August 13, 2007

Massive Stash Enhancement

...And if you want to enhance your stash, be sure to check out my contest.

Before I get into this (and "this" is a lot to get into), I forgot something yesterday. I meant to mention my (very minor) modifications to the Loksins! pattern. I did a 2 x 2 ribbed cuff and I grafted the last 12 stitches on the toe, instead of gathering up and cinching the last 8 stitches.

I feel better now. Moving on.

Recently, Suss had a giant moving sale. They are moving just next door but the new location is probably one third to one quarter the size of the previous location. They needed to sell, sell, sell!

I ran amok in that sale. I was grabbing all sorts of things and not even keeping a tally of how much it was all going to cost. I got all this yarn...

And all these buttons...

...And headed to the cash register. I was eyeballing all this stuff and thinking, "If this weren't on sale, this would probably be in the $200+ range. Since it is on sale, maybe I'm looking at about $100."

Well, the girl rings me up and says, "That'll be $38." The first thought I had - and don't judge me for this, you probably would have thought the same thing, which is why I like you - was, "Only 38 bucks?!? For all this?!? I didn't buy enough!"

To be clear, here's what all that yarn is:
2 balls Noro Aurora
7 skeins Suss Bomull (100% cotton) in three colors. (One entire skein is not pictured because I've already knit it.)
8 balls of an ivory colored yarn with most of the ball band in a language I can't read (Japanese, maybe?). It calls itself "Extra Fine." More on "extra fine what?" later.
8 balls of that same "extra fine" yarn in chocolate brown.
4 skeins of a yellow yarn also with a foreign ball band called "Exceed Wool."
2 balls of Suss Cotton Perle, a fingering weight cotton string which I like for sewing seams.
1 skein of Suss Bamboo in chocolate brown
1 skein Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in a soft, yellow-gold color.

Having not spent enough, I went back to the sale the very next day. You know you would have done the same. Right?

Here's my haul from the second run:

6 skeins Suss Bomull in Raisin, enough for a sweater for Chris.
6 skeins of brown Cascade Pastaza, enough for a sweater for me.
5 balls of Karabella Aurora 8 in two spacedyed colors.
4 skeins of Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky in that gorgeous green color.

(If you want to know the specific names/numbers of any of these colors, let me know and I'll find out. I just don't have it in front of me right now.)

The Cascade and Karabella yarns were a little more high-end, so this trip ran me $46. Still $84 for all this yarn (and buttons) from both trips is fan-freakin-tastic!

But the mystery of the non-English ball bands was weighing on me. I got the yarn for cheap, which is great, but it would be a downer if it's cheap yarn anyway. A bunch of yarn I don't want to knit is wasted money - and space in the stash - no matter how inexpensive it was.

The only thing in English on the ivory and chocolate brown yarn is "Knitting Yarn by Extra Fine Merino. Extra Fine."

I sure was hoping the yarn actually is extra fine merino, but I couldn't be entirely sure. Just because the manufacturer's name seems to be Extra Fine Merino, doesn't mean the yarn really is merino.

On the back of the ball band, I could see that whatever fiber this yarn is, it's 100% that fiber.

I was encouraged to know it's not a blend. It looks and feels like wool to me, but I was a touch concerned that maybe, with the excitement of the sale, I was being taken in by a good acrylic.

The yellow yarn was a similar deal. The ball band says, "Knitting Yarn by Extra Fine Merino. Exceed Wool." Same manufacturer, different yarn.

This fiber is als0 100% of whatever it is. But it's a different 100%. Again, it sure feels like wool, but maybe "exceed wool" is a euphemism for acrylic and I was too hyped up to tell.

Back home, I pulled out my trusty Knitting Rules and turned to the section on identifying mystery yarn.

The first test is the burn test. Oooh, fire, this is going to be fun!

The yellow yarn behaved exactly like wool for the burn test. The ivory yarn was a leeettle more flammable, but still more like wool than anything else. I'm feeling good they're both wool.

But I'm also having fun, so why not do the bleach test, too?

The bleach test says that wool will dissolve completely in bleach. And both yarns did! Because they dissolved completely, there's no point in an "after" picture. It was a picture of a bowl, empty save for some bleach.

The bleach test and burn test together have me confident that they're both wool. Obviously different kinds of wool than each other, but certainly not acrylic. Yay!

So I did the felt-ability test, just to see if maybe I had some superwash on my hands.

Nope. Not superwash. They felted so easily and quickly, though, it was the final proof that I did indeed score 20 balls of wool yarn for, I think, $1 per ball.


I'm out of town for the next week. I'm hoping to get some good "socks on vacation" pictures. Take care of yourselves. I'll "see" you when I'm back.