Yarn for The Sweater

If I could afford to always buy 100% merino wool that’s been hand-dyed by Icelandic mermaids using the natural colors of the ocean, I would, but wearing the crown of a yarn snob requires a certain number of zeros in my bank account that I will never see unless the bank makes an error in my favor. (In that case, I would proceed directly to the little yellow crack house in Austin and buy most of the yarn in their front room.)

For now, I buy good yarns on super sale or okay yarns that are a good value.

Cabled sweaters eat yarn like someone else is paying, so I’m knitting The Sweater prototype in Valley Yarns Northampton, a good-value workhorse yarn that comes in skeins of 247 yards and lots of colors.

I used this yarn for my Old Port Pullover by Kristen Tendyke. It’s soft and sturdy, and didn’t change shape during its baptism.

The camera adds 10 lbs, and three cameras are on me.

I’ve mentioned before that I design as I go along, so my process is to knit a prototype to figure things out, write the pattern, then knit the final from the pattern. If it’s a small item, like a hat or fingerless mitts, I can usually knit a prototype and a final version with the final yarn. But that won’t work for a project as big as The Sweater.

I have a lot of skeins of Northampton in my stash, but not enough of one color to knit another sweater, so I had to buy more yarn.

This yarn is a bargain at $5.99/skein, but I rarely pay that much for it. WEBS, the company that supplies Valley Yarns (and pretty much every other commercial yarn on the planet), has a deal-of-the-day that they post on Twitter. I don’t text and I don’t own an iAnything, but I can see public tweets online, and WEBS often makes deals on this yarn line.

I’ve been waiting for-e-ver for Northampton to be WEBS’s deal-of-the-day, and last weekend, it finally went on sale for $4.19/skein.

Why it had to be during the month of July—the month I had to shell out $1K to a shady mechanic and my income was cut almost in half because no fewer than 12 of my there-every-single-class yoga students were gone traveling for most of the month—I don’t know. But if I didn’t buy it then, I would have to pay $14.40 more.

It’s a good thing I did, too. Because a few days later, WEBS tweeted this:

Just because they can, I guess.

I don’t want to have two sweaters exactly the same color, so I chose a different one. Which one of these do you think I ordered?

To Ponder: You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. |Naguib Mahfouz|



  1. Well, based on your question, I’m tempted to think you got Amethyst. But I always lean BLUE. Cables look great in Natural. I’m on pins and needles to know which one you selected.

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