Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

All Things in Moderation, Including Moderation

Dear Kay,
Ohhhhhh, what a weekend. Next week the fourth graders are having their Biography Fair, where everybody dresses up like historical figures and stands in a big room telling their stories to the other students. David will be Henry Ford, so we have been assembling a Model A in a process that has taken longer than assembling a full-size Model A. We have completely dispensed with the engine and may punt the whole thing if we can’t find the carburetor before Tuesday. PS Helpful hint: A can of spray paint in the hands of a six-year-old little brother results in no rock unpainted.
Some masochist asked to see what yarn we discovered on our little book tour. I wasn’t going to bring up this subject at all, but today I was rooting around in the carnage here and found it all sitting hopefully in a large bag, blinking patiently and waiting for me to pay attention to it. I can’t believe how much beautiful yarn there is in the world. I can’t believe it all came home with me.
When I saw the list of yarn shops we would be visiting on our tour, I got nervous. I set out some guidelines, designed to keep me from getting into “trouble” when confronted with walls of yarns.
Here’s how THAT idea went.
Rule 1: No yarn that I had ever purchased before. This was ironclad. With so many yarns in the world, no way was I going to bring home something I’d ever seen before.
Rule 1 Broken: After about three minutes at our first yarn shop, Seaport Yarn, New York City.
blueheronmercerized.jpg
Blue Heron Mercerized Cotton, 1,000 yards, hand dyed. I fudged this one by arguing to myself that I’d never seen this yarn anywhere else. A laceweight cotton! In those close variegated shades me love so muchy. See what I mean? Two guinea pigs of the stuff right into the tote bag.
Rule 2: No sock yarn. (OK so that one wasn’t really much of a rule, considering I have never made a pair of socks in my life. I figured Rule 2 would be right up there with “Absolutely NO HEROIN while on tour.”)
Rule 2 Broken: At Loop in Philadelphia. No way to avoid it, what with the sock knitters flailing around with double-pointed needles, making it look like sock knitting = portable Mardi Gras. It was like Pete Doherty was behind the counter, I tell you.
shepherdsock.jpg
Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. FOUR SKEINS. Which brings us to
Rule 3: No more than three skeins of any particular yarn.
Rule 3 Broken: See above. And also at Knit Happens in Alexandria.
puresilk.jpg
Debbie Bliss Pure Silk. It was practically Easter. They were like eggs, they were. Surprisingly dense little skeins, as if mercury were a yarn.
Rule 4: No crazy-priced single skeins.
Rule 4 Broken: Knit Happens.
artyarnssilkrhapsody.jpg
Artyarns Silk Rhapsody. Good Lord, it looks like a neapolitan ice cream bar when the chocolate and strawberry and vanilla all melt and–OK I’ll shut up.
Rule 4 also bit it in Huntsville at Yarn Expressions:
euroflaxhandpaint.jpg
Claudia Hand Painted Euroflax. Come on now, have you EVER SEEN SUCH A THING? What was I going to do? Not GET IT?
Rule 5: No, under any circumstances, tweedy yarn. No heathers, no Shetlands, no yarn that harkens to the North Atlantic. I have a lot of this sort of thing.
Rule 5 Broken: At virtually every single store. This was pathetic.
tweedyyarns.jpg
By the time we made it to Birmingham, I was sloppy drunk, just buying whatever looked like it had flecks and grim colors, nothing too dreary or gruesome for me. It was like sneaking vodka in a shampoo bottle. Yorkshire Tweed, Felted Tweed, Katmandu DK, whatEVER.
Sheesh.
Love,
Ann

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47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. rilly Ann, how could you???
    that handpainted euroflax will haunt my dreams….

  2. gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. solid temptation. can’t wait to see what you’ll DO with those slinky yarns.

  3. I am lusting after that Kathmandu. I wonder what would happen if next time your rule was to buy a lot of yarn.

  4. The yarn is gorgeous. Congrats on buying the sock yarn. I just finished a Christmas Stocking, my very first venture into sock knitting. Let me tell you, it is quite addictive. As soon as I finished the Christmas Stocking, I cast on for TWO different pairs of socks.

  5. This is my first time reading your blog, and you are hilarious!!!! Love your heroin comment!!! So funny…… Who can resist yarn??? I justify by saying, “there are worse hobbies than knitting; I could be turning tricks downtown, for heaven’s sake!! Cut me some slack in the yarn dept!!!”

  6. OMG – the Claudia Euroflax is just bee-u-tiful! I don’t see it on the website, though…hopefully, it’s available SOMEWHERE online. Care to give us a hint, Ann, where you acquired it?

