View Full Version : buying yarn - the hard way

03-07-2006, 11:07 AM
I placed an order with a discounter. I admit I bought for price and color.
This is a lesson in how NOT to buy yarn.

The yarn was too thin - Ill have to double up.
Place another order. It is no longer quite the same bargin. I have to wait another week.

The yarn is greasy and stiff. It will have to be washed.
That means I will have to wind it off into skeins.
I have about 3720 yards.
I dont have a swift. I dont have a niddy.

I do have a nifty rocking chair. 5.5 feet around, 202 wraps for about 370 yards each skein. 10-15 minutes a skein - about 10 skeins (and dang they sent me a few more yards than I ordered! More winding.
These are nice and tidy hanks. I am proud of my work and my arms only hurt a little. But I have only wound 1/3 the yarn.
I plan to get some washed and be able to knit while the rest is drying.

Now to wash.
I dont have a washing machine. I do have a dish tub. About 3 skeins to the tub. 2 rinses.
Ill have to press out the water by hand. Thats a lot of pressing and sqeezing. Im thinking of buying a salad spinner - will that work?
My hands are stiff will I be able to knit?

I hang the skeins in the tub on plastic tube hangers. They drip constantly and for the first few hours I go in every half hour and squeeze some more. They are finally dry the next morning.
The second batch I dry outside. More squeezing every half hour - but the skeins are dry in half the time.

Dang the yarn is still stiff. I used cool water the first time. Many people say to use hot. Wash again.
The wash water is the color of dark tea. Its natural color wool - thats a lot of dirt and grease. Yup hot water is the ticket. (please dont felt please dont felt!)
Rinse 2 times. More drying.
Still only have 4 skeins wound. Its enough to start knitting.

I dont have a ball winder. I dont have a noste. I have a stash of toilet paper tubes. I put the hank on a table and anchor the corners with soup cans. The yarn winds off easily - except where the hank got twisted.
For about 40 minutes I wrap my yarn around the toilet paper tube.
The ball is big - like a small grapefruit. I have to double it up remember? Wind another ball. I STILL have to knit the sweater.

I have not wound all the yarn into hanks. I still have to wash most of it.
If I had to charge for this sweater no one could afford it!

03-07-2006, 11:22 AM
This story scares me. That's a lot of wasted time that could have been spent knitting! I sure hope you LOVE the end product. Then it will be just a memory and a good tale to tell when wearing your lovely sweater!

03-07-2006, 11:54 AM
Yes; bookmark this thread. One day (some day) you may actually laugh over this!

03-07-2006, 12:16 PM
Wow, the line in your sig is a propos of your yarn woes: Never EVER give up!

You're so patient! Faced with all that work, that yarn would sit in a bag for YEARS if it were mine...Hats off to you!

And yes, this sweater will be precious in so many ways--I can't wait to see your progress on it. Talk about hand-made! :heart:

03-07-2006, 03:45 PM
I dunno Angelia - Im almost at the done and well cooked stage.

The fiber isnt as nice as I would like. I am fairly disappointed. Not with the work - that would be cake if the yarn were as soft as I wanted.
But this was supposed to be my busy work while I save real dough for a spinning wheel. Ah well - Ill probably continue with it. It will make a very rough n ready outdoorsy sweater for camping. After 2 washings and several rinses it still feels a bit greasy to me. Perhaps I will get lucky and the stuff will be water resistant lol Still is the purtiest color ever though!

03-07-2006, 04:05 PM
Is the greasy feel lanolin, or do you think it's just dirty still?

You're right that it will make for a nice outdoorsy sweater! You could swim in it and not get wet ;)

03-07-2006, 04:15 PM
you might as well have started from scratch with all that work...bought a sheep, sheered it, washed the fiber, cared the fiber, dyed it, spun it, then knitted it!!!

03-07-2006, 04:39 PM
Im thinking I could have birthed the lamb too! :rofling:

03-07-2006, 04:55 PM
:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

03-07-2006, 04:57 PM
I think that yarn would sit with me forever, too! Have you tried that Orvis stuff?

03-07-2006, 05:06 PM
I bought some yarn from joanns once that felt sooooooooooooooo greasy. It was something like 80% wool and 20% acrylic, but for some reason it left my hands disgustingly greasy after knitting. I ended up washing the hat I made from it first in cold water and then in warm. BAD idea. It started felting. It was horrific, but not nearly as bad as your experience with that yarn.

03-07-2006, 06:30 PM
Well I have concluded that felting is the only thing that will save this yarn from becoming packing string.

I posted for ideas in the pattern thread.

03-07-2006, 07:07 PM
Can I ask what type of yarn/brand of yarn you got? It would save others from going through the same hassle! :) Felting would be a good idea!

03-08-2006, 06:30 PM
Its a 2/6 donegal tweed from a closed mill. I bought it at webs.
But I have to post a disclaimer - I am not bad mouthing webs. This is my first order from them -and I am dissapointed. But I dont think webs has anything to do with it.

In any case beware buying close out yarn. I have since discovered that this yarn is also brittle. It breaks quite easily. In fact I can break it without effort just using my hands. :doh:
Felted it would probably be strong enough. But I am disgusted and have given up on this yarn entirely!!!

Actually I am pretty heart broken. I dont have much money to spend on yarn - thats why I wanted a good bargin. But now I can not buy more for a while. Its like saving money for a vaccation and your flight is canceled and the airline wont refund your ticket.

If anyone would like to have this yarn just to see what you can do with it I will send it all to you for free. Just pay shipping.

03-08-2006, 06:41 PM
Most thin wools are easy to break--the nature of the yarn rather than the quality of it. I have 2 ply jumper weight yarn--basically a fingering weight--that breaks with a pull.

I don't want yours, but I don't want you to think it was defective beyond the greasiness of it.

I still think the Orvis product that someone recommended might be worth a try.

03-08-2006, 08:55 PM
I think I just reached the point where nothing to do with this wool is the best for now. If I still have it in a few months Ill try the orvis.
But really this stuff is brittle. I think its just old.