Sunday, May 21, 2006

Maryland Sheep and Wool Revisited

Now that I've put Sheep and Wool to rest on the podcast, and I'm now in a healthy state to blog - although, I don't know about my mental health when I think of all of the yarn I bought - and then, like a lunatic, continued to buy in the 2 weeks following the festival, and the yarn I'm contemplating buying at Rhinebeck in October - it's time to revisit Maryland Sheep and Wool.

Does anyone in this motely crew look like they have a dirty little secret in their basement? Folks, as Oprah keeps reminding us everyday, there are strangers lurking among us, and those who suffer in silence - addiction is everywhere! Last night, I was invited into Merrill's nightmare. I descended the steps into her basement. With each step I took, anticipation built, mixed with eh, it can't be that bad. IT'S THAT BAD.

Boxes and boxes of Manos -- I think she has more Manos inventory than Rosie's. What were you thinking - it's not even that cold in Philadelphia!!! Skeins of Mohair, that she's allergic to? I'm not even going to talk about the Anne, the Silk Garden, the Koigu, the cashmere. Overcome, I quickly started bundling up - eBay will never be the same. Here is her test lot: 11 Skeins of Teal, both solids and multis. So far, there's 1 bid, for $64.00 - basically, half price. More lots to come. Many more - and my commission? That Anne looks lovely, or the Silk Garden . . .

It's so ironic, because of all of my knitting friends, Merrill could get by on the least amount of yarn - she's meticulous, and a perfectionist, and is constantly ripping, and painstakingly reknitting. In theory, she could probably live on one major project a year. She could sit, knit and reknit one thing ad infinitum. Anyway, with the full knowledge that she has a complete yarn store in her basement, she still purchased this Silk/Wool blend from Roz Houseknecht: And, it's just not a party to Merrill buys cashmere

Did I buy cashmere? From the money I spent, you would think that I did. I went with several projects in mind, but I actually only managed to buy yarn for one predesignated project. Clapotis has been on the web circuit for how many years, and it's finally catching on in Philly - it's the thing. So, I broke down, and decided, ok, me too - and went in search of Clapotis wool. I started at Brooks Farm, which was a madhouse, which was a particular shame to me because I wanted to interview Brooksy Jr. for the podcast. Instead, I interviewed the llama man:
These llamas live in Maryland, and when I was interviewing Llama man, I asked him how they ended up in Maryland, and he said, because we moved from Illinois. Sometimes, I think I'm speaking a different language than everyone else - how did these nonindigenous animals end up here? Whatever, never did find out that answer, or what compels someone to start a llama farm.

But, back to the Clap. The Brooks' Farm people did have a Clap knit up, and Mr. Brooks told me that it was their new Four Play, their new blend sans mohair. So, I picked up 3 skeins, and when I was just about to purchase them, he popped his head around the register, and said, ok, who did I lie to? That would be me - their Clap was actually knit up in the Duet. The line was long, I liked the skeins that I had, the woman at the register who wanted to move me along assured me that it would make a lovely Clap, so I went along with it, but in the back of my mind, I knew the hunt for the Clap was not yet over.

But before the Clap, before the llamas, there was Koigu. While waiting for Merrill and Janet, who seemed to take an endless amount of time getting a turkey sandwich at the WaWa (across the street from the Dunkin Donuts), I began to get stressed - we'll miss the Koigu! Every second that ticked away was another skein snatched out of my hands in my colorway. But, once we were on the road, I thought again - I had just bought 11 skeins of Koigu. I have plenty of Koigu. I don't need Koigu -- of course, when we got there, I threw myself into the feeding frenzy, but I just decided to buy enough for a scarf, and not take the Koigu thing to a new level of mismatched stashery. So, this modest lot will be a scarf - either in Seafoam, or something like the one knit up in the Koigu booth - in a crisscross like stitch, something Cross, I can't remember what it's called.

But, back to the clap. I met up with Robin and Ronnen. Robin already bought her piggy bank for next year's Sheep and Wool: And, her haul of Koigu is, well, er, not modest: So, I went off with Robin, and while she was searching for the perfect Clap yarn, in the back of my mind, there was an opening for different yarn, as I was not quite satisifed. I took her to Roz Houseknecht, a handweaver from whom I had bought a handdyed alpaca last year, that eventually became my feather and fan shawl. Robin went to town: And, as anyone who read 2 posts ago, I couldn't resist - And then, we were all quite exhausted: Accept for Knitty D, who was dancing around with one of her three skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Merino She forced me to buy this skein: Honestly, truly, by that point in the day, I was really done buying - and I was out of my Commerce Bank change exchange found money -- she made me do it! $40 for 2400 yds of Merino laceweight. Unfortunately, when I went to wind it, the skein behaved badly, and right now, it's taking a time out. It's not looking good - handwinding 2400 yds? See, I'll be punished. I should have known because as I was standing in line, my sinner card Mac card kept leaping out of my hands - I can't tell you how many times I dropped the card - it was quite the spectacle. And now, what do I have to show for it? If it every finds itself in a wound state, as opposed to the snarly knotty messs it is now, it will be Peacock Feathers - so my mom can wear it to her red hat society things.

And the rest of my purchases, geez - I can hardly bear to look - as I post the following pictures, I do so with my hands over my eyes, peaking through 2 split fingers - oy!

Shetland Sock yarn (why did I buy 2 skeins? Just in case it wasn't meant to be socks . . . )

Mystery mill ends (only $3 a skein, come on! at those bargain basement prices)

Kid Mohair (oh, come on, it's so pretty - you would have bought it too!):

Laceweight alpaca (Knitty D made me buy this too - well, actually, she tried to make me buy it in a different color - a midnight blue, but I put it down for a second, and snatch! it was gone - 880 yds - ideas anyone??)

And, the multiple views of the whole lovely lot of it! Mine! Mine! Mine!

And tomorrow my friends, what I've bought since . . . I think I'm going to be quite ill again . . .


Christine said...

Yarn pr0n! Yarn pr0n! Yarn pr0n!

I want to come to Philly and just play with all of your stash yarn. How much fun would that be?!?

By the way - whenever I use my debit card, especially when I bought Koigu last week - I want to say, "Sinner card! Sinner card!" (But I don't do it out loud. Instead, I just do it for my own amusement.)

Sherry W said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sherry W said...

I'm guessing I spent about the same at sheep and wool. Did you see what I just bought on my blog? OK, it was a good deal, but yeesh.

Merrill should just just let us loose in her basement with handfulls of money. You said she has ANNE down there? I mean, screw the ebay fees, just invite me over for coffee. I'll bring my ATM card.

Theresa said...

I'm too overwhelmed to comment. Must go sit in a dark room with no stimulation for a while.

Merrill Mason said...

I don't know Wendy. If you weren't so darn fast, you too could have a secret in your cellar.

I like Sherry's idea of a "Friend's First" sale. Despite your expert (and generous) guidance, I still think Ebay is a pain.