Happy Mother’s to all the Mama’s out there! I sent my own Mother a special Mother’s Day package…complete with knitting, of course!
How many times has someone said to you ‘Can you knit this?’ If you’re like me, it’s hundreds, if not thousands of times. Without fail, my answer is always ‘yes’. I can knit anything. The real questions are not can I but Do I want to? and Will I?
In a shocking first, I answered Yes to both those questions this time! It started back in October when I was visiting Mom. We stopped in to a yarn shop I’d never been too. It was rather dreadful. Rather than display merchandise like any other retail shop, the yarn was literally in the plastic bags it was shipping in, thrown on the floor. In some parts of the shop it was wading through calf deep bags. WHAT??
Once upon a time, someone must’ve cared about this shop though. They had lots of sample garments and some of them weren’t on the floor! Including this one…
Mom said she liked this one. I said ‘yeah, I can make that’, snapped this picture and filed it away in the back of my brain, not actually intending to make it. I don’t particularly like beading, it’s fidgety and I don’t particularly like wearing beads. They’re like little icicles hiding in your knitting. Wool is warm to the touch or, at least, not noticeably cold. So, beads…whatever.
But Mom liked it and she did drive me all the way over to this yarn shop, so I could humor her for a moment. That was October.
Then February and Stitches West came. I had a bit of a splurge at Stitches. Including this yarn…
I already had these beads in the stash, for some reason, this yarn jumped out and grabbed me. It’s from Cozy Color Works, a small indie dyer with a little booth way on the outside edge of Stitches. There was a swatch of this yarn in Feather & Fan that really grabbed me. I stopped to touch it, it’s beautifully light & lofty! I had already declared my shopping finished but thinking of my beads was the only justification I needed to buy one more skein.
and so, I set out to knit an homage to the scarf Mom liked. The first important note: the beads are pre-strung. No other way to get them to lay on the yarn like that. It took me a few minutes to figure out an appropriate cast on. Again, the only way to make it work…Backwards Loop Cast On. Definitely not my favorite.
Once I got past that though, I found the pre-strung method of beading to be super easy, far less fiddly than the crochet hook method! I really enjoyed it! I did have to be careful with the beads. Sliding a lot of beads across the yarn can damage it, if you aren’t attentive, especially yarn as airy as this. Knowing is half the battle and I knew, so it all worked out.
And Mom likes it! That’s really all that matters!
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect though. There is something I would change.
Look at the way it curls when it’s ‘worn’. UGH. I don’t like that. I blocked it, honest! I can prove it!
It’s superwash. I hate superwash. This is part of the reason why. Blocking doesn’t matter. The fibers are slippery so they don’t really stay in place when blocked. That stinks. Sure you can machine wash it, but if you expect to machine wash my handiwork, I’m not likely to give it to you. Superwash is completely irrelevant to me.
Unfortunately, it’s the majority of what’s available. I’d be willing to bet 90% (or more) of what was at Stitches was superwash. I really wish dyers would stop it with the superwash. I get that it’s easier to dye but still, I really need to show more resolve and stop buying it.
I suppose it’s not all the yarn’s fault here. (lemme just put my soapbox away)
I think knitting at a tighter gauge could have helped but I was already on a size 3. The beads are rather heavy, as well. A non-beaded project will likely be different. Certainly a different yarn, a cotton/polyamide sort of tape would be better suited to the beads. So, there’s things that could have been changed. I could have made different decisions but still, superwash is deserving of such a rant.
Whatever, Mom is happy with it. The beads and yarn are pretty fabulous together. Still, knowing I could do better, I also sent Mom a coupon good for one shawl — ‘the pick of the litter’ — when she comes to visit next month! So stay tuned, I’m going to pull out the shawls for reviews and pictures! I expect the pile to be quite large!