Stuck on the Spincycle

Yarn stores are the first thing I research when I travel anywhere, even if it's just to the next town over.  Admittedly, a certain 4,000 mile road trip was planned around a single stop at a highly sought after yarn establishment.  I have a serious thing for yarn.  I think I have 'yarn' as a permanent search word on Google Maps for my Blackberry.  Yeah, it's that bad.

Which is why, whenever I do seek out a yarn store in an unknown territory, the first breathless words out of my mouth are: 'Do you carry any local yarns?!'  The shop-person usually looks at me like I'm speaking a rare form of Hindi, cocks their head, scrunches their lips, and replies: 'Oh. No. We don't.'  End of conversation.  And sometimes end of my shopping.  What with all the recent hullabaloo surrounding locavores of all types, one would think a yarn store would sort of be on that bandwagon.  This is where I always heave a big sigh: surprisingly few stores I have encountered actually seek out local fiber sources, be it an independent spinner or dyer, or a local farm providing roving for spinning.  (And a big bravo to those stores who have figured it out and are representing the locals.  Keep up the good work.)

As far as local yarn in my area is concerned, I am quite lucky.  I have access to Spincycle.  Quite possibly the coolest yarn girls I have ever met with the coolest yarn.  The coolest colors.  The coolest textures.  It is SO cool that thinking about it makes me cold so I must wear it around my neck.  Immediately.

I give you...my Spincycle creation:
 
I feel like every time I finish a knit for myself, I think the newest is better than the previous.  In this case I really do think I have struck gold...er, wool.  Really delicious and good-smelling wool.  Spincycle Super Bulky Merino X in the colorway 'Chicken Payback' to be exact.

It isn't hard to knit yourself a cowl without a pattern.  Provisionally cast on the amount of stitches to get whatever width you want for your cowl (I used size 13 needles and cast on 24 stitches).  Do whatever stitch combo you want (in this case a 2x2 rib) for about 48 inches (I ran out of yarn right before 48 inches since I only had 180 yards, but I stretched it out on the blocking board).  You might want to slip all your edge stitches to make a nice clean edge; I didn't do that this time but will next time for a more finished look.  Then transfer your live stitches off your needle and onto a stitch holder.  Make sure that stitch holder can get wet because the next step is to block your piece and let it dry completely. 

This is where the hard part comes in.  Grafting your two ends together.  I actually enjoy grafting but didn't really think about the fact that I've never grafted ribbing before.  Not the easiest thing to understand...even after reading and viewing videos on the subject from about seventy-two different websites.  I made do.  It's not the best seaming I've ever done, but the good thing about this project is that you can hide the seam.  Put your new cowl around your neck and wrap it around once, or not.  The beauty is that you can wear it down or up.
  
And that makes me one happy locavore.

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