Monday, March 28, 2011

A Tale of Two Yarns


*** Parental Warning: This will not interest you, parents. We're talking about wool in this one. I'll put something up for you tomorrow. xxx ***
(Sorry about that. Otherwise I'll get a reproachful phonecall to the tune of, "Why can't you write about something apart from yarn and crocheting?") 

A bunch of ladies (maybe a couple of gents, too, but I suspect we're mostly women) on the Ravelry group The Blog Hub are taking part in a Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. I really wasn't going to take part because I can barely tie my own shoelaces at the moment, let alone get myself to blog daily for a week, but our Fearless Leader, Eskimimi, has organised it so well and so professionally that I thought I ought to get my bottom in gear and contribute. She has set us a writing task and we have to complete it daily. It reminds me a bit of the homework we got at school, but Eskimimi is nowhere near as frightening as Sr. Alphonsus and her flapping veil, though she does keep us in line: all of our contributions are neatly tagged and lined up in Google to read. Impressive, ne c'est pas?

So today our task is this:
Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

This is going to be a highly controversial post and I may be about to rock your world - brace yourself, crafters.

My first yarn is Red Heart Super Saver. Mostly I've chosen it out of contrariness. Everyone else is choosing Bamboo-Silk Unicorn's Hair or Handspun Mermaid Bumfluff - I felt sorry for this much-maligned American yarn. Entire pages of scathing comments are devoted to it on Ravelry, yet there's more of it in the stash database than practically every other yarn. While other devotees seem keen to hide their plebian tastes, I stand by my love of cheap acrylic yarn. I'm not going to knit jumpers from it or crochet bridal shawls, but I am going to make afghans and woolly hats ... objects that will probably be the only thing left standing after the apocalypse, along with cockroaches and Tupperware.

This, by the way, is my Shelley Stash. I haven't used it yet. I mostly just look at it and arrange the colours in a more pleasing fashion. Yum, yum.

What do I like about RHSS? It's robust and tough and a lot of people hate it (= support the underdog.) What I dislike about it is that you can only buy it in the US. Globalisation - where are you when we need you?


The second yarn I choose is sock yarn. No particular brand, I love it all. In fact, I haven't met a sock yarn yet that I didn't like, and I find more to like on a daily basis. I like the colours. I even find the outrageously disgusting colour combinations fascinating. The sad thing is that I have, up to now, knit the sum total of half a sock, accompanied by Mammy Gingerbread, aka Lightning Needles. In recent weeks, I've had the yearning to try it again - especially after reading about this charity, Socks for Japan. In my own head, I am a Crafting Philantrophist, churning out socks for the needy, lickety-split. In reality, I have to donate to the Red Cross because I don't want to add to the Japanese people's trauma by making them wear my hand-knitted socks.


But I digress.  
What do I like about sock yarn? It's colourful, often in delightfully unexpected ways. What I dislike about it is that it is often sinfully expensive. One little skein costs half an afghan. Well, not quite, but it's expensive enough to only be bought on special occasions, high holidays and as presents for other people. Fortunately, I have an opportunity to buy someone a gift, so I went shopping and bought a couple of skeins of a new yarn. Isn't this luvverly?

13 comments:

Susie said...

I get reproachful phone calls as well and also if I don't blog quickly enough. God! My family. Anyway. Bright acrylic! You are absolutely right and I am with you 100%. Why don't they sell RHSS in the UK? We even have knitpicks now! (Not much of it but a bit!).

PandaBearofDoom said...

I love acrylic. It's so cheap and easy to use. And I love the color combos it comes it. Long Live the Acrylic!!

Ginny said...

Yikes I just sent an e-mail, when I thought I was commenting - so tired...

Anyway love the Red Heart, take note uk we want it to.

Ginny

Karen said...

Glad to see someone defending Red Heart! I have used many, many miles of the stuff over the years! It is inexpensive and indestructible! It comes in close to one million colors!

Tink said...

Ah, a blogger after my own heart. I wish I could easily get my hands on RHSS, and all the other fabulously cheap workhorse yarns they have over in the US. There's nothing wrong with acrylic!

josiekitten said...

Not come across Red Heart before, but your colourways look yummy! I'm a complete sucker for sock yarns too, and will have to search that Magico out. It looks quite 'Zauberball-ish'!

wdmk said...

I love red heart yarn. I order from a company called Herrschners and I just checked they have international shipping, so those of you not in the US can check it out and get your fixes. :) http://www.herrschners.com/Product/Red+Heart+Super+Saver+Yarn++Economy+Size.aspx

Tecrin said...

I'm so jealous of you Americans, because you can easily get things like Red Heart or Lion Brand or Knitpicks or what have you for a price that's actually affordable, while I'm stuck having to pick whatever the LYS has in stock..

Agreeing on the sock yarn, though, that's lovely!

Voie de Vie said...

Ok, I hate RHSS, but love your reason for loving it. I'm just a Gaul at heart, what can I say? :)

Now sock yarn (with that stretchy nylon) ... and socks in general ... that's a whole 'nother ball o' wax.

Gracey is not my name.... said...

I have RHSS, tons of it (even in my stash on Rav) but I don't lurve it. I actually prefer Bernat, Caron or I Love This Yarn acrylic now, as they are softer...ILTY is not easy to get where I live, I have to order it online...and I lurv sock yarn...so colorful...

resa said...

I like your defense of RHSS even if I can't get on board. Any other cheapo acrylic in loud colors and I'd gladly fight you for it, but you can have my share of Super Saver.

Also, I'm in love with that sock yarn you've shown - it's just too pretty isn't it?

Lynn Sibley said...

Hey, don't forget Canada. We have RHSS up here, too.

Handcrafter said...

I just found your blog yesterday, but may have to stop reading now that you have confessed to liking Red Heart Super Saver. :)