Q for You: What was your first yarn?

Q for You: What was your first yarn?

Earlier this spring/summer, we renovated our bathroom, which also involved gutting and narrowing our coat closet. In the process, the contents of the bathroom, the coat closet and part of the living room all got dumped into the guest room in one gigantic mess. Six weeks or so since the bathroom was completed,* I’m still facing a large part of that mess, wanting to put it all back in a more organized fashion than it was before, and of course not having the time to do that! Among the piles is a big storage bag thing containing a load of scarves, hats and gloves that moved with us from the Bay but haven’t been worn since — many of them my earliest handknits. Among them is the first thing I ever bought yarn for: this simple camel-colored cowl.

With the caveat that I had crocheted (and very slightly knitted) as a kid — no doubt with some kind of craft-store acrylic — my first foray into a yarn store as a knitter was that fateful Nashville trip in 2011 when Meg taught me to knit by casting on Joelle Hoverson’s Pointy Elf Hat and walking me through the steps to completion. The red thick-and-thin yarn had come from her stash, and before we left for the airport on our last day, Jo (my friend, Meg’s mom) took me to Haus of Yarn, where Meg was on duty, and I surveyed the beautiful samples and yarns all around the store looking for something to knit on the flight home. Of course, I wanted to knit Julie Weisenberger’s loafer slippers (Meg: “Maybe next year”) but we settled on a seemingly simple bias-knit cowl that happened to have been knitted in the same yarn I had used for the elf hat. At that point, I only knew the knit stitch, so Meg and Jo taught me to purl and Meg gave me a little piece of paper with the instructions for kitchener stitch on it, and off I went. I find it not at all surprising that the first yarn I picked out was this lovely shade of camel! Albeit in this Thick ‘n’ Quick Merino that I would not likely choose for myself today. But now I’m wondering why I’ve never really worn this cowl, just held onto it as the first thing I knitted entirely on my own. And though my first two projects — this and the elf hat — were both knitted in this yarn, I’ve never knitted with it again.

I remember that day at Haus quite vividly, being bowled over by the incredible array of pretty skeins, especially all the multi-colored Malabrigo that was so prominently displayed at that time and all the rage, as I would soon discover. I can’t remember if I bought any other yarn that day, other than a ball of canary yellow dishcloth cotton (and a pattern booklet to go with it) that was my waste yarn for the next five years. But that brings me to my Q for You today: What was your first yarn? How long ago, and how does it compare to the kinds of yarns you knit with these days?

I look forward to your stories, and wish you a relaxing weekend!

UNRELATED SHOP NEWS: With the popularity of our knitter’s tool kit and our sashiko thread selection, we’re now offering a sashiko tool kit as well!

* If you’re waiting for me to post final bathroom pics on Instagram, I’m so sorry to be a tease. In typical fashion, I’m struggling to find time to do it as well as I want to, to do it justice. Hopefully this weekend in my IG story!

65 thoughts on “Q for You: What was your first yarn?

  1. My first yarn, like most people of my generation, was Red Heart. I was 14, lived in a small town; there were no other options. When I was 17, Womans Day magazine published the first of their legendary pattern collections, and I used all of my babysitting money to make a sweater dubbed “Swedish Sweater” which is now well known to be a Bohus design commissioned by the magazine. By then, our small town had a yarn shop. I brought my pattern to the store, and the owner silently went about with a box filling it with many colors of the exact same yarn in the pattern: something made by Reynolds that had mohair in it, and required smaller needles than I had known even existed. The sweater, long gone, was my first stranded yoke experience. I still own the pattern collection, tattered, taped with yellowed scotch tape, and much used over the years.

    • The first yarn I used was a variegated (mostly green and pink) yarn that I purchased online and eagerly awaited to knit a hat from a program on HGTV that I watched. I cannot recall the name of the yarn or from where I ordered it. The hat was knit flat and then seamed up the back to close. It was my first project and I was alone, not in a group. I had no idea how to make the seam invisible and was so disappointed to see that exposed seam running up the back of my hat! Wore my hat proudly that winter, though.

