Thursday, 13 March 2008

A rather successful expedition, if I do say so myself!

First - my original plans for the year's shopping pretty much went out the window. I did not buy the supplies for the tree skirt.

Here's what I did buy:

  • 12 balls of Rowan Pure Wool 4-ply in 6 colours to knit the Ivy League Sweater from the Winter 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. I am changing the colours from the original for two reasons. First, I look like hell in green. Sallow and jaundiced is really not a good look. And second, because I'm a knitter and I can do things like that if I want to!
  • 3 balls of RYC Natural Silk Aran. I'm planning to turn these into a Branching Out Scarf, something I've been meaning to knit for a while and have just never had the right yarn for. I'm rather smug about this yarn, since it was the last three balls of the dye-lot and were on sale for half-price! Woohoo!

  • 2 balls of Regia 4-ply sock yarn. I have been dying to try this stuff for ages, and I was thrilled to discover that Liberty seems to stock the ENTIRE range! I have never seen sock yarn in so many colours! I'm thinking that these will become a pair of Baudelaire Socks.

  • 1 skein of Alpaca Silk from Blue Sky Alpacas. This was the real treat of the day, the yarn that jumped into my hands and said "Please! Take me home! I'm wonderful!" I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I may just keep it to snuggle and sniff, because it is obscenely soft and strokeable, and it has that delicious silk scent of which I'm so fond.

  • 1 skein of Manos del Uruguay 100% Wool. Now, I know I said I didn't buy any yarn for the tree skirt, yet this is tree skirt yarn. Here's my logic. This yarn is very expensive, and the tree skirt needs a lot of it. Almost £250 worth. And that's a lot of money to put into something that's going to get crawled over by kids and scratched and pee-ed on by pets someday. So, I'm doing what all the books say and am investing in one ball as a sort of first date. If we hit it off and I can't get enough of this yarn, well, then, kids and pets be damned. I will make an expensive tree skirt. If it's a flop, then I've only wasted £8.50 and a few hours making a hat I can just give away. It's going to become a Foliage hat someday.

I also received a second set of 2.5mm DPNs as a birthday present from my shopping buddy, which have already been put to use in the great Monkey blitz, and bought some buttons that will be used for finishing the alpaca neckwarmer I started. Yay!

The shopping trip itself was lots of fun. The sweater yarn was a little more expensive than I'd hoped, since the yarn I'd originally wanted to make it out of had been discontinued. Drat. This led me to decide that it really wasn't worth trekking all the way to Putney, since I knew that the stuff I wanted at Loop was going to take the last of my money. So, we did our rounds at the Oxford Street shops. John Lewis' remnants bin was full of treasures, though I was restrained and only got the Silk Aran. Oh, I also got bias tape for garb-making. That'll be a fun adventure. Liberty was lovely, well worth exploring, and the ladies working in the haberdashery were friendliness personified. It was great. All the Fun of the Fair was ok, but the selection was really limited. Not just in terms of yarn, but in terms of buttons and things. Still, I got the buttons I needed, and my friend got some sock yarn.

Then we decided lunch was in order, so we indulged in noodles. I had Chinese Barbeque Chicken on my noodles, and it was to die for. Yum! After lunch we went to see a mutual friend (one of the ladies with a Bump), since her birthday is the day before mine and she also knits. There was much yarny goodness for her, and I think she was pleased. She was certainly pleased enough to join us on the Islington leg of the expedition! I think the best part of the whole day was experiencing yarn shopping with other people who get it. There was not a single moment of "wait, the ball of string costs HOW much money?" or "yes, it's string, bored now". Instead, there was much fondling and joy had by all. Bump lady also had a "mauled by pretty yarn" moment which resulted in me teaching her how to crochet. I also taught the other friend how to knit. Well, retaught - he last picked up needles 19 years ago!

In fact, the little spur-of-the-moment knitting circle was fun, too. We indulged in Starbucks and played with our stuff, and I offloaded some acrylic onto the knitting friend so he could practice before I teach him how to knit socks. Theory was proven correct - his fingers still remembered how to do it and I expect he'll be done with the scarf in a few days.

The birthday yarn has been carefully packed away, not to be touched until I've done at least half of my Mission:Possible projects. These may be the 6 smaller projects, but they will get done first. I have that much self control, at least. And I did just get rid of an entire ball of acrylic!

No comments: