Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sum Total of Knitting This Week: 20 Yards

Clearly I've had my mind on other things.

Don't ask me about the sum total of miles of yarn that has run through my hands, from ball to skein, from skein to floor pile, from floor pile back to skein. And to think I did a lot of this with my knees and the back of a chair until I got that swift.

So the twenty yards.

The store where I bought the swift sells these great big hanks of sturdy New Zealand wool. I had to try it out, so I bought a 200 gram hank of a pretty buttercup yellow, not sure what yardage or gauge it was, but mmm, is that lanolin?

Got the thing all dyed up pretty-like, and it has been drying. And then it occurs to me to wonder what I have. I unravelled some from the skein and used Colin's feet spaced 36" apart to measure off twenty yards. 9grams. Weight and yardage says worsted, says I, and I dig around for a pair of 4.5mm needles. I find a bamboo one and a metal one. Dig some more, find another metal one but in a different length than the first one. Do you think I could find a mate for what must be THREE pairs of 4.5mm needles???? Nooo. Okay, I go for the mis-matched metal ones.

Cast on 25 stitches and away I go. Focused on the task of getting the swatch done so that I can gather my data. Settle into the little loops. Relax. Notice the way this Z-twisted yarn is sturdy and even, but not heavy. A little rustic in my hands, but no more so than Kureyon, maybe less. I begin to think about the things this kind of yarn could be. The type of sweater that could last for thirty years. Fulled hats, socks, mitts. Felted things. Cushions for a sofa. Table runner.

I'm working my way through my little 20 yard swatch when about halfway along, I stop and look at what I'm doing. I see flaming autumn colours with greens and hints of brown. Filtered sunlight and shadow. I catch my breath.

It's beautiful, I think. I think about what Stephanie says in Knitting Rules. Yarn is potential, the stuff of dreams. The wool, the feel of it in my hands, and the way it soaked up my favorite colours, soaked them right into the center of its soul. I feel my heart swell, and I'm very close to tears. I look at what is in my hands. I did this. I made it look like this.

A moment of pure gratitude.

Twenty yards.

And I remember why I love to knit.

I think I'm going to hang on to this yarn for a while, but I am going to try to make another one, and I might be able to part with that one. Turns out it is worsted/aran weight. I got 18st/26rows on 4.5mm needles. 200grams/440yds of pure potential. Thanks, Yarn Harlot.


Anonymous said...


If there ever comes a time during your days, when you're all caught up with your knitting and your dyeing, and you are actually wondering if there is something else you might want to do, you should seriously think about writing a book. The way in which you are able to put thoughts to paper is amazing!


Madge said...

Beautiful words, Jayne. Yarn is most definitely the stuff dreams are made of!

Lisa W. said...

mmmmm...that was a lovely moment....enjoyed vicariously through your many talents. Thank you for that little gift this morning :)

LibbyKnitKins said...


Looks like you are having a blast dying!!! I'm rather envious of your good judgement of colors as I'm not so good at that! Looking forward to see what other colors you put together and also I really liked the Super Kydd! That stuff rocks!