various leg galore!

Yarntales!

Firstly I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who sent me messages or left comments after my last post. Having that little extra support really helps. I’m learning as I go but am determined that endometriosis will not stop me living. Although I am also learning to allow myself to be ill. Today my hubby is working from home so I don’t have to chase a toddler as I’m feeling particularly rubbish, but I thought talking to you lot and distracting myself with yarntales (yes, I made that word up) would cheer me up.

So today I am talking about this:

different sized balls!

different sized balls!

Bernat blanket yarn is what I am using (or trying to use) to make the giant octopus pictured below. It’s been more than a little tricky to get hold off or to be precise, to get hold of in the quantity and colour I want it. Now if you follow my blog you’ll know that using the recommended yarn from the pattern is rare for me. I like to improvise and put my own spin on it. Well I decided to make five of these giant, squishy monsters (pattern from the Left-Handed Crocheter) for my kids plus my sister’s kids for Christmas. It’s a nice quick-ish pattern and simple and repetitive enough for my currently tired brain to cope with. So I started my research for five different colours of this lovely squishy yarn…

one successful octopus

one successful octopus

This search did not go as planned. Firstly I wanted the yarn quickly as I wanted to get going and a lot of the delivery times were 2-3 weeks and in some cases more. So there was that hurdle. Secondly I didn’t want to pay some of the (quite frankly) ludicrous prices I found. I ended up buying it from Amazon France because it would deliver for free and quicker to me here. I couldn’t find all the colours I wanted at a price I found reasonable so I chose an alternative yarn, which appears to be unbranded, on Amazon that looked pretty much the same. It was much cheaper, in more bold colours and in smaller balls so I took a risk and ordered it. Here it is in purple for my niece. Not bad quality and works well. Ok so it’s definitely not as nice as the Bernat blanket yarn but it does have nearly the same squishyness and although a couple of ends are rough the finished product is good.

purple unbranded cheaper yarn

purple unbranded cheaper yarn

The only issue is that it doesn’t have the same yardage. I weighed and calculated how much I thought I’d need against the Bernat blanket yarn I already had and thought I’d got enough. But no! I then rapidly ordered some more and crossed my fingers it would arrive in time and not after Christmas. It has a 2 week delivery estimate so I really, really hoped. And it’s here! Hooray! BUT I still don’t have enough. Oh, what a yarntale of woe is mine! Now I’m combining the cheaper yarn with what I have leftover of the Bernat blanket yarn. Luckily I have some spare green. Let me tell you why…

various leg galore!

various leg galore!

So originally the bright green pictured above I’d ordered for my daughter who loves green currently. I thought I’d ordered the big balls of Bernat blanket yarn but I’d managed to order small ones. “Oh that’s why it was so much cheaper” I thought. “I’ll just order some more.” but that definitely would NOT get here before Christmas. So I decided to keep that and go for the more olive green, which is pictured near the top, instead. As you can see from the size difference in these balls (yes, I’m sniggering every time I write about ball sizes too) one is half the size of the other. The lighter green is still packed up because I’m sending it back. For some reason the seller on Amazon sold this ball as a big ball, charged more than I’d already paid for big balls (stop laughing!) and sent me a small ball. I swore so much when I opened the box my husband thought I’d injured myself. Needless to say, even if I have a yarn shortage, being charged 17Euros for this small ball when the one twice as large next to it is only 12Euros a ball is not on. That one is going back tomorrow for a full refund and an earful is going to the seller. I suppose that’s one risk of not buying directly from the shop.

But it all seems to be working out for the best. I have lovely bold colours (except the black my niece wants), a pattern that is lovely, yarn that is also very nice and workable (if it had been available I’d have purchased loads of the Bernat blanket yarn) and some good results. I quite like the alternative legs I’ve got going on. Some octopi have uniform legs and some slightly more zaney. I think it works. Don’t you?

red is alternative, unbranded yarn and green and white are Bernat blanket yarn.

red is alternative, unbranded yarn and green and white are Bernat blanket yarn.

Now to buy shares in the Bernat blanket yarn so I never, ever run out again. It is seriously lovely stuff folks. it works up really well, doesn’t fray (like the cheaper stuff does a little but only whilst working) and is really nice to hold. Whilst working with both yarns I can see the quality that is the Bernat easily and feel it. The cheaper has a very slight seem which after an hour of working hurts my left hand which is feeding the yarn in. I would have chosen the Bernat if i could’ve found what I wanted for when I wanted it. Ah well, lesson learned. I’m now going to hug my big balls of yarn before I start on another octopus.  Interpret that as you will.

Squishy hugs,

Josie Xxx