    • I don’t remember my first yarn, just where my grandmother and I were sitting. She had me knit with one red and one blue topped needles. Isn’t that curious? That was my first time knitting ever.
      Another first did involve yarn I remember, my first project was an Afghan of orange and brown acrylic. I’d never select that again.
      I’ve seen the variety of yarns available change so much in my lifetime. Wonderful yarns come in so many varieties of colors and fibers. It’s fantastic!

    • I really don’t remember. I was 8 years old and my father taught me to knit with leftover yarn from my grandmother. I leaned to cast on and knit. My father couldn’t bind off or purl. Needless to say, I used a lot of safety pins to finish my small doll things.

      When older, I bought a Coats and Clark book to learn more and wool that was available in the five and dime store in our small town.

  2. The first yarn I bought was a sweaters worth of patons wool. I’ve had the sweater that I knit ever since until very recently when I donated it to a shelter. I loved the sweater but that particular wool makes my eyes itchy.
    It was the first thing I ever knit, learned as I went and never even knitted a swatch, got lucky that my gauge was perfect. The second thing I knit was a cable hat to go with it, which was actually finished long before the sweater because I desperately needed a hat.
    I still buy only wool yarns, but much better quality.

  3. I was a college student in Amherst, MA in the 1970s. I became friends with a girl who was an exchange student from Oregon. She was knitting socks for her boyfriend using Candide yarn and the Candide sock pattern. She taught me how to knit and purl – I wrote down the steps on my own copy of the pattern- and haven’t stopped knitting since… I still love that style of yarn and still have that actual pattern with my notes written on it!

      • “Candide” was an Aran weight wool yarn made by Briggs & Little. They changed it to a heavy worsted that isn’t quite Aran weight, and is now called “Heritage.”

    • I remember Candide. I think it was spun at the Briggs and Little mill in New Brunswick because all the colours were Briggs and Little colours, and the wool was spun just like B&L’s Heritage aran weight. As recently as 2007 I would run across skeins of Candide in one of our LYS’s in the DC area.

  4. I was six when I was taught to knit during the summer at our cottage on the Gatineau River. I lived in an extended family, and my grandmother and great-aunt, both born during the 19thC, taught me. The yarn was real wool (this was Canada in 1963) in pink. I distinctly remember sitting on the porch steps in a damp bathing suit with my knitting. Not sure if it came to anything, but not many years later I was knitting socks with Patons 3-ply Kroy (the old Kroy before Patons was sold out was quite different–finer, softer and available in both 3- and 4-ply). I also remember knitting a tam. All my female relations knitted, mostly mitts, hats, and socks. We had a stack of knitting booklets, including Red Cross booklets from WW1. It was another time.

  5. My first yarn was Woolworth’s acrylic. I spent my childhood working on a messed-up scarf, which my mother ended up ripping out so that the 29 cents worth of yarn wouldn’t be wasted. As a teen mom, I made a lot of acrylic baby stuff. But I remember my first wool. No one told me that intarsia was hard, so I decided to make an argyle sweater. I went to a local yarn shop that a woman ran out of her living room and bought a yarn called “Shetland” but I can’t remember what brand. It was heather-y and gorgeous. The sweater had yarn-over type holes around the triangles, and every purl row was twisted, but I loved the sweater and wore it a lot. I looked for it a few months ago, but I must’ve gotten rid of it at some point.

  6. I learned to knit as a child with cheap acrylic kits. It got more interesting after my knitting renaissance at the age of 19, at a friend’s flat in Budapest. Thereafter the materials were nameless shaggy wool yarns from the local shops. I then relocated to Paris, where the mainstream brands were Phildar and Pingouin. But the best part of this period was when I worked as a sample knitter for La Droguerie, where I had the opportunity to indulge in the shop’s own hand-dyed yarns – not for keeps, unfortunately, since I couldn’t afford them myself as a poor student.

