Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Yarn, Go Sit In the Corner and Think About What You Are!

Franklin Habit, the blogger responsible for The Panopticon and for the 2009 Guys With Yarn calendar, has created a Tumblr for yarnshaming. You know what yarn he'll shame: that yarn that looked nice in the store, but that let you down by immediately pilling horribly, or shrinking, or making you break out in a rash, or collecting every human and pet hair within a block, or being full of splices, or turning out to be a bad dye lot, or having hand-dyed colours that looked so beautiful in the skein but knitted up like some horrible seventies afghan, or that you never bought at all but have because someone gave it to you and the person keeps asking what you're going to do with it.

I remember two yarns in particular I'd like to shame. There was a pale ice green chenille yarn that looked luscious and soft on the ball but that turned out to be basically thread covered in fuzz. I could easily break it with just my hands. I couldn't do any ravelling out of stitches at all without it showing (the fuzz would get wadded up leaving bare segments of thread), and since it broke so easily the things I made with it were soon full of runs. The store where I bought it only stocked it for a short time since no one who tried it would work with it twice. As one of the sales women told me coyly, "The customers who bought it come back in to the store using certain words to describe it." I can't remember the brand name but it doesn't matter as I don't think it's even in production any more.

The other yarn I hated working with was Mary Maxim's Mellowspun. I bought some several years ago to make a sweater for a friend's little boy. I’d never used it before, and was initially impressed with the beautiful shades it came in and how lovely it felt to work with. And it's bargain priced. But damn, did it ever collect HAIR. My hair, my cat Trlby’s hair, my neighbour’s dog hair from three doors down the street. I'd never seen anything like it. I was constantly ripping hairs out of it as I worked on it. I washed it when I was done and still had to pick out more hair after it came out of the dryer. Never again. And I think I'm going to go through my stash soon and weed out any yarn that I really don't like. Life is too short and knitting time too limited to waste on bad yarn.

If you've got any bad yarn stories, feel free to share them in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. I took my mom to Stitches West, where she fell in love with some ribbon yarn from (Google-proofing) Te$$'s De$igner Y@rn. Okay, fine, I'll make you a scarf out of it or something, whatever. I should have read the instructions a lot more before I let her buy it.

    They are INCREDIBLY SPECIFIC as to how to wind the ball of yarn. Like, you are required to use an umbrella swift and nothing but, and watch a video to see how you wind their special snowflake yarn. You have to "shake it out" first. You have to do...I forget all of it. Oh yeah, it'll snag so much you have to use fray check on it too.

    I TRIED to do it their way, I swear. I borrowed a (shitty, kinda broken) umbrella swift, which I don't normally use because I hate them. I "shook it out," though when I took the yarn out of the bag, it didn't really "shake out" and it wasn't tied well enough that I could loop it around the swift. The swift would not stay up and the yarn wouldn't stay on it, period.

    The yarn wrapped around the entire swift like a freaking maypole. It tangled and snagged on EVERYTHING, except the part where it was supposed to stay up on the swift. I eventually had to cut the yarn off of the swift because it tangled so badly. And by cut, I mean HACK. It's still a tangled mess.

    I seriously wonder if I would have even been able to knit with it, either. I did buy some ribbon yarn at a Tuesday Morning one time that was so slippery you couldn't actually use it, and this was reminding me of that.

    The one good thing in this (other than ruining beautiful but useless yarn) is that my mother tends to forget that she asked me to make something or other, so when I can't come up with this scarf, she'll never notice. Thank god.