Friday, December 2, 2011

Joys and Pitfalls of Knitting

I think that maybe taking up knitting wasn't such a good idea after all.

Or maybe it was buying my first ball of Merino wool that was the stupid thing. So soft and slippery and warm...


Well, I think I'm reasonably good at not buying fabric. (Don't ask my boyfriend about his opinion on that fact, though...;) Actually it's more like, there isn't all that much fabric out there that pleases me in every way (feels good, looks pretty, is in my price range and screams "I want to be a beautiful skirt/dress/blouse/etc. just for you" at me). So, I'm reasonably good at not buying fabric frivulously. Which is good, because both my purse and my apartment aren't that big.

Enter knitting.

Do you know how many stores actually sell yarn? An impressive amount, at least here in Berlin. All department stores, all three of my favorite craft stores plus the occasional yarn shop...

And really. Knitting is such a soothing activity. Plus, sooo many projects you can make with one ball of yarn!

So, the actual story: I had a bit of time on hand on Wednesday, and happened to be near one of my favorite craft stores. So I wandered in, more on the lookout for holiday decorating crafts or possibly jewellery making. And what do I see?
A whole corner of yarns, almost all of them cotton or Merino or Alpaca wool.
And so pretty! The colors!
Are you in any way surprised that there was no way I could walk by them without buying at least one ball? Or three?
one for the boyfriend, one for a gift, the luscious green one for me. hehehe.
I thought not. Even though they are between 4 and 6 € per 50g-skein, which is kinda expensive in my book... Ah well, it's almost Christmas. I have also been steadily knitting my way through my little stash, so that's ok, I guess.
sneak-peek of finished things. lovely, luscious merino wool...
I hope I'll find enough people to take my creations off my hands, though. If not, I'm tentatively toying with the idea of opening an etsy/dawanda shop. That would be kinda cool, and possibly buy me a few more skeins of merino wool. Or alpaca...

On quite another note, did you know that some 2nd hand shops sell yarn, as well? See what I found at Oxfam!
Mohair wool for 1,50€ per ball, and the other is a cotton/wool blend for 1€ per skein. They have an oh-so-slight eau-de-mothball, but nothing too bad and I think a little soak will make them fine for wearing. I'm thinking another pair of mittens and a Juliet scarf...?
Juliet scarf, a beautiful free Ravelry pattern
I wonder if mohair wool takes well to dyeing? The red scarf looks so pretty! Then again, I already have a red one and the creme color is quite nice, too...

That's it from my little corner of the world for now. I think I'll make myself a pot of tea now and snuggle up on the sofa with some knitting, seeing as I had to switch on the light already even if it's barely past 1p.m.

If you knit, what is your favorite yarn to work with? Do you have a favorite pattern that uses only one skein of yarn?


  1. Hmmm. Maybe my not being able to work with wool is an advantage, then! It definitely curbs my stashoholic tendencies to not be able to touch half of the yarn that's out there.... (But then, most of the pretty stuff is wool. Sigh.)

  2. I totally agree with you, wool is every where and it's not cheap! Which puts mt rubbish skills under pressure to do a good job.

  3. Oh, me! The yarns are gorgeous!! I have to mind my yarn purchases, too. It's so easy to go nuts.

    I vote a definite YES to a Farbenfreude Etsy shop. Terrific idea!

    That beautiful creme mohair yarn is begging to be a scarf. It's so pretty! My favourite yarns are cotton, bamboo, or yarns with a low wool percentage. I am really, really loving Sirdar Crofter DK - it has a beautiful Fair Isle effect without all the crazy effort.

  4. Look at all that yarn!!! yarn coma :)

  5. I know what you mean, I am pretty much powerless to resist yarn. I would hate to say that my favorite yarn is cheap yarn, but I have bought thriftstore yarn in off white and dyed it with Kool-aid. The colors are fun, and it smells good too. Plus the price is right. But my biggest weakness is tweedy wool, and my favorite little problem is the wham, bam, Thank You Lamb neck warmer.

  6. Oh my, I think I need to visit Berlin now.. such a beautiful array of yummy wools to chose from! I don't think i could chose either!
    I've been knitting too :) although as the weather is getting really warm here I am getting a little less enthusiastic. My favourite yarns are Jo Sharp, and my favourite one skein project is a pair of socks!
    Do you have a favourite?

  7. Mmm…yarn. I love my local yarn shop. It´s not big, but it´s filled to the brim with fantastic yarn from around the globe. I find it hard to choose only one favorite yarn, but one classic Norwegian 3 ply wool is called Hifa Huldra. Comes in the most gorgeous colors, and is a lovely quality. I also have a soft spot for Manos del Uruguay Silk Blends. And yes, I have become kind of a yarn snob…;-)

    About dyeing the mohair, I would guess the method depends on whether the mohair is spun around polyester or silk thread. But it do looks lovely in the creme color too. Sooo pretty!

  8. Alessa, great idea to collect one skein patterns? I'd be really interested in what you find out, as it would make me more likely to buy yarn on a whim. At the moment Id say I buy to make something specific, but that's due to my lack of experience and yarn knowledge. I like your Martha stewart scarflet ends...

  9. i was gonna say, look out, that habit can get expensive, but HOLY COW the prices in your neck of the woods are amazing! long ago, when i knitted, ruggy thought he wanted a cashmere/mohair scarf. in the end that thing cost $150.

    i might have been drunk.

  10. @Becky: I feel with you! There are lots of pretty yarns in cotton and bamboo, though! And I've seen a few nice and soft ones in "breathable microfiber", which have kind of intrigued me...

    @charlotte: Good thing is, if it looks rubbish, you can always unravel it. Much easier than trying to alter a sewn garment (if time intensive)... :)

    @Sarah: That yarn looks very pretty. :)

    @Sigrid: Koolaid, huh? Interesting. We don't have that over here, though...

    @Carolyn: You're welcome to visit Berlin, I'll give you a tour of the yarn and fabric shops! :) I think I'll try my hand on socks next, for now I've finished six scarflets for various people...

    @Sølvi: Wow, those Manos del Uruguay yarns look luscious! I've just knitted up my first silk blend, it was lovely. :) The mohair is 20% acrylic, I think as the Juliet scarf only needs one skein I'll try dyeing one and use the other in the cream. :)

    @Scruffybadger: I've scoured Ravelry and that's definitely a post I'll be doing in the near future.:)

    @Oona: $150! Honestly?! And here I'm scared of knitting a sweater if the yarn is more than 40€... Must be real love. Or drunkenness. Possibly both. ;)