  7. O my God! The handpainted linen! I’m just sitting here with my hands on the keyboard staring at it! Can’t wait to see what it inspires you to make!

  8. Fantastic yarns. Hope our local shops start stocking. am considering a log cabin pattern with your great yarn. thanks for the inspiration.
    How would linen work? Soft shadings or bright colors?
    Dave

  9. Ha! I totally understand. Rules were meant to be broken, right? That hand painted euroflax — wheee!
    [right now I am amidst a "save money for maryland sheep and wool - don't buy yarn!" set of rules. Then I went and got your+Kay's book and now I MUST make a curtain for the newly renovated bathroom in euroflax! I must then make matching hand towels! this obviously means I must give in to the siren of the euroflax! Luckily, MDS+W is next weekend and I am stalled trying to figure out what color (or colors) I want to put in the renovated bathroom, so I might make it! ]

  10. I love your new yarns! And I’m finally knitting from THE BOOK – just finished a bib and I love it! I pulled out four more balls of Peaches & Cream to knit four more bibs, and one of my daughters is eyeing my yarn because she wants to make a burp cloth.
    So when do we get to see “The Perfect Sweater”?

  11. Thanks, Ann, for showing us a few new members of your yarn menagerie! See.. those beautiful skeins were homeless and in deep need of a place to reside. You helped them.. and the world! Stand proud, my friend. Stand proud!

  12. Anyone who can knit the ferny shoulda won the blue ribbon state fair sweater, Keava, and the slip stitch piano bench cushion can easily handle a little ol’ sock. And if you really want to have fun with it, I’ll send you some of my size 0000 needles and you can knit up a pair of sock earrings. (Really, I giggled myself silly the whole time I knit them, and disrupted my daughter’s lacrosse practice b/c the girls kept sneaking over to peek at the tee-tiny sock in progress.) And I wouldn’t have been able to pass up the Euroflax either.

  13. I think you were very restrained in your buying – especialy as you were in a car and didn’t have to lug it back on a plane. (What I’ve carried back on planes…..). I have just made a narrow lacey scarf in the Debbie Bliss Silk – same pale greeny colour you bought – you’ll love it!

  14. Now I want to go find some tweedy goodness…

  15. Oh, now. Those are souvenirs. You can’t really count them in the yarn budget. They are in a class unto themselves.

  16. yeah, you broke your rules, but at least you did it beautifully! How will you decide what to knit first? So many great choices.

  17. Oh, come now. Is that all? Really, I think you remarkably restrained.

  18. The only problem I see here is making rules that set oneself up for failure. :) Gads, that handpainted Euroflax!!! I need some of that — stat!

  19. I can’t wait for sockmania to hit MDK!

  20. Such self-control! With four young kids, two dogs, a cat, and oh yeah, the husband at home, I tell people that if I didn’t knit, I’d drink. Maybe you should consider getting a “buddy” like those groups have to help you restrain yourself.

  21. Karen, anything wrong with drinking while knitting? It makes it all so much more relaxing. But I agree, Ann, what is the point of having a book tour in yarn shops if you aren’t going to bring a few samples home to write about in MDK 2?

  22. The DH must have been thumbing through my copy of MDK t’other day because he said he had a great idea for what to do with “all the yarn [I've] got laying around the house.” He declared that I can knit window treatments for 10 or so windows in our house.
    Wasn’t that precious! Yes, I own enough yarn to whip up a house cozy, but did he *really* think I could just root through the stash and find the perfect yarn for his little fantasy projects? I think I have permission to shop. . .Thanks, ladies!

  23. Ah, a Mother’s love. Working on a Model A instead of digging into that bag of lovley, rule-breaking yarn! You have taste, lady. And you’re a good mom. I’ve cast on a hand towel, and I promise I will trust the yarn.

  24. Oh mercy the Claudia Euroflax. My hands are shaking like a sailor beamed into a Hooters Dressing room. What finds. What lust you have induced in your helpless readers.
    I am going to have to carry myself up to Alexandria for a look see. It has been awhile since I broke any rules, knitting wise
    Lorna’s Laces, beautiful in the skein hearting breaking pooling in the sock knitting. I just look at mine. Doubled up it makes a nifty baby bib. No one will notice the pooling under the creamed spinach
    And to think your book tours have just begun :D

  25. Where can I get that blue and beige Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock?! I’ve been looking all over the Internet, and I can’t find it! Help!
    Thanks!
    Katy

  26. That Pete Doherty reference was comic perfection – I instantly imagined him in my local yarn shop and got a fit of the giggles. I buy sock yarn too, and am not a sock knitter. It’s just so pretty!

