Well here at Chez Fibergal knitting interest has never been higher. Unfortunately, my shoulder is still not working for a while so this afforded me the chance to do some auxiliary work on the knitting front – that bad word – Organize. Specifically, the Shetland fingering yarns got a full cataloging with weights, all label info, etc. All while fiberguy knitted socks.
Of all my yarns, the ones most precious to me are my Shetland Jumper weight yarns. Classes in the 90’s with Alice Starmore at the Tomato Factory got me started on my mania. I have used them for so many projects. Nothing is as comforting on the needles or in a sweater than Shetland yarn for me. Of course, I get lots of leftovers, especially from my own designs. Many projects, like tams, require just a few yards of each color. And frankly, a new project can be so expensive by kit that it will be out of my range. Cataloging allows me to see just which yarns I have and which I need for my next project. I am leaning towards an oldie but goodie, the Mara vest. It is a little garish, it comes with a good story, it is almost a mindless knit and very nice with denim. Either that or some strange design of my own. And yes, I do spin a ton of Shetland. But I save it all. I hope to have a library of about 20 colors in jumper weight, several pounds each, and then start designing for that yarn. So everything I do with commercial Shetland is like practice, right?
The thing that has me in a snarl after all that cataloging is brand. I used to love the Jamieson & Smith. Especially after I couldn’t get the Scottish Campion. Now that a lot of my favorite colors were discontinued, I am making the transition to Jamieson. A wonderful yarn, but strictly speaking, not quite compatible ypp-wise. And then there are all those color translations. Geez, just getting a database that worked was tough. On my color cards, I have Russet 297. On my skein, the same yarn is Russett (2 t’s) with number 124. Half my skeins that still had labels didn’t show up on any color cards, purchased at the same time as the yarn. Ok, trying not to freak out, I turned to the net to get translation charts. There were so many mistakes on those that it almost wasn’t worth it. And lots of labels that I held in my hand were missing from all charts. Now with the discontinued colors it gets a bit worse. Most stores I have spoken to have switched from J&S to Jamieson yarns, so I have to figure them into my translation table. What I really need is a master list that has the full list of manufacturer’s numbers and NAMES and equivalents in other brands. For instance, FC43 in J&S is sometimes called Corn, sometimes Honey Beige, sometimes Tan. Well, crap, no wonder I follow my own patterns and not other people’s. How the hell am I supposed to figure out what color they are talking about anyway????
Ok, getting a little worked up there. That is what spending the weekend typing and not knitting does for me. The reason for it all, the reward that awaits me is some creation that has 30 colors with incredibly subtle shifts and all in wonderful heathers with 9 colors in each yarn. That dream is what makes all this listmaking, the massive database, worthwhile. You know how I know this? I made color cards of my own, well, am making color cards. The incredible shifts of color are so tricky, yet our eyes can distinguish all the differences.
On other fronts, a delightful treat came in the mail today. Why had I not used this all my life? If you are a snipper or shaver, I can't recommend this enough. Get a sweater stone and you will be set for life.
Lastly, I am off on the EZ Feb baby sweater on two needles. I am using Jamieson and changed it to be in one piece with the sleeves done after (on holding strings now). Knitting with Shetland has me all mellow and happy. It is just so fun.