Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick n Quick

Okay...just an insight as to what goes through my mind.

Last year I bought a Rowan pattern book called Arabesque.  All...ALL!...of the patterns in it are fabulous.  I mean it.  There isn't a single one that I think would be a waste of yarn.  That said, however, I made one sweater from the book so far, and I made it with Louisa Harding and had to do math to convert the pattern to a different weight.  I don't want to do that again.

Here's where the fun begins.  The next one I want to make is this little open-neck pullover called Lillith.  Here is the photo of it, so you have an idea:

I want to make it out of a solid color that I can wear to work (which means any shade of grey, Columbia blue, black, white, or something along those lines).  The yarn it originally called for is discontinued, and after popping my head into four different local yarn stores in the last week, I have yet to find it.  Actually, correction:  I did find it, but I only found four balls at the most of one color, and the pattern calls for twelve balls.  I figure even without striping it, I'll probably need eight of the same quantity of one color.  So there's that.  I asked one of the ladies in one of the yarn stores, who shall remain nameless due to the fact that I didn't GET her name.  I also won't give up the name of the yarn store, due to the fact that this wasn't the owner and her employee deserves the benefit of the doubt...she may be too new to have known better.

"Do you have something similar to this?"  I point to the picture oft the sweater in the book.
"Yes we do!  Here..."  She walks me to a display of thick-and-thin yarns, none of which were even in solid colors.  "See, you could just use this and it stripes itself."
I held up the skein and un-skeined it to show her how it was dyed.  "Actually, this yarn won't stripe...see how it looks like it's just dipped one four-inch section at a time?  That's as long as the colors get one or two stitches per color before it moves on to the next color."
"'re right!"  Her lightbulb goes on.  "How about this?"  She brought me to an aran-weight yarn that was self-striping.  Okay...I'm on my own.
"Thanks...this is gorgeous but I think I'll just look around."  I do know the owner of the store...she'll be getting a professional non-complaint-but-necessary-FYI phone call today.  Anyway, I didn't find anything similar to what I was looking for in a solid color.

Then, I was in Michael's Arts and Crafts because they are having their dollar days this week.  Not only that, but one of the stores near me is moving, so a bunch of stuff is on extra-deep discount!  So I was on a mission to find this book I saw about six months ago, that I can't remember the name of but it has a lhasa apso in a red and white sweater on the cover, and I walked out with six balls of dark gray Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick n Quick.  I still didn't find that damn book, but if I DO find it before Saturday at Michael's, I think it will be marked down.

Anyway, after going to four yarn stores and looking for a discontinued yarn, I started thinking about the sweater and how it's very dress-code, but not very ME.  I went through my mental filofax of my stash, and I realized that I have almost zero bulky yarns in a quantity more than maybe a hat, or one and a half gloves.  If I am going to make a work sweater, I was either going to have to buy this yarn on the internet, keep looking, or know...make it out of Lion Brand first, because the problem is actually that I'm on the fence about the pattern and not the yarn.  I just wished I had thought of this before popping into the local yarn stores to look for the yarn in the first place.

I use Rowan all the time.  I love it.  Love it love it love it.  After making the basketweave shrug for Yarntopia in Katy, I still dream about the alpaca chunky.  But that yarn isn't as common here as I would have thought, unless I just happened to pick the wrong four yarn stores last week (not that it was too much of a choice...they were the ones closest to where I was going at the time).

I would also, regardless of the type of yarn, rather give my money to a local yarn store over giving it to Michael's Arts and Crafts.  I tried, actually.  But I encountered three disappointments and a very amusing conversation about a yarn that striped itself, even though that's not what I wanted.

The reason I went with Option "C" is because I spent about 66% less on the yarn than I would if I bought the original, discontinued yarn online, and if it turns out that this isn't a flattering sweater for me, I won't feel like I've taken precious yarn and ruined it.  I knit a bunch of my pattern samples out of Lion Brand, and the reason I love it so much for that is because I can always, always find it again in person if I need to.  No, it's not Rowan, but it certainly holds up and does the job, especially if I am going to be groped by cranky humans who had to wait too long in line at work.

And if it looks horrible on me, that's okay.  Someone will wear it.

My boss wears St. John almost every day.  She worked in an industry where getting $600 suit pieces (not the entire suit, mind you, but each piece) was easy to do by not paying nearly what the retail cost would be.  She looks fabulous every day.  With Rowan Little Big Wool being discontinued, if I could find it at 80% off I would probably buy enough to make this sweater, even though I fear it will make my shoulders look like I played professional volleyball for years.  But I can't find it at 80% off...I can just find a yarn that costs the same as what it WOULD be at 80% off, and if I make it and like it, then I'll pay whatever it takes to get the yarn I want.

Bottom line is that I need my brain to take a specific course of action, and go for it.  It doesn't.  I am blaming the new coffee maker.

On another note, the February scarf from the Scarf Pattern of the Month series is downright silly and obnoxious.  Not quite Phyllis-Diller-Obnoxious, but still.  I'm looking forward to sharing it.  Have a good day...I have a lot to do but I'm hoping to start on the front of this sweater with yarn that is true to it's name:  it's both thick, AND quick.  Yay!

I knit up the back in a day.  So far, so good, even gauge-wise.  So I'll hopefully know within the week if I should go on a mission to find LYS yarns to make this sweater again and again...the moment I pull it on, I'll know.  It takes me no time at all to make a decision about clothing; I purchased my wedding dress in ten minutes.

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