Published On: December 15, 2009

I promised to bore you with copious details of a new project.  Now I’m not quite ready to cast on, but we all know that casting on is not the first step in a project.  Before you cast on, you need to find some yarn.  I’ve got some that’s been hibernating in the sash for far too long.

Long long ago, when I was just a wee baby knitter, I decided to make my first venture into a Real Yarn Store.  I had finished a grand total of three socks (not three pairs…three socks, there is a fairly substantial difference), and I was convinced I was ready for the good yarn.  The only yarn I had worked with up to this point had been either from a big box store or from the sale pile at Knit Picks.  Now I have nothing against Knit Picks, but two skeins of their sale sock yarn don’t really give one an adequate sense of the full variety and majesty of the yarn universe.  I had a suspicion there was more out there, and I wanted to find it.

I gathered up my courage and went to the Store That Shall Remain Nameless.  Let’s say that the experience was not all I could have hoped for.  The store had that cliquey feeling that too many yarn stores have.  There was a not-so-subtle suggestion that if you weren’t working on an intricate cabled cardigan in fingering weight yarn or a lace shawl big enough to double as a tent you weren’t a real knitter and so clearly weren’t worthy to be in the store.  There wasn’t much of an organizational scheme, and nothing had visible prices.  I asked about sock yarn and was directed with a head nod to a small basket shoved off in a corner.  I didn’t see a single thing I like.  Not one.

Now I have this character flaw that makes me feel deeply uncomfortable in stores where the staff is being snotty and superior.  It’s ridiculous.  I know that I should simply double check my posture, smile politely, and leave with my wallet unopened.  I’m working on it.  At the time though, I couldn’t quite manage it.  Instead I wandered around feeling I had to find something to buy so I would seem worthy.  I saw a glimmering skein of Fiesta Yarns’ La Luz Multi.  It was silk.  It was shiny.

I picked it up and scurried over to the the counter.  After finishing her row and having a leisurely sip of her coffee, the owner sauntered over to ring me up.  Remember how I said there were no prices on anything?  Yeah.  The yarn rang up at $35.00 (robbery I now realize, but I didn’t know any better then).  That was rather more than I had intended to spend, and rather more than I could comfortably afford, but I was too embarrassed to put it back.

I brought it home and set it somewhere safe where I could gaze at it but not harm it.  I had no idea what to do with it.  I was obviously not a good enough knitter to deserve it.  I eventually put it away so it would stop taunting me.  That was more than two years ago.

I just dug it back out.  I am a good enough knitter to use whatever yarn I want.  I don’t think I actually have too terribly many more skills than I did two years ago, I’m just a heck of a lot more confident.  This yarn should not be intimidating.  This yarn should not have to bear the weight of the bad juju of a crappy yarn store.  This yarn should be used.

I’ve decided to make something indulgent and impractical and frivolous.  I’m thinking fingerless gloves.  I have an unholy love for them, and I’ve got just the right amount of yarn to make a nice substantial pair.  So now I have yarn and a plan.  Add in a pattern and it starts to look like a project.

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