Perfect Handknit: The Hard Part Begins
September 20, 2005
Dear Kay, and the Committee of Semi-Defeated Yet Stalwart Handknitters,
Never mind the irregularities at the polls–the blue-fingered agitators, the accusations of nefarious alphabetization, the excessive consumption of Screech Rum drunk in protest–we have all weighed in.
I find this very interesting. The fact is, for many and various reasons, few of us are totally happy with the results. We all feel a little uncomfortable, a little steered down a path toward something we didn’t quite want, a little compromised. “Our” yarn didn’t “win.” “Their” yarn “sucks.” Well, in the world of Future Search, this is considered a HUGE SUCCESS! This is fantastic! When we all compromise, we’re all miserable. TOGETHER!
[15-minute break to hug, adjust nametags, return to banquet room]
The results are fascinating:
Total votes: 507
Cascade 220 (Peruvian wool) 20.7% 105
Koigu Painter’s Palette Pure Merino variegated (merino wool) 17.6% 89
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky or Aran (merino/microfiber/cashmere) 10.5% 53
Karabella Aurora 8 merino (merino wool) 9.9% 50
Rowan Wool Cotton (merino/cotton) 8.5% 43
Rowan Calmer (cotton) 7.3% 37
Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool (wool/silk) 6.9% 35
Patons Classic Merino (merino wool) 5.9% 30
Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (merino/microfiber/cashmere) 5.7% 29
Rowan Kidsilk Haze (mohair/silk) 4.5% 23
Yarn recycled from sweater bought at thrift shop 2.6% 13
A majority voted for yarn with merino in it.
A near majority voted for DK weight.
A quarter voted for aran weight.
The yarn we ended up selecting, Cascade 220, is actually a remarkable fit if you consider that it is DK weight; available in 155 colors including solids, heathers, and tweeds; is available in a machine washable version as well as a handwash; is relatively inexpensive (around $7 for 220 yards); is good for felting. Go take a peek at the shade card–it’s an insane variety of colors. For the disenfranchised members of the UnWoolly Activities Committee, DK weight cotton exists in many forms. For freaks who can’t stand anything except merino, there are numerous DK-weight merino wools. For Kidsilk Haze supporters, I got nothin’. Really sorry about that. If you triple it, maybe it kind of works?
Y’all, it could have been worse.
My suggestion for the moment is that we take these results, carry them in our Future Search binders, and return to them a bit later. We have learned a lot (namely, that Mary B discovered that Noro Kureyon actually softens when you wash it), but we’re not done. Oh, no. We’re just getting started.
Prouds and Sorries
We move on. What is the thing that we are going to knit? What is the perfect project? Our next exercise is called Prouds and Sorries. The Prouds are easy: the projects you loved best. But we learn from our mistakes, too, from our Sorries. We will all need to dig deep for this one, to dislodge what are perhaps your lowest, saddest moments as a knitter.
Your mission: Please leave a comment in which you describe your Prouds and Sorries.
Let’s have your Prouds and Sorries in hand by Wednesday, September 21, 6:15 pm.
Beverage nominations remain open, as always.
PS We’re having a breakout session in which Future Searchers explore the complex issues that have arisen so far. Talk among yourselves–I have to go on break now.
Bex asks: “Is it possible that the perfect handknit includes more than one yarn? Can there be two perfect yarns? Maybe some solid and variegated of the same weight and fibre? I know it makes the voting more complicated but Ann, you’re the gal in charge, right? Couldn’t you just make the choice for us? Oh, or maybe we should just elect some officials who could make the decision for us?”
Mary de B: “What worries me here is that we’ll have our yarn before we know what we’re knitting with it. ”
Amy: “Do we need to have breakoff group to discusss diversity issues? Are cotton lovers feeling left out of the process? What about spinners who create their own perfect yarn? Are we marginalizing the already oppressed? Can we appoint an already marginalized person as head of this subcommittee with no power to appease their complaints without having to take them to seriously?”
Emily: “As a stout Calmerian and longtime cardholding member of the Rowan Party I have to object to the alphabetization of the yarns!! I assert that Koigu, Debbie Bliss and Cascade are only in the top three positions because of their alphabetical luck to be placed at the top of the list. I blame the ballot! Its got chads, chads, I tells ya! ”