adventures in yarn

The other day I was trying to find a certain piece of fabric, that I was sure was hiding somewhere, and spent hours rummaging through half-used balls of yarn, random granny squares, offcuts of fabric that I don’t even remember buying, and other crafty bits of, let’s face it, tat. I ended up completely forgetting what I’d been looking for in the first place, and having a gigantic clear out – I sent loads of wool in colours I’d rejected to a neighbour, and a bag full of fabric to the charity shop. Everything else was tidied away nicely, and I laid out my (now much smaller, and more organised) yarn stash to have a look:

The top two rows are Stylecraft DK (as is most of my wool – it’s cheap, not too splitty, and the colours are pretty good), the bottom row is Sirdar DK Cotton, and the small pile on the right hand side is Katia Merino Sport. The Katia yarn is leftover from a baby blanket I finished recently (this is a post in itself – a long, long story), and I have a few of the coloured squares without their beige borders leftover, so will probably just work the rest up and see what happens. I’d already decided to use the Stylecraft for a couple of blankets, or cushion covers – the top row is going to be made into the Jane Brocket sunburst blanket (from that lovely, lovely book, The Gentle Art of Knitting – my latest ridiculous impulse purchase!), and the row underneath is going to be something chevron related. I’m half tempted to try some sort of intarsia chevron cushion – I’ve never done it before, but the instructions in my book look relatively easy to master, and working out a chart can’t be that hard….. can it?

Working out an intarsia chevron chart

The Sirdar cotton was left over from some baby bibs I decided to make (coming to a huge crafty baby-related post soon), and I originally thought about doing some sort of bag, but looked at the colours and decided they were a bit…well… pastel-ly. Fine for bibs and whatnot, but a bit muted for a nice bright beach or grocery bag. So when I discovered that my local yarn shop was now stocking Rico Creative Cotton (that wonderful stuff from Attic24 fame), I almost did a little excited dance (with a baby due tomorrow, dancing was pretty much out of the question….) and snapped up a brighter blue, red and green:

‘Yes,’ I thought, as I laid all the colours out together, ‘this is going to make one brilliant bag’. I started crocheting. I did a couple of granny square inners in the Rico. I marvelled at it’s neatness and colour. I tried to attach some of the Sirdar. This was the point that I realised I’d lost control in the shop, had been blinded by the colours and contracted a bad case of New Yarn Excitement – that disease that affects all knitters and crocheters when faced with a type of wool they’ve never tried before. I’d glossed over the fact that the Sirdar is DK, and the Rico is an aran, reasoning that they ‘looked similar in weight’. I’ve been crocheting for almost three years – how could I have made such a rookie error?

So, I now have the original selection of Sirdar, which is being worked up into various little bags and pouches for a future craft sale – perfect for crochet hooks, mobile sewing kits, loose change or any other little bits and pieces you might want to carry around. The colours actually work quite well together if you’re clever with how you mix them, and on reflection, brights aren’t everybody’s thing anyway – better to play it safe when making to sell, I always think.

Three balls of Rico was obviously not enough to actually do anything with, so I trotted back off to the yarn shop to top up my stash with some other colours. I’m quite excited about working with it – I’ve decided it’s destined for a stripey-ripply-front-post bag, which I may or may not line, depending on how big the gaps turn out to be. I can just see it now, paired up with a little tea dress and my tan clogs…..mmmmmm……

You’d think that would be enough projects, but no – I’m the type of person who has to have several different things to work on at once. I found this Cygnet Seriously Chunky yarn in a charity shop of all places, and have since discovered that while the mustard is quite clearly the best, it is available in quite a range of other colours. I’ve been experimenting with my larger hooks – anything from the 10mm, right up to the 15mm (which I’ve been dying to use for ages), and have made some of the largest bobbles I’ve ever seen. I’ve got three round cushions, currently with no covers, so I think a round bobbly cushion cover is the way forward – I’m writing the pattern myself (the first time I’ve ever done this, eeek), so we’ll have to wait and see how this turns out!

Lastly, when I was in the midst of my Rico dilemma, the yarn shop had it’s fifth birthday, and I was entered into the raffle. On Monday, the owner rang to tell me that not only had I won, but I’d won first prize – five balls of Sirdar Denim Sport Aran! This is a real treat for me, as I don’t usually get to work with any of the more well known or expensive brands, and I want to choose my project carefully, so it doesn’t end up another half-finished rag, shoved in my wool box! I’m considering doing the Aruna bobble cardigan, that I’ve had saved in my projects folder for about two years – I’ve never made anything that’s wearable, and think the challenge might be quite nice, especially if the outcome is good as well!


  1. that kate
    March 29, 2012 / 2:48 pm

    Wow – so much yarn! I bought a load of the Rico creative cotton as I was planning on making lots and lots of granny squares. I then got completely distracted and bought some Bonus DK yarn and decided to make a giant granny square blanket for my bed. I am enjoying it so much and it's perfect to do in front if the telly. I really like the look of that knitting book so I will add it to my birthday list. The round bobbly cushion covers sound like a great idea! I made a giant snood this winter with that yarn. Also well done on your win 🙂

  2. Vintage Appeal
    March 29, 2012 / 4:41 pm

    I LOVE the mustard super chunky bobbly circular cushion cover you're making! Would you be interested in selling one to me? If so drop me an email: lauraholmes1989@btinternet.comhope to hear from you!

  3. Vicky
    March 31, 2012 / 8:24 pm

    Kate – the book is beyond beautiful, and it's got loads of text as well, which I find a lot of knitting or crochet books don't have. It's a bit like having a chat with the author!Laura – I've undone and redone the cushion cover three times now – it's a tricky pattern to work out, but I'll let you know as soon as I manage it!x

  4. Vintage Appeal
    April 2, 2012 / 4:55 pm

    Haha! Sounds great…although I won't expect to hear from you any time soon….good luck with new little one and fingers crossed you don't have to face being induced! x

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