  27. Katy–That Shepherd Sock colorway is called Baltic Sea (I love a cheerful color name). I got mine at Loop in Philadelphia. Try their web site, http://loopyarn.com.

  28. Hand[painted linen? I hope you bought it all, because otherwise, I would need to.
    Rules are made to be broken, Ann, and clearly this is something you understand. I suggest next time, no rules.

  29. I love Yorkshire Tweed and I have never, not once, allowed myself to even buy a skein of it. Obviously, you bought it so I can live vicariously through you. Thank you for making the sacrifice.
    And the good news about the sock yarn is that when you never knit the socks, you won’t have any trouble finding the yarn a new home. Besides, I’m sure you can find something else to do with it. For instance, sock yarn makes a nice shawl…

  30. All I can say is that rules are made to be broken. And you’re really really good at that part.

  31. That doesn’t seem so bad, considering the number of shops you were in! It’s all beautiful, but the Artyarns silk rhapsody… oooooo. The colors of it, it’s like a chocolate covered strawberry!

  32. Ann, good heavens: You gave a six year old BOY a spray can of black paint while he was wearing a WHITE SHIRT AND KHAKIS?!?!?? And, Lord-a-mercy, even white socks and shoes? The only way I would have permitted either of mine to touch that spray can when he was six was in his underwear!
    You are obviously a mom with nerves of steel, unless of course the photo was staged for the blog.
    I love Lorna’s Laces sock yarn, but as Suzann implies you have to be very Zen about the pooling, and you have to love the idea of fraternal twins. Or, cousins…..

  33. I just bought my first Lorna’s Lace over the weekend, and I’m in LOVE! We’re heading to CA on vacation and I’m already scoping out yarn shops to visit while there……I know I’ll need to pack an extra bag just to bring back what I find!

  34. Ooooh! Ahhhh!!

  35. as long as you’re not socking with qiviut, i think we can forgive you.
    bragger.

  36. Wow! That handpainted linen was like someone preparing the heroin for you and saying the prick will only hurt for a second and then you’ll feel…AHHHHHHHH! (Or at least that’s what I think heroin must feel like. ;-) )

  37. We Philly sock knitters are glad to have recruited you! We have a plot to take over the world!

  38. Yummy, yummy yarns. Kinda makes me want to roll around in them and give ‘em all a sniff…(maybe that’s just me). Love the book! Are you coming to California on tour?
    On a sad note, Yorkshire Tweed, in all weights, is being discontinued! It’s a travesty I tell ya! Get it while you can!

  39. ALL THAT YARN IN ALL THOSE FUN PLACES!? how could you help it. I think you did just dandy.

  40. Well, I think that showed some restraint! It certainly could have been worse.

  41. HOW NICE OF YOU TO SPEND MONEY IN THE SHOPS THAT ARE BUYING YOUR BOOK–THAT COULD BE RULE #1-A-GIVING BACK. EDNA

  42. I love you ladies!!!! You are like me and will buy yarn at the drop of a pin. LYS is like a candy store to me. I’ve promised not to buy anymore yarn until I use up my stash. That lasted all of five minutes. MDK Rocks – looking forward to MDK2 (yes, that was a hint!)

  43. This post was a Mason-Dixon classic! And since it all fits in ONE bag (even a large bag), I’d say you were plenty restrained.
    Don’t try to tell me how large the bag is. You haven’t seen “large bag for yarn” until you’ve stuffed a Ziploc XXL Big Bag full of yarn (no puny XL bags for me, thank you!), and realize, as you look around the bedroom, that it’s a good thing they come three to the box…

  44. Left column: New Book. Right column: Book tour
    Bottom line: In the Red. Or should I say Debbie Bliss in Cranberry??

  45. Ann! That was just mean. Mercerized lace weight cotton. I didn’t even know there was such a thing!

  46. I’m STILL jealous of that mercerized Blue Heron cotton. I nearly grabbed it and ran out the door while you two were busy signing books (or eating croissants?), but my damn internal compass kicked. Poop.

  47. Sugar, if you want to get rid of some of them yarns so’s not to remind yourself, you can just send ‘em on up this way.
    The whole Henry Ford thing reminded me of a book I got my niece & nephew on American history from a decidedly pro-labor point of view. The description of Ford went something along the lines of, “as cold and barren as the land from which he came.” Think the teachers would get upset if David did something about how Ford used to send birthday gifts to Hitler?