Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Branching Out In My Yarn Addiction

I recently read a blog post at Stitch.Tac.Sew, titled "My Yarn Romance" and it got me to thinking of my love of yarn. I could relate to the author, who began her love of yarn as a crocheter first and later a knitter. I too began as a crocheter about 20 years ago making Afghans and baby blankets. That was before I even knew yarn shops existed. I bought my yarn from the local discount department stores, Jamesway, Caldor, Woolworth’s, Ames, (and if these names sound familiar or bring back memories – yes these were stores predominately on the east coast, which is where I grew up – upstate New York in Troy and later for a brief period downstate in Poughkeepsie).

There were quite a few craft stores in my local area of Poughkeepsie but they specialized in sewing patterns, fabrics, beads, woodworking, basically they didn't specialize in yarn but was geared toward the general crafter by having a little bit of everything – there wasn’t much of a selection when it came to yarn – Red Heart® and Lily® Sugar ‘n Cream were my basic choices in most of the stores. So I bought plenty of each, not really thinking that there were other options out there. I found Red Heart’s® 100% acrylics to be durable, washable, and it comes in a vast selection of colors; it never occurred to me that there were other types of yarn or even other brands available. I remember as a kid watching my mom knit hats, mittens, and slippers using Red Heart®. I worked with what I knew and it never entered my mind to even look for any other yarn.

It wasn’t until after I moved to Washington that I rediscovered yarn in the form of knitting. I of course stuck to the tried and true Red Heart® but about the time I first began my journey down the road of knitting I came across a yarn shop next door to the Starbucks® I frequented for my morning coffee on my way into work. Here I found many brands, blends, color variations, and textures. And amazingly, there wasn't a skein of Red Heart® or Lily® to be found anywhere in this cute little shop. I was amazed and in yarn heaven when I walked into The Knittery located in the Renton Village Shopping Center on South Grady Way. I quickly became a regular in the shop and the ladies there are ever so helpful with knowing what yarn will work in your projects or how much yardage you need and just all around very nice women to talk to.  If you haven't been to The Knittery, you have to go check them out.

(10x50 gr/98 yds, 55% merino extra fine
wool, 33% microfiber, 12% cashmere
Just recently I was in spending my gift certificate I got from my friends for my birthday (they know me so well - they're just feeding my yarn addiction!) and I came across this wonderful yarn from Cascade Yarns called Cash Vero Aran. I'm a very tactile person when it comes to the yarn I buy and I can say aaaahhh this one feels so soft against the skin. I bought 4 skeins of it in this deep burgundy color (018), with the thought of a hat and fingerless mitts for myself, because in all my time knitting I haven’t made a single thing for myself, so it will be nice to have them on my hands and head keeping me warm as well as feeling very good against my skin.

If you haven’t had a chance to experience the Cash Vero Aran, go check it out at your LYS and if they don’t carry it ask them to, you won’t be sorry. My next venture in my yarn addiction will be to try out some of the hand-dyeds that are available locally (Washington & Oregon).  I'm hoping to buy some at the Madrona 2011 Winter Retreat, February 17-20, 2011 at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma. I've never been to this event and I'm looking forward to the experience.  There are mini classes on just about everything imaginable from what I have gleened from the class schedule.

The way certain yarns can make your project look, drape, and feel just right amazes me and I can't wait to discover even more selections of yarn. I plan to continue to branch out (continue feeding my yarn addiction) and try different blends, textures, and variations. I hope to share this experience with all of you and I hope some of you can make recommendations as well.

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