The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Going Green

I admit it. I may have got a little carried away with Ebay.

But everything I have bought was a lot cheaper than if I had got it in a shop. And my pricing cost/ball includes postage.

And where it wasn't I found a great on-line shop to get it. For some reason people wanted to pay more for fancy sock wool on ebay than they could get it here in the sale. So I now have 2 balls of regia sudsee sock wool, one of Noro silk garden sock, a couple of balls of baby alpaca and one of extra fine merino dk.

I took it as a challenge to see how cheaply I could get some of the yarns. Since my last post on the matter I have won a few more loads...

Rowan natural aran silk yarns were originally over £5/50g ball. I found a couple of sites where I could get restricted colours at £4, and a couple where a very restricted colour range (browns/beiges) were £3 - excluding postage. My first 5 won balls (pink, cream and green) came in at £2.65/ball, the next four (dark pink which was nicer than the purply colour in the photo) at £2.54/ball but my coup d'etat was 7 balls of blue at £1.31/ball.

Another triumph was 600+ grammes of mixed mohair at 78 pence/ball.

My final bargains were some dk tweeds. I had spotted a series of badly marketed lots ending on a weekday lunchtime. Photos of two balls with tatty labels and description of merely knitting wool/yarn. They were actually selling 400-500g lots of 100% wool. I tested the water on the first lot, raising the bid by the minimum amount. And won it. I didn't like the colour of the second lot so skipped it, but tried the same tactic on the third. And won it. Someone had bid on the fourth lot and had put in a max bid. I decided it was still a good price and increased their bid. When they bid again I gave up on it, now costing almost twice as much as the first lot. But I won the fifth lot with no competition. And then I requested a combined P&P invoice and got another 2 quid off - just over 80p/ball. Still waiting for it to arrive via parcel post.

I gave up on the ten 2oz skeins of 1920's knitting silk - very hard to gauge its value. If it was in good condition it could be worth two to three times my maximum bid, if not it could be virtually worthless as far as knitting was concerned. I was outbid in the last minute, and although I still had time to fight I didn't...

Odd-balls jacket was completed last week.

But now I am on to one of my planned projects for all that I have been buying. The ultimate in odd-ball, mixed yarn designs. A Kaffe Fassett jacket. I have a couple of his books but have only ever attempted one of his designs before.

I have gone for his damask flower design applied to one of his jacket patterns, down-sized width-wise. I am using one of my new circular needles as advised as the front and back are worked in one piece and the weight will be very heavy on normal needles. Not sure how much wool it will take but I guess over a kilo even with the reduction in size.

I am half way up the second flower of the back and have already used 30 different yarns!

The photo makes it look as if the background is in mixed blues but it is actually currently using 26 different shades of green - one of the reasons I bought the mixed green oddments lot to go with the odd balls I already had.

I still have a few more I can add in.

A mix of yarns (wool, chenille, silk, mohairs and other man-made fibres) and plies combined to make an approximate chunky weight.

I need to keep track of what yarns/combination I have used, building up a list of each row as I go along, so that when I get to the front I can duplicate the background. As so many of the colours are so similar I have had to letter-label them - there are only so many ways of describing different subtle shades of green! I couldn't resist a QZ combo for one row...

They are laid out on the window sill...

The bottom flowers are the previously mentioned unpicked burgundy chenille. I decided it was a little too thick doubled so changed to one strand chenille and one strand red mohair for the upper petals of the first flowers. This worked well, so I am continuing that with a different colour mohair for each of the flower bands - currently a shocking pink.

I reckon about a month to completion...

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