coming to a realization…

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Yarn for Jenny's wedding shawl

Sit down for a moment (er, you’re probably already doing that, really, since you’re reading a blog and all, but play along with me here!), because I’m about to say something rather shocking: I think the primary reason I’m not knitting more on my soon-to-be sister-in-law’s shawl is because I don’t like the yarn. Don’t get me wrong, this Schaefer Trenna stuff is a beautiful 50/50 silk/merino that shimmers like nobody’s business. The only problem is that it’s laceweight. And I mean true laceweight. And you know what? I don’t think I enjoy knitting with laceweight yarn, at all. There you have it.

See, the thing that I love the most about knitting is the tactile sensation of yarn running through my fingers. As readers of my blog have probably noticed, I like sturdy yarns, yarns with a bit of heft, yarns I can tug on here and there without breaking them, or getting a tangle. This very fine laceweight yarn is none of those things. It’s beautiful because it’s so delicate, and I will freely admit that I love the ethereal quality that lace knit from very fine yarns has, once it’s been knit up and blocked. But it forces me to completely alter they way I knit, and since I like how knitting feels for me already, I don’t really want to alter it. So there.

So, where does that leave me? Well, the Shetland Garden Faroese shawl (the one my future sister-in-law picked out) actually calls for either fingering or laceweight, and the sample shown is in fingering weight (which I know I do enjoy knitting with). I probably should have shot for fingering weight to begin with, since that’s what the sample used and she liked the sample, but when I found this lovely laceweight on sale I thought, “oh, perfect!”. But not for me, and quite possibly not for her, either. I have a feeling that I would actually really enjoy knitting this shawl with a nice fingering weight yarn. So, does anyone have any suggestions for a nice fingering weight yarn? Is the undyed version of Knitpicks Gloss nice to work with? How about Elann’s Baby Cashmere? Is there anything from Henry’s Attic that would fit the bill? (I’ve tried looking at sites that sell it, but have such a hard time telling what weight the yarns actually are, because I have terrible intuitions about how many yards various fiber blends should have per pound at fingering weight).

And relatedly, is there anyone out there who would like my laceweight yarn(s)? I just honestly don’t think I will ever knit with it, at least not any time soon. I’m trying to stick with knitting things I enjoy, and I just don’t enjoy it. Right now I’ve got the skein of undyed Trenna as well as a skein of it dyed in sagey greens (I picked them up together, on sale…I’d thought that I’d try to knit something for my mom after I knit the shawl for my future-sister-in-law, and she likes greens). And then I’ve got a skein of Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in light grey (I think about 10 yards of it have been used), a completely unused skein of Knitpicks Gossamer in Trail, and a completely unused skein of Shadow in Redwood Forest Heather (those last ones came in a sampler pack that I randomly won somehow from Knitpicks, several years ago now…I’ve since used pretty much everything in the pack except the laceweights). I’d be open to exchanging some or all of it for something that would make my fingers happier to knit with, if anyone’s interested in a swap of sorts.

Wow, I feel so much better.