My friend D, who is the person responsible for getting me started in knitting things other than scarves, and I are doing our own little KAL. That stands for Knit Along (in knitspeak anyway) and we are each making the same sweater. I'm a Ravelry addict, as are thousands of knitters who keep track of their projects using the site and share their substantial knowledge of the craft. More than 4000 Ravelers have made this sweater, which is a good sign that it's a well-written pattern.
Of course, money is tight, as it always is, and yarn is expensive. Well, the good stuff can be, anyway. It's really easy to spend upwards of $80-$90 for yarn for a sweater. Not to mention often having to buy a couple of new sets of needles, adding another $15-20 to the project. In trying to find a way around this, I have bought a couple of thrift store sweaters that I am in the process of unraveling (frogging, it's called) but I don't feel skilled enough to recycle this yarn into a sweater just yet.
I ended up going to the craft store and getting a cheap, mostly acrylic (which is the really poor cousin of wool yarn) blend at $2.30 a ball. Yup, $14 for all the yarn I'd need. And the color was OK, cranberry.
OK, all set to cast on. I start knitting, and the whole time I'm thinking, "this isn't so bad, hey it's kind of scratchy, it's only my dry hands, I don't like the way this feels, I wonder how this will feel against my skin" You get the picture. It was yarn-buyer's remorse.
And then I thought, you know, I'm going to spend probably 40-50 hours (or more?) on this project, and it's something that, if I do a pretty good job on it, I'll be able to have it for years. Don't I want to love the yarn throughout the project?
So, here's where I'm going with this. I like this and this. Both are from Knitpicks, and will cost me about $50 for all the yarn I'll need. It's terribly cliche to say it, but life is too short to spend creating things with bogus materials. I don't need the $15 a ball cashmere blend (although that would be nice) but if I'm going to commit the time to the project, I should use decent materials.
I'll be placing my order today or tomorrow.
Image from Knitpicks