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!
* 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!