Published On: May 23, 2015

Last time we chatted about the critters of the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival.  This time, let’s talk about the loot.  Now, I’m normally rather restrained at these events.  I just don’t go through much yarn (and when I do knit something, I like it to be in a yarn I can use for a pattern, and that imposes a whole new set of constraints on my shopping).  But I did find a few goodies.

The first is some long, wooden dpns.  I used to think I didn’t care for wooden dpns (and I still don’t like them at small sizes).  But then, when I was at the Japanese dollar store in San Francisco, I learned the error of my ways.  Really long (like 14 inches) dpns are amazing for hats and cowls and just about anything else.  The only thing I don’t like about them is they’re hard to find.

Until now.

DSC_0951One of the stands at the fair had them (plus shorter ones, plus crochet hooks, plus regular needles…plenty of good stuff to be had).  It took every bit of my self restraint not to just get a set in every size.  I somehow managed to limit myself to just one set of 7s, 8s, and 9s.

They’re from Twin Birch Products, and the only thing that kept me from buying them all was the reassurance that I could get more on their website if I found I needed them.  I’m sharing the link with you only on the condition that you promise to leave some for me and not buy them all for yourself.

 Edit to add: So…I hate doing this, but I need to let you know about a problem with the needles. I bought several more sets through the website, and the sizing on them was wildly inaccurate.  Like a set of needles, all labeled as size 3 (3.25 mm) had needles in it that actually measured at size 2, size 2.5, size 3, size 4, and size 5.  I contacted the company and, after several weeks and a follow up email, they sent some replacements.  These were also unevenly sized.  Between all the sets I was able to piece together something I could more or less use.  But there were enough problems that I wouldn’t buy these unless I could check them ahead of time to make sure they were actually all the size it says on the label.  The needles themselves are lovely and smooth…just the sizing was not accurate.

Now I also bought a bit of yarn too, but here the story is a bit more complicated.  First, let’s see the pretty.

DSC_0948Beautiful, aren’t they?  That top one is a 80/20 targhee silk blend in a lovely dk weight that will be perfect for thick socks.  And the bottom one is a corridale fingering weight with one of the prettiest dye jobs I’ve ever seen.  I suspect it will become some cuffs and a cowl.  They’re both absolutely lovely.

And they smell.

Not like sheep (which I would understand), or vinegar (that’s cool too), but like strong perfume or incense.  At the fiber festival (outside, in a stiff breeze, with the scents of critters and food vendors in the air), it was noticeable but subtle.  Once I got them home, it was a punch in the face.  There is no way I could work with the yarn in that state.

I tried emailing the address on the card to ask if they had any suggestions (or if I could replace it with unscented yarn), and my email bounced.  Then I tried going to the website listed on the card, and it’s down.  So I turned to twitter (and got lots of helpful suggestions).

I tried hanging them in the sunshine for a day or so.  No luck.  I tried washing them with my favorite wool wash.  No luck.  I tried a soak in vinegar, then a few more in wool wash.  That took care of one of them and helped the other, so I’ve not given up hope.  But really, it’s turned from ‘yarn I was really excited about and totally wanted to cast on’ to ‘huh, I wonder if this can be salvaged or if it’s a total waste of time and money.’

Now I realize I’m maybe too picky.  I hate almost all scented things and have a rather enthusiastic sense of smell.  So I thought I’d ask you guys.  How do you feel about scented yarn?  Have you ever gotten rid of or stopped buying a particular yarn because of the way they smell (I have actually stopped using one company’s yarns because they put a scent on them, and it means I can’t comfortably work with them or wear the things made from them)?  Do you have any other suggestions to get the scent out?

I really want to use this yarn, it’s beautiful, I just need to find a way to fix it first!

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