This year, Rhinebeck was not about cute sheep and alpacas. It wasn't about chicken pies or caramel apples (although it might have been about cheese for just a minute). No learning about fleece for me. This year, Rhinebeck was about the yarn, the whole yarn, and nothing but the yarn.
I went in with a plan, but immediately fell down and bought something I had no reason to buy.Spirit Trail Fiberworks
. They get me every time. Last year, I bought the yarn for the Pumpkin Socks
there; I got there late in the day, and there wasn't much left, but I managed to find something I loved. This year, I went early. I'm still amazed I managed to walk away with only one skein.
This yarn (Alexandra) is a different base than what I bought last year; it's 100% Superwash Merino, with no nylon. The twist is a lot tighter and more defined as well. Of course, none of that matters, because it is all about the color. Just look at that:
Denim blues and olive greens, with transitions so smooth I can't tell where the blues end and the greens begin. No matter how many pictures I took I couldn't capture both the warmth in the greens and the cool of the blues.
My next purchase stayed firmly against my cheek for a solid fifteen minutes.
It was a utilitarian purchase; BBMM wants a gray scarf. He has no special requirements, but I came across what might be the softest alpaca ever at Times Remembered.
Charcoal grey, with one thin ply of a lighter grey. Eight ounces (about 600 yards) of sport weight, for a ridiculously low price. I hate knitting scarves for the miles of repetition, but this stuff will be so nice to work with I'm almost looking forward to it.
The next purchase was bought for a specific project; Jeanie
, from last winter's edition of Knitty. I've always been intrigues by this pattern, but had never found yarn that seemed right for it. Now I have.
Fingering weight Merino/Tencel, from Maple Creek Farm
. The drape on this stuff is incredible; it's going to be a perfect match for the pattern.
Browns and greys and cream, all with a really nice sheen; the darker colors almost shimmer.
Finally, the Holy Grail of yarn. I have wanted to make Anne Hanson's Irtfa'a Shawl
since the first time I saw it. I've been looking for the perfect yarn ever since. I didn't want a truly black-based color, like the original. I wanted something more like smoke; subtle, natural greys and blues, not too much contrast. I searched all day. It was the one thing I was determined to find, but by late afternoon I thought I might be defeated. I had found a lot of maybes, but nothing that was perfect. Then I found the Briar Rose Fibers
When I first glanced in the booth, I saw a lot of earth tones, a lot of deep saturation, a lot of subtle color changes, and my first thought was ohmygodwhereisthelaceweight. It was late in the day, and there were only about eight skeins left, but I found exactly what I had been looking for.
Extremely fine, light as air laceweight. 100% alpaca. 2500 yards in the skein, so I can make an entire shawl with no joins. Deep and smokey and subtle.
The picture looks really blue, but there is a lot of lavender and silver in there, and a little bit of black. This was not a difficult decision. About two minutes after I bought it, I saw Anne Hanson in the next booth. I took that as I sign. (No, I didn't say anything. Walking up and saying "I just bought yarn for your shawl" just seemed a little too stalker-y to me, and I was worried the gleam of fresh purchases in my eye might be misread as a different gleam altogether.)
You might notice that it's already wound. What you can't see is that it's already swatched, and washed and dried. Cast-on begins in approximately five minutes.
Labels: events, yarn