After a bunch of finishing over the weekend, I ended up spending the bulk of this week with this yarn.
As I mentioned a few days ago, I’ve had this in my stash for a long time. Like I think maybe 2years. Or more. Anyways, it was one of those yarns that I ordered one skein from Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber and then in a panic tacked on a the second skein so I’d have more yardage. It seems that the second skein which bumped me up to 500yds has been like an Achilles heel. Just enough for what I’d need for a shrug, but barely so that I would stress the whole time out of fear that I would run out. There was too much yarn for some mittens or a hat. Sure I could do a matching set, but this colorway seemed like a bit much for matching sets of anything — very pretty, but bold. In short, I just could not commit to a pattern so these beautiful skeins sat untouched in my stash.
Finally last week, in a moment of weakness I just wound them. I jumped and basically set the timer on figuring these skeins out (I don’t let yarn sit in center-pull balls unless they are scraps or I am ready to knit them — once they are wound, I knit them. It’s my thing). So I went & cast-on the pattern I’ve been eyeing for almost as long as I’ve had the yarn, Soliton by Laura Chau.
I started this project over at least a half dozen times. I switched needle sizes. I monkeyed with my technique, but something was just not right. In the end, despite days of starting over & knitting & pure determination yesterday I called it. I declared it a big fat FAIL. I ripped it out. It was beautiful — the yarn guaranteed that — but it wasn’t right. My yarn is an aran single & the Malabrigo Twist the pattern called for is a really springy, plied thick & thin aran. While my Cloudlover yarn played the part decently because the weight translated and the pattern showcased the lovely colors, it lacked that bounce & energy the plies delivered. All the wishful thinking in the world could not deny that that energy makes this pattern work. And my yarn simply didn’t have it.
I rewound my yarn and set about trolling through Ravelry for another pattern idea. Determined to figure this out, I searched for patterns requiring comparable yardage & weight & just started sifting through the million options the filter spat back to me. Feeling a little hopeless, there was also a fair bit of this.
I wrapped up one spinning project & began another, with a little help — of course — from my favorite giant brown, fluffy, big-eyed sweetheart who loves spinning almost as much as fetching, swimming, and bed.
Finally, I came across Wayfarer by Jared Flood. As a general rule, I don’t like when the yarn competes with the pattern for attention. I’m a firm believer that the two should work together and complement each other, so I usually avoid patterns with a lot of stitch patterning when I knit with handpainted yarns. This one though… this I thought might work.
As I thought it might, the stitching strikes me as more of an architectural backbone that blends into scarf. It lends structure and interest, but with a subtly that allows the handpainted yarn to sing. It showcases the beautiful yarn without overpowering and — best of all — it is creating the squishiest, softest, most luxurious fabric imaginable. It is going to be a fab scarf to be sure. It just goes to show that sometimes it takes a couple years of sitting and a week’s worth of failure to find your way to the right pattern. Sometimes it’s discouraging & frustrating. Sometimes it feels like you’ll never find that for which you’re searching. One thing is for certain though, it’s always worth the wait.