Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Grown-Up Yarn

Lately, I've become very interested in what my friend calls "grown-up yarn". Basically, this is anything that's not acrylic, and is preferably hand dyed and/or hand spun. She loves Peruvian wool, angora, and silk-blend yarn. We also found some camel blend yarn in our local yarn shop, and some incredibly lovely soft stuff that was made of 20% lactase. That's milk protein. Someone figured out how to spin milk into a gorgeously soft yarn with a beautiful sheen.

Since I haven't posted anything for a while, and since I assume that any regular readers of this blog (if there are any, which frankly I doubt - and no, that's not encouragement for someone to boost my ego) then they must be interested in the - what shall I call it? The theory of crochet and yarn-work in general. Therefore, I don't feel at all bad posting my fangirlish ravings about Grown-Up Yarn.

I sit here with two skeins of Peruvian wool/alpaca/silk blend yarn and one of merino wool/llama/silk blend yarn beside me, part of a skein of acrylic wound around my fingers, and a helmet made of many kinds of acrylic yarn on my head, waiting for the final piece. My hook is sitting on my side table, just waiting to be used, along with two mismatched knitting needles I'm contemplating experimenting with. The goal here is to make a dwarf's helmet that would make Hrothgar proud. (When it's finished, assuming it's any good, I'll post the pattern so that all interested parties can make their own.)

More on that later.

There's this yarn store about twenty minutes from where I live. It's an amazing place with three rooms filled with yarn. Yarn in cubbyholes along the walls, yarn on shelves, yarn sitting in baskets and piles. There's embroidery thread and patterns as well, but it's mostly yarn. None of it's in balls or skeins; it's all in hanks, varying from fit-in-the-palm-of-your-hand to babydoll size. There are couches, too, and customers are encouraged to come and sit and work on things for as long as they want to. It's amazing. I love it.

The best part is that they don't have any of the name brands you see in WalMart and Hobby Lobby and Michael's. Vanna's Choice was to absent itself from this store. I Love This Yarn!, of course, has never been here, being the Hobby Lobby brand. Lion's Brand is missing and they don't even have Red Heart. It's like sifting through the Etsy yarn section - it just reeks of lovely lovely hand-made yarn. You can almost see the Peruvian farmers shearing their sheep and then spinning the wool. Actually, the first time I walked in, there was a guy in there spinning thread. He had a push-pedal spinning wheel and a huge mound of fluff beside him and he was making thread.

Of course, all of this yarn is horribly expensive (I paid $30 for my three skeins) but it was oh so worth it. Seriously, I have never been more excited to buy yarn, and that's saying something. Buying yarn is one of my main hobbies.

I even showed my gorgeous new yarn to my mother and made her comment on how nice it is, even though I'm well aware of just how little she cares about yarn.

I think I'm going to have to do more side projects with grown-up yarn. Maybe I should look into making wearables, even though generally speaking wearables bore me, just so I have an excuse to buy that oh-so-pretty milk protein yarn. Even if it is $20 a hank. (I'll have to save up first.)

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