” Catherine said. “There’s going to be a problem with sizes.” She said that, and I swear I saw here reach for a mental calculator. “Give it to me in Whistler.” I said. “We’ll see.” She said.
Now, this isn’t the most positive response I’ve had to a yarn demand. I felt like probably eventually it might happen, but that I shouldn’t get married to it, so I didn’t. I thought about how clever an idea it was sometimes, and I felt good about telling a really clever person who could actually make it happen, but since I had no idea what had to happen for this yarn to happen, I just thought about it a little bit, like I do other things that I really like the idea of but never happen, like only having one kind of screwdriver.
I got on with my life – until I was at Catherine’s booth at the event in Whistler, and I was giving her all of my sock and shawl money, and she said WAIT, and with a perfect air of brilliance mingled with appealing confidence, she pulled this skein out from behind the booth.
I started to say something like “Oh isn’t that pretty” or some other standard yarn thing, when I saw her eyes twinkle, and it hit me.
Self striping sweater yarn. She’d actually done it. Designed to work with Flax Light (though it would work with any sweater with standard top down construction) in the 1-2 size, you can cast on at the neck and have stripes of the same size appear all the way to the divide for the arms and body. The rest of the skein is blue- for the rest of the sweater, with the exception of the last little chunk, which is green, so you can have a little green at the cuffs, or the bottom band, or the button bands, or the (yeah here it comes) baby pockets. This is the prototype, but she says she can make more – and I feel like she’s going to need to do that.
Soon. So, so smart. Here. Take my sweater money.
*PS WING OF MOTH IT JUST OCCURRED TO ME THAT SHE COULD DO THIS IN OTHER COLOURS.
*PPS. I’m going to need a small loan.
*PPPS No, it’s cool, I’ll just re-finance the house. Never mind.