Right... this is a knitting one, so apologies for those who do not find knitting interesting. BUT. You remember the pattern I fell in love with?
OK well very kindly, Bright and New gave me a link to a super online knitting shop where I could buy some very reasonably priced wool. So... since they did not stock the exact wool that the pattern called for, I read very carefully to find out what kind of substitute I could make. The pattern clearly says... knits as aran. And also... aran-weight alpaca-rich yarn. Well that would seem straight forward enough. So I chose an aran yarn at a very reasonable price in a very nice shade of green and along with the needles required paid a well worth it £20 and waited for my purchases to turn up.
Yesterday I opened my parcel and was pleasantly pleased by the colour of the yarn... well you know, when you buy something that is so reasonably priced on the internet, you cant help but feel that there must be something wrong with it. But no, the wool is lovely, and feels ... well sort of woolly. I decided to knit a tension square straight away... just to get the feel of it. According to the pattern the tension should be 26 stitches and 26 rows making a square of knitting 4 inches by 4 inches using size 5.5 needles. Mmmmm... my tension square was DOUBLE this size. So I reduced the needle size... in the end quite drastically down to a size 4 and still ended up with a tension square about an inch and a half too big. I did not feel that the wool could take any smaller needles so I decided I would cast on the required number of stitches for the size smaller than I actually am... having done this and knitted a dozen rows or so, I then measured the width of the back and compared it to the size it should be........ it was HUGE. I mean about six inches too wide.
My only conclusion is that the wool is simply too thick for this pattern... and therefore the instructions that clearly state aran weight wool are wrong. So..... having wasted (WASTED!!!!) £20 that I really couldn't afford I am now looking for another pattern (even though I don't actually want to knit another pattern) for aran weight wool as well as trying to find out what size wool I actually need for the pattern I do want to knit.
I keep hearing about knitters talking about their 'stash' of yarn... and looking on Ravelry almost every knitter has a stash of quite large quantities of wool.. waiting on patterns or time available to knit... or whatever... I now understand how that happens. I have started my first 'stash' which will no doubt simply sit and stare at me, accusingly, forever.