An Ode to Mi Amore

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Ah, how I love you Amory. You flow, you are lacey, you are comfy, you can be worn to so many places in so many ways. But Amory, why are your sleeves so long?

I feel I have failed you by not accounting for the stretch over time that Moda Vera Soya is wont to have. Please forgive me, it was an error of ignorance, for you were lovingly laboured at during the very beginnings of my serious meta-knitting days and I was young to the intricacies of yarn substitution.

Fear not, my darling, though I may have let you down, there is hope for our future together! Your cuffs were knitted separately and they can therefore be removed and reattached to a shortened sleeve. I promise I will be gentle, my sweet, as I tenderly unravel your rows, holding aside the reclaimed yarn for further escapades

Do you recall, my love, the fateful day that changed our relationship forever? You were pristine white, pale and pure. I gently bathed you and set you aside ready to be laid out in the sun. But alas and alack! My thoughtlessness was my downfall, for immediately afterwards I washed a green linen vest for the first time and placed it on you. It’s colours ran, forever staining your natural plant fibre a strikingly glassy hue.

Though I lamented in private, I comforted you, promising that I would not resort to bleach for your fibres were too delicate to risk such harsh treatment. Prolonged internal debate resulted in a cold black dye bath, bringing you to  your current marbled hue. My treasure, I feel deeply and intensely that you have only grown more beautiful with this change in your appearance, and that the experience has only increased the depth of our affection.

Au revoir my love, my heart, my Amory.

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Welcome aboard!

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Welcome! Before we get to the knitty-gritty I need to say thank you to my beautiful and inspiring shoe-making elf, Jen. She was the first person I told about my idea for a shoe-string budget knitting blog and she threw the title out there. Of course, I immediately snapped it up. Jen is one of the most talented and intriguing people I have had the privilege to know. The woman makes custom boots for roller-derby! Is there anything cooler?!? I think not!

Since this is my first post, I invite you to have a look at my mission statement which sums up what I’m trying to achieve here. I love a beautiful yarn, but many are not within my limited means. I aim to record for posterity my trials and tribulations as I substitute and review low budget yarns. There will always be a trade-off between cost and quality, I seek to find a balance.

This may not inspire confidence – I’m going to open with a bang and show you something that is somewhat of a failure…

From Knitting Little Luxuries by Louisa Harding, the Catherine Purse.

I skipped the tension square. You can tell, can’t you? The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn,  and I used a sport weight. I knew that the purse would be just fine due to it’s style. I anticipated it would have a looser weave and look “lacier”, which it did.

The variation in size was a suprise to me, it has turned out less a purse and more a beach bag. I’m not worried though, I’m happy with the result and I know the intended owner will be rapt in it.

I used around a ball and a half of Moda Vera Soya, a 4-ply made of soy fibre (just call me Captain Obvious) pretty close to sportweight. It has very cotton-like qualities and properties, but feels more “crumbly”, papery and dry. There is a tendency to stretch and droop (as this piece illustrates) which means that if you don’t knit it extra tight, it doesn’t show stitch definition very well. Therefore, I’d recommend knitting tightly with this yarn, maybe going down half a needle size. The yarn will loosen up to where it “should” be. Another note: it doesn’t hold stretch very well so once it has stretched that’s it – it’s out to stay.

I originally purchased the Soya several years ago at an end of season sale at Spotlight, heavily discounted. Three 10 ball bags of Soya in orange, white and blue/green respectively. I say blue/green because my household is in constant debate. I see green, my fiance and daughter see blue. Go figure. I live for those end of season sales… a ball of yarn originally worth $5 or $6 going for $2 or less a ball! Ooooh, I’m feeling a little flustered at the thought.