In Which the Yarn Shop Lady is Proved Correct

November 22, 2011

Some years ago I got the idea to make a blanket. It must’ve been before I learned to knit, because my plan was to crochet lots of different-colored squares and join them together. I didn’t know exactly how I’d join them, but it couldn’t be that hard, right?

Off I went to the local yarn shop, where I picked out a bunch of yarn based entirely on its color. I didn’t know yarn came in different gauges, much less that different kinds of yarn have different characteristics. I bought  sportweight superwash, plain wool worsted, and one a fancy blend with things like angora in it, chosen for its gorgeous pumpkin color. (The yarn shop lady Did. Not. Approve.)

Another thing I didn’t know was how expensive good yarn is. Or how quickly I’d go through it. I kept having to go back, and every time I’d cringe at the cash register. So when I found this yarn

on sale, I quickly decided my blanket could use some white squares.

You can probably guess what happened. I got tired of crocheting squares, and moreover began to work out what a shit sandwich this combination of random yarns was going to be. The unused yarn went into my stash. I even frogged and re-used some of the squares. But that white yarn- what on Earth does a person do with four skeins of off-white wool worsted? It’s not enough to make a sweater, and a) I would look like poo wearing and b) immediately stain- a white hat or pair of mittens.

In apparently unrelated news, I have one sister I find difficult to buy gifts for. Her style is so radically different from mine that I am hardly qualified to predict what she might like. Lots of years I’ve resorted to making her a fancy-food gift basket, with stuff like fruit and chocolate and nice cheese. Last year I did pretty well- I got her a quilted snowman wall hanging from Etsy. She loved it. But being broke (I think I mentioned), another Etsy gift was out of the question. It was a different sister (the sister of the earflap hat), who suggested I make troublesome sis a hat too- one like the fancy hat from this post. I looked at the hat I was knitting and thought, gee, she’d actually love that.

So I went to a yarn store for which I have a gift certificate. I looked at every color and type of yarn at least once. Nothing seemed super-duper. And honestly, why bother putting in the time to make something by hand if you’re not excited about it? I was standing in front of some greenish color-changing yarn, thinking, “She might like this, but would it go with her red coat? What color goes with red anyway, besides blue?” (The yarn shop didn’t have any awesome blue yarn).

It hit me. White goes with red. And this sister- she would totally wear a white hat, look good in it, and probably not get it dirty.

Ta-da!

Ok, so it’s not a hat. It’s an (er, mostly finished) cowl from this pattern. But it’s totally her style, and it will go with the hat, which I will show you anon.

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