Have you ever had yarn that just wanted to be, well, yarn? Me neither, until I bought a bunch of S. Charles Merino Cable for a sweater. If you've never encountered this particular yarn before, I can tell you that Cable is a good description-- six strands of three ply merino, plied together( so that's 18 ply I guess) to make a very springy, textured, bulky weight yarn. It's fabulous, but it absolutely did not work with the pattern I chose. Nor did it with the pattern after that. No joking, I knit and ripped about two sweaters' worth of stitches to get to the one I'm writing about now. So, I set out to write my own pattern specifically for this yarn, and that's how I accidentally began the Great Orange Yarn Challenge (G.O.Y.C) . Coincidentally, "goyk! " is exactly the sound a pair of circular needles make when thrown onto a pergo floor when you're working with freakin' unknittable yarn.
The merino has a lot going for it--it's very bouncy and stretchy, it works beautifully in textured patterns and cables, and it is just the right shade of orange--not so dark that it's dingy, not so bright that it makes you look for all the oddly dressed people piling out of the tiny car. Plus, it's merino, so I don't need to tell you that it's soft. And considering the fact that I frogged it umpty million times, I can personally attest to its durability.
But whoo boy, are there limitations. It's bulky weight, so any garment knit out of it has the potential to add in places where most of us would like to subtract. Not only that, but it adds weight in a more literal sense as well-- this yarn gets ungodly heavy. I swear it gains weight as you knit with it. Not only does that make for a sweater that is uncomfortably heavy to wear, it creates all sorts of potential design problems-- sagging necklines, droopy hems, stretched out sleeves. Considering that they use more yarn that plain stockinette and therefore add more weight, cables would be right out in my sweater. I still wanted to have some texture, so after much swatching and gnashing of teeth, I found this wrapped rib pattern:
It's a lot like columns of little cables, only with no actual cabling, and very little added weight or bulk. The pattern is pretty mindless to work as well, which is good because I had very little mind left by the time I chose it.
After all the loose, flowy, and sort of shapeless garments of the past two seasons, I wanted a shape that looked tailored and smart, not to mention one that would be as flattering as bulky weight yarn can be on a person of normal proportions. What I came up with won't win any awards for ingenuity, but it was a bit of a personal victory for me. I give you The Sweater That Would Not Be Knit: