Sunday, July 18, 2010

One Skein

I finally couldn't take it any more last night: I had to knit with something bigger than 2.75mm needles.1 So I grabbed the leftovers from some mitts I made for a Christmas present last year, along with some gloriously large2 needles, and cast on to make a swatch for an idea that's been floating around in my head.

I belong to a yarn of the month club, which means that I get a monthly package full of fibery deliciousness.3 The club in question is Three Irish Girls' Stash Menagerie, which I really like--it's all different and interesting yarn bases, dyed by one of the best indie dyers going. Sharon's business model for the club seems pretty optimal: every month you get a choice between two colours (variegated and semi-solid), and you can order as many skeins as you want. Unfortunately, I usually can't afford to step outside of the one skein/month that I've already paid for, so I am accumulating single skeins of lovely yarn at an alarming rate.4

The previews for the August yarns went up the other day, and I am just in love with Evangeline, the semi-solid option (photo from Three Irish Girls):

The yarn is a single-ply merino-silk blend that just glows. I've only used it once, to make the mittens mentioned above. I really want several skeins of this, but since I am still in the Summer of Unemployment, it simply isn't happening. Thus, I want to find something really special to do with this one skein. Once I started thinking about it, though, I realized that I actually want to do something special with all of my singleton skeins.

I started to wonder if I could design a project a month for my lovely yarns. Ideally, what I would like to do is have a pattern ready for each month's mailing, but I don't think that is feasible, since I don't own a lot of the yarns. I'd have no way to get things test knit in time. So I think that what I might do is design something every month, post the pattern as a work-in-progress, and work on building a more polished piece from there.

First up is a lacy shrug for the Evangeline. Thankfully I had nearly half a skein left over after the mittens, so I've actually been able to swatch in advance, and I can work on building a pattern from there.

1 It is well worth noting that I usually knit socks with 2.25mm needles, because my gauge is so loose.
2 Which in this case means "5mm".
3 Sometimes actual Deliciousness, which is the name of one of the yarns (a 100% alpaca tweed)

4 Or one skein/month, which is not really that alarming.

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