Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn CrawlΒ is on through Sunday, September 25.

A Skein, Just One

Dear Kay,
Yesterday I launched the Hefty bag of yarn (the good, the bad and, yes, the ugly!) off to our Guess the Number of Hefty Bags contest winner Danielle. It turns out that she’s having a contest of her own, and she’s going to be giving away yarn from the Hefty bag, so Lord knows where all that stuff is eventually going to end up. Anybody who wants to get in on Danielle’s contest, go here.
As I’ve been adjusting to a life without as much stuff around, a life where I sit around wearing my wedding shoes and playing with the fake chicken, I’ve been eyeing my yarn anew. So many yarny souvenirs of our travels this spring! I haven’t really been able to contemplate it all properly, what with all the crap covering it up.
The variety and beauty of the new yarns coming out is really lovely. It’s impossible to keep up with it all–not like the olden days in 2003 when the Rowan shade cards were all a person needed.
It’s funny. I’m loving all the alpaca and natural fiber blends and the soy and bamboo, but get this: the skein that has held my attention the most–the one hank that really gives me a shiver–is this:
Blue Heron Yarns mercerized cotton, Bluegrass colorway. There are 1,050 yards in this skein. It’s string, basically–vaguely sheeny string dyed in the most subtle way imaginable. I just love it. Remember? This was a souvenir of Seaport Yarn in New York.
I love this yarn so much that I’ve already made two of Polly’s beautiful Kiri shawls with it. One in Copper and one in Leaf. Last night I decided I needed to stop carrying the skein around like a chihuahua and make something out of it.
So I wound and wound. Forty minutes later, voila:
A thousand yards of yarn in a four-inch ball. What to make with it?
It took about a second to figure that out. I am truly in awe of what Eunny does on her blog. She is brilliant, just brilliant. I often find myself shaking my head in wonderment, if not befuddlement. How does she do that?
Anyway, her Print o’ the Wave stole is so pretty, and so traditional in a modern way, that I’ve gotta give it a whirl.
The head-shaking comes when I look at her little sidebar called “Techniques.” Right there, free as the wind, is her dissertation on the elements of lace-making. I went to Part IV to see what her feelings were about provisional cast ons, and of course she has many feelings. She has contemplated provisional cast ons the way I contemplate what kind of Dairy Queen Blizzard I am going to order.
She taught me a new provisional cast on that really is, as she says, “ridiculously simple.” Ridiculous! I’m making fun of it even as I’m doing it! Silly cast on! How can you be so simple? You should have a crochet chain in there somewhere–but you don’t!
This is a swatch, but look at those little loops at the bottom, waiting for the day when they’ll be grafted to a bunch of like-minded loops from the second half of this stole. So elegant!
I’m not totally sure that this yarn will do justice to this pattern–I may need to find a fuzzier, velcroier yarn so that the beautiful zigs and zags read properly. But I’m going to give it a try with the Blue Heron mercerized cotton. A beautiful yarn and a beautiful pattern ought at least to meet each other, right?




  1. Ohhhh how GORGEOUS!!!!!!! I’m totally in love and extremely jealous of you and that yarn. I too, shake my head in wonder at Eunny, an extremely talented gal! I can’t wait to see your results. I know it will be so totally worth it!

  2. Can’t wait to see that!

  3. That yarn is gorgeous! The stole will be too. Can I have any leftovers?
    And I have a question. My log cabin blanket has a big “dent” in the centre. Won’t lie flat. Can’t be steamed into submission. Did I not pick up enough edge stitches? Thanks.

  4. Well… what kind of DQ Blizzard do you end up getting??

  5. Mmmm, those blues and greens are just gorgeous. I may need to go check out Eunny’s ridiculously simple provisional cast on. Never hurts to learn something new …

  6. Lookiing good, baybeeee! Lovely colorway. πŸ™‚

  7. I am currently knitting the ‘Clapotis’ scarf pattern from knitty.com with that same yarn. It’s turning out beautifully.

  8. That yarn is so heavenly, it floated up to the ceiling in the picture of it wound up as a ball! I want some.

  9. Very beautiful yarn, an amazing shine and nice colour. I’m myself about to begin Eunny’s Argyle vest, and I’m also often stunned by her creations.

  10. Such lovely yarn.
    I have a “Kira” question, though — I’ve been stymied by her cast-on directions:
    “Using shawl yarn, knit-up one stitch from each garter stitch ridge. You should have seven ridges. Undo provisional cast-on and knit those three stitches.”
    What is “knit-up”? How do I do it? Googling for that phrase is pretty much useless.
    Thanks for any info, and for all the information and enjoyment I gain from the blog and book…

  11. I think it will be lovely in the cotton – funny though, I just “found” that pattern too, and am considering it for some mohair-y yarn I’ve been spinning.
    Congrats on the stuff-purging… I’m getting inspired!