  7. Forgot to mention in my earlier comment that I had to wait until I was an adult to learn to crochet. I wasn’t taught as a child because my grandmother and great-aunt considered it “common”. Definitely another era.

  8. The first thing I knit (except for a pillow top in 6th grade) was a V-Neck pullover with Bernat Calico yarn when I was in college. I was working in a craft store in NJ at the time and the yarn was a cotton blend that was ivory, peach and raspberry colorway called Peach Melba. I fell in love and picked up the needles again. After that I put them down until I had my first and knit him a little fisherman sweater in acrylic (he’s 30 now) then put the needles away until a few years ago when I decided to try knitting socks. I’m still knitting although I have memory issues from some meds so it takes me forever to finish anything with an actual pattern!

  9. By the time I was reaching the end of high school and *really* knitting, it was a mix of Red Heart Soft Yarn, Caron Simply Soft, and eventually Lion Brand Wool-Ease and Patons Classic Wool as I moved on from acrylic to wool. But I hung out with acrylic long enough that my first sweater is Red Heart Soft Yarn! Then I moved on to Knitpicks and only after moving to Seattle did I really start to branch out. There were few local yarn shops in my hometown or the town where I went to college during my early knitting years, so I stuck with the big box stores for a few years.

    • I definitely never knew anything about independent yarn shops and nice yarns until learning to knit in 2011. All I knew as a kid were the dime store and the big craft chains, which we fairly new then I think. I remember them opening in my middle-American suburb, but don’t know how long they’d existed before that.

      • The yarn shop mentioned in my earlier post was open in Kent Ohio in 1964 (the population then was about 15000 plus perhaps 10000 students). It was there for about 4-5 years, and as far as I know, there has never been another LYS in the town since. It was definitely not a new concept, even mid-century. Back then, the more common place to buy yarn, once you wanted to move up from the dime store, was a department store. They all sold yarn, and fabric, in those days.

  10. I remember the first major knitting project I embarked on. The wool was a blue double knitting New Zealand wool, and I made a raglan sleeved cardigan for my Brownies knitting badge. Tragically, I discovered when I’d finished the knitting that I’d made two left fronts. My mother silently undid one and turned it into a right front. I can’t remember whether we discussed it, but I felt reassured that this wasn’t cheating. I had knitted the distance, after all, it was just the wrong way round.
    Growing up on New Zealand in the 1950s I learnt to knit and sew like every other little girl. And sixty years later, I’m still doing it, and learning new stuff all the time. Credit for that goes largely to Ravelry, and to Fringe Association. Keep it coming!

  11. My very first yarn was a hideous blue and purple acrylic chenille from Michaels, circa 2000, which I decided (foolishly) to knit into an enormous garter rectangle that was too large to be a scarf and too small to be a blanket. Suffice it to say that despite knitting and watching all 30-some hours of special features on the Lord of the Rings DVDs, I never finished it. Hence my insistence, whenever showing someone new the ropes of knitting, that they knit a hat. But my first “real” yarn, that is, one that came from an animal and not a petroleum barrel, was a lovely Autunno merino skein the colors of autumn, which I turned into little Owling fingerless mitts that I still wear!

    • Yeah, I’m a firm believer in a hat as a first project. I’ve still never knitted a garter-stitch scarf and can hardly believe anyone really takes to knitting from that starting point! But obviously millions have …

  12. My first ‘real’ knitting project was a tennis sweater, back in the mid ’60s!! YIKES!!!! I was visiting my aunt, uncle, great aunt and great uncle in Chatham, MA……on the Cape. Since I was there for two weeks and both aunts were avid knitters, we went straight away to the most fabulous Cape Cod home which had been turned into a beautiful yarn shop. I was in my early teens, and I was in heaven. I already knew how to knit and purl, but had never done a cable, so that was a great challenge. I remember being almost glued to my knitting for the entire two week vacation, except when we were clamming or playing Cribbage. This was so long ago that I do not recall how long it took me to complete the sweater and who and when it was sewn together, but I know that I wore it for many years, always bringing back very fond memories of that two week vacation on the Cape. (We repeated that knitting adventure every summer after that, until I was deemed too old to go visit the aunts and uncles.)
    Knitting memories are almost as vivid as those brought on by familiar tunes ……..I remember where and when I was knitting items as soon as I see them. I wonder if others are like that? It’s a great feeling!

