April 17, 2004

Joining in

I finished a couple of projects a little while ago, but forgot to blog about them. Or perhaps it was shame — because I have a confession. Both projects are made out of Red Heart acrylic. Now, there’s a story to this. Ever since I started reading knitblogs I’ve encountered references to Red Heart yarn, usually made in a deeply disparaging tone, but sometimes less critically meant. These references confused me a little, because the bloggers always assumed that this yarn was the most common one out there, even as they dismissed it as cheap, ugly, and horrible to knit with. But I’d never laid eyes on the stuff, or seen it advertised anywhere. I soon realised that it’s probably because I’m in Canada, and the yarn is either not available or not very widely distributed here. I was curious about it, though, since it was mentioned so often.

Well, a few weeks ago I was walking by a tiny little “Dollar Store”-type place in my neighbourhood and I noticed a few skeins of Red Heart yarn lying in the window, next to the plastic flowers and chipped plates. I just had to take a look. In the end I bought two skeins of a variegated colour, for $2.50 each, I think. I just wanted to see what it was like! But I needed the right project for it — and I had the perfect one waiting. I made (out of only one of the skeins!) a blanket for the Critter Knitters Knit-a-thon,


and a square for the Afghans for Afghans project that Mason-Dixon Knitting are hosting:


I think this yarn works well for both — it’s quite springy and durable, and it is completely washable. I wouldn’t make a sweater out of it, but there are plenty of other yarns out there of which that’s also true. I particularly like how the colour repeats worked out on the square — I like the zigzag effect. Here is a close-up of the stitch I used — I think it’s called box-stitch.

Of course, I really should know what stitch it is, now that I have (finally) received my Amazon order:


All three of these books look very useful, Men in Knits perhaps the least, but only because Mark doesn’t need any help deciding what sort of sweaters he likes, which is one of the main purposes of the book. But there are some nice patterns in it, and I’m looking forward to reading through it more carefully. The stitch library and the finishing book, however, are going to be invaluable. Finishing has always been the bane of my existence, and I know perfectly well that I’ve compromised the look of some of my projects because the finishing has been sloppy. With the help of this book I may well be reformed, though!

Now I’m all caught up, I think — no more hiding projects from the blog! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Posted by Aven at April 17, 2004 07:00 PM

Hello - I did not have time to comment on your last entry. So better late than never. I wanted to let you know the front of the sweater looks fantastic. I can only hope to knit something that great one day.

Posted by: Lisa at April 18, 2004 07:37 AM

I don’t know why people get so snobby about yarn. Red Heart is a great utilitarian yarn. It isn’t as nice to knit with and the fabric does have a different feel but it washes up great! You inspired me to break out my acrylic yarn for the critter knitalong.

No yarn shame!

Posted by: Laurie at April 18, 2004 07:49 PM

You will really like the finishing techniques book; it has simple and complicated items inside, as well as different ways to do everything! I rec’d mine as a christmas gift.

Posted by: Knittykim at April 19, 2004 03:15 PM