Falling off the yarn wagon

Going cold sheep

Finished mohair mittI’m supposed to be using up my stash of yarns and not buying any more.  Some call it going “cold sheep”.

I even avoided going to Yarndale this year, so as not to be tempted.  I’ve been pretty good lately.

There’s the Short Wave Mitts in 1980s-vintage mohair and black yarn that I’ve probably had nearly as long.

And before that, a cardigan (still under wraps) in yarn I bought a year ago, as well as a little scarf from some more of the 30-year-old mohair.

blue-mohair-2I did acquire a colourful ball of sock yarn on a brief visit to southern Germany a few weeks back.  Well, you have to check out the local yarn shops when you’re travelling, don’t you?  I justified the purchase to myself as a cultural exercise rather than adding to my stash.

german-sock-yarn

Unknown German sock yarn

Then I came home from my knitting group recently with about 40g of another German sock yarn that someone didn’t want, but that doesn’t count because it was given to me, not bought.

I have no idea what it is (does anyone know?), but it will do for the heels and toes of a pair of socks some time.

I’ve fallen off the yarn wagon in a more serious way now.  There’s a chain of shops locally that fills the Woolworths niche, ie lots of cheap and useful bits and bobs for the home and garden, but generally not of a high quality.  (Woolworths went bust in 2008 – doesn’t time fly?)  They have yarn, almost all 100% acrylic and much of it comes in giant 500g balls.  Fine if you’re knitting for children and need something that’s going to stand up to a lot of washing and abuse, but nothing that would interest a serious knitter.

norse-1While I was in there buying a child’s toothbrush for the cat (don’t ask), I noticed that there was some yarn being flogged off cheap.  It’s Wendy Norse, a chunky (bulky) 50/50 wool/acrylic blend, and one of the colours was a rather fetching charcoal grey melange.  There was enough to make a sweater, and it was only £1 a ball.  It would have been silly not to, I reckon.

The pattern I have in mind for this yarn is a Knitty one called Lia.  The Norse is quite lightweight, being half acrylic and loosely spun.  It should be perfect for this design, as anything with cables in chunky pure wool is liable to drop, in my experience, unless it is knitted very tightly – there’s just too much weight for it to hold its own shape.  And washing heavy wool is a nightmare for those of us living in a climate where the winters are cool, damp and sunless.

I’m resisting casting on for Lia until I’ve used up some more of the mohair.  I’ve just about enough lilac and red to knit another lacy scarf from each of them.  I think I know what the females in my family are going to be getting as stocking fillers this Christmas.

Woolly buttons

Buttons made from washers and yarnI posted earlier in the month about making buttons for knitwear from leftover yarn and washers.

I’ve written up a tutorial on the Instructables website, so pop on over to my Buttons from Yarn and Washers project there if you want too know how to make them.

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About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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3 Responses to Falling off the yarn wagon

  1. Anita says:

    Is there a Yarnaholics Anonymous? I think being a knitter automatically qualifies us for membership. 😀
    Lia looks interesting, and I can totally imagine this yarn rocking it.

  2. Pingback: Mohair – legacy of the 80s | YorkshireCrafter

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