Try to believe
Though the going gets rough
That you gotta hang tough to make it – Joe Esposito
Once upon a time, I posted about hand salves and the annoyance of scruffy fingers catching on every passing of yarn. This spring has been no different, and as I worked with Berroco Folio, the most delicate superfine alpaca, I nearly mutilated every strand. My fingers couldn’t stay hydrated enough (perhaps a good indication I should drink more water), and it was a brutal project.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I’m in line at our local ACE Hardware store. Despite my three kids pulling at every gadget in the check out lane, a seemingly bright light found it’s way from the heavens and a choir of angels enchanted me with a harmonious D-flat Major chord. It was literally love at first sight. I saw the words “for dry hands that crack & split…for people who work with their hands” and grabbed quicker than my kids could say “Can I have a sucker?!” O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream is the best around and has won my long search for the perfect product. My hands (AND FEET!) are happier than ever and I’m certain my yarn is ever grateful. I don’t know what it is…they say it adjusts the pH balance to help retain moisture? Yes, it’s got some things in it that I can’t pronounce, but it’s great and it works! No fragrance. No greasy feel. And I had immediate relief after the first application. Might just be magic.
I have been commissioned to design a giant chunky bed blanket for a friend. I’m only a couple days into the exploration and consulting process with her, and already a bit bummed. Lots of realizations that aren’t new, but unfortunate nevertheless:
- Wool is expensive! We were really hoping to work with a nice merino wool, or at least a blend. And no kidding, for a finished piece of that size, it would be well over $1000! Little by little, I kept researching into other yarns, and although I initially didn’t want to have this happen; I ended up in the yarn aisle at Michael’s. There was one super bulky wool blend option, Patons Cobbles. Love the stitch definition. Feel is good, but still $8 for a 41yd skein. And when you need roughly 1200-1300 yards for a king size project, that’s still alot of money in just materials.
- Synthetics are OK. I found another option, but 100% synthetic, Bernat Mega Bulky. Nice color options, soft, good loft. It actually knits up quite nicely. And for $1 less per roughly same size skein as the Patons, it’s a significant price point difference when you’re talking 30+ skeins. Not thrilled, but I’ve realized to get the “aesthetic” look, we might have to forgo quality, unfortunately. And I guess that’s similar in many things; perhaps IKEA lovers understand?
- I should start a yarn co-op. Wish I could be a retailer and purchase wholesale…Perhaps I should begin a yarn co-op. Partners together invest, and then reap the benefit of more cost-effective quality yarn
- Big bulky blanket patterns are not many. Trying to estimate yarn yardage isn’t easy when similar patterns don’t already exist. The jewel in this, however, is that I won’t be adding another design into the abyss of infinite hat patterns, or endless cowl creations. Perhaps knitters find US 35 and US 50 circular needles a bit impractical and hard to find? A GINORMOUS project calls for ginormous circular needles. Mine are en route from Ukraine!
And so the pattern designing begins. There may be cables. There may be the simplicity of classic stockinette. Less will be more, I’m thinking.
I’m envisioning less knitter-wrist and more knitter-biceps with this over sized project. A total upper body work out. I’m going to get buff!