I think it is, anyway. Well, many things are, but the one that’s really rankling at the moment is the variable availability of yarn. Allow me to explain. I’m typesetting an… interesting paper at the moment, 37 pages of tables, graphs that have to be redrawn from Word, illustrations to be inserted (which means re-numbering all references to all illustrations in the paper). Trust me, it’s not fun. When I can’t bear it any longer I unearth ‘Scarf Style‘ from the stacks of paper around me and consider a problem. There are lots of things I want to make for me, starting with ‘Lady Eleanor’, but I need to make something for my incipient brother-in-law. I can’t give K a gift and not have something for J: it’s not fair. (On our birthdays my parents always gave one decent gift to the non-birthday child.) I could knit him his own Wedding Socks (I have the yarn ready) if I asked K his shoe size and she knew it. But he might have immense feet and I really don’t want to spend this summer knitting socks to a deadline! I gather he was envious of the handwoven silk/wool scarf I sent K last Christmas. He would like a scarf of his own, and I’d like to knit one for him (weaving comes later, when I’m better at it). ‘Forbes Forest’ is a possibility, but it will require time and thought and there’s something about ‘Interlocking Balloons‘. I just can’t stop looking at it. But can I find a yarn? It seems to be a strange weight: 175yd/160m per 4oz/114g (why can’t they give a ‘standard’ stat, eg 70m/50g?) Lovely mix of merino, alpaca and silk: stretchy for the cables, soft, and a sheen to show off the stitches.
Rummaging through UK online suppliers found Debbie Bliss Baby Alpaca Silk, but no merino/alpaca/silk blend in a single colour or very subtle blend that won’t overwhelm the pattern. The Alpaca/Silk is very nearly the right weight, but it doesn’t get a particularly good review on Wiseneedle. In theory I could order something from the US, although the three weeks or more it would take to arrive would force some frenzied knitting to finish scarf and a top for me by the end of July. The original yarn is available, but they haven’t replied to my email asking if they’ll ship to the UK. It seems that for a while they stopped making the yarn. I suspect some knitwear designers write patterns for ‘that wonderful yarn they found on holiday’ without considering whether or not anyone trying to knit the pattern will be able to find a substitute, let alone the original. I understand why, but it’s frustrating, especially when most patterns are written in the US for US yarns and I’m over here in the UK… anyway. I can find thinner yarn, pure alpaca at c. 100m/50g, but that would make the scarf thinner and it’s only 9″ wide to start with, and it wouldn’t have the weight/sheen of the silk fraction. And of course there are thicker yarns, but I want to make an elegant scarf, something that flows rather than smothers. Bother.
(time and digital information flow)
Now that’s interesting. I haven’t found that before. The average weight is right, and… oh, that’s pretty. The person whose URL I gave for the scarf knitted it in an alpaca/silk blend and seems very happy with the results. Handspun would presumably be a bit looser… now, that does look nice. The DB alpaca/silk was said to shed and pill, and this could be worse, being handspun, but… oh, look, that one’s lovely. I suppose that if it didn’t work for the scarf I could make a different scarf… even garter stitch would look elegant in *that*.
I was so certain I wasn’t going to buy any more yarn this month, but this is an emergency, right?