I am currently binge-knitting.  Socks, glove-y things, a shrug, that sweater, and some mittens.

The glove-y things, these ones:


are the garter stitch mitts by Ysolda Teague.  (Ravelry PDF here, if I did that right.)

I quite like this pattern.  The shaping is  original and really works, it results in a close-fitting glove that’s actually shaped like a hand, and no funny gaps at the thumb opening.  There is no actual thumb, but I suppose you could put one on after if you wanted.  Or even during, if you didn’t mind a little stitching, but I digress.  Point is it’s a neat pattern, and knitting mittens sideways is fun.

Mine are made in some yarn from the IYS, no idea what except that it is a wool-and-something-plastic blend, in a worsted-weight single.  It is soft.  It is smooth.  Very smooth; it slid on my steel needles like warm butter.  But not too slippy, just smooth enough that the knitting was quick and easy.  It does fuzz and pill somewhat, which I think is kind of par-for-the-singles-course, but I’ve seen worse.  There is nothing not to like about this yarn.

And I hate it.  Loath it.  Am damn near ready to chuck it in the furnace and heat the house with it. The sight of it, sitting there in my knitting basket waiting for me is starting to really annoy me.  I am getting angry at yarn, how’s that for wasted energy?

Now, I have given this yarn every chance.  It’s not like I’m basing my opinion on a single pair of mitts!  I knit a little capelet out of it, years ago.  I have never worn it, not once – because I hate the yarn.

I used it as one of a couple of knit-with-two-strands yarn in a big sweater I made, also a few years back now.  Didn’t much like it then either, although that sweater did get worn, too bloody often in fact because it was really way to big for me – I swear the skinny model they had it on must’ve had shoulders like a halfback, because the thing sure wouldn’t stay on mine!  I frogged it recently, and the other yarn in it is what I used for that hoodie two posts ago.  Which means I have a pile of this chubby single again.

I have braided this yarn into my hair, which it should be good for because it has that bit of slip, and so doesn’t get tangled easily.  But I don’t like it.

And then I knit these mitts.  And so I think I can say with a fair amount of experience now, that I hate this blinkin’ yarn.  Further, I think that with all it’s good qualities, I must hate it because it is a single.  I think that I just like plies.  Now, I’m not getting on a soapbox about singles, except maybe a little tiny rant about the fact that I went to our LYS in Windsor the other day – quite a large store with a huge selection – and there were a LOT of fat singles there.  (This is starting to sound like a bad dating club.  Sorry.)  But honestly, I do not feel that plied yarn – just plain YARN, like people have been making for millenia – was adequately represented.  Which I do think is kind of pathetic, yes.

I don’t hate singles because they bias – I’ve never had that happen, and as long as the spinner knows what they are doing, I am assured that it shouldn’t.  (Personally, if I made them, they would, because I’m still fighting overtwist, but I don’t.)  I don’t hate them because they pill.  Some yarns pill, that’s life with wool, and it really doesn’t bother me.

I don’t hate singles because they are lazy.  I think they are lazy, but I don’t particularly give a darn.  (I know, you can do some nifty pretty things with singles and they wouldn’t look the same at all in plies.  I agree.  But they aren’t as strong, that’s why plying exists, and the over-representation in that yarn store mentioned previously leads me to the conclusion that singles are the cheap and fast-to-produce consumer-grade yarn – it’ll wear out faster but who cares because these knitting people will have bought tons more before they even notice.  Plus that Wal-mart wool is singles. /aside)

Anyway, none of those apparently common complaints are why I don’t like them.  I don’t like them because there is no texture there.  No bounce, no twist, no subtle bumpity-bumpity as the yarn slips through my fingers.  I only recently discovered this about myself, having spent a lot of time wondering why I was glowering at this inoffensive yarn.  I think it is the bumpity-bumpity I miss the most.

It’s ok.  I’ve got socks, another mitten and that shrug on the go, all different textures and weights of yarn, so there will be plenty to keep my picky hands amused.