19 March 2007

Awwww, F***. It's Felted.

I received the sock yarn I ordered the other week in the mail today. I was disappointed because the colors of my yarn were a far cry from the colors posted on their website. I understand differences in screens, etc... but I was expected super-saturated color, and got this wimpy half-ass color instead. On the plus side, the yarn was deliciously soft, and so I could buck up and knit socks for other people with it.

As I was sitting at my desk, I kept smelling some weird floral scent. I figured somebody had changed the soap or something. Then I realized it was coming from the bag next to my chair. It was the yarn. Whatever they washed it in was giving me a major-league headache. I sniffed it to be sure. Not only did it smell like nasty detergent, but it also reeked of animal. Now, I'm not one of those ultra-purified city girls; I grew up on a horse farm. I don't mind the smell of manure, and I find the smell of horse one of the most comforting things in the world. This yarn, however, smelled. And I couldn't bear the thought of spending hours knitting this stuff with my head aching and my hands reeking of sheep or goat or whatever the hell this stuff is made of. Lord, and giving it to someone? Nothing says love like stinky socks.

So I got out my unscented, all-natural, non-petroluem-based detergent (which I could go on and on about its magical cleaning properties... maybe another time), put a tablespoon in the sink and filled it with cold water. I carefully squeezed and swished my yarn, working the soap into it to pick up all the animal oils. Then I rinsed it three times. When I gave it its final rinse, I noticed something was wrong. The yarn had fulled, as expected, but that wasn't it. The texture was way off. I squeezed it gently and held it up. It was then I saw this (big photo for detail):

Saith the Knitting Goddess: "Awww, f***. It's felted."

The color above is accurate. Compare that to what I thought I was buying:

For comparison's sake, I've photographed the felted yarn next to the unwashed, unfelted yarn of a different colorway. The flash alters the colors a bit here:

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