For my birthday, my father-in-law brought me back some wool from Ireland. It was so touching; he said he looked for just the perfect shade of “Irish green” yarn. It’s a lovely deep green, practically black in some lighting, with yellow and red tweed bits. He said that it was hard to find straight yarn, there were a lot of sweaters, but that he knew I’d like this better. He was right! The yarn was made at the Kerry Woollen Mills, which was built in the 17th century. It’s one of the last traditional wool mills and originally used the Gweestin river to power the mill and wash the wool. The history represented by this yarn is incredible. It’s like my own piece of Ireland.
It’s a worsted weight yarn (not that it said on the tag; I had to use the “wraps per inch” [WPI] method to find out.) Slightly on the heavier side of worsted, but not the 8 WPI of aran wool. I’ve got about 200g, which comes to… some number of yards. More than can fit on my ball winder, so I had to wind it up by hand. Maybe 400yds? Worsted wool seems to be about 200yds/100g, on average (given my exhaustive search of 10 yarns). So, I’ve got a decent amount. Here’s the one teensy little issue though: this is a very “traditional” wool. AKA: scratchy. This is the stuff that people who hate wool are referring to. This is the stuff that makes sweltering, tortuous sweaters. The kind of wool that gives other wools nightmares.
But I love it, because of what it represents. I want to make something out of it. Something traditional (or at least something traditional-ish.) Something worthy of the yarn. It’s way to scratchy to have against the skin and I’d like to use as much of the yarn as possible, so a pair of mittens or a hat is out. (Unless I want to make 6 of them and line them all. Which I don’t.)
Does anyone have any ideas?
(I’m working on some socks using the Solace yarn, which went through the wash beautifully. They should be photographable soon. Also designing some mittens. News at 11! I mean, Monday.)