  12. “She has contemplated provisional cast ons the way I contemplate what kind of Dairy Queen Blizzard I am going to order.”
    I laughed so loud and so long at this that if this wasn’t my last day as a temp in this office, they would have let me go for pure loony-ness!
    This is the catchphrase of the, uh, summer? fall? year?
    I will now say “that girl contemplated ____ the way I contemplate my latte”
    You are truly the voice of a culture (I was going to say generation, but, well, that sounds kind of serious)

  13. I am in love with Blue Heron. I made a Clapotis with the Tulip colored Rayon/Metallic (you can see it HERE and I still cannot stop staring at it and petting it over 2 months later.

  14. I can’t wait to see it! The yarn is beautiful and a pattern by Eunny…you just can’t go wrong!

  15. “She has contemplated provisional cast ons the way I contemplate what kind of Dairy Queen Blizzard I am going to order.”
    This made me laugh so hard, and is totally how I feel about her blog. I don’t think I’ve ever even DONE a provisional cast-on, but I am so a Strawberry CheeseQuake(tm) kind of girl.

  16. I am in the thries of a torrid love affair with Blue Heron yarns. I made on Making Tracks shawl with it and have begun another. The yarn is GORGEOUS, and it even smells good, don’t you think? I can’t wait to buy my next skein.

  17. oh. i’ll have to watch your progress. i’ve got a big skein of yarn that i need a project for, but it’s not solid colored and i don’t know who it will translate in eunny’s pattern.

  18. I can’t wait to follow your progress on this one. I have some Shetland cobweb that I’m going to use for the “Wave” pattern as soon as I finish(yeah, right) all the other projects currently in process, one of which is the kimono from ‘the book’.

  19. I think the yarn looks gorgeous. Something fuzzier wouldn’t have that gorgeous stitch definition to show off the intricate pattern. But that’s just my 2 cents.

  20. Ann, are you reading my mind? I have cast on 3 times (and ripped 3 times) the print o the waves stole (in a very pretty dicentra designs laceweight from crystal mountain farms-in the abalone colorway) but I am not a good chart follower so I need to write out the instructions. But in the meantime, I have some rowan kidsilk haze that I am knitting the Kiri shawl in. I love it! I practically have the pattern memorized. Although I did have the tink 4 rows (during the 5 repeat rows). I thought I could live with a mistake–but it was too blatant and I am not brave enough to just undo the small portion that needed to be fixed. Good luck! I should be posting a progress pic of my kiri shawl soon! I love the yarn that you are using for the stole…may have to get some…so much yarn, so little time!

  21. I think it will look great in that. Love that yarn (and most of their others too).

  22. On a completely unrelated note, I was at the post office today and was able to buy some stamps commemorating the Gee’s Bend quilts. They came out yesterday. Thought you’d want to know. You can check them out at the USPS website. Search for Gee’s Bend and they pop right up.

  23. I admire your courage in attempting this shawl. Eunny totally scares me. If she is the Einstein of knitting, I am totally Forrest Gump…

  24. Hi Ann,
    I, too, have been eyeing that stole. I am also completely besotted with all forms of shawls. There will never be enough time in my life.
    hope all is well.

  25. You are teasing us with the images of the Blue Heron mercerized cotton. I think it is a discontinued yarn. It is most beautiful and I have looked a bit for it since you first showed an image of it. Enjoy it.

  26. I have that exact same yarn, and I have it set aside for print o’ the wave — it seemed a perfect fit, and now I feel especially validated!

  27. Oh, this is going to be so gorgeous. I’ve been contemplating knitting this stole. It has a possible spot in the wooly winter knitting lineup. It may even turn out to be a wedding present for a spring bride. I look forward to reading your progress on this project.

  28. I’ve got one of those skeins too…funny though. Mine’s covered by about 18 bags of stuff.

  29. On the plane to our annual summer vacation destination, I saw a t-shirt proclaiming “There are two ways to become rich: (1) earn more, or (2) desire less.” Sounds good (indeed most excellent) on a t-shirt exiting a plane, but I’ve been wrestling with what it really means for the artisans of the world. Now, as I contemplate a major household move, where I know that the shedding ‘o the stuff will equal at LEAST 18 hefty bags (XXL), it is comforting to see that post-purge passion for a skein of Blue Heron mercerized cotton…

  30. I made a Lotus Blossom shawl out of the Blue Heron mercerized cotton and I loved working with it. Have fun with the stole

  31. I can’t help but wonder, how will all of this new yarn aquisition affect your next book. . .
    I love the Blue Heron. Perhaps I need to take a trip to Seaport Yarns myself. Hmmm.

  32. I too am jealous of that BEAUTIFUL yarn! It’s nice that it has sentimental value too!

  33. Eunny totally has that effect on people πŸ˜‰ Try being in a knitting group with her – me: rows of boring stockinette and she is churning out a Fair Isle masterpiece in 5 days. Gah, some people! πŸ™‚
    I have some of the Blue Heron mercerized cotton too – in a very similar colorway. Love it! Haven’t found the right pattern for it yet, however…


A bit of news from us, every now and again.

(Your email is safe with us.)