Sunday, September 24, 2006
All Wound Up
My love affair with Handpainted Yarn began a year ago with Malabrigo. I heard about it from someone's blog, ordered a few skeins from Webs, and went gaga over the stuff from the day it arrived. It is so soft, so saturated with colour, so natural, and so merino. A few months ago, I was chatting at Elann and discovered that Malabrigo is just a fancy market name for Handpainted Yarn. I promptly went to their eBay store and made a pig of myself. I bought that "Shocking Pink" for my cabled sweater. I also bought some funky stuff for a shawl later on, and I bought some lace weight merino.
On eBay or on Handpainted Yarn's website, you can get their beautiful soft merino yarn in just two weights: six-ply bulky, and one-ply laceweight. The photo above is of one 100g skein of lace weight in a colour called "Stone Blue." There are over 950 yards of yarn in that one skein. eBay sent me a package of three of those for twenty-two dollars US.
Now, you need to know that I do not own a swift or a mama bear, or a papa bear, or whatever the device is called that you use to wind skeins into balls. The only fancy apparatus I have for winding skeins into balls are the two hands that I was born with. I wound one skein into a ball and cast on for a shawl. About ten rows later, I gave up. No way. I recently calculated that I have knit over 15,000 metres of yarn into this and that over the last calendar year. It was a rough calculation. I was a bit scared to find out the actual figure. Nevertheless, I was not up for knitting three kilometres of lace-weight merino. Not this year anyway. So I chucked the ball and the two skeins into stash and let them cure there for a few months.
After I finished knitting my pink cabled sweater, I got to thinking. That bulky pink stuff was six strands. I have three skeins of that laceweight. I wonder what guage I'd get from three strands knitted together.
I began winding up the other two skeins into balls.
There they are...three kilometres of yarn, all wound by hand.
I put each ball into its own bowl so that they would not get tangled as I wound them together into one ball.
Now I have one 300 gram ball of 950 yards of unbroken DK weight Handpainted merino. Not bad for 22.00 US. I swatched, and yes indeed, I get 22 stitches to four inches on 4mm needles. I would guess that two strands would get sport weight and four would get worsted.
Oh...and just when I was feeling really impressed with myself, I discovered that kPixie sells a skein of Shetland lace yarn that yields 1200 yards in just 25grams. I am so not ordering that stuff.