Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

The Tale of the Ancient Yarn

Filed under: Knitting — folkcat at 5:01 pm on Friday, April 28, 2006

Once upon a time….no, I don’t think so. That’s entirely too twee, and I could never sustain a cutesy story telling style for the entire post. And if I could, you’d all be so disgusted with it within a paragraph or two that you’d unsubscribe.

Okay, here goes. You may recall that one of the items on my long WIP list is a short ruana, adapted from the pattern in the book Folk Shawls. This is a stash-buster project, using about 8 different yarns that I’ve had for a while. For six of the yarns, I was using a set of dice to help me determine which yarn came next, and how many rows to knit it. The other two yarns were being inserted now and then at random intervals (determined by throwing a 20-sided dice on every row, and seeing if the number ONE came up) as single row accents.

Ruana, Current Status
The Ruana – Stalled

I was rapidly approaching the halfway point when I discovered a problem. One of the accent yarns was running out!

I heard that – “Big deal,” someone out there said, “just go buy another skein.”

Well, that’s a great idea. Except that this particular stash yarn – a bright pink that you can see along the left-most edge – I’ve had for at least 18 years, and I no longer had a ball band to even tell me what it was.

Yarn Remnant
All That Was Left

The pink is a little more pink and a little less red than it appears in these photos. The yarn is a 2-ply synthetic. One ply is a narrow ribbon, the other a loosely spun single. You get a nice fluffiness accompanied by a random shimmer from it.

I carried this bit of yarn around with me for some time, hoping against hope that I could find something like it. Not a chance – none of the current novelty yarns are quite the same.

I even tried to simply match the color, figuring that in this application that would be the most noticeable factor. No pinks I found were anywhere near the pink in my mystery yarn. The difference would be glaringly obvious.

And so, for at least a couple of months now the ruana has sat idle, awaiting a solution to the ancient accent yarn problem.

One day last week, I was going through all my supplies and kits for needlepoint and cross stitch. I pulled down two Craft-Stor totes that sit on top of a cabinet in my studio – one labeled “Needlework kits”, the other blank.

The labeled one was just what it said. The blank, unlabeled tote turned out to contain….more yarn. After I’d already organized my entire stash. (Which organization had already been followed by at least four other discoveries of boxes, bags, or drawers containing yet more yarn.)

Reaching into the large compartment, I pulled out 8 to 10 skeins or partial skeins of acrylic worsted weight to add to the collection I thought was already completely gathered and organized.

And then, an amazing thing happened. As I picked up the last skein, I saw a flash of dark, bright, pink in the bottom of the tote.

I gasped. I looked again. OH. MY. GAWD.

The Missing Yarn
The Return of the Skein

Unbe-freakin’-lievable. It’s even got the ball band.

I’ve already Googled this yarn, and have turned up virtually nothing. Well, one person had 9 or 10 skeins of it in camel color up for auction on eBay, but that’s not my pink.

For the curious, here are the details:

Pingouin Douceur Ball Band Info

I just might have enough of this now, though. For the accent stripes I’m using it for, at least.

Weighed the skein on my scientific scale just now – 45.47 grams, with ball band on. Given that the original skein was (claimed to be) 50 grams, I’ve got darn near the whole thing.

So it looks like the ruana is back in the rotation again. Hooray!

I can probably finish it with this amount of the accent yarn. But, on the off chance that someone among my vast large modest miniscule readership might happen to find a skein or two of this exact yarn, in this color, in their stashes, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a chance to acquire them. Drop me an e-mail at fiber AT folkcatart DOT com, and we’ll work something out.

The Specs:
The Yarn:
Pingouin Douceur
The Color: #823, a dark pink

It’s amazing the secret joys that can be found right in our own lives, if we only dig enough into all the forgotten corners! If you haven’t done so in a while, why not poke into some forgotten corner of your life this weekend, and see what you turn up. You may be pleasantly surprised!

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