I am the Wool Pig

First I just need to answer a question from Persnickety Knitter, who asked what size needles I am using for the trekking XXL. Well, to make a short story long, I customize my socks a bit because my thick ankles and narrow heels cause socks to slide down. I like the foot to be snugger than the cuff. To do this, I either decrease before I begin the heel, or switch to a smaller needle. Or start with a larger needle; your preference. For the current socks, I started on size two rosewood needles, and switched to size 1 bamboo needles for the foot. Most of the time I prefer to knit with metal needles cuz I like to go really fast and I don’t have a problem dropping stitches. But with commercial sock yarn being a little slicker, I thought it would be a good opportunity to use the rosewood needles I received as a gift. They were still a little slow for me, but the fastest wood needles I have tried besides my ebony ones (which I adore, but don’t have enough of!!). But probably you didn’t want to know all that; bottom line, I like the fabric from the size 1s.

Ok, so today is flash your stash day, but we’ve been there, done that this week! I’m just a trendsetter, I am.
However, you really must go to knit and tonic and see her stash . . . maybe our husbands would like our yarn a lot better if we stored it her way.

So, even though you saw my yarn closet this week—and hey, enough with the stash jokes, guys—I may still have a few things to flash from inside it!

Yarn Stash closet inside

My stash might be big, and there might be a few older items in there, but can assure you that it does get knit up. I do a LOT of knitting. Ask anyone close to me who is smothered by a recipient of my needlemania.

I do have to laugh, however, every time I think of the yarn harlot’s description of the “trophy” yarns that live in her stash. Trophy yarn is defined as yarn that, in your heart, you know you will never, ever, knit. It is yarn for which the only important function that comes to mind is that it just exists. For you, it is yarn that you are happy simply to have and hold—yea, for which even the thought of knitting makes your heart pound in horror (the abuse, after all . . .).

Of course your significant other(s) are never to be privy to these feelings. They might even remark upon these yarns from time to time. Only you know: pity the fool who blindly goes where angels do not dare to tread.

So let’s see what kind of treasures I might be hanging on to.

yarn stash door opening

Well, look here. now this is special. This yarn came in a bag of (mostly acrylic) stuff from a deceased sister of a friend of my mom’s. My mom saved it because she “knew I liked wool, even though no one knits with that any more”. Well, there was some wool in there; a few balls of a fine gray shetland fingering yarn. And there was a lot of leftover/tangled/unravelled acrylic. I rooted through the bag, having found the shetland, and then, my hand hit this:

Gray cashmere yarn

I felt it and I knew. some yarns have a very telltale hand to them. Merino is like that; you can just tell by touching it what it is. Ditto alpaca. And obviously mohair. But there is only one feeling like this; this was the feel of cashmere. It did not have a label, but it was the real McCoy. I furiously tore through the bag, dumping everything out. I found every last bit of it, plus the “kit” bag in came in, with the instructions for a really ugly sweater. Some of the yarn had been unravelled and wound, very tightly, into balls. It all smelled like must and smoke. There was one intact skein. I took it upstairs, skeined it on the yarn swift, and gave it a bath. It washed up beautifully. Someday it will make a fine shawl or something. But for now, I just like looking at it.

Here’s one I got at a flea market. It’s truly vintage; real Scottish wool from Scotland. All 6 hanks were $6. I love the mustard-y gold color. I have no idea when I will knit it.

gold Scottish wool

Then there is my stash of Richesse (this is only of part of it; showing it all will compromise the liability of my insurer).

Richesse yarn

If anyone ever tries to lay a finger on it, I will cut their hand off (but not near the yarn).
Richesse is so luscious, it spoils all your other knitting; you will forever after hold each knitting experience up to it, and fail to find a comparison. And . . . I got it on sale.

Whenever we travel I buy yarn rather than souvenirs. Italy has the best yarn, bar none. Like this:

Italian Cashmere yarn

It’s that incredibly peculiar shade of Italian celadon that they named after a queen. I’ve had it for eight years. Every year I design a sweater for it, but I have yet to actually knit the sweater . . . somehow, knitting it is the equivalent of parting with it. Please, someone help me get over it.

I also have handspun yarns that I know are going to be difficult to part with do anything as mundane as knit hats or something with.

Buff Alpaca Yarn

This buff alpaca is as luscious as it gets. This stuff has so much sheen, you need sunglasses just to look at it (glare adjusted in photoshop).

And this tweed. It’s Jacob, alpaca, silk, and cotton.

Tweed yarn

I have 800 yards in a fingering weight. I can’t think of anything special enough that takes only 800 yards. Am I brain dead or just so far in denial that it seems like the same thing? Me, not able to think up a project idea?? Horsefeathers.

Here is another spoiler:

Handspun cashmere yarn

Handspun cashmere and merino wool.
Does anyone else feel that slighty-heady, too-full-of-chocolate feeling that I do right now?

Bare Naked Wools Artisan Yarns

Originally posted by Anne Hanson on April 1st, 2006

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