Sunday, October 14, 2007

thoughts on fiber...

I am very excited about this. Combining two things I love - coffee and yarn! I have to admit I am a little intimidated by the luscious yarns I see out there. I have only recently become more particular about what I have on my needles/hooks. I was never a fan of the straight acrylic, but knew very little about LYS (local yarn stores) and only purchased yarn at big box craft stores... until... well, I am not sure exactly when it happened, but first I started looking for really soft/different acrylics, mainly because a lot of what I was making was for babies, and, well, let's face it, babies make messes. I didn't really know how much, but now that we have a baby, I am now really glad that pretty much all of the baby gifts I ever made prior to knowing anything about fiber were either 100% acrylic, or mostly acrylic because it makes care all that much easier.

HOWEVER...I have now seen the light and even the acrylics made by the smaller yarn companies are SOOOOOO much nicer that I can't use just a big box acrylic anymore! Take the car seat blanket I am working on (all that's left to do is weave in two ends) It is a 75% acrylic 25% wool blend and is really nice to touch and can go in the regular wash! As a new parent I am realizing that you don't have the brain capacity to remember what the different materials your handmade beautiful things are of and how to specially care for them without destroying them. And I want to use them. So, the challenge has become to find some really intriguing, beautiful, easy care yarns to make these baby gifts from.

Which leads me to 100% cotton. I am currently knitting a sweater for our daughter. I am making the 18 month size in the hopes that I will finish it before she outgrows it. Her Nanna bought the yarn and it is GORGEOUS!!!! I was first introduced to Manos de Uruguay in a LYS that has since closed. I picked up a skein of their kettle dyed wool. I made a scarf for myself. It was one of my first ever knit projects last winter. I LOVE IT!!!!! The color is gorgeous (when I learn to post pictures I will post one here) And, it's soft, not scratchy on my neck. When we (Erin and I) were in West Hartford, visiting Nanna we took a trip to the LYS. I think Nanna must have thought I was a crazy touching everything, but I had really only ever been in one or two LYS before and one was the place going out if business which was a mess as a huge sale was in progress and they were anti-crochet which ticks me off, and the other place was also anti-crochet and before I started knitting at all so I couldn't even fake "walk the walk, talk the talk..." Now that I can knit I feel a little more comfortable in those situations, but it still ticks me off!

Anyway, we went to Sit-n-Knit so I could check things out in a LYS and found the Manos del Uruguay yarn in cotton. I love it so much. The same kettle dyed variations, but the ease of cotton care. I think pretty much all of my baby gifts, once I work through the small stash of yarn I have is done, will be in either cotton or superwash wool. I haven't tried any yet, but have read so much about how great they are. The biggest challenge I have is finding a good LYS. One would think that here on Long Island, or as my SIL calls it, Strong Island - Shopping Capitol of the World, it would be easy to find one, however, I have located only two relatively nearby that are still open, and I haven't been able to get to either of them since Ms. Erin has entered this world. I know the internet has everything, but there is something about feeling the fiber that is very important to me.

However, I know of two LYS near Nanna, so we've been to one, and hopefully next visit we will try out the other one. And, in the meantime, I will use up what I have and go from there. I know I could recycle some of the acrylic I have, and I have done some of that, and I might do more. First I have some projects to finish. I have promised myself no new fiber projects until I have gotten the list under control and we have gotten some more stuff completed for our business and in the house. More on that later...

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