  13. I love that finished project! Totally wearable! One of my friends in ballet class taught 3 of us to knit one night at a sleepover… It was yarn from her stash and we ended up unraveling everything and just giving it back to her, but I felt like I wanted to dive a bit further. She must have instructed me to head to joann, buy whatever I like and the appropriate needles, and knit away, and eventually I would end up with a scarf. I picked out the silkiest, most structureless lavender bamboo and size 4 needles…. Apart from her instruction I decided I liked stockinette stitch better and got a book to figure out how to do it. I knit on that thing for forever. I distinctly remember binding of with friends in the middle of the night at a lock in at an ice skating rink, and all of us being rather let down with the finished appearance…. It was of course a long, lifeless, like 1 inch round tube. I’m so glad I didn’t give up after that!

    • I was covering my eyes as I read through the part about stockinette! I can imagine your disappointment. But it also makes me laugh because I remember in the couple of years before I took up knitting, J.Crew was selling scarves like that and I had a couple, thought they were so cool. For about a minute — thankfully that passed.

  14. My first yarn was a tragically doomed crocheted sweater in Lily Sugar and Cream in a color we’d call Millennial Pink today. I never finished the sweater, but I did make a friend a set dish cloths and hand towels out of the yarn as a wedding gift since it was one of their wedding colors.

    My first yarn after I picked up knitting in my 3o’s was Madelinetosh and I was grateful for the difference.

  15. My first yarn was an weirdly shiny acrylic from Lions Brand that I taught myself to knit a basket weave cowl with. The gauge was atrocious. At some point I turned my work and recognized the mistake but couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I braved my LYS for the first time and the kindest soul fixed my problem and I found out that the world of yarn was so much larger than acrylic, which is what my mom had always crocheted with. My second project was with a lovely Debbie Bliss wool tweed.

  16. Our wonderful neighbor, Mrs. Huntley, taught me to knit. Slippers. Blue yarn, undoubtably wool. She was a “grandma” to me and (mostly) patient. Not sure what more I knit at that time (1950’s, I was probably 9yrs old.) About twelve years ago a friend opened a yarn shop after learning to knit against all odds. When she moved, my husband and I inherited her bags of scrambled yarns. He started weaving and ended up learning to spin, (me, too, eventually.) I started knitting again because I just HAD to. And had a vivid experience, siting in my car waiting for a ferry, of Mrs. Huntley showing me how to hold my yarn to cast on (Continental style) It was as if she was in the car with me. Quickly went from acrylic/wool blends, to super wash wool to my handspan wools. I crocheted afghans as a young adult – acrylic yarns, I’m sure. No more acrylics.

    • I am never not at my sewing machine that I don’t still have my mom in my head telling me how to thread the machine, to check my tension on some scrap fabric before starting to sew …

  17. I cannot remember my first yarn for knitting. My mom started me finger knitting and then knitting at four or five. I do remember knitting clothes for stuffed animals, and I particularly remember a dusty pink handspun yarn I made (age 12, maybe, I learned to spin aroun 10-12), knit up, and made into a sort of square sweater for a teddy bear. I made a turquoise tunic length v-neck sweater out of a fuzzy blend (mohair/wool/acrylic, maybe?) when I was around 12 as well, so mid 1980s. I wore it with a tie. I have not saved these things, but I do have handspun and handknits from my later teen years, and I own a sweater my mom knit for my grandmother at age 8, so circa 1952.

