Monday, March 06, 2006

On good acrylic yarn

Glinda, the good witch of the North, comes floating down in her bubble and lands in front of a ball of acrylic yarn:

"Are you a good acrylic or a bad acrylic?" she asks. The acrylic yarn just sits there and says nothing. And Glinda, frustrated, floats off in her bubble.

Glinda should have known that it's impossible to know whether an acrylic yarn is good or bad without knitting it or at least consulting ME! :-D

I've knit with a bunch of acrylic yarn, 'cause I have kids. I love wool, don't get me wrong, but having children that are extremely hard on their clothing, I want to be able to throw their clothes in the washing machine without worrying about what comes out afterwards. I'm not much of a handwash person fact, I have sweaters that were given to my children that have wool in them that they have outgrown waiting for me to get around to washing them. So I really prefer to knit their stuff out of acrylic and save the wool for myself and others who are worthy.

I used to think that touching acrylic yarn would tell me a lot, but 'taint necessarily so. Red Heart and Paton's Canadiana feel awful, they really do. But they do soften up when you wash them and they wear very well. A lot of people choose these for their projects and I don't blame them.

But since I like a pleasant knitting experience, I usually avoid both of these and spring for Encore. Encore has a little wool content mixed into the acrylic and is soft to the hand, but is very durable and easy to care for. That's why I tend to collect the stuff...I love, love, love Encore. I have two full Rubbermaid totes full of it to prove it.

Yes, Lion Brand Woolease has a similar content, BUT...Woolease does not knit up to a true worsted weight gauge. It's just a tad bit thinner and it just doesn't come in all the groovy colors that Encore does.

So naturally, when it came to knitting the Squatter's hoody, I chose Encore. But I had to scrabble in my stash for the stripe colors. I had black in Encore, and the purple I scrounged up actually turned out to be Paton's Look at Me (a favorite for baby stuff)'s DK weight, but since I was only putting in two one row stripes, I decided that would be okay. But the grey for the majority of the stripe is Canadiana. I had it left from making the Fibertrends Baby Poncho that the squatter wore for a few years...I had bought it originally when the Berkley Knit Shop was closing down and so it was a bargain.

I never was so glad to get 7 rows of knitting done. After knitting with the Encore and the buttery soft Look At Me, the Canadiana felt like jute. Ick.

Now I have about an inch to go until I get to the underarm, at which point I will start the sleeves. I'm beginning to think I should have put the stripe up a little higher...I held it up to the Squat to see where it was hitting him and it seemed to be right BUT...maybe I should have gone for more length so he would grow out of it so fast. That would mean ripping back...and the thought of having to reknit that grey stripe makes my teeth hurt.

Otherwise, I'm pleased with the stripe. It works the purple the Squat requested in without looking girly in any way, an important thing for a very manly 7 year old boy. You can see the Wookies approve as well, can't you?

Despite the fact that the Squatter is so very manly, we had to cut him off on watching "The Fellowship of the Ring." This movie has freaked my child way out...far more than any other movie. He's watched all the Star Wars movies and the Harry Potter movies and never had a problem, but since seeing the Lord of the Rings series, he's taken to following us around and being frightened of being left alone. Despite that, he still clamors to watch the thing and Dan and I decided not to allow him to anymore. But we still had to deal with the fear.

So I dug out our ancient copy of "Where's God When I'm Scared?"; one of the first Veggietales movies and I made him watch it on far, I'm seeing some improvement in his fear level. But he's still pulling the covers over his head when he gets into bed. We've talked about it and I think he's getting better at being brave and leaning on God when he's frightened.

This isn't the first child to freak out at movies...Laurel is my most fearful child. She wouldn't even watch "The Little Mermaid" because the Sea Witch was just too, too scary. But Emily is a whole 'nother thing: we were cruising past channels yesterday and she got a glimpse of Pinhead from that really weird movie which even I would rather not watch. "Cool!" Emily said when she saw Pinhead...she likes scary books and scary movies. Guess there has to be one in every family!

Tomorrow night I have to go to a church meeting and Dan is going to be doing a special gig, so I have to bring the kids with me. Fortunately, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" will be coming out on DVD on Tuesday, so my kids have made a date with the church nursery attendant, who is also a HP fan, to meet at the church, set the television up in the office with a DVD player and watch the new DVD and eat popcorn. Which means I will be at Target on Tuesday, buying the DVD, microwave popcorn and suitable drinks.

I took the scarf to the kindergarten teacher on Friday, by the way. She loved it and when I told her $10 for making it, she insisted on giving me $15. I also got the extra skein of yarn and the crochet hook with it...not bad for a few hours of work.

No comments: