Friday, June 20, 2008

All I Needed was a Size 5 24-inch Circular Needle

You know where this is going, right?

I started the bottom ribbing on my Sloane Pullover two days ago. I needed a size 5 needle. I had two, but they were both 16 inches long - they just weren't long enough to go around the bottom of a sweater that, I hope, will go around my considerable ass. So, I needed a longer size 5 needle - say, one 24 inches long.

Yesterday, I was out in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, for work, and I kept in mind that if we got done early enough, I could stop by some yarn shop somewhere on the way home and get me a 24-inch size 5 needle. That's all I needed. Just one circular needle. One.

Route 7 goes north/south through Great Barrington, more or less. It's the main drag. I had some memory of there being a yarn shop in Great Barrington somewhere, but I couldn't remember its name and I'd certainly never been there. Lo, the yarn shop is on Route 7 - not in the center of town, but out on the commercial strip of Route 7, just south of McDonald's. I passed it, did a quick turn-around, petted the old cat in the entrance hall, and stepped into the fumes.

The yarn shop is
Wonderful Things. Aptly named. It had 24-inch size 5 needles, all right, and a lot of yarn. A whole lot of yarn. Rooms and rooms and rooms - a warren, really - of yarn.

I succumbed to the wool fumes, badly. I only bought three skeins, but those three skeins set me back about $100. I bought a ball of Jojoland Harmony, a skein of Claudia's silk laceweight, and a skein of Great Adirondack silk/merino Sirino. Here are my usual lousy photos.




The one thing wrong with Wonderful Things is they do not put prices on their yarn. I certainly could have resisted the Great Adirondack if I had known it was $55 a skein, but by the time I stepped up to the cash register, I was well and truly high on wool fumes, and didn't flinch at the total.

I feel rather as though I have eaten an extra-large ice cream cone instead of the baby cone I asked for - it's good, but too much. You know what else? I just timed myself knitting the k1p1 ribbing: I can knit 10 yards of yarn in 30 minutes. That's 20 yards an hour. I figure k1p1 ribbing is a good mid-range indicator of the variety of knitting, from simple stst, to keeping tracks of increases and decreases, to cables or Fair Isle, to maddening lace that you have to frog every third row. So, on average, I think I knit about 20 yards of yarn an hour. There will be about 1320 yards in my Sloane Pullover, about 65 hours of knitting. Six weeks of ten hours a week of knitting nothing else whatsoever. Maybe five weeks, really, given that much of it is simple stockinette.

When I succumbed to the wool fumes in Great Barrington, I just bought myself 2655 yards, or 133 hours, three or four months at the very least, of knitting. Knitting I hadn't really planned on. Knitting that will be fun and beautiful, sure, because these yarns are gorgeous, but really - is knitting (and spinning and weaving) all I ever want to do with my life? I'm thinking I may need to weed through the stash. I'll keep these three skeins, because they are stunning, but I think I have a lot of yarn that doesn't really thrill me any more, that could go without breaking my heart.

Or maybe not. It is yarn, you know.

1 comment :

Elizabeth said...

You'll feel better if you stop quantifying this kind of stuff! Those are some truly lovely skeins, though! I wonder what they'll become...