Wednesday, March 16, 2011

new superwash worsted yarn and thoughts about Japan

For the past year, I've been trying out different superwash worsted yarns. I have Trillium, which I love for its softness and amiability during dyeing; it is very gracious about accepting dye, unlike some yarns that need to be coaxed, begged, or threatened. And it's one of the few truly squishy yarns that I've encountered--four plies, so it's very smooth, tight enough to avoid splittiness, yet with plenty of give. Its one flaw is that it's aran weight, and a bit heavy for some sweater patterns.

I've had a custom mill run done for me, in addition to trying most of the ones on the market. None have yet had the perfect combination of twist, hand, and general knitting enjoyment that I'm looking for.

Yet another candidate arrived today, and I think this might be The One, at last. It will go into the dyepot this week; I have high hopes for this base.

It does feel terribly trivial to be thinking about yarn, given what's happening in Japan. I gave some money to one of my favorite charities, International Medical Corps, which has a tsunami relief fund. I'd like to give more, but I'm not really sure which organization is best equipped to help right now. And I am transfixed by the struggle to keep the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from complete failure. I still have intermittent daydreams of working in emergency management (I was a public information officer for my county's EM department for years), so I have a professional perspective that's slowly coming to bear as I work through some of my emotional and visceral reactions.

As usual, the NY Times has some incredible interactive graphics. Before and after satellite photos that show the impact of the tsunami and what happens during a reactor meltdown are two really good ones.
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