Friday, December 7, 2012

Matching Yarns -- A Tale of Adventure

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

Or so begins one of my favorite tales of adventure. Lewis Carroll waxed poetic about slaying a beastie -- the Jabberwocky, to be precise. I slayed my own personal Jabberwocky this morning. Yes, I am being overly dramatic. Have you met me?

Last year my great good friend Wally Andersen ordered a hat, a scarf, and a flower pin for his mother for Christmas. I used a beautiful red yarn with a metallic red element in it. Wally loved it. His mom loved it. And then
                                               she lost
                                                             the hat.

So Wally's mom sent the flower pin back to me via Wally, her request being that I make her two hats in the same yarn so that her set would once again be complete and she'd have a backup hat in the event that her hat was misplaced again. Easy, right?

Yarns are, of course, dyed in batches. The dye for these batches is mixed via a recipe, but if you've ever been to a church or school function where all of the desserts are made from the same recipe but by different bakers, you know that not all incarnations of that recipe come out exactly the same. Or even close.This is how my mother became famous for her fudge slices, which have always been far superior to any other baker's rendition of the same recipe, but that's another story for another day. The labels on most skeins of mass produced yarn are imprinted with a dye lot number so the stitcher can purchase multiple skeins from the same batch, thus ensuring that the color matches exactly. Some brands have no dye lot, in some mystical way guaranteeing that any skein one purchases from any batch of this yarn will magically match. But matching dye lots is the most failsafe way of getting the same color.

Yesterday I took a trip to Michael's in Lakeview to match the yarn from Mother Andersen's flower pin. Let's just look at the bigger picture here. I went to a craft store, located in a largely gay neighborhood in the third most populous city in the nation, in early December, to purchase a specific and one-year-old shade of sparkly red yarn. "'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe."

Michael's didn't have red yarn in the brand I was looking for. They had black shimmer, magenta shimmer, turquoise shimmer -- no red shimmer. Several other brands had red shimmer yarn, so I checked them all out. This one's too bright. That one's too bluish. The one over there is a garish color of red not even found in nature. I even thought I could mix a flat red with a metallic red of a different brand to achieve my color of choice. To no avail.

I had decided I would make a voyage to the JoAnn Fabrics on Elston Avenue -- or, as I call it, the Disneyland of Yarn -- over the weekend to see if they could bail me out with some closely matching yarn. The only flaw in that plan is that I rely on public transportation, and going from Rogers Park to Elston Avenue via CTA is a one-hour, two-busses-and-a-train investment each way. But I adore Wallace Soren Andersen, so it was an investment that I was willing to make.

And then this morning, I remembered something wonderful. My mother, the one who makes the best fudge slices in the known universe, had taken me to Hobby Lobby in Batavia last month and purchased for me $50 worth of the yarn of my choice. And one of the skeins of the yarn of my choice was... Red. Shimmer. Yarn. And it matches pretty closely to Mrs. Andersen's flower. Pardon my last-minute mixing of tales of adventure, but to quote Dorothy Gale, "There's no place like home."

That's all the news for now. Until next week, Peace, Love and Yarn!


No comments:

Post a Comment