Monday, August 01, 2005

There's No Barley in my Chicken Barley Soup

This weekend I made the infamous One Skein Wonder. I loved the pattern but I hated every second of making it. Really? Hated? Yes, I hated it. Not the pattern, mind you, but the yarn.

I had really high expectations for the yarn - its Lorna's Laces Dove, which is a wool-cotton blend. I have never used a cotton blend before, so I don't know if my troubles were due to that, or to the yarn itself. I actually quite hate working in cotton for knitting (I think, what's the freakin' point?). But I love love love the Shepard Sport I'm using for the baby blanket, and I have so much respect for the quality and beauty of that line of yarns. So I figured, I would try the Dove, as I didn't want to make the OSW out of all wool, as it is sort of a summery thing what with the no sleeves and all.

And so I began. As I was at the store while doing it, I do not have progress shots. But it woudln't have mattered... because the torture and pain inflicted on yours truly could not have been captured by a mere camera, even the super cool one the BBFE got me.

The yarn was sticky. Not in the honey/scotch tape/glue stick kind of way, but in the summer day and vinyl seats/velcro/socks on carpeting kind of way. The damn crapola yarn stuck to everything. And when I say everything, I mean it snagged on the couch. It got stuck on itself. It snagged on the tiny milimeter of stubble on my shaved-that-moring legs. It stuck to my fingers. It. Was. Terrible. This issue was made even worse by the fact that I was really super worried about my gauge, and I was trying to knit a little looser than normal to meet the 4 stitches per inch. But it was nearly impossible with the Dove (aka hellfiber) sticking to everything in sight! It contstantly pulled on everything near it. The only way to use this monkey-fucker of a yarn is to hold it in a vaccuum or make friends with Bubble Boy or something. I have never been so relieved to be done with something, and praise be to whoever that the OSW is so freaking small. I would have poked my eyes out with my needles if I had to use it for another second.

The thing that really gets me is how beatifully she turned out. The colors are gorgeous, and the fabric feels really cool. Gosh, I hate it and love it so much at the same time.

I am also considering some practicality issues as expressed by others who have made this pattern. Now that I have tried it on (no pic, as BBFE leaves the house before I do in the morning, when I took these photos), it seems sort of ridiculous. I mean, its just a shoulder sling. I would very much like to knit this out of wool and add some sleeves with a nice gentle bell shape. I think that would look gorgeous. And I would probably use it more often, as I wear my other sleeves-only shrug that I got at the store all the time. We'll see. I have some stash yarn that I'm thinking about using, though its pretty bulky. I'd have to readjust some gauge issues, and I have never done that before, though I think that I certainly could... wish me luck! And if you have any pointers on using thicker yarns for this, just let me know.

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