We Interrupt This Program
May 12, 2005
I know y’all are in a serious lather about the State Fairs, their rules and regulations and our diplomatic ties with Denmark, but can I get a word in on my favorite topic?
Yes, it’s another info-mercial about…..Indigo-Dyed Denim Yarn, which I refer to as Rowan Denim even though, whenever possible, I buy it cheaper, elsewhere, or elsewhere.
No, they don’t pay me. I willingly preach the good news of indigo-dyed cotton yarn, to all who have open hearts to listen.
Quite recently, I experienced a Blessed Denim Event. Although I have learned that it is usually best, for me, not to buy yarn on eBay (as a public service to knitters, I am not linking to eBay–if you go, go on your own steam), I still have a ‘Rowan’ search that I run once in a while. (This practice is what is known as Looking For Trouble.) A couple of weeks ago, aimlessly scrolling through the entries, I came across the Find of Finds. The Holy Grail, the Promised Land, insert-your-metaphor-here. It was a used, handknit cardigan in Rowan Denim. One with some AGE on it. A large size (meaning lots of YARN in it). Pre-washed, many times. Ready for rippin’ and recyclin’!
In a highly disciplined manner, I figured out how much to bid, based on the assumption that it had 20 balls of denim in it, and that I was willing to go retail for new denim. Then, I entered an eSnipe bid (no! I will not enable people by linking to eSnipe!), and an 8-day wait began.
I got it.
Here it is:
Fresh from the UK. Beautifully made although ‘out of style’ doesn’t quite capture how very, very style-free it is. Remember that big suit David Byrne wore in Stop Making Sense? If it had been trimmed with bell ruffles, it would be this cardi. It is much larger than I had anticipated based on the seller’s description. Two of me, pregnant, would fit in it–and you know that’s a roomy cardi! But fit does not concern me! I am only in it for the YARN.
Why do I so crave the old, already-knit-up, beat-up denim? Because there is no substitute for it. You can knit new denim and wash it hot and dry it hot and make your little boy roll on the ground in it and it looks really cool. It’s fine. But when you unravel the really old denim, the inner parts of the stitches are much darker than the exposed parts, so when you re-knit it, you get this awesome speckled look. See on the left?
Check out the spectrum. The Denim Circle of Life. These are all made with the darkest shade of indigo denim yarn, yet they are all at different stages of wash & wear & age.
On the left is the skirt Benedetta (BLESS HER!) gave me, made with yarn recycled from old denim sweater. On the right is the eBay cardi, which shows some age, but not quite as much. Oh, how I long to rip it and see the innards of the yarn. But I shall beat it on the rocks for yet a while longer. It’s been entirely too well cared for up to now.
For those who have no idea what I am babbling about, this picture shows the color of the indigo denim before washing.
The best part of the whole deal, though, was
…the cardi has an old denim label sewn into it. WITH THE COWBOY, PEOPLE!
I could just die of happiness.
Will keep you posted on what gets made out of this treasure.