just keep knitting

October 1, 2010

before i get to the meat of this post,
i must confess to being a bad friend.
in my last entry
i only thanked my friend annette for my new bag.
but it she wasn’t the only one involved.
my friend zelda also had a hand in my ballsack.

so thanks zelda.

i owe you one.

now for the knitting stuff:
rhinebeck is two weeks away,
and i’m a little behind on my sweater.

i’ve got the sleeves done,
and about ten inches of body.
i have seven more before i join the sleeves
and do the yoke.

when i say it out loud,
it feels impossible.
but keep citing the knitting olympics:
17 days
1 sweater.

i can do this.


someone please validate me.

i also want to talk about shelter,
brooklyn tweed’s new line of yarn.
about the yarn, he writes:

As the summer ended last year, I began researching answers to very specific questions I had been asking myself for some time: With such a rich textile history and an abundance of wool and other resources, why does it sometimes seem so difficult to obtain American yarns in our booming US knitting community? Would it be possible to develop a 100% American sourced, spun, and designed yarn that could be presented in a compelling way to knitters? What would a yarn look like that was developed from Stage One by a single person with no one to answer to but his own personal wool obsession?

The desire to answer these questions sparked the beginning of a year-long journey – one that begins a new chapter today, as SHELTER takes its first steps into the real world.

SHELTER is a woolen-spun 2-ply yarn made from American Targhee-Columbia fleece, grown in Wyoming. The yarn is spun in historic Harrisville, New Hampshire in the heart of New England, in a mill town that has been producing woolen yarns and fabrics since 1794. I have developed a palette of 17 shades including both rich, autumnal colors as well as natural sheep-colors (you didn’t think I’d forget the greys, did you?) The yarn is a very lightly-spun lofty material that, as a result of it’s woolen-spun process, knits at a variety of gauges comfortably without losing fabric integrity.


Globally speaking, I think that knitters should be able to procure wools of high-quality that support designers, farmers and mills in our own back yard. I think there is now becoming an opportunity for yarns to tell us a story, and offer us a connection to something deeper than just the experience we’re having on our needles.

Consider this my contribution to that cause. I very much hope that you enjoy it.

i think it’s a great idea,
and the yarn is very very yummy looking,
but i just can’t stop myself from naming some worries:

1 – the price. at $12.50 for 140yds/128m,
it’ll cost a small woman about $125 to make a sweater,
and a guy my size like $163.

just for a comparison,
i’m making my rhinebeck sweater out of a yarn from a small mill in michigan, the stonehedge fiber mill.
it’s a 3 ply worsted,
and costs $10 for 250 yds.
that’s about $80 for a sweater for me.
it’s spun worsted
(rather than woolen)
which should cost more right?
(spinners weigh in on this.)

i’m more than willing to spend money on yarn.
but if i’m gonna pay that much,
i want a sweater for life.

which brings me to

2 – a lightly-spun 2 ply (i also need some spinners help on this one)
as i understand it,
being lightly spun
and a 2 ply yarn,
means it will be extra soft.
we in america are obsessed with softness.

(never mind that for thousands of years,
babies have been wrapped in cloth made from wool so scratchy
it would make noro seem like malabrigo)

but lightly spun yarn won’t wear as well, right?
it’s more prone to pilling and felting?
am i wrong?

i believe i remember judith mackenzie saying
that you should always use at least a 3 ply for garments
because it wears better.
more plys equals better durability.
am i wrong?

i think the yarn is lovely.
i’ll probably buy some (for a hat).
but i’m worried.
i’m worried that,
like so many american-made products,
it’s going to be amazing at first,
but isn’t made to last.

i know in the knitting world,
criticizing anyone is taboo.
much less a knitter as beloved as brooklyn tweed.
but i think these are important questions to ask.
the recession has scared the shit out of me,
(and has anyone been watching what’s been going on in europe?).
i feel strongly that, in the world of hobby in which knitting resides,
i feel the need to be extra critical of how i spend my money.

please please please
someone, anyone,
tell me i’m wrong!

so that i can buy a sweater lot of shelter.