    If I think I won’t wear a handknit again, I pass it along, and sometimes it just goes to a charity to keep someone else warm. However, I have no problems with keeping an out of style sweater I still love. I no longer feel the same about the Cosby show, but still love the “Cosby sweater” I knit in high school out of Rowan wool and tapestry yarns in multiple colors, I still wear it. :)

  18. I don’t remember a name but I remember exactly what it looked like –
    it was pink; on the couch in my parents’ den, I was thirteen

  19. I don’t remember my first yarn, I don’t remember not being able to knit. My mother taught me to knit when I was about four and I’m now 74. Hmmm a long time! I think the yarn was probably something that I could make dolls clothes with, as I do remember that my dolls were the best dressed in town.

  20. Don’t remember the exact name of the yarn, but it was something by Bernat; an acrylic/wool blend that split and frayed and made me wonder why I’d decided to take up knitting at all.

  21. My first adult sized sweater was knit in Bartlettyarns Fisherman two ply, in the late 80’s. I still wear it, and am about to pick up another SQ (in a “new” colour) to make the Harvey Station Pullover. Great stuff!

  22. My grandmother taught me to knit around age 7-8, starting with potholders in I think a thick wool of some sort. An excellent child’s learning project, because they are quick and I could see my mother use them. She also steered me through a few scarves, one with an elongated stitch I thought was just SO fancy. All wool as I recall, although I think it was probably leftovers from her projects, I don’t remember any ball bands.
    When I picked up knitting again 30+ years later I made a sweater of some medium blue wool (Cascade maybe?). Bind off on the neck is too tight, and I knit the sleeves to pattern so they are 2” too short, but I still wear it. I was surprised how familiar the needles and wool felt even after years of no knitting!

  23. Like many people I knew, my fist yarn (in the late 90’s) was Lion Brand Homespun. Everyone would fall for it at the big craft stores because it was SO soft and had great depth of color, but unfortunately it was also a TERRIBLE yarn for someone learning to knit. It was splitty and the texture made it impossible to see, never mind fix, any mistakes. I distinctly remember working with yarn with good stitch definition for the first time, and realizing that the reason I couldn’t “read my knitting” wasn’t due to lack of ability on my part.

  24. What an awesome question! My first yarn was, I’m pretty sure, good old Brown Sheep Lambs Pride. My middle school Social Studies teacher had started an after-school knitting club, and I made a wonky little garter stitch scarf with a skein of the stuff. I wore the heck out of it (despite it being rather itchy), and it stood up beautifully.

  25. I guess I was always a yarn snob because my first yarn was Manos Del Uruguay’s Maxima ordered online from purlsoho. And on a college student’s budget no less. I wanted beautiful kettle dyed shades of pink to make an ombré scarf and that loosely spun look was evvverything to me. No, big box yarn was ruined for me after that.

  26. My first yarn was either Red Heart or Lion Brand. It’s all you could buy. But I went to NM in the 1990s and discovered a real yarn store. I bought hand spun and made a scarf. I was hooked. Luckily my home town finally got a yarn store.

  27. In the late 40’s and 50’s you really had no choice in yarns. Unless you lived in other countries. Local yarn stores was no where. I learned at 13 how to knit. I guess my first yarn came from the 5 and dime. Surely it was some awful feeling yarn. My first big thing was a lap blanket for a great aunt of mine. Done in a ripple pattern, knitted. Over the years I have loved the new yarns and finally a knit shop here in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. I love our only yarn shop, the owners and workers are all knitters. As a matter of fact, the first man I ever saw knitting was the young man who part owns the shop. I like seeing him knit. Linda

  28. I was a new mom (my baby is now about to start college and has three younger siblings), and the first issue of Martha Stewart—Baby magazine had an article encouraging people to knit a cute jacket for their baby made of just squares and rectangles. I got some heathered blue Plymouth Encore from my LYS, the Yarn Lady, because that’s all I could afford, the two books she recommended (Vicki Square’s spiral-bound essentials and Kristin Nicholas’s Kids Knitting), some size 8 Clover bamboo straights, and I cast on. Our baby was a chub (he’s now a lean 6’2”+), so my husband encouraged me to knit the body of the jacket wider than instructed. Between that and the fact that gauge was a foreign concept to me, the jacket turned out disproportionate and huge. I maybe put it on him once, and laughed. :) But I was hooked.

