Another Distraction

A somewhat eclectic blog by a woman who's easily distracted...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Knotty or Nice?

Like it or not, it's getting to be that time of year again.

And this year, I suspect hanging this little guy on my front door is as festive as I'm going to get. Don't hold your breath for a tree.

Like a lot of other people, I have too much going on this time of year. Shopping (although, any shopping that hasn't been done yet will be done online--it's just safer for everyone involved), knitting (I'm revising holiday knitting expectations daily as I fall further and further behind), visiting, property taxes, year-end projects at work that have to be finished by December 31st or risk losing budget next year--all on top of the chaos my normal life has come to be.

Don't get me wrong--it's not all bad (I enjoy much of it, in fact. But not so much the property taxes or the work projects parts of it)--it's just a little... well, crazy.

While not technically for the holidays (it was supposed to be done quite a while ago), one of the things I'm enjoying right now is this scarf for my DBF (I'm still open to any suggestions about a better blog name for him, but I digress...). He specifically chose the burgundy yarn; he requsted I pair it with black yarn, nixing the first one (a lace weight) I used as too thin, but agreeing on this one; and he chose the stitch pattern out of a fair number of swatches I made.

It's funny, because it wouldn't have occurred to me to pair the black yarn with this pretty burgundy, and when he said he wanted the black to be as thick as the burgundy, I really wasn't sure I was going to like it. And I wasn't crazy about it in some of the swatches, but I really do like it in this pattern (for those of you who are wondering, it's the Yarn Harlot's One Row Scarf, which we each chose independently as our favorite swatch).

At least I used to like it. I may still like it, but my faith has been shaken. The scarf I still love, but I am now wary of this black yarn. It's a nice, soft, warm alpaca, and the first skein went happily along. However, after knitting about three inches of scarf with the new skein, I encounted this:

You may not be able to tell from the crappy picture, but that is a knot. I am not pleased. It is too big to just knit in and hope for the best. (We won't discuss the fact that, faced with the prospect of weaving in two more ends if I did the right thing and cut the knot out, I instead, went the "easy" route and actually did try to knit it in and hope for the best--before ultimately ripping back and cutting the dang knot out anyway).

Now, as much as I enjoy knitting, I don't much care for weaving in ends. You know--in much the same way most people don't much care for lengthy oral surgery without benefit of anesthesia, performed by a guy named Guido, without benefit of dentistry schooling. This being the case, I'm sure you can understand that I try to avoid extra ends in my knitting whenever possible. I was already questioning this black alpaca yarn to start with, because it comes in a tiny 110-yard skein , as opposed to the lovely handpainted burgundy yarn which comes 250 yards to a skein--but it was in the stash, and some stash-busting is seriously in order here, so I'm using it. And now we have knots. Okay--technically, just the one knot. So far. But that's after only three inches of knitting. What if there are more? Ugh! I don't want to think about it.

Why is this okay? Why can manufacturers get away with this? I can't be the only one irritated by this, can I? I would understand if it was a skein of handspun, but it's widely distributed, commercially manufactured yarn. And I've had it happen with other widely distributed, commercailly manufactured yarn, so it's not that rare. In fact, it's happened frequently enough in the past that I can only assume that I am, in fact, the only one irritated by it. It means less yarn and more work for me. The least they could do is label it.

Until that happens, I'll just have to make a list, and with every project, check it twice. That way I'll know which yarn is knotty and which is nice.

Happy Holidays, whichever you may choose to celebrate.

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