Friday, August 11, 2006

Stashy wonderfulness

I had made a rule for myself regarding yarn purchases: only buy yarn for which you have a definite project in mind.

Okay, that went right out the window a while back when I discovered deStash and various online yarn sales.

So the rule's been modified: no yarn purchases at full price unless I have a definite project in mind. Or socks. Sock yarn is always fair game. Other yarn can only be bought on sale. :-)

I was trying to be restrained about visiting yarn stores on vacation. Rob hates shopping, and I didn't want to drive him dotty. But I did go to three yarn stores in/near Seattle, one in Vancouver and one in Portland. So I wasn't as restrained as I thought I'd be!

Sundara recommended Churchmouse Yarn on Bainbridge, where we went, along with the lovely women we were staying with in Seattle, Felice and Chris, and their two kids. Felice wanted to learn to knit (she bought yarn and needles and I taught her the basics; I'm a lousy teacher, but she's a very fast learner!), and I poked through the sale yarns. I ended up with these five balls of Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora in black.

A downside of being barrel chested is that it takes a ton of yarn to make a top for me. This is not enough for a top. However, hopefully I can find something to mix it with, either in my stash or via another sale. It's lovely and soft and I think a short-sleeved top would be nice and very useful. I love DK and sport weights.

In Seattle, my Secret Pal and Sundara had both recommended the Weaving Works. Felice ran me out there and to another shop, whose name I've now forgotten. The second shop wasn't useful, but I picked up a few things at the Weaving Works. The yarn is two different types of sock yarn, both in gorgeous, slightly-multicolored browns. I wear a lot of brown socks, and I have a number of patterns I'd like to try on these.

In Vancouver, BC we headed up to West Vancouver to go to the marvellous store Knit-n-Stitch, where I lost my mind. And my wallet. But not too badly. They had huge mixed bags of yarn to rummage through at $CAN 2.00 per ball! That's about $1.80 US and I did go a bit bananas. And sock yarn on sale for $CAN 4.95/ball!

So this is seven sale balls of Scheepjes Delfi, a Slovakian blend of 50% cotton, 50% acrylic which is irresistibly soft and just cries out to be a little scoopnecked top. I am not quite sure if it's enough (barrel chest, like I said), but this was all there was and I had to have it. Then there's the Cantata, a cabled cotton yarn. I was desperate for something in the right gauge to go with the Katia Jamaica (color 4000) I bought a while back — I designed this cute top which called for the Jamaica and a coordinating white cotton, but then I couldn't find white cotton in the right gauge. Sirdar cotton DK would work, but it's hard to find outside England. Debbie Bliss Soho Summer is the right gauge, and I ordered some that I thought was right, only to find when it arrived that "Oyster" is, not too surprisingly, a pretty pearl grey and not white. And Soho Summer doesn't come in white. So I've been scouring shelves, and was really pleased to turn this up. It was full price, but it counts because I have a project in mind! Then there were three sale balls of the Eco-Wool, which I'll put into use for a baby sweater, and finally lots of solid-color sock yarn — my favorite, and on sale! I haven't knitted this brand before, but I'm sure it'll be fine. Love the colors.

In Portland, our friend Francine's boyfriend Rich turned out to be a knitter, and he sent us to the Yarn Garden there. The store is lovely, but nothing really appealed to me on the sale shelf. I might have been a bit shopped out after Knit-n-Stitch, though!

Er. But then we went to Powell's.

I had to repack my bags at the train station because I'd put my biggest bag over the weight limit. Already finished Wendy Knits (great fast read) and am deep into Zen and the Art of Knitting. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it, but so far I love it.

Ah, the dangers of vacation.


April said...

don't you love canada, i know *i* do.

and that "knitting with hand painted yarns" looks very interesting. i may have to own that.

Ms. pal said...

Lordamercy, woman, are you sure you need more packages from your SP? ;)

(Package is slightly delayed. Surface mail from England STILL hasn't arrived, so I'm seeking alternatives.)