Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bad yarn, great yarn

Gentle knitters, it's been a frantic few weeks, hence the silence. During this blackout period, I've crammed in as much knitting as possible to remind myself that actually some things do come to a good end, even if the process is a struggle. For instance, these socks, lying peacefully next to Molly:

You'd never suspect, to look at them, that this is Yarn from Hell. To explain briefly: it's served up in a pull-skein, theoretically an efficient way to dispense yarn. Pull the string from deep inside and the yarn neatly flows onto needles. Except in this case, what came out from the depths was a huge, seemingly endless tangle, and it was maddeningly difficult to unknot. In fact, I had to cut the yarn several times to continue. The manufacturer is some German company whose name I repressed after I tore the ball-band into a million bits.

Compare this to the delightful unskeining today of North Light Fibers's Island Meadow Blend (60% baby alpaca, 40% kid mohair).

The skein is neatly tied, and the tie opens cleanly. Nothing to cut, no knots to untangle.
This ball-winding process was smooth as could be. Tweak the tie, it drifts gently apart, yarn (sitting cleanly on yarn swift) rolls into a perfect ball:  voila! the Platonic Ideal of Yarn Readiness.

How could any knitter not love this already, even before casting on? I was a goner from the get-go.


  1. The North Light Fibers yarn looks heavenly. I'll have to check them out!

  2. It's a joy to knit with in every respect--texture, tension, color, hand.

  3. I now regard those German-made sock yarns as malevolent demons, and foil them by knitting from the outside of the ball. I have never had one knit smoothly from the inside.

    The North Light Fiber yarns are heaven; the only complaint I have is that they don't sell a real lace weight, which is what I mainly am using these days.

  4. So...if you knit from the outside of the ball, the yarn will never tangle up? Or do you just never reach the tangled part of the innards?

  5. The inside might be tangled but it is easier to deal with after knitting up most of the yarn, so there aren't hundreds of yards just itching to join in the fun!

  6. Don't pass up a chance to visit North Light- they're on Block Island. It's a treat.