Hello, Vice Yarns. Goodbye.

Vice Yarns was a small brand of hand dyed yarn created by Elizabeth Inman. I first found her stuff on Etsy where I was looking for some ombré yarn to make a shawl for my MIL. I looked through her shop and found Into the Whorl, an ombré yarn of dark green, blue, and purple in a 500 yd. cake.

I bought it immediately and shelved it indefinitely because I decided to take the shawl in another direction. I looked around the shop for a different color scheme but I couldn’t commit to anything. A few weeks went by when I had finally decided to buy something for myself (sorry, Mom). That’s when I found out the Vice shop had closed for a fiber festival. Unfortunately, it never reopened. So, I went over to my favorite online retailer, Jimmy Beans Wool where I found more Vice Yarns. Since their selection was very different from the Etsy shop, I had some browsing to do.

My intention was to look with the shawl in mind. I wanted a long ombré where the color change is subtle. The cake I already bought had too many color changes for how I wanted it to look. I found some nice yarns but I wasn’t sure any of them would suit my MIL. I did, however, find something for myself. I know. I have a problem. That admitted, I found this GORGEOUS gradient kit that NEEDED to come home with me. Once I figured out a way to justify buying all available kits, I placed my order.

The kit is called My Bloody Valentine and it’s made up of six mini-skeins of fingering weight yarn in a red scale. Each mini-skein is a different color ranging from pale pink to deep blood red. My plan is to use it as the background color for a two-toned sweater pattern I saw in the Fall 2015 issue of Vogue Knitting. I roughly calculated that I could  double the yarn to fudge the sport weight required for the sweater.

As it turns out, I was wrong. I was very, very wrong. Just before I had decided to start the project, I looked at the yarn requirements again. That’s when I found out I had grossly underestimated my solid contrast color by half, and I’d ended up about one full kit (600 yds) short of the doubled length I’d need to make the ombré background. So, I did what any knitter would do: I went back online to find more.

The Etsy store was closed but the Vice Yarns website still worked. I started at the top of the list of retailers and worked my way down the page. Forty websites, 15 redirects, and three phone calls later, I had guaranteed myself one kit from a little shop in North Dallas, TX named Yarn and Stitches whose owner, Hope, hoarded as much as she could when the gettin’ was good. Hope said she had one kit in the store and she’d have to check her back stock at home to see if she had more. She promised a call the following day with the results of her search. Hope became my shining superstar when she called back, as promised, to tell me she had two packages ready to be sent by her husband at the Post Office, if I still wanted two. I affirmed my desires and we finalized our transaction when my credit card was accepted.

I ordered two just make sure I was covered. I could guarantee four kits would make up the yardage but the extra fifth kit was just in case my math was wrong–or if I ended up needing any bit more of any individual color. When the kits arrived a few days later, I discovered I had ordered two new kits for a good reason. Two of the colors in the new gradient kits are off from the kits I already have.

JBW kit on the left. | Hope’s kit on the right.

This is when getting two skeins comes to my benefit. To fix the issue, I will mix the lots. As long as I always have one skein from the JBW bunch held together with one from Hope’s bunch, everything should work out so there won’t be any obvious lot changes. I’ll still use the extra kit if I need to, but I keep hoping I won’t have to use much, if any at all.

Even with all the drama and the fixes, I can’t start the project yet. I still need more of the contrast color to fill out the rest of my yardage needs. But, I know all of this will be totally worth it because I’ll have an amazing, and very unique sweater. It wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t found Hope. She had the exact kit I needed, and she has lots more Vice Yarns. Please, if anyone needs to stock up on some Vice Yarns, give Hope a call. She’s got it all.


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