  29. Red Heart was my first yarn, and I kept buying it for multiple projects because it was in the grocery store and, like, why would you ever use anything else? Yarn is yarn is yarn (I thought). When I finally went to the LYS and put my hands on a skein of bulky baby alpaca, I realized what the fuss about not-Red-Heart yarn was. I’m almost exclusively a wool knitter now, ten years later.

  30. Such an amazing question, and such great stories being shared. I knit a non-fitting sweater at age 17, with the help of my grandmother, out of something acrylic, but blessedly, at 19, the summer after my first year of university, a dear friend’s landlady marched to two of us down to the local LYS, and helped us choose colours of White Buffalo wool (Canadian version of Lori, really) for patterned yoke, circular sweaters. We’re both still knitting, 32 summers later. Thanks so much, Cathie Malcolm, wherever you are!

  31. My first yarn was a silk and cotton blend from Sirdar, in a rosy brown color. I bought it at Greenwich Yarn in San Francisco around 1993, after taking a beginning knitting class there. I knit it into a wrap that I loved, but rarely wore. I finally bit the bullet, ripped it all out and reknit it into Cocoknits’ Liesl, which gets worn a LOT!

  32. I bought my first yarn to knit with at Kmart in Sydney in the early 2000s. It was pure wool but not great quality, certainly not particularly soft. The colours, however, were great – they had a lot of grey in them, a very post-war palette. Anyway, I knit square after square in various colours to stay sane while studying. We still have that blanket, it shows up on one of my children’s beds every now and then.

  33. My first real knitting project was a a simple scarf made out of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, and I’ve used that yarn at least a couple more times since then. I’ve definitely used some regrettable yarns over the years, but I still think my first choice was a pretty good one. By the way, I made the exact same bias cowl out of the exact same yarn as a gift for my grandmother. That yarn sat in my stash for years, though, and I could never figure out what made me buy it because it’s not really my type of yarn at all.

  34. My first yarn was Dawn Sayelle worsted purchased at a local drugstore in Arizona, because it was 1964 and yarn stores were few and far between. I made a top down raglan pullover featured in a Spinnerin Raglan pattern book, (the first of many Spinnerin books), with the first fixed circular needles (sizes 4 & 8) I had ever seen. The yarn was acrylic, but I must say the sweater was very soft, looked great, washed like a dream and lasted almost forever. 54 years later, I am still totally hooked on top down knitting because of the fit, and circulars are very easy on the hands. If it were not for these things, I would not be a knitter, since I taught myself to knit in 1961, but long flat wooded needles just didn’t work well for me. I am now a circular needle set junkie and have an embarrassing stash. 🙄

  35. Back in the day, all that was available was acrylic (a FINE petroleum product!) Crocheting and knitting fell by the wayside for many years, and when I started up again, I visited a new LYS which was a puzzling experience because I had no idea there were so many kinds of yarn. Originally, the shopkeeper steered me toward wool-acrylic blends (Plymouth maybe?) because I was obviously clueless. Eventually I signed up for a baby sweater class, for which I was encouraged to buy Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted. So expensive! I thought at the time. Little did I (or my pocketbook) know what I was getting into.

  36. I used to live in Portland, Oregon and would pass Knit Purl on my way to and from work every day. One day, they had a new window display. It was when Brooklyn Tweed first released Loft; and it was so beautiful that I HAD to go in and find out what was going on in there. I purchased a skein of Shelter, a ball of Debbie Bliss Tweed with a corresponding hat pattern, needles, and then the most lovely employee quickly showed me how to knit and purl and I was on my way! Knitting clicked with me immediately and I was instantly obsessed. Ultimately, my taste in yarn is still similar to what I was originally drawn to, and I’ve found myself going back to Brooklyn Tweed time and time again.

