Sunday, April 29, 2012

Unwound Part II

The story of a forlorn mess of yarn and a happy ending.
While on vacation* 4 or 5 years ago  in  North Myrtle Beach , South Carolina we took a drive to Pawleys Island.   Despite the groaning from my boys in the backseat I naturally had an ulterior motive - a yarn store!    Island Knits is a lovely store, and I was immediately smitten by the gorgeous Dream in Color Baby wool. I purchased all of the yarn they had in the colorway "Beach Fog" and it was just enough for my project. The blue and aqua hand dyed colors were the perfect reminder of a great family vacation at a beautiful shore. The shawl- Miriam L. Felton’s Icarus was one of my first forays into the world of lace knitting.  
©Interweave Knits

 It took many false starts and a ridiculous amount of ripping and re-knitting.  But, I persevered and finished much of the easily memorized pattern with in a relatively short period of time. (Sometimes I think it is good to try a new technique  while on vacation because I don’t usually have anything other projects with me, so I force myself  to work with what I have.) Icarus is a great beginner lace pattern because it is reasonably simple and the construction becomes apparent within a short period of time. By the time I was back at home, I only had a little left to knit.
Ball "Collapse"
That was when I experienced my first incident of “ball collapse”. I had a snarled mess of yarn and only a few edging rows left. **
 I called around to all of the local stores and internet stores I knew, and none of them carried the yarn.  Don’t you hate that heart sinking feeling?  I then went to my local yarn store to see what I could do.  Sharon, the owner of CreativeKnitworks calmed me with great news.  Apparently there is a way that shop owners can fulfill orders from each others inventory.  Within days, and for a very reasonable cost, the yarn was on the way to me. 
Now, this was a hand dyed yarn, and I knew the dye lots were not the same, but I was happy to take anything I could get. 
You may not be able to tell that there are a variety of colors in this yarn.
 It didn't photograph very clearly.
The yarn ranges from blue to soft gold to violet and aqua.  Lovely.
If you look at my shawl, you will see that the edging is absolutely not the same color as the body of the shawl.  
 At first, this bothered me because, of course, a mismatched edge was not part of my original plan for this piece.
But, I’ve come to appreciate the contrast, and now even think it adds a little life to the shawl.

Now if I could only go somewhere important enough to show it off!

*Please don’t think that I travel all over, buying awesome lace yarn from beautiful destinations and whipping up lovely shawls regularly.  I wish. ; )
** I tried for hours to no avail to unsnarl the yarn, but it was getting frayed and felted and I finally threw in the towel.

Valuable lessons learned:
 Never pull laceweight yarn from the center of a skein.
 Your mother/ grandmother/ yarn store owner/ Elizabeth Zimmerman was right- always make sure you have purchased enough yarn in the same dye lot…
(more on that later!)

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