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When I was a wee Learner Knitter, I asked my Mumini how many balls of wool it took make a jumper. She said ten, so I bought ten.  Thus began one of the longest-running sagas of my knitting life.

Cleckheaton have discontinued their Merino Supreme line, and I think it’s for the best. I am locked in an abusive relationship with the stuff. It’s thick and buttery and springy and soft; it’s machine-washable; it comes (well, it used to) in a good range of colours; you can persuade it to play the role of an aran-weight, but it can lend itself to worsted gauge and, in a pinch, you can use it for bulky-gauge patterns. In short, it’s bloody nice wool. Except: take another look at that ballband.  That yardage is not a typo —- one ball is 59 metres.  I used to love this stuff so much. But then, I had a bit of a change of heart: no more will I be in thrall to Merino Supreme’s siren song. No more.

Don't be fooled.

It’s the dark purple stuff that did it. That was what I bought ten balls of, as per Mumini’s direction. I don’t think she realised it was even possible to sell 59 metres of yarn and call it a ball. Ten balls of that is — let me save you the calculations — 590 metres, which most knitters will admit is not really enough for a jumper.  That didn’t stop me trying. After the third jumper was ripped back, having heartbreakingly shuddered to an inevitable premature demise halfway through a sleeve, I put the dark purple stuff in a bag at the back of the stash, where it could compare notes with the other yarns and think about its hurtful ways.

During a big destash this year, I found the bag of dark purple stuff, humbled. I decided it was time for its second chance (well, fifth or something like that, but who’s counting?) and brought it out.  Once again, it started flaunting itself and telling dreadful lies.  Ten balls, it said to me: ten balls for a jumper, there are ten balls here.  Sure, they’re a little brief as balls go, but it’s still ten balls, right? And I stomped my foot and spun my ballwinder and uttered a mystic curse that caused the letterbox to explode and said Enough!  I rebelled.  I did not have enough for a jumper! I did have enough for a few smaller projects, and I was going to defy the strangely-ingrained rule in my head that says “enough for a jumper = you MUST make a jumper” — two rebellions in one swoop! Well, a whole bunch of small swoops.

Divided, it fell.

I win.

Two pairs of thick, winter-proof boot socks; one garter-stitch neckwarmer:


(This is cheating a bit; I love this picture so much I’m using it on another post as well.)

And a hat-in-progress:

Proud purple, bent to my will!

(Wurm – click ‘kollektion’ and scroll down)

I’m down to my last balls (hello Google search results!) and showing no signs of slowing down. I would like to say I have experienced real knitterly growth here, but the fact is that I’m still gloating over breaking free of the thrall of the purple stuff and I’m pretty sure that maturity and growth usually preclude that sort of behaviour.  Nonetheless, I’m proud. This has been several years coming.

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