Saturday, September 09, 2006

Building the arsenal

Sock Wars is coming up soon. Reading Don's blog led me to the entry Yarn Monkey entered on what yarn is needed for the upcoming pattern. So today I went out to fetch my arsenal.

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I'm a tight knitter. The pattern calls for a gauge of 22 stitches = 4 inches / 30 rows = 4 inches. That's 5 1/2 stitches an inch, close to worsted. The pattern is calling for DK weight on size 5s. Well, I've done DK weight socks on size 5s. They were my first socks. The stitches are too far apart to work for working socks, so I'm going a yarn size larger to get gauge. Sock fabric to be comfortably wearable and long lasting must be firm. The Araucania Nature Wool is a light worsted that should work for socks. That's if I get a woman. If I get a man, the butter colored Nashua will work. Unless he wants vibrantly purple socks. *wink*


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A fellow Stumptowner and lister, Gary, is the king of treasure hunters in my book. He can come out of a Goodwill with an armload of items one wouldn't dream of finding. Today I must have had his touch because I came out of the Goodwill outlet store with a Folkwear pattern for the French cheesemakers smock and a handmade knitted scarf made from Noro yarn. The outlet store visit was an exploration sort of thing, going there en route to Abundant Yarn to fetch some fine point needles for the dog sweater patch. I was expecting it to be organized with sections of items, but it was a true outlet store. Bins filled with store castoffs were spread over a warehouse floor. People were digging through them for whatever they could find and items were sold by the pound. I didn't want to stay there long because of my ankle, so I made the rounds of a few of the bins. The scarf lay in the corner of one bin. The pattern lay in another. The pattern was complete and had never been used. The scarf had no holes or cuts and appears to be unblocked. Someone went to a lot of work doing seed stitch with what looks like three balls of Noro (I think it's Kureyon). And to think they ended up in a Goodwill outlet store!

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Pendleton Woolen Mills, famous for their blankets and Native American motif items, has an outlet store not far from Abundant Yarn and the Goodwill store. It was a day for playing, so I swung in there to see what they had. They were having a fabric sale on their surplus yardage but I was most interested in their surplus wool yarns. They run about 800 yards a pound I learned after picking up three large cones amounting to 3 1/2 pounds. At ten bucks a pound, you can't beat it. If the gauge is right, I may use it to make my Rogue sweater that I'm thinking of doing later this year (Abundant has a knitalong class). It will have to be washed first before I use it because it's coated with a special coating for weaving, but you can't beat the price. They also have instructions on how to Koolaid dye the yarn, but I like the natural color.

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