Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rhinebeck: More Stash Enhancement

STR tlingit yarnOk, I would say I'm going to be brief, but that would be a lie. Or at least an unachievable goal. You must realize by now that I'm totally missing the brief gene.

The portion of Hubby's Striped Sweater that had the encounter with maple syrup over the weekend was dry enough to knit on again last night. I have about 10 rows of ribbing to go on the front piece.

Right. On to more Rhinebeck yarn! My shopping strategy was to look for unique stuff that we don't carry at KC. If we carry it at KC not only do I have constant, easy access to it, but I get a staff discount. So why would I buy it someplace else?

Socks that Rock
As you can see, I bought a skein in the Tlingit colorway. But it was a real struggle. It shouldn't be this hard to buy yarn, especially sock yarn. And it wasn't hard in the way you might think.

As far as I can tell, there is a lot of buzz in the online knitting world about this yarn. However, it's hard to get your hands on. Well, unless you shop online, which I don't. I like to see and feel yarn before I buy it.

So I was very interested when I heard one of the booths at Rhinebeck would be carrying it. I also saw on Ravelry posts that it can be a bit of a feeding frenzy when the festival first opens, which kind of made me glad we arrived a little late.

Well, I found the booth...and I wasn't impressed. None of the colors reached out and grabbed me. None filled my little heart with greed and the need to possess it. I thought, "What is all the fuss about?" Maybe all the good colors were gone by the time I arrived, or maybe it just wasn't my style.

Decidedly underwhelmed, I moved on.

I might have made another pass during the day, again without buying anything. Then at the end of the day, really we were heading for the exit gate, I ran into my co-workers. G had a skein. I don't know if she had ever used it before. It gave me a chance to revisit my nagging concern that if I didn't buy a skein at Rhinebeck I didn't know when I'd have another chance, and I would be left continuing to wonder why everyone was so excited.

So I left mom and our bags on a bench (my nephew was watching the pumpkin carver) and I zoomed back to the booth.

Again, nothing grabbed me. There was a rainbow colored one, but it was no better than other primary colored rainbow ones I've seen in the past.

Since an impulse purchase wasn't working out I decided a more practical approach was in order. I remembered I needed more dark socks for when I wear dark pants. That narrowed things down.

I settled on this skein. It's got black, and some purply-red and green for interest.

I turned around to pay and asked Thor (as his Ravelry ID pin informed me) if the hype was deserved. He explained the woman who makes it is very particular about her base yarn, explained her dying process (which was Greek to me), and concluded the hype was deserved.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of projects in line before this, so it will be a while before I test it out.

Aussi Soxxi
Aussi SoxxiNow this is a yarn that did grab me.

This yarn is 90 percent merino and 10 percent nylon. It's soft. Not the softest sock yarn I've ever felt, but also not stringy like Jawool, or scratch like Opal can be.

It's from Oasis Yarn.

I haven't used it before. Don't the colors make your eyes water? Apparently I prefer vibrant sock colors.

There were two other skeins I dithered over before I selected this one. One was in neon 80s day-glo colors. The second was a pastel version of 80s day-glo colors (if that is even possible). However, I thought this one might be more usable (ha!). I debated getting two colors, but didn't want to spend all my money in one booth.

See, not that is the way I expect yarn buying to be difficult. Because it's all so beautiful I can't settle on just one.

Samson's Angora
angora yarn It wasn't until after I bought this yarn that I realized it was named for one of my puppies.

Aside from the Solo yarn, angora sock yarn was my other solid goal for Rhinebeck.

My feet get really cold in the winter. I mean really cold. Forget about not letting them touch Hubby at night, I don't even want them touching me! (Actually, Hubby loves me so much that he does let me put them on him to warm up.) I've heard that angora has some homeopathic thing going on for poor circulation.

This yarn is 50 percent angora, 20 percent merino, and 30 percent nylon. I'm happy about the high nylon content since it means the finished socks should have some durability. They shouldn't wear out the first time I forget and walk around the house in them. At the same time the yarn is still soft and fuzzy.

I don't mind that it's plain white since these are just bed socks.

Actually, I saw some nice dyed angora yarn at the end of the day. However it cost more and the angora content wasn't as high, so I'm happy I bought this instead.

Maple Creek Farm Alexandria
maple creek farm Again, here is a yarn that reached out and grabbed me. I had to have it. The tag just says superwash and nylon with out ratios. It has a good softness.

At the end of the day, when we were heading for the exit, we realized there was an entire section of the fair we had missed. All the buildings housing the 4-H displays, which is where the live sheep, alpacas, and llamas were hanging out. There were more vendors in that area as well. We missed them because when we arrived we immediately veered off in search of the kiddie section. I can see why some people spend two days at this festival.

As we were zooming through, this yarn caught my eye. I saw it and was once again mesmerized. In addition to liking vibrant socks, I apparently think you can't have too many pairs of red socks.

Mom seemed a little iffy about them, but my nephew said to go for it. Of course, my nephew said I should buy it to make socks for him. I was like, "Right, kid, don't hold your breath." (Please see my previous post about being cold hearted.) Heck, since I taught him how to knit, he can now make his own socks.

Ok. That is all the yarn I bought at Rhinebeck. I can't wait to get to use it.

That Sunday morning, when we woke up, I snuggled up to Hubby and was telling him all about the festival and my beautiful new yarns. He asked how much I spent. I mumbled a figure that was probably on the low side (despite my vow never to smuggle purchases). He was like, "Geez, honey!" because it's almost time for his case of wine. In a panic I blurted, "Mom gave me some spending money!" And he said, "What are you, 15?" because he doesn't like me to take advantage of her. And I said, "Well, yeah!" But I wonder whether he was secretly happy, since this meant his wine purchase was safe.

In case you are wondering about my lack of post took me two days to write this. My lunch hour ran out and I didn't want to drag the yarn purchases out to a third post. :-)

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