Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A Desert Island Yarn

Every knitter has yarns they prefer over all the others they have used.  It  often isn't a fancy yarn, but it will be a yarn, that for them, performs whatever knitting task they ask of it. Sometimes it is laceweight, sometimes it is chunky, but for each and every knitter, it is going to be different.  

I might have met mine.

Yesterday, before going to knitting, I sat and had a good long think about what I wanted to knit.  The last few weeks I have been working on the pink Icarus when I went out and needed knitting, but I'm just about ready for a little break from it.  It isn't that I don't like knitting it, it is just that the red sweater made me realize how much sheer joy I get out of knitting.  Sheer, pure, simple joy.  Focusing on all the things in the WIP basket has made me step away from that simple joy. It was starting to feel just a little like work. Its summer, its time for a nice break, knitting things I quite simply love.

It was time to pick out something new to cast on.  What would be good knitting while chatting and would give me that very simple joy?  I ran through all the various projects and yarns.  I wanted it to be a shawl and I wanted it to be in some of the fine earthy yarns I have been collecting recently. I rejected most because they need to be wound into balls.  I rejected some because the vision I see using them for is a little too complex for starting at a knitting group.  What did I have that was in a ball, was for shawls, and would be simple to knit.  

The answer was Einband, Icelandic laceweight.  Icelandic laceweight and simple, led me to the lovely Lillia Hyrna shawl from the Book of Wool.  And so it was begun.  

In starting to knit with Einband, one thing became clear after a mere 4 rows.  This yarn is fantastic.  Its softer than you think.  It is very well mannered.  Its just grabby enough to hold to itself and stay in right where you left it should you have to take it apart.  You can ask me how I know this.  Yes.  A couple of times in the first 50 rows.  

When you look at the knitting you are doing as it falls away from your needles, there is just something, an air of sturdy Icelandic sensibility that clings to it.  It is an air of survival, of living with the land and sea air... an air of balance and stalwart determination even in its delicate beauty.

I may have found my personal desert island yarn.  I just didn't expect that desert island to be Iceland. 

1 comment:

Sandra said...

I've made the Hyrna Herbogar (or spelled something like that...) from the Einband. While I did find the finished project scratchy, it's one of my favourites, and I may just join you on that desert island.