Pardon me while I meander a bit...
This is a tale of wanting to use really cool (ie: natural fiber) yarn but being stymied at every turn by economic reality.
I was out running errands yesterday and dropped by Barnes & Noble. I beelined over to the magazine rack (first things first!) and noticed the winter Cast On. I flipped through and found a pattern I really, really liked so I bought the magazine:
I liked this for several reasons - the unusual treatment of the bottom & cuffs (not conventional ribbing, more of a tuck/pleat), the big collar/fronts with the simple zig-zap cable, and just the loose, unconstructed feel. Perfect cardi for throwing on and going!
Since I DO still have that credit with Elann I decided to check & see what yarn they might have that would do for this. It has to be a heavier worsted - the needles used are 10's & 10 1/2's and the gauge is 12 sts to 4". Just my kind of quick knit!
Right off the bat I found the perfect yarn. Schoeller Esslinger Sascha: a "velvety-soft, airy-light, merino ribbon." "Wow", I thought, "Merino - the real stuff! And look at all the gorgeous colors!" Only $3.98/ball in the right gauge!!! I was really getting excited. I then looked at the ball yardage and my heart started to sink. 70 yds/ball. To make the largest size sweater I would need 1566 yds (give or take a ball) so that worked out to 22.37 balls. Let's make it 23. 23 X 3.98 = (sigh) $91.54.
I just flat couldn't do it. Call me cheap (although I prefer the term "frugal") but since I haven't won the lottery (yet! ha!) I just can't spend $91.54 on the yarn for one cardigan. Even if $50 of that IS a credit, I want to get the most for my money. Which, for me, means yarn for more than one project! I realize that lots of you out there routinely spend a hundred or two on yarn or sweater kits. My (knitted) hat is off to you. I think I can blame it on the way I was raised - two parents married at the beginning of the depression - I learned to splurge once in awhile but to splurge small, not large.
By the way, this is called the Goddess Cardigan - it uses Goddess yarn in "Jay." I looked it up online and on the Goddess Yarn's website, "Jay" has 87 yds/ball and retails for $8.95/ball. That would be $161.00 in yarn needed for the cardi. (See - there's a reason I usually don't even
think of using the yarn called for in a published pattern.)
"So," you might ask, "what the heck are you going to use for the cardi you cheapskate you?" Well - funny you should mention it:
Yep - you aren't hallucinating - you're seeing Jiffy. Jiffy in a lovely turquoise called "Peacock" and also in a variegated called "Midnight Blues." It's the perfect gauge, I have plenty, the mohairyness will add a bit of extra fluffiness, I can do cool stripes to jazz up the plain pattern just a bit, I love the colors, and...drumroll....I bought the plain turquoise on clearance for $0.91 per skein and the variegated was only $1.82/skein. Grand total spent on this cardi - $19.11.
Now that's my kind of number!
Happy New Year Everyone! Be you frugal or otherwise I wish you all health & happiness in 2004