March 25, 2011

yarn studies

(Pictureless post this time--sorry.)

Despite my best efforts, I'm having trouble not thinking past the couple of knitting projects I have in the queue to figure out what I want to attempt once I get done with those. I'm nowhere near being done the wrap I'm currently working on, of course, but all I have after that is a few dishcloths I'm making for fun and gifts, and then a second pair of those handwarmers. (A friend of mine, who doesn't read this blog, really liked them. So I want to make her a pair.) So those won't take too long. I've hit the point on the wrap where I've repeated the pattern enough that I don't have to look at the pattern or really have to think about it too much now, which means I can multitask and do things like read blogs or my Kindle while I knit. (Or my paperback books that I'm currently reading, if I can figure out how to keep them open...) So it should go faster, since I can do a few rows here and there during the times where I have time to sit, but not enough to get anything sewing-related done.

I have no idea what to make once I get through those things. I have plenty of scarves (too many, actually, but I've already pared it down as much as I can bring myself to), and no particular need for another hat at this time. I'm kind of torn about whether to try socks, gloves or maybe, if I'm feeling brave, a sweater. I have seen several sweater patterns that I like, and I do have this book that has some really great gloves in it. But I wonder how limited I am by my current skill level. Of course all of the sweaters I've seen and really liked so far are more complicated, and I wouldn't want to waste my time on a simple pattern if it's just going to end up looking like a shapeless mess on me. But I don't know how wise it would be to jump into a more complex pattern when, say, I've never made shapes other than a tube or rectangle yet. And then there's the fact that I have no clue how to do cables, and I seem to be often drawn to things that have them. And, well, I don't even know how to block things, though I'll have to make an attempt at that once the wrap is done.  Socks would fit the tube knowledge better, but then there's that pesky heel. And I actually do need gloves, because the boring fleece ones I've been wearing for the last two cold seasons have a hole in them, tend to leave my wrist exposed (even though I actually made the sleeves a good length on the coat itself), and, well, they're just plain ugly. But am I up to making fingers yet? I don't know.

And then there's the complication of yarns. As in, my wool issues. I did recently order that No Sheep For You book (as well as some other crafty reading), so hopefully that will give me some ideas. But I've come to suspect that maybe, just maybe, I can handle tiny little amounts of wool. Mainly due to a store-bought sweater that I've had for several years, and worn quite often--I was recently putting it away after washing it, and was surprised to see on the tag that it's 10% wool. I've never had trouble with it. But I wonder if it has to do with the blend, since it's 90% other things (including a nice chunk of silk.)

So I had to go to Joann's today to pick up some zippers and such for upcoming projects, and did a little bit of scientific experimentation on myself. Namely grabbing skeins of yarn with low wool contents (by the label) and sticking them on my arm to see how bad it felt. And, well, the results were kind of mixed. I seemed to be ok with this Patons lace-weight yarn (10% wool, 10% mohair, and 80% acrylic), and the Caron "Country" yarn (25% merino wool and 75% acrylic). But then, I'm not sure, because it's been over an hour since I left the store, and my palm still feels all prickly and unhappy. I'm not sure if that's because of the part lambswool yarn I picked up by accident or what, but you'd think lambswool would be better than a full-grown sheep...

So yeah, maybe I should just stay away from the sheep. Which could still be a problem for any of my three "what to knit next" options-- I know most sock yarns have wool, and I'd really prefer, if I'm going to put in the time to make an entire sweater, to use something more natural and longer-lasting than acrylic. But then, I spent some time the other day with a skein of alpaca-acrylic blend shoved down the neck of my shirt, and it didn't feel that bad. So maybe that gives me an option. (If I can find a nice alpaca or alpaca-blend yarn that doesn't also have wool. Silly yarn-making people.)

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for your comment... although I've never even heard of "dumpster diving" so I can't confirm, but it doesn't sound very savoury whatever it is ...nobody is doing anything illegal or dirty, I assure you!

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  2. I guess you're allergic to wool? That lace-weight yarn does look pretty.
    I have no problem wondering what to do next. I have so darn many projects going it isn't funny and too many in line that I want to try.
    BTW, love the hand warmers!

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  3. I am allergic to wool, but have found a couple of yarns with a low wool content I can use. I test it by shoving a ball up my sleeve to just above my elbow and leaving it there for the day - I figure if I'm fine with that, I'll be fine wearing something made from it for a day.

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  4. acrylic might not be natural, but it's way more "long-lasting" than wool. as in, it'll still be around long after you're gone. if you are allergic to wool, maybe try bamboo/rayon/viscose, cotton, silk, or linen. elann or knitpicks are affordable places to look.

    re: type of garment, even if you're a new knitter there are lots of beginner friendly sock and sweater patterns. i wouldn't try gloves right away--but then again i hate making gloves. too many ends to weave in.

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