If you're not a crafter, look away. This post is all about yarn and blankets: exciting stuff for us, not so much for you.
A couple of years ago a nice American friend sent me some worsted weight yarn. Worsted weight is heavier than European DK - I think it would be closest to our aran weight. I excitedly unpacked the box and withdrew what looked like a woolly club: an enormous skein of yarn, big enough to whack someone with. You don't believe me? Well, then - have a look for yourself. The American yarn is the one on the top (198g) and a standard skein of German acrylic yarn (50g) is on the bottom:
This the infamous Red Heart Super Saver, an acrylic yarn that has been described as "virtually indestructible" - and intrepid readers will know that I'm particularly fond of household items that are "virtually indestructible". The yarn is a bone of contention for many crafters: you only have to browse through large crafting forums like Ravelry to find countless posts about its general horribleness. Yes, the mere mention of RHSS causes outbreaks of yarn snobbery, like a plague of measles. It's scratchy. It's rough. It's cheap'n'nasty. Ewww! A serious crafter would ever so much prefer to work with *insert name of Indie dyer's handspun yarn confection here* instead of this horrid stuff. Fair enough.
for afghans and blankets, I love it. It's thick and warm and it seems to come in a gazillion colours. I've actually had dreams (this is sad, I know) of being in an American yarn store, buried under a mountain of RHSS skeins. Yes, really. And believe you me, if I want a blanket covering me in the depths of a Bavarian winter, then give me the RHSS afghan any day - yes, you can keep your cashmere/merino mix. I want something with a bit of substance.
Sadly this yarn isn't available in Europe, so I've been squirrelling away skeins for the past two years. I've been waiting for the right time, the right pattern. But now - in a fist of destashing - I decided to crack open my box of American worsted weight yarn and make something nice.
Something nice ...
... for me!