Knitters, crocheters, cats...who doesn't like a good yarn? On second thought, those categories probably only encompass a small percentage of the population, and yet, yarn still kicks ass. But not all yarn is created equal.
I used to have a real problem picking out yarn for projects. I'd either buy yarn I thought I liked and have nothing to do with it, or buy a pattern without a clue as to what yarn to use. I also used to be a yarn cheapskate--there's a certain amount of sticker shock when you first start knitting. As I recounted in a previous K & C Blog Week post, this resulted in some outright monstrosities.
So when I decided I wanted to make the Sahara sweater, I thought I'd take the easy way out: get exactly the yarn that the pattern recommended, regardless of price. Tilli Tomas Pure and Simple. With a name like Pure and Simple, what could go wrong? Everything, it turns out.
The yarn was unplied silk, which was not only unpleasant to work with, but also resulted in uneven and stretched out stitches. HATE. I plowed ahead and ended up with something resembling a sweater - then upon washing, the blue yarn leaked dye and sullied up the cream part.
I learned a couple of things.
1) Choose your yarn colors carefully--you may someday want to wash your garment.
2) Expensive yarn does not necessarily mean good/enjoyable yarn.
I somehow ended up on the Tilli Tomas e-mailing list--and several months after finishing my 'sweater', I received an email advertising a screaming deal on an experimental batch of TT yarn, a wool/silk blend. I still reeked of the stench of failure, but the bargain was too great for me--I bought enough for another sweater. And I loved it:
I liked the experimental yarn so much, I am now in possession of a heaping pile of it:
So I also learned,
3) Keep trying, and you'll eventually find yarn that you love!