Wednesday, May 18, 2011

NH Sheep & Wool Festival, Part 2

Holiday Yarns 1Yarn nibbles!

Sock hors d'oeuvers!

Wee skeins of beauty.

Call them what you will, but during the NH Sheep and Wool Festival they made success mine.

You see, back in 2009 Mom bought me the set of landscape sock patterns from Borealis Sweaterscapes. You might be most familiar with the lighthouse pattern. There is also an autumn road, pine trees, and cows in an apple orchard.

They sell kits that include the pattern and the yarn, but at the time I was working at Knitting Central and thought it wouldn't be a problem getting the yarn on my own.

Then the patterns arrived and I was stopped cold because I found out I would need small quantities of a large number of yarns (especially for the autumn road socks). I was facing a situation where I might use 25 yards out of a 400 yard skein. This would not only be expensive but would also lead to me knitting striped socks for the rest of my life to get rid of the leftovers.

Also, even if we'd had all the colors I needed in stock, which we didn't, I would have been brand hoping with unknown results.

So I made myself a spreadsheet of the colors and quantities needed, then put the patterns aside to bide my time.

Holiday Yarns 2In the past I've come home from Rhinebeck and kicked myself for forgetting to bring the spreadsheet, but really I just would have been in the same large skein situation I was in at the store.

But then on Saturday Nancy and I were walking by the Holiday Yarns booth and saw a bin full of wee skeins of yarn. There was a sign about blah blah and at the bottom big red letters that said "A handful = $20."

Well, who can pass up an offer like that? We made jokes about needing bigger hands. I confirmed we could select colors rather than acting like a prize claw and taking whatever handful we came up with.

As we picked through my landscape socks suddenly came to mind. It wasn't a coherent enough thought to regret not having the spreadsheet, but it was enough to guide me toward autumnal colors that could be in the tree leaves.

My first "handful" was the top picture. I knew I needed blue for the sky. I knew I needed brown for the tree trunks. I basically did my best.

Then mom and I headed home. We discussed what a nice manageable fair it was and how we sort of conquered it one day.

Filling the Gaps
However we quickly realized this "one day" stuff was nonsense. I, of course, immediately fished out the patterns and spreadsheet and spread my precious wee skeins out on the dining room table. More colors were needed. I was so close. At the same time Mom realized she didn't buy any handmade soap. The book signing was Sunday. Then the final straw came when Hubby announced he had too much school work to hang out with us Sunday.

Obviously we needed to go back.

This time I took my patterns, spreadsheet, and the colors I bought Saturday.

I got to the booth in a slight lull with gave me the opportunity to show Jennifer the patterns and explain to what I needed. She was smitten. We spread out my stuff and she helped me select the missing colors. I ended up purchasing three full size skeins a well mainly for the foot portions but also because of cross over between patterns.

She was very helpful and supportive of the cause. She said she will knit vicariously through me. I'll have to do a good job so I can send her pretty pictures.
Divide & conquer

Divide and Conquer
I have decided to start with the Autumn Road socks. You can see the pattern picture peeking out from under the yarn in the bottom right of this corner.

I matched up the colors I bought with the colors in the pattern with a slight amount of fudging.

Then I put them in Ziplock baggies with their pattern color names being careful to keep similar colors separate, i.e., poppy, garnet, and Chianti are in different bags.

Now all I need to do is ball all the skeins and I can get started.

It's so exciting.

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