Friday, May 02, 2008

Count Down!

How many hours until we get our sheep on????

I started out blase, eh, whatever, it's Sheep and Wool again, just another yarnie thing. Then, I started nosing around Ravelry . . . hmmmmm . . . and then Rosie's got pounds and pounds of Koigu millends (which staff was not allowed to break into, by the way - whoever shows up tomorrow at the crack of dawn will have first dibs - wouldn't it be really funny if there were a line outside the shop at 6 a.m.???? It'd be better than Madonna!), and then, like a thunderclap, bam, it hit - IT'S TIME FOR MARYLAND SHEEP AND WOOL!!!!!!!

So, all week, I've been carefully planning my shopping list. Inspired by Kate's Cold Hands, Warm Heart Sweater, I focused on sweaters that I felt would look good in old fashioned yarnie yarn. Kate's sweater is knit in Green Mountain Spinnery, which I always stared at longingly, but honestly thought it was on the expensive side. This year, no Koigu for me - I am spending my money on the Mountain, and completely copying Kate with their Alpaca Eleganceto make this , Coraline from Ysolda Teague. I wanted a simple sweater, with detailing that would show off the yarn, but not overwhelm it. And, while I love my Tangled Yoke, I wanted something a bit less commercial, something that's not yet in everyone's closet.

And, can I tell you how easy it was to narrow down my shopping goals with Ravelry's help. The ability to call up everyone's stab at a pattern, with accompanying commentary, criticism, and errata, as well as modifications and personal touches, was invaluable. So many patterns that looked attractive in magazines, were total failures in actuality - and, while kind of sad, were someone else's disappointment, not to be mine because they were generous enough to share their oopsies, mistakes, and bad ideas.

And did you know you can print your Ravelry queue? And, not only will you get the picture, you'll get the recommended yarn, the gauge and your own notes. Fantastic!

Of course, all of this careful planning, budgeting and strategizing could easily go out the window if I fall madly in love with something completely not on my radar . . . like last year's Hunt Valley Cashmere, which turned into this year's uncompletely scarf, and languishing in the stash.

But for now, I've printed out my fairground map, annotated it with what vendor is in what building, and what yarn they have, according to their website. I can guarantee (cough cough - obviously, there's no guarantee, knowing me . . . but I can try) I am not buying sock yarn, nor laceweight. Here are my good intentions - 1. Green Mountain for my Coraline 2. Shadyside Farm (see my Wicked) for either a. the Mrs. Darcy Cardigan. b. Forecast from Knitty, or c. the Elizbeth Bennet Cabled Cardigan from Fitted Knits (basically, Forecast without the baubles), possibly fingering weight/shetland for something from bohus Poems in Color, and finally, to satisfy that urge that used to be tamed with buying a skein of sock yarn, small quantities of yarn for mittens from Selbuvotter and Latvian mittens. I'll check back in over the weekend to see how close I came to my goals.

And of course, this morning, I got out the old Rosie's bag, and my saved change. What bag, what bag - a decision that needs to be made today, not at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. The Rosie's bag - old school, nostaglic, has gone on the road to many a yarn festival. Tried and true, but wearing out. The new knitting bag - a more comfortable shoulder strap, larger - but harder to maneuver in crowds. The decision still hangs in the balance.

And the change, Mr. Tall and I visited Little Penny bright and early this morning. He scoffed at my little jar, and guessed only $29.37, and voila - $83.47 - the perfect amount - enough to purchase the yarn I need for Coraline!

In the meantime, knitting did go along with planning this week - here's my progress on the Starmore. The armhole steeks are in, and only three inches to go to start the neck shaping. Whoo -- approximately two more repeats of the chart to go!

And just in case you were wondering about the Manos Blanket of Madness - here it is, still growing - only 12 more blocks to go!
I have no idea why there's a white blip on one of the blue squares - all is well in real life.


Bridget said...

Sounds like you actually have a plan, which already puts you way ahead of me ...

I'm sure this evening I'll make some kind of "plan" and it will make no sense when I actually get there!

knittyvritti said...

beautiful colorwork--and thanks for the inspiration. i'm about to start my own kaffe-esque adventure and yours gives me courage!!


Lisa said...

Let the yarn petting commence!

Starmore is looking lovely, you're almost done, Miss Speedy.

Anonymous said...

I find it hilarious that I printed out Coraline this very afternoon when thinking about what to buy tomorrow.

I do love the G.M.S -- maybe I'll copy you copying me and buy it for the Coraline.....I agree on the no sock yarn, either. And I am stealing your map when you are napping on the bus.

Wendy said...

Am interested in your perspective on this year's event ... I looked and looked for you, but couldn't find you. Of course, I think it was more crowded than ever!

Sorry I missed you!!!

JoAnn, Wynnewood said...

Just returned from Sheep and Wool. After hearing about it on the blog last year I couldn't wait to go. My husband, the dear soul, schlepped me and enjoyed it quite a lot. He loved the sheet. I loved the baby alpaca - they have THE cutest faces.
I didn't buy a whole lot, although I came prepared, because I can't think when that many people are in little tiny booths, but I did enjoy the touching and feeling going on. I got a few books, a small amount of yarn, a tee shirt and tote bag and actually came home with money. It was a good day! I also met all my friends from the Knitters for Obama forum at the ravelry tent. That was fun too. Saw all the people with their Rosie totes. Cute. Maybe next year I'll take the bus.

WandaWoman said...

It helps me to plan out my purchases too. I've been thinking of what I want for my local sheep and wool market next month. Now I'm off to catch up on the rest of your blog to see what purchases you made. $83 was a good amount saved by change, good for you!