Friday, January 04, 2008

Good timing

I started off the new calendar year with a new sweater project. It's a cardigan that I'm doing for JCA/Reynolds, for their fall 2008 line. The sweater is being knit in Artful Yarns Reality. Let's put aside for now the fact that I'm not exactly crazy about the theme-y-ness of the Artful Yarns names -- for example, all of the colors of Reality are named after reality teevee shows, and it's more than a little weird to see a color named "Extreme Makeover" or "Amazing Race." But Reality is a yarn that my LYS doesn't carry and that I'd never knit with before. And I'm finding that I quite enjoy knitting with it. Although it's a relatively chunky yarn (about 3 stitches per inch), it feels light, probably because it has a cabled construction (I'm thinking it must have a core of air inside). The cabled construction also means that it gives good stitch definition and is easy to work with. It also happens to be one of those yarns with long striping effects, so there's the addictive nature of watching the colors morph one into another.

The point that I am trying (albeit rather unsuccessfully) to make is that here is a yarn that I might never have stumbled across or gotten a chance to knit with. There are so many yarns in the world and new ones are introduced every season. Even with a massive stash like mine, a knitter can't possibly knit with them all. And we all have our knitting prejudices or tendencies. I've been trending away from thicker chunkier yarns (for obvious reasons!) and might have overlooked Reality. So I'm really enjoying the chance to knit with it, to get to know a yarn I might otherwise have missed out on. Likewise, I knit two summer sweaters for Reynolds/JCA right before Labor Day, and both were in DK-weight cottons. Since I got Lyme Disease, I'd been avoiding all-cotton yarns because they can be hard on my hands. But I found that the Saucy Sport I used for one of the sweaters to be surprisingly enjoyable to knit with, with good stitch definition (and it's very well-priced, too).

All of these ruminations coincide nicely with the start of the new year. So one of my resolutions for 2008 is going to be to break out of my knitting predispositions and to try something -- a yarn, a technique, a color, a something -- that I ordinarily wouldn't try.

In the meantime, I'm off to knit my cardigan in a beautiful combination of oranges and slates called, um, "Dog Eat Dog" or "Flava of Love" or something like that...

6 comments:

Lisa said...

Hmmm how 'bout a little "I love New York"? The colorway reminds one of a train wreck :)

Bridget said...

Ew. "Flava of Love." I wouldn't even want something named that for free ...

How cool that you are knitting for them. I am tres jealous!

Mama-E said...

reminds me of the OPI nail colors... my favorite always being "Russian to a Party"
Congrats on vogue!!!

Big Alice said...

I have this fantasy, that if only I had the time and the money I'd buy one every ball/skein/hank my LYS carries and make swatches of them all! And then roll in them nekkid (hey, I said it was a fantasy).

Seriously though, if I need to scratch a yarn itch or the knit mojo is flagging, I'll try a single ball of something interesting. I guess I just like yarn.

Thanks for the tip about the Saucy Sport, I'll have to try it. And I've avoided bulky too, because I've got the bulky already built in. But it sounds nice enough I might also try the Reality (and I'm a sucker for long color changes and good stitch def)

Carol said...

I agree. I was a complete Rowan freak before I moved back to the States and now I want to try all the local/US yarns. The Reality yarn sounds nice but oh those names. Puts me off something fierce.

The Mad Crocheter said...

I remember seeing that yarn in a Patternworks catalogue and thinking "what a wacky idea." But it was probably made for me, since I love to crochet while watching trashy VH1 Celebreality and snarking it.

Maybe I'll finally try Saucy Sport now. Thanks for the heads-up!