Wednesday WIP: Cashmere Yarn & Prick Your Finger

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A few weeks ago, it was snowing. There was ice building up on the pavements, and cars were becoming lost under blankets of white icing sugar. And, when the weather gets like that, it's time to get out your knitting needles and take up your "winter sport".

Prick Your Finger in Bethnal Green provided a much-needed yarny sanctuary from the cold and white wetness. It was far nicer standing inside and admiring the knitted pom pom snowflakes than being outside, subjected to the cold wind and errant flakes that make their way down the back of your coat.

When inside, you're met with a wall of colour that could become anything - jumpers, scarves, gloves, tea cosies...

... and welcoming display of softer shades of English 4-Ply.

I hadn't intended to buy anything. I wanted inspiration, colour wonderfulness, and to ask a question about some yarn I had previously indulged in on my last visit. Oh, okay. I did buy one little thing. And that little thing is now my new Wednesday WIP.

It was a bag of yarn that had found its way into the "bargain sack". We were rummaging to find Elizabeth some attractive shades of Rachel's famous carpet yarn, and I happened upon it.

The bag contained the softest, most velvety yarn that looked like it ought to be a lacy shawl or jumper. It was a pretty shade of varied grey and deep yellow (Rachel had started dyeing it green, but it ended up back on the bench). We all had a good feel with a few aahs and oohs, and then I wrapped it up and put it back. I suppose that's when I noticed the price.

Good golly, £3.00?

And that was the end of that.

The bag, and the hanks therein, went home with me.

This is the "project" bit. The yarn is ultra fine and ultra knotty. There's a lot of it. You can't wind it around knees or chairs or waiting hands and expect that it will roll up into a neat and orderly ball. I've made plenty of balls out of hanks which can sometimes be a lengthy and patience-testing process, but none have been like this. I spent a few hours in bed untangling cashmere, and I got as far as half a hank wound into a little ball.

I also spent a few hours at the dining room table giving it a good go. I took it with me to our monthly Knit & Natter group. I gave up on one hank and moved on to the next. There are 8 of these knitty beasts to contend with. 

But you know what? It's all rather enjoyable. I have no idea what the yarn is going to be when I'm finished. I imagine I'll weigh it and check Ravelry to see what could be done with this much lace-weight yarn. Maybe I'll double it up for a less fussy garment, or make a few smaller items. For now, though, I'm quite happy with the process and the project. It's not the most portable yarn project I've had, and it's all rather messy when I set up a few chairs to unwind around, but it's oh-so-satisfying when you manage to get through ALL THE KNOTS and have a finished ball!

Or, so I'd imagine. I only have two half-balls so far.

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