Nine Lives of a Ball of Yarn

Nine lives of a ball of yarn.  It started back in September when Mike and I went camping in South Dakota for our 10th Anniversary.  Part of my vacationly mission was to find a yarn shop deep in the Black Hills.  To find a skein of yarn spun with rich history and magic by a local resident artisan, but no.  None to be found.  Anywhere.  I asked around at local restaurants and museums, older women at historical centers, and even a crafty looking woman at a gas station.  "Sorry, I don't know of anyone who sells yarn."  Humpf.  Now I know this can't be true.  It gets cold in South Dakota.  I mean really cold.  And I'm certain there must be someone, somewhere in the area who loves to warm their head with a toasty hand knit hat.  

Then we saw this place!  The maneuver Mike did with our Kia rental when I yelled, "YARN"  was Hollywood movie worthy.  The man who runs the little shop was so friendly and did you know that his father in law raises a flock of 100 sheep and his wife spins a bit of the wool for fun, but they don't sell locally anymore, because no one was interested.  Strange, I know.  

They did however, have a whole wall devoted to Lamb's Pride {aka Brown Sheep Co.} and when I saw the pile of Burly Spun in the perfect shade of Grassy Knoll, I bought the whole lot.  

I have six skeins total.  792 yards.  48 ounces.  This is just one skein.  

So began the task of writing up the sweater pattern I'd been dreaming of for a while.  A coat really, top down, with pleats, a tab in the back, giant tree branch buttons, and a pointed pixie hood.  With a simple bit of math and a gauge swatch done, I was set to go.  The gauge, btw, is 2 stitches to the inch!!  

See the photo below?  I knit the whole thing to this point three times {with variations, of course}.  Each time, not really loving the way the fabric was draping on my body.  I'm 5'2" with big boobs and skinny legs, I really should have known that a long coat with bulky yarn and pleats was not the way to go, but I assured myself that if I could just get the shaping right it would be flattering and slimming.  {hindsight, I know.}   Well, when I finally had it right, with a shape I could live with and the sleeves done, and the hood almost finished...  I ran out of yarn.  Of course I found what I needed online, but I was already into this coat for $110 and I just didn't love it enough to fork over the extra $60 to finish it.  And the hood was the best thing this coat had going for it, so I frogged it.  Again.  

So now the obvious question, what in the world do I make with all that yarn?  Well, with some inspiration from friends, I thought it would be fun to put together nine small projects, one each day, for the next nine days.  Then in the end, I'll have all the patterns available in an ebook of sorts.  

Here we go, Life #1.  The one that inspired me to put this project together.  I made it on a whim at the coffee shop, while hanging out with friends.  It's fun and playful and adorable on everyone! {and only took about an hour to knit}.

I'm calling it Parker, after my friend {and model}.  

Until tomorrow...


  1. I love this idea, I can't wait to see the next incarnation!

  2. THanks for the support:) I'm really excited about this project!!!

  3. Great idea...I am loving this hat so far...can't wait to see the rest.
    Good luck.

  4. What an amazing hat! Just wanted to say how much i enjoy your blog - thank you :D

  5. This is such a good idea. I always get SO frustrated when a project I've put a lot of money into goes awry.

    And I totally get the whole search for yarn. My friend lives in the Black Hills and I would absolutely assume if I went to visit there would be local yarn all over the place! Gah!

  6. Your blog came up when I was searching for a local yarn store in the Black Hills. We're having a "girls" weekend in the Black Hills this weekend and I was looking for a place to stop and pick up some yarn to use for making presents. As you said, there is nothing! I guess we will have to venture into Rapid to one or both of the stores there.... Love what you have done, and really enjoyed reading your blog.