Sunday, December 26, 2010

Miss Mohair: The Story of a Discarded Yarn

I love thrift stores. I love that I can find awesome things for super cheap. I love the hunt, the search for the great find hiding behind racks of muumuus. I always look for yarn. I have heard of people finding sweater quantities of cashmere/wool yarn at thrift stores for unbelievably cheap. While I have not been that lucky, many years ago I did find this:

I was sure it was good quality lace weight mohair. What I was unsure about was how to use it. I had no idea how much yardage might be in the ball or what I might want to make out of it. And so it pulled up a chair in my stash with some other yarns and commisorated.

"What are you in for?"
"Bulky black and white boucle. I'm too 'busy' for her. Whatever that means."
"How long have you been in here?"
"Five years," the boucle bragged, thinking it had been here longer than the rest.
"Six," said the mohair, "she doesn't even have an Idea for me."
The others gasped. "Really? Not even an Idea? Tsk..."

That's quite enough of that Miss Mohair, because I did think of and execute an Idea this year. I made a small neck scarf for my mother for Christmas. While she is not necessarily the pink person, she does like red and I found the mohair to be a deep enough pink that I decided she would likely wear it. The danger here was that the gift was a surprise and I had no opportunity to play 20 questions in order to figure out something the receipient would certainly wear.

"Are you cold?"
"Where are you cold?"
"Do you like blue? Coral? Teal? Beige?"
"Fringe or no fringe?"
"Long or short?"
"Is there a button shape you like?"
"What are your thoughts on the sizes of button holes?"

Instead I played with fire and knit on the fly. As I'm sure you know by know I am making valiant attempts to get my stash under control, which is how I came to think of an Idea for Miss Mohair. I would make a small neck scarf for my mom. Swatching in mohair is difficult because ripping it out causes pain in my heart as the fibers rip apart; so I just cast on for feather and fan and prayed my knitting mojo would be with me.

For the most part it was. I knit about six inches of feather and fan, looked down and decided it was difficult to see the pattern. Despite being a lace weight yarn knit on size four needles the mohair in the yarn was disguising the pattern. It was too late to go back and jump up three needles sizes so I plunged on ahead.

In order to make the pattern more noticeable I decided to add in some stripes of stockinette. This was a good decision because it made the knitting easier and the ripple of the feather and fan pattern showed up better. I really like the pattern that developed from this problem. I would not have added the stockinette stripes otherwise. I will knit this pattern again in a yarn better suited for it.

Best of all, my mom likes it.

(Miss Mohair is in a new home in my box of leftover balls and is settling in nicely.)

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