When can a ball of yarn be called faulty?
Balls of yarn are annoying when they have knots.
Balls of yarn are annoying when they have thicker or thinner bits when they are not meant to.
Balls of yarn are annoying when they fluff or pill as you knit.
Balls of yarn are annoying when they have foreign objects or sticks in them.
Balls of yarn are annoying when they don’t unravel tidily as you knit.
But these can all be part and parcel of knitting or crocheting with a ball of yarn.
But balls of yarn should not have broken bits. I was knitting a lace pattern with a ball of 100% merino Patons Dreamtime 4ply. I had used one ball and had no problems with it. Then as I started the front of the lace overdress with a new ball of the same wool, I got a surprise. All of a sudden as I was knitting just a few rows into this new ball of yarn, it was suddenly not attached to the rest of the ball. Almost as though someone was playing a trick on me and had cut it when I wasn’t looking.
But no, no one had cut it or played a trick on me. The ball of yarn was just as you see it in the photo above. So I undid the row that I had almost finished (annoying when it is an intricate lace pattern) so I could rejoin the yarn at the beginning of a row. And off I went knitting my intricate lace once again and oh dear, within the next two rows there it was again. Another broken piece. I found three broken pieces within four rows.
So I stopped, put that ball aside and picked up a third one that I had. Thank goodness, no broken pieces in that one and I could finish my lace overdress in peaceful knitting bliss.
So what did I do with that faulty ball of yarn? I took it back to the shop where I had bought it a few days earlier and they kindly replaced it and even gave me back the faulty one. Great customer service.
I am currently knitting a baby blanket and working with 5 balls of deliciously luxurious Filatura Di Crosa Prestige Baby yarn, at once.
This is how the yarn starts off.
This is how they should unravel.
This is what happens next.
And this is how they end up if you are not careful.
Then you have to ravel back up by hand to continue using it. Very frustrating but the wool is gorgeous.
When my daughter was pregnant, we found the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino book in our LYS. And in that book, we found the pattern for the Teddy bear jacket and fell in love with it. Despite the price of the book, off we went home with the book in a bag. This little Teddy Bear jacket will be perfect for my daughter’s baby’s second winter.
The recommended wool for the Teddy Bear jacket is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino which is an expensive wool. I looked to see if I could substitute with a slightly less expensive wool but it is 5 ply and therefore less readily available. I had read a few Ravelry comments from people who had knitted the Teddy Bear jacket with substituted yarn and they were often disappointed with the size and sometimes shape of the finished object.
So I decided I would use the recommended yarn, as this jacket is quite a lot of work and I don’t want it wasted by using the wrong yarn. I have been doing a bit of knitting for my LYS and have been saving my knitting money to use for the Teddy Bear jacket and now I am ready to buy! How exciting.
But in the weekend I was doing a bit of Ravelry reading and I happened to stumble across the comments for the Debbie BLiss Baby Cashmerino and found that many people said that the yarn pilled badly. Some even said it was starting to pill even before they had finished knitting their garment! Now what am I going to do? There were just too many comments from people about the pilling, so I am not going to use this yarn.
I guess all I can do is to use a double knit or 4 ply yarn and try to get the tension right with a few tension squares. I feel just a tiny bit disappointed as this Teddy Bear jacket has been planned for 12 months already and I want it to be just right.
UPDATED March 2014
I decided to buy the Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino yarn. I wanted it to be right. I have now finished the jacket and it fits baby perfectly. The yarn definitely did not pill as I was knitting it. It is soft and cuddly and I hope it remains like that after lots of wear and washing.
Look at this very beautiful skein of wool that I bought from Reikorangi Fibres off Trade Me (New Zealand’s equivalent to EBay).
It is made of merino and silk and is about 130 grams and the colours and the softness of the yarn are beautiful. I am not sure what I am going to knit with this yet. Maybe a little singlet top for my granddaughter for the summer when she will be seven months old. I’ll have to have a think about it.
This is a onesie. Or at least it is trying to be a onesie. But I didn’t buy enough grey wool to finish it!
I used a pattern that was written for acrylic yarn and I bought 100% merino wool instead. But merino wool weighs heavier than acrylic yarn and since skeins are sold by weight, there is of course less yardage in a skein of the heavier wool.
So if you are buying yarn that is not the recommended yarn for a particular pattern, make sure you compare the yardage of the two different skeins. That way you can be sure to buy enough and not end up like me with a quandary and an unfinished garment.
I have completed the back and the two fronts of the onesie so I only need enough of the grey for the stripes in the sleeves. (The button bands and the rest of the finishing is done in pink.) I have been back to the local yarn store where I purchased the wool, only to find that the grey has been discontinued. I was a bit surprised since I bought this wool only two weeks ago and had paid full price for it. Come to think of it, I did buy the last grey skein in the shop but I would have thought that the yarn stores would sell a single skein of a discontinued colour at a discounted price?
All is not lost. If I can’t find the grey wool anywhere in New Zealand, I can always make the sleeves plain pink with grey ribbed bands with the little bit of grey I have left. I will search online and make a few phone calls, as I would prefer to have the sleeves in the same stripe as the body.
How very, very lucky I am.
I wandered into my local yarn store a few days ago. The owner knows I love cute little baby patterns and she had recently got a copy of an old Plunket Society baby singlet pattern. It was so gorgeous and lacy and when she saw me oohing and aahing over the pattern, she gave me a copy (as it does not have a copyright).
The pattern uses 2ply and there in the shop was Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace. I picked up a ball of this delicately fine wool and squeezed it and it was so soft and beautiful. (One thing about buying from your local yarn store instead of online, is that you can squeeze before you buy.)
Look at the strands. Aren’t they just beautiful. Look how fine they are.
The owner of the shop happened to mention that she must get one of the Plunket singlets made up for the shop as a sample. I said I would be happy to make one for her. So we made a deal. She gave me the ball of Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace, which should be enough for two singlets. She pays her knitters in the equivalent of yarn but if the pattern is intricate, then there is some negotiation. I wasn’t expecting payment in any way when I offered but I was more than happy with outcome.
Now all I have to do it knit up these beautiful singlets. Oh dear, the singlet has a crochet edge. Can I remember how to crochet?