Friday, June 3, 2011

Yarn & Such

Last Saturday H. and I trekked out to the Mass Sheep & Wool Festival out in western MA (Cummington, to be precise). As per usual, the day was capped off with dinner in Northampton, a little college town I love more with every visit. This year’s festival seemed much smaller than last years, both in terms of attendance and vendors. In some respects this was good, as we had more opportunity to chat with some of the vendors (most of whom are fiber artists in their own right). I actually escaped with only three skeins of yarn, though admittedly some of this had to do with H. rummaging through my yarn basket before we left. It turned out everything she unearthed was bought LAST year at this festival and was still unused. I think that’s a good policy from here on out: before buying new yarn, first reacquaint yourself with your stash. It's a lot cheaper that way.

Anyway, I brought home some cheery bright yellow sock yarn from here, and some lovely periwinkle blue cashmere/merino from here to make a scarf. But the find of the day for me was sock yarn from into the whirled. Now, I haven’t knit this yet so I can’t say anything about how it knits up, but the colors were tremendous. I had a hard time choosing just one, and I'm excited to start knitting with it but I realized I already have three socks knit from three different yarns, all of which need mates. Ooops. So I'm forcing myself to finish one pair before taking this yarn out for a spin.

One thing I noticed was the plethora of superwash sock yarn. I have to tell you, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like superwash yarn, at least not for socks. I don’t like knitting with it – I find it splitty and uncooperative, simultaneously sticky and slippery. I also don’t like how it feels on my feet. Since I have no problem hand washing my wool socks, I’m steering clear of it from now on. But it definitely was a bit of a challenge to find regular (non-superwash) sock yarn. I hope this isn’t a trend.

In other news, it's all quilt blocks all the time, preferably while watching Chopped on The Food Network. I don't really cook much, but for some reason I love this show. There's always one cocky contestant who makes you hate him (and it's usually a man), and the judges are so persnickety (dude, THEY HAVE TWENTY MINUTES AND YOU ARE PISSED ABOUT A CARROT PEEL???), and then Ted Allen stands there scowling trying to reign them all in. Who knew that would be a winning combination? But really: I think they should keep it a bit more real. I'd like them to have to use ingredients that *I* have on hand, with no spiffy pantry items to choose from. The true test would be, what can you do with tuna fish, an apple, some chocolate, and a liter of Diet Pepsi?