I once fell in love with a skein of yarn.
It was a lovely variegated yarn, soft to the touch despite its synthetic composition, with light blue and dark blue and the most wonderful purple, with little flecks of silver threaded through the entire thing. It looked like this. Like night skies, and deep grottos, and the purple you get on the edges of the sunset. It’s even called Deep Water, and how cool a name is that?
It was also very expensive.
I told Himself about how wonderful this yarn was, because I tell him about most of the things in my life. Some days he nods and smiles at me, and doesn’t really pay attention. But I do the same to him sometimes, so I don’t mind it. This yarn, however, seemed to interest Himself. He asked me how much it cost, and where I’d seen it in the yarn store, and again about the colors. As this was in mid November, I had my suspicions as to his sudden interest, but anticipation is half the fun, so I didn’t ask why he wanted to know.
A week or so later, we were watching a movie, and he suddenly asked about the yarn again. What was it called? What was the brand? I told him again. He smacked his forehead, and pulled out his notebook, grumbling quietly to himself. Humph. Clearly, Himself had a memory like a sieve, which I already knew, and couldn’t find the yarn. Blue Heron, Rayon Metallic, Deep Blue with Silver. Yes, there’s a few different bits, but still. It’s the really pretty blue/dark blue/purple yarn. But he wrote it down, and went back to watching the movie, and I didn’t ask.
A week or so after that, the yarn store woman, with whom I frequently share yarn gossip, mentioned that she thought my boyfriend had been in to buy yarn the other day. I told her I wasn’t supposed to know about that yet, and she grinned and changed the subject!
Sure enough, Christmas came, and I got a skein of yarn. Beautiful yarn, pretty yarn, soft yarn. The wrong yarn.
Apparently, Himself had taken ‘very expensive’ and ‘near the front counter’ and had gone in and bought yarn. It was lovely and soft and fuzzy and very pretty – and entirely not the brand or color I had been enthusing about! I wouldn’t let him return it, however, because pretty yarn! I was happy.
But there was a second skein of yarn! The second time, Himself wrote down all the information, remember? He went and asked for it by name, and carefully picked it up and checked. Blue Heron, check. Rayon metallic, check. Deep Water with silver, even! But there was a splotch on it, or dirt, or something, and Himself put it back and picked up the skein next to it and bought it and brought it home for me, thinking about how much I was going to love my Christmas present.
Only, it was the Blue Violet with gold colorway instead of the Deep Water with silver.
Poor man, he tried so hard to get me what I had asked for, and didn’t make it! But I love him, and he loves me, and besides, pretty yarn! He wanted to return them both, or give them both to me and get the other as well. I refused. I had pretty yarn and I was going to knit it up!
And I cast on a vest, in the lovely dark purple yarn with gold flecks in it and knit away . . . until . . . the pattern called to knit from the waist to the underarms, and then make a halter top . . . and I didn’t like the pattern. So I put it away for a while, and worked on other things, and thought about it. Somewhere along the way, I decided that really the lovely yarn wanted to be a shirt, with a lacy yoke, and cap sleeve. Cue another month of browsing through Ravelry and Knitting and any other knitting site I came across, looking for just the right shirt. And then I found it. The Shirt I Would Knit. Well, you know. With some adjustments so it would come out like I wanted it to! Raglan increases after the yoke to make sleeves, and add some lace to the cuffs and hem . . . yep, that was my Shirt!
I cast on and knit merrily away. And pulled it all out and tried again with smaller needles. And got halfway through the lace at the top, and pulled it all out and knit it up again, following the pattern more carefully.
Himself watched this all with bemusement and some dismay.
I did a truly astonishing amount of this at work. There’s not much else to do while on hold on the phone but knit! This time I actually got to the point where I could try out cuff edgings, Having gotten tired of frogging, I tried the intended pattern with some spare sock yarn first. Wasn’t that clever of me? As the leaf pattern wasn’t intended to be a knit on border at right angles to the rest of the project, I was very pleased that I managed to adapt it.
It seemed to work pretty well, so I tried it on the cuff itself.
Blarg! The gauge was too big, and the sleeve pulled the cuff into weird ruffles. So I frogged that and dropped two needle sizes.
There, that worked. Okay, cuff the rest of the sleeve, and try it on . . . and the sleeves were huge. I had been increasing the circumference of the sleeves intentionally, but I hadn’t realized how much it had grown! So I frogged the sleeves back to before some of the increases, and let it site a for another month or so. I didn’t want to think about it. Today, I gathered my nerve, and tried it on.
Isn’t it pretty? And by the way, I have finally figured out how to use the bathroom mirror to take a decent picture of myself. If I take a picture of my reflection it’s too dark, but if I put the flash on, it’s all light and no picture. However, if I take the picture with the digital camera pointing at me, and look at the reflection of the display screen on the camera for direction and focus, it works really well!
But those sleeves were just not right! So about half an hour ago, I frogged them, too, and since it’s a raglan sweater, this meant I had to frog much of the bodice that was already done. The time stamp on this photo is only eight minutes later, I swear.
Sadly, without the sleeves holding it in place, the lace yoke wrinkles up. So now I will knit it up again, raglan increases and cap sleeves and everything. I will get this right!
By the way, update on the lichen fermentation. It still smells bloody awful, and I haven’t noticed any real change in the color of the liquid. But the foam when I shake it up (at least twice a day, more if I am home to do it) has certainly changed texture and color! It’s much redder, and there’s often bits of lichen held in the foam. And yes, there is more liquid in the jar now. I balanced out the proportions a little better, and since you can’t take things out of a liquid mix, you can only add more.