  37. First go at knitting was with my mum when I was 10 or 11. I was easily bored and really didn’t enjoy it so it didn’t take at the time (to my mum’s huge disappointment).
    Next go was with eyelash yarn in my 20s, trying to knit a garter stitch scarf on slippery plastic needles….epic fail. Put me off again.
    Finally success about 14 years ago, with Cleckheaton Country DK (wool), knitting a beanie for my cousin’s first baby. Showed the finished product to my mum who was gobsmacked.
    I love how knitting has really got under my skin now. I’m about to start a sweater using BT Shelter which has been on my ‘wish list’ for a very long time, and I can’t wait!

  38. I don’t remember my first yarn, but feel sure it was awful. I do remember my first “expensive yarn” which was bought sometime in the late 70’s early 80’s. It was reynold’s candide, an aran weight, I would guess. I bought a deep green to make a candide raglan cardigan. I modified it to give it a good 4-6 inches of ribbing at the waist, partly because of the style and partly because I was bored with stockinette. I made that sweater in a weekend and gave it to my sister. Not sure she ever wore it.😜 but I have made that pattern at least a dozen times since, and have replaced it several times as it wore out. I know have a scan of it because it is out of print and impossible to find.

  39. Lots of Lions Brand thick and quick to crochet an Afghan with. I never finished the Afghan, as I went back to knitting. I knit in my early 20s and I don’t recall that yarn. It was a short stint during my crafting years.

    Anyone need a pile of thick and quick?? I have Lots and Lots!!

  40. My first first yarn was probably some form of acrylic that came in the hand-puppet kit I used to re-learn how to knit when I picked it up again as an adult. But the first yarn that I personally chose was probably this amazing bulky fuchsia mohair with multi-colored speckles. I bought it at the first legit yarn store I’d ever been to, which was a revelation of rainbow colors and soft textures. I made a really ugly narrow scarf – basically double rib for some set amount of stitches, with fringe at either end; turns out I greatly dislike narrow scarves, and fringe, nor would I ever wear bulky mohair now, but I did wear it for a few years as a winter scarf, and it was warm, and I still love the color. And it was exciting making my first steps into knitting (as an adult).

  41. Also, that first time you step into an LYS and your eyes widen because all you’ve ever seen before is the awful stuff you started with.

    I don’t know why I was surprised that there were yarn shops that carry gorgeous yarns. I’m a quilter and a sewist; I know the difference between quilt, embroidery, and fabric shops and the big box craft stores that sell meh fabrics, and I buy my materials from those smaller businesses. So it would make sense that there would be independent yarn shops filled with skeins and hanks of alpaca and BFL and merino and silk blends…

    And the smell. The smell of (mostly) wool and fresh fibers…nothing compares to that.

  42. Mine was a New Lanark Wool (I want to say aran weight?) yarn in a warm chestnut brown colour which I used to make a garter stitch scarf for my boyfriend. Unfortunately, I listened to him on when to stop and it ended up about 7ft long — he never wears it because it’s 100 degrees on the neck and severely woolly, but I commandeer it sometimes.

    Plus it certainly got me into the swing of knit and purl! 😉😂

  43. Thick Lion Brand chenille, in a merlot color, bought in 1999 in a big box store over Thanksgiving break (there were not and still are not any yarn shops where I grew up). Taught to knit by a friend who had just learned from her grandmother that weekend, after being inspired by another friend’s crochet (the grandmother didn’t know how to crochet, offered knitting instead). I had no idea what I was doing and the chenille obscured everything, so I knit by feel alone. I never noticed all my accidental yarnovers until I was almost 2 feet into the wide scarf and saw that it was distinctly trapezoidal. I ripped it all back and started again, counting at the end of each row religiously and taught myself how to tink by just logic-ing through it. I ended the scarf when I ran out of yarn. It was rather short, looked like a flattened muppet, and had zero drape, but I was intensely proud. I never wore it, but gave it to a sibling. Somehow my passion for knitting was not dampened at all by that experience and I threw myself into knitting research. My next yarn was Lopi, ordered by mail.

  44. Pingback: Q for You: Do you wind yarn as needed, or all at once? | Fringe Association

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