Are you listening to your yarn?

Every once in awhile you come across a “problem yarn.” You all know what I’m talking about – that yarn which looked so pretty in the skein, but for which you cannot seem to find a pattern that will work. I’m often guilty of trying to force my yarns to fit. For instance, I have started and ripped at least 5 different sock patterns with my Figgy Pudding yarn. The Firestarter socks were annoyingly fiddly. I tried a pair of Traveler’s stockings, but the cuff was too tight. The leyburn socks were too small. A 2×2 ribbed socks pooled badly.

I finally listened to the yarn and found a compromise – some ribbing, so that it does not come out too small (the yarn is very skinny) but nothing too tight so the yarn can stripe the way it wants to.

These are the Madder Ribbed socks from Knitting Vintage Socks. Spiraling like that is ok, pooling… not so much. This is a pretty wide rib, so the yarn isn’t pooling too much. I may try a short row heel on these, so that I don’t get ugly pooling at the heel.

Another example of not listening to your yarn: I bought 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Baltic Sea from the Loopy Ewe over a year ago. I bought them to make armwarmers, but quickly realized that armwarmers in variegated yarn are not my thing. Recently I tried a seafoam lace pattern (recently posted here) but it was too muddy looking. I love the colors, but they looked so ugly when knit up.

Apparently, what this yarn really wanted was to be crocheted. Check it out – no pooling, and the colors look just as pretty as they did in the skein! This is the Fiesta Cluster Stitch scarf pattern from the 2nd volume of Crocheted scarves (Vogue: knitting on the go series.) This is a little lighter than the actual colors – they blend much more in real life, but I liked how clear the stitch pattern was in this photo.

And finally… an accurate photo of the color of the Gathered pullover.

The first sleeve is going quickly, and if I could stop starting new things I could maybe finish it – ah well! I’m enjoying all the accessories I’m working on now, and it will be done soon either way!

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5 thoughts on “Are you listening to your yarn?

  1. crimsonpurl says:

    OOh I am so not listening to my yarn on these gloves…I insist on forcing it! LOL

    Ooh looks like your pullover will be done in time for Christmas!

  2. I did a sweater in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Baltic Sea. The pooling on the sleeves–knitted in the round–drove me crazy, so I ripped both of them (yes, I have a small problem with denial) and re-knitted them flat. Problem solved. I never thought of crochet, but I do love how that turned out!

  3. That yarn looks incredible crocheted! I think you’re right, we need to listen to our yarn.

    Except when it says, “I want to move in with lots of friends” — that way lies trouble (and an overflowing yarn closet).

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