2KCBWDay1 - A Tale of Two Yarns

It's the first day of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week! Most of the blogs I now read religiously I found during last year's event, so I am very excited to participate. If you would like to read more information about this year's blog week, check out Eskimimi's blog (she's our illustrious coordinator who also made all the cute graphics and banners you'll see around the blogosphere). If you would like to read more posts, you can search using the special tag used for each day to find other participants.

Ok, on to the main event . . .

Today's prompt is to write about two yarns that I've either worked with or have or wish I had. This will probably be the most difficult post for me because I still believe I have not worked with enough yarns to have an opinion. It would be easy to write about the nice yarns I have been fortunate enough to work with, like Malabrigo, or that one time I got Socks That Rock as a personal reward for surviving my first semester of grad school, but I think that instead I'm going to share with you some of the yarns that have taught me some things.

I have been blogging here for over two years, and have been knitting seriously for not much longer. The first project I ever completed that made me think "I am a knitter" was my Bella Mittens. These were based on the mittens worn by Bella in the original Twilight movie, so I wanted them to be the perfect shade of grey. I was a new knitter and did not live near a good yarn shop, so I ended up buying some Lion Brand Jiffy Solid from A.C. Moore (it's a craft store chain if you are unfamiliar). After knitting my mittens several friends asked for pairs and I ended up knitting seven pairs, all in the same grey, 100% acrylic yarn.

I recently revisited this yarn when knitting for a friend. With two years of distance I find myself reacting to it quite differently. When I started using it I was alone in my knitting endeavors. I didn't know any knitters and only had these craft stores to source from. I couldn't imagine dropping two week's grocery money on a sturdy 100% wool or soft baby alpaca. I just knew I needed a sturdy yarn that appealed to my color palette and tiny wallet. But I am glad I chose to use it. This last time it made my hands feel a tad itchy and I could actually hear the acrylic squeak, but every time it snows (a fairly unusual sight here) I still reach for those mittens. The yarn has softened over time and I think of it fondly because of all the things I learned when using it (knitting in the round, dpns, cables, decreasing, picking up stitches).

My friend Amanda looking stunning in her self-portrait. Nothing I have knit has ever looked that good.

The other yarn I picked is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Knit Picks Imagination sock yarn is one of my favorite yarns of all time. I've knit two pairs of socks and a pair of mitts out of the four skeins I bought last year. Not only is the yarn named after fairy tale characters, it includes alpaca in the blend. It is not splitty, or squeaky, and is amazingly soft while still standing up to a lot of wear. It says a lot about a yarn when my sister begs until I give her my newly completed pair of socks. I have not knit with a lot of sock yarns, but this is my favorite. It doesn't hurt that it was the yarn with which I knit my first pair of toe-up socks and thus fell in love with the short row heel (nothing is as much fun after a stressful day as a short-row heel).
These are not toe-up, but I love the way the colors turned out. Even if my sister got me to knit them too big.

Ok, now I have to go talk myself out of placing a giant Knit Picks order.


  1. Getting through any grad school milestones deserves expensive yarn as a reward! ;)

  2. I agree that every yarn has its uses. The Bella mittens look great in the Jiffy and probably will last a long time. Your socks look wonderful. I will have to try out the Imagination sock yarn.

  3. I love your Bella mittens. I've had very good sucess with Lion Brand yarns and couldn't agree with you more about the Jiffy yarn.

    I've been dying to try the Imagination yarn because I love the names of the colorways. I'll have to give it a go sometime.