I dedicate this blog to the memory of my grandmother.
August 29, 1921 - April 30, 2015
You are not forgotten.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Goodbye, Sheep(ish)

Today, Vickie Howell announced via Facebook that, while her three lines of yarn (Sheep(ish), Sheep(ish) Stripes, and Cotton-ish) would still be available from the Yarnspirations website through April 2016, they are being discontinued in stores earlier than she thought.

Having just discovered Sheep(ish)-- a super-soft, roving, washable, self-striping acrylic-wool blend-- earlier this year, I would be sad enough; it's become a top favorite of mine along with Lion Brand Amazing (another self-striping, washable wool/acrylic blend). But Sheep(ish) has come to mean more to me than just another yarn.

Any yarny will tell you that as your stash grows, it tends to get everywhere despite your best efforts to keep it contained. I'm pretty good about keeping most of mine in my knitting bag (currently 3 active projects attached to 4 balls/skeins of yarn) or in a large plastic bin with the lids that you can click-lock into place, but there is also a reusable shopping bag with two projects in hibernation and their associated yarn, a paper shopping bag from Jo-Ann filled with Lily Sugar N Cream for the kids' pullovers, and my old knitting bag (an enormous cloth duffle) with that baby blanket I started last September.

Still, when I came across an end of a ball of yarn and its paper wrap nearby while I was cleaning up my living room a few weeks back, I knew right away it wasn't one of mine.
For one thing, I own exactly one skein of yellow yarn, and that's the yarn I'm using for the yellow stripe in Alyx's rainbow scarf. For another, Sheep(ish) being sold under the Caron label way predates my love affair with it; all my Sheep(ish) is Bernat (they're both owned by Yarnspirations).

For just a moment I was puzzled, then it dawned on me. My grandmother often sent the yarn wrapper with items she knit in lieu of washing instructions, sometimes with a sample of the yarn itself. A lot of conflicting emotions there-- I feel closer to her for liking the same yarn she did, but achingly regretful that this posthumous bonding is a little late for her. I wonder, not for the first time, why I waited so long to try knitting again. I started recognizing the yarn in sweaters we'd had for months or years-- for instance, the last set of sweaters she made for the boys is Caron Simply Soft Paints, and I have a skein of the same color of one of them, and somehow, even in the year I've been knitting now, I just never noticed.

It makes me wonder what else we had in common that I never knew, but it all started with that little piece of Sheep(ish). And so to me, that's what Sheep(ish) will always be-- tangible proof that despite our many differences, there was at least this one thing I know we shared.