Cursed yarn

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I only took this photo in spring 2015, and yet I’m cringing at how low-res it is! I recently grabbed this yarn out of storage and I’m trying to have another go at it, but I don’t have a good feeling. Sometimes you buy yarn that seems amazing, but no matter what you try to make with it, it just doesn’t work out. Example: I have some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a nice light gray that you’d think would be eminently usable. Not so! I have started and then ripped out at least three different projects (I think all sweaters, if I remember correctly) using that yarn. It just. Won’t. Work.

I saw that yarn (half still in skeins, half made into an unfortunate, deformed sweater) when I was digging out this yarn, and I swear I shuddered. It’s like being in the first half of a 70s horror movie and seeing a photo of the crazy family member you shipped off to an institution (you know, the one who is going to come back and wreak vengeance in the second half of the movie). Okay, that yarn isn’t going to show up and strangle me (wait, did I just come up with a premise for a horror movie?) but you get what I mean. I’ve only tried one project so far with this yarn, but I’m about to try another… and if it doesn’t work then I’m afraid this yarn is cursed. It’s gorgeous, it’s expensive, but it may just not be worth it.

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(In case you’re wondering, it’s Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk+ in the colorway Crimson Ice. I bought it at WEBS, which doesn’t seem to carry it any longer [thinking-face emoji].)

I did find a rather extensive narrative I’d written on Ravelry (circa 2015 was also when I was much better about updating Ravelry, my profile pics are so old):

When I bought this yarn, I told my mom the color looked like a car wreck in winter — red and a little bit of teal splashed on white and gray. She was like dude, you’re weird. And yes, I am.

But for real, this sweater has turned out to be a bit of a train wreck. One, despite being the most expensive yarn I’ve ever bought, the Silk + has been kind of a nightmare. Sure, it drapes beautifully, but everything else not so much. It was such a beast to ball — and this is using my yarn baller — that I had to suck it up and buy a swift. And then it’s like okay, I get that it’s hand dyed and every skein is unique. But my skeins are SO unique that it’s glaringly obvious where I’ve switched skeins (as you can see in pic). My first skein looked great, my second skein… yeah, suddenly ALL RED.

I’ve had pattern problems too, but luckily the draped design of the sweater and the stretch of the stitching make it VERY forgiving. I got correct gauge right away, but once I was even part way through the back I was like ummm… my measurements are WAY off. Too wide at the bottom, absurdly tiny at the waist … I don’t know what was happening. And since I had had the right gauge, and was already exasperated with the yarn, I was like forget it, I’m just going to keep at it.

Which it’s good that I did, even though now the whole front of the sweater is the unappealing second skein (which really does have a dried blood look). I added some rows to the front to get it up to the correct measurement, but that’s my only alteration. Well no — I followed someone on Ravelry’s advice and I used sl st in my final front row to attach it to the back, rather than deal with seaming this lacy stitch (WORTH IT). In any event though, it does fit — though there really is more shaping than necessary. The waist fits, but then the hips flare out more than my um, actual hips, so that looks a bit weird. But I’m hoping some blocking will help.

The only other area where I’m a bit nervous is the arms — the armholes seem rather shallow, and I’m wondering if I should make a couple of shoulder pieces and set them in to make the armhole taller/more capacious. Then I’d just follow the sleeve pattern for one of the larger sizes… I think? That may be too much math for me.


Throwing in the towel on this one — this yarn was just too expensive, I’ve got to use it on something I’m committed to. Unraveling this and moving on.

Here’s what I was trying to make — the Lotus Sweater (Lotus!) by Megan Granholm.* Possibly I shouldn’t have named my version “Car Wreck Sweater,” as that was setting it up to fail. So will this yarn be cursed? Maybe I’ll find out once I’m done making my crazy TKS gradient yarn infinity scarf.

 

*Why yes, that was a reference to the 2009 Gathering of the Juggalos infomercial that got everyone who either a) is not a Juggalo or b) did not subscribe to SPIN magazine in the late ’90s-early ’00s momentarily obsessed with Juggalos.