Welcome aboard!

Welcome! Before we get to the knitty-gritty I need to say thank you to my beautiful and inspiring shoe-making elf, Jen. She was the first person I told about my idea for a shoe-string budget knitting blog and she threw the title out there. Of course, I immediately snapped it up. Jen is one of the most talented and intriguing people I have had the privilege to know. The woman makes custom boots for roller-derby! Is there anything cooler?!? I think not!

Since this is my first post, I invite you to have a look at my mission statement which sums up what I’m trying to achieve here. I love a beautiful yarn, but many are not within my limited means. I aim to record for posterity my trials and tribulations as I substitute and review low budget yarns. There will always be a trade-off between cost and quality, I seek to find a balance.

This may not inspire confidence – I’m going to open with a bang and show you something that is somewhat of a failure…

From Knitting Little Luxuries by Louisa Harding, the Catherine Purse.

I skipped the tension square. You can tell, can’t you? The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn,  and I used a sport weight. I knew that the purse would be just fine due to it’s style. I anticipated it would have a looser weave and look “lacier”, which it did.

The variation in size was a suprise to me, it has turned out less a purse and more a beach bag. I’m not worried though, I’m happy with the result and I know the intended owner will be rapt in it.

I used around a ball and a half of Moda Vera Soya, a 4-ply made of soy fibre (just call me Captain Obvious) pretty close to sportweight. It has very cotton-like qualities and properties, but feels more “crumbly”, papery and dry. There is a tendency to stretch and droop (as this piece illustrates) which means that if you don’t knit it extra tight, it doesn’t show stitch definition very well. Therefore, I’d recommend knitting tightly with this yarn, maybe going down half a needle size. The yarn will loosen up to where it “should” be. Another note: it doesn’t hold stretch very well so once it has stretched that’s it – it’s out to stay.

I originally purchased the Soya several years ago at an end of season sale at Spotlight, heavily discounted. Three 10 ball bags of Soya in orange, white and blue/green respectively. I say blue/green because my household is in constant debate. I see green, my fiance and daughter see blue. Go figure. I live for those end of season sales… a ball of yarn originally worth $5 or $6 going for $2 or less a ball! Ooooh, I’m feeling a little flustered at the thought.