Sunday, 16 May 2010

Holiday Yarn Shopping

We're just back from our holiday in Oregon - fortunately, we had no delays to our flight back, even though the volcano is still erupting.  We had a great holiday - quite busy, not much knitting done.
Ashland Peace Wall

We stayed with a friend in Ashland, in southern Oregon,  for a few days during the trip.  Ashland is a good place to visit, largely populated by hippies, it seems.  (The Peace Wall is at the entrance to the Ashland Co-op.)   The town has a lot of visitors because of its famous Shakespeare Festival - we saw an excellent production of Hamlet while we were there. 

Our friend drew up a walking tour of the town for us, including a visit to Websters, a yarn shop on the town's main square. They stock a huge range of delectable yarns.  Some were familiar, like Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Louise Harding, Noro.  (It seemed quite strange, in fact, to be so far from home and see Rowan yarns  that have also come from West Yorkshire.)  They stock the Isager yarns,  that I would like to use one day  - I have one of Marianne Isager's books, and I plan to get her Classic Knits book too, but  the yarn doesn't seem to be available in the U.K.  And there were many other yarns that were new to me. 

So what did I buy?  Not a lot - I have several things in progress, and several more projects planned, and I feel a bit uncomfortable already about the amount of yarn I already have.  (There's a confession! I don't much like having a lot of yarn waiting to be knitted, and don't want to buy more until I have used some of what I already have. I don't like having a big stash of yarn.)  But I did want to buy something, if only as a holiday souvenir. Webster's had a good selection of fine yarn, that seems to be difficult to find at home, and I bought one ball of a lace weight yarn from Classic Elite Yarns, in a silk and alpaca mix, which is beautifully soft.  With such a fine yarn, one ball would be sufficient to knit a scarf; you can just stop knitting when you  run out of yarn, more or less.  I did think afterwards that I have been buying rather  a lot of grey lately and maybe I should have been a bit more adventurous in choosing a colour.  On the other hand, grey seems an appropriate choice for a cobwebby kind of scarf. 

And I bought a pair of wooden knitting needles, size 3.5 mm, which is a standard American size (size 4) but not a standard British size.   I bought a set of bamboo needles a while ago, in metric sizes, and I currently have two projects in progress that use the 3.5 mm needles, so it is very inconvenient having only one pair of needles in that size.

One ball of yarn and one pair of needles seems a bit meagre as the outcome of a visit to a fantastic yarn shop, but I am happy with my loot.  Next time, I'll be more prepared and leave a  space in my suitcase.

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