You know how in detective novels it sometimes happens that a character will have an evil thought come to him or her, and the thought will grow in the character’s mind, perhaps unacknowledged, for days or weeks or months? This is what happened with me and the Classic Wool.

Even when I first ordered it — six skeins for felted wool Christmas presents, I said — my nefarious plot was evident. Six skeins, enough for a sweater. And half of it in a single color, enough for a background color. And the rest — supposedly chosen randomly from among the discontinued colors in the sale — all coordinated with the background color. How obvious!

Even from the beginning, I was thinking that I could make a sweater… if the felting thing didn’t work out. When I made one skein into a gift, I carefully put away the extra yarn — it would do for a stripe or two in a Fair Isle pattern. And as I planned which gift to work on next, I found myself thinking that another gift might mean I couldn’t make a sweater, but a vest… a scarf… I thumbed through the Celtic Collection considering how those spirals might look in a sea color combination. I thought of alternate presents — just idly.

When I caught myself having these idle thoughts, I would administer a mental dose of reality, of course. I would remind myself that the Classic Wool is worsted weight, entirely unsuitable for traditional Fair Isle. That traditional Fair Isle — and Alice Starmore’s variants on it — require a dozen colors or more, not four. And that I had — ahem — specially bought the Classic Wool for the felted gifts.

But it wasn’t working. The evil thought stayed there in the back of my mind, poking up occasionally. Until yesterday. Yesterday I went to the Lion Brand sale and spent my budgeted amount on enough Wool-ease to make myself a sweater, if I want to make a Fair Isle with just a few colors. If I want to jump in and do some vest, scarf, or such without waiting for the Shetland yarn to get to the LYS, I can. I don’t intend to do so until all the holiday gifts are finished, but if the desire becomes overwhelming, I can. This knowledge has allowed me to let go of the Classic Wool.

I am therefore going to be able to work happily on the next felted project on the bus to Kansas City with the 8th grade Gifted and Talented classes of two local junior high schools. It is mostly plain straight stockinette, in the round, so I am optimistic. I have packed my book in case all the little sweeties go to sleep on the bus. I am hoping that #2 daughter (whose internet is down, so I haven’t been able to communicate with her easily) will meet us there, but if not, it will still be an adventure. We were encouraged to wear period costumes, and my madrigal-singing dress is very comfortable, but I have a sneaking suspicion that #2 son would be mortified if his mother wore a costume. He has one too, having been the acrobat at a couple of madrigal dinners, but I have not even hinted that he might like to wear it. Onward!