Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mail Bounty

Like everyone else, we get plenty of junk mail at Lorna's Laces. Lots of credit card offers, catalogs, Best Buy circulars etc etc.

But every once in a while, something special comes in the mail. We recently had a company send us samples of their knitting needles. An entire set of straights and double points just appeared unannounced! They might not be the best needles I've ever worked with but it's nice to have a spare set around here to do quick swatches or to cast on to answer questions about a pattern.

Yesterday was another one of those interesting days. An Avon box showed up with a Ukraine return address. I have friends in Sweden and Italy, but no connections to the Ukraine.

It turns out that the box contained a hank of handspun, a mohair/silk blend, and a shawl knit from it. It was very fine~600 yards to 50 grams. I have to admit that at first blush, I wasn't loving it. The skein was limp and didn't have a mohair halo. Emily described it as feeling like horsehair, and she ought to know, she rode in high school.

But, I knew that it wasn't fair to make a judgment before we'd had a chance to dye the yarn and block the shawl. So the first thing I did was get the shawl damp and blocked. It made a huge difference. The yarn bloomed and became much softer.

It doesn't hurt that it's a really stitch pattern.

The dyeing takes a bit longer. I had Stef add it to a lot of #24ns Navy that she was doing this afternoon. It didn't take the dye quite as well as I'd hoped but we need to wait to see what happens once it's dry. I want to be fair.

And even if it turns out that this isn't the next great Lorna's Laces product, we got to play with new yarn on a dreary winter day. Really, does it get better than that?

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