Wednesday, 7 November 2007

An affection

I ended up having rip back the sock, but got a good way up it again. Since this sock is for my short but rotund feet (if they fit, otherwise they will be for an as yet unnamed sister), there is very few rows to go before its time to work Maia's heel. I am pretty darn pleased with the way the pattern is looking. I love everything about it. The yarn, that pattern, the heel. It feels wonderful.

It is a simple enough pattern that I have some time to contemplate. Contemplation leads to blog fodder. Here is fodder.

I was thinking about why the socks are so entrancing. I have talked about it before, but you know, it isn't just the sock, its not just knitting.

Though I love the way a thread looks laying against fabric when I just finished placing it, I love the feel of that little needle in my fingers and I love holding the tiny scissors I have more. They just feel good in my hands. I love the feel of a nice Irish linen, or the firm crisp hardanger fabric and aida. I love the way lugana feels sort of crunchy as it passes along my arms as I work over and under and through.

I love the way yarns feel too. I don't think I noticed it before because all the yarn I bought was acrylic. My usual supplier was Walmart. Years ago, the quality of the yarn from that store was fine. Well decent, but lately it was starting to look and feel like plastic. Much of the yarn I bought over the last few years came from Mary Maxim, and was of much better quality, and made fine easy care items. But I yearned for more, I knew that there had to be more to feel out there in yarnland. I had an LYS, but everything cost so much to my Big Box Store eyes, that except for one seriously fine purchase of yarn for a shawl (I do love that shawl), I never bought.

I started crocheting socks, and suddenly Mary Maxim had no sock yarn. So began a yarn odyssey that has made me understand how much I craved the feel of seriously fine string. The yarn store had a reasonable variety of sock yarns, and I bought there for crocheted socks until the day one of their sales people said to me, 'crocheted socks must be very uncomfortable'. That deeply fundamentally turned me off. Still does.

So my search for a new yarn store began. I found River City Yarns, and so began a deep affection for, nay love, for good quality yarn. About the same time, a friend sent a link to Yarn Harlot, and I began my travels to online yarn stores linked on her website. Until that day, I had no idea such a thing existed. (Sometimes I am a slow to start child. Did I mention that fact?).

And so I began a journey to stores all over the world sitting right here at my desk. I have some lovely things, I have some things that really just make me want to cry they are so good to feel. I have a deep lust for anything from Handmaiden, and one day soon will capture some of their wonderfully hand painted silk yarns just for the pleasure of feeling the thing, as a skein, as a thread as it is being worked, and as a finished article that I can hold onto and brush my hand against just for the sheer joy of touching.

Its is a tactile lust. I lust after the simple feel of good things in my hands, no matter if it is fine linens, wonderfully soft wool, soft wool with silk, with cashmere, and even the occasional really nice acrylic (and yes there are some that just take my breath away - I do feel strongly about Lustersheen).

This most recent yarn from Knitpicks, is beyond a delight and besides that, is dirt cheap. A pair of socks will cost under 5 dollars Canadian (even before at par with US dollar exchange rates). Makes me wonder how I, who have always considered myself to be reasonably bright, could have missed the simple wonder of natural yarns in handwork other than embroidery. If you have not moved beyond kitchen cotton and acrylics for your work, please I beg of you, do so. I plead with you.

You can't imagine what wonders await you. You need to know how good these things feel.

No comments: