Guess Where I Went?
On Friday, ZMrK and I drove two hours to Northampton, MA, to hit the after-Christmas sale at WEBS. Believe it or not, this was my first trip to WEBS, and I was surprised to see how easy it is to get there! There's no twisty-turny streets to navigate; it's just exit 4 off the Pike onto I-91, then Exit 18 onto Route 5 and then one turn and you are THERE.
It is everything everyone says it is. You walk in to what looks like a really large yarn store, with nice displays everywhere. Oooh, pretty. THEN you go into one of the "sale" rooms, in which there are boxes and bags of yarn on the table and on shelves, priced drastically low. After you have perused that, you go back into the main room and walk along shelves of beautifully coned laceweight yarn, and you see some spinning wheels and fiber set up in front of an open door to another room, which looks to be a warehouse. This is the point of no return. You see that this is not only a warehouse, but there are people shopping from the warehouse, and it goes on seemingly forever. This is where ZMrK realized why this is the knitter's Mecca. Or maybe he already realized it. Do you want to know something that is not so a secret? He loves it! He loves shopping for yarn with me, and he has a really good eye for color and a good sense of touch. He's the perfect shopping companion -- he'll even tell me when something makes me look fat. Not that yarn ever makes me look fat, but if I'm trying on clothes and something looks horrible, he'll tell me. With yarn, he'll tell me if a color isn't me or if the yarn feels nasty and scratchy.
But what am I doing here, spilling my guts for?
You want to see what I bought?
10 skeins, Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK, in color "Hydrangea". I find this color to be very purply-pink but the receipt description says "bright pink". I paid $3.49 a ball for it, and am thinking of knitting Blaze from the fall 2004 knitty with this. I've already done a gauge swatch and, after blocking, it's a half inch too big so I'm going to give it some more thought. It's amazing yarn, though.
10 skeins, Gedifra Cotton Merino, in color "Ocean". Yup, a true blue. I don't have any immediate plans for this yarn but I'm open to suggestions. I have to keep in mind that it is about 48% cotton. It's worsted weight. I paid $4.99 a skein for it.
2 skeins, Artful Yarns Shakespeare in blue/grays. I grabbed these for some felting fun -- it might make a fun purse or another pair of fuzzy feet (even though I already have Malabrigo leftovers earmarked for fuzzy feet, but a girl can't have enough, right?). I also never tried it before, and at $5.79 a skein I figured I would take that gamble.
$1.49, and it was sitting there all alone amongst other yarn, so I took pity on the cute little skein of Shepherd Colour4Me. It's also machine washable, and will make a nice warm hat. Later I found a boatload of it in the warehouse, but decided to just go with the one.
This wasn't on major major sale, but I love the colorway and it was the only one of this colorway there. It's ONline Supersocke 100, and it was $10.46. This will be socks for me, and they'll be plain ordinary ribbed socks that I will love forever.
8 skeins, Artful Yarns Serenade in a blue-green colorway. I bought these because one of the free patterns ZMrK grabbed for me had a cute hooded t-shirt pattern that uses 8 skeins of this. It's cotton/angora, I think, and was about $6.00/skein.
Did I mention free patterns? Yup, in one of the sale rooms there were a few bins of free patterns, with a limit of 10 per customer (although they really didn't care if there were more than 10, or at least my cashier didn't). ZMrK went through all of the bins (there were about 5) as I fondled yarn and ran them by me to see which ones I wanted. He also made sure to point out the fugliest fug on there, because, as he pointed out, "there's a reason these are free". I found some really nice ones, though, and I don't have pictures of them right now. Maybe when I use them I'll take a picture.
Oh, so the above is it for my haul. Not bad, right? Here's my grand total:
I don't think the damage is that bad. I have three sweaters' worth of yarn in there, plus a pair of socks and a hat. I passed on the cashmere that was about $7.00/skein because I wasn't really sold on the pastel colors. I passed on the cones of alpaca/silk laceweight because I want to get better at knitting lace before I go house on buying laceweight (not to mention that I already have purchased more laceweight that you need to know about). The only thing I could have done is perhaps buy more of the Jaeger Extra Fine Merino in another color, because the stuff is really nice. There's always next year, though, as well as the Tent Sale that happens in May (I think it's the week before the MA Sheep and Wool Fest, which is why I haven't gone to that. Two weekends in a row driving that far is a little too much, right?)
I'm now nearly finished with one of my Poseidon socks.
Can you see the cute little dolphins on them?
I switched from the Pony Pearl DPNs to some KnitPicks circular needles, and it went much faster. One of the DPNs has a tiny split at the tip and my yarn kept getting snagged, which was a PITA. This is one tough-ass pattern too. I read the instructions for the edging on the cuff, which made me scratch my head and go knit something else (in this case, the swatch for Blaze). It involves slipping stitches onto waste yarn and knitting flat, even though it's at the top of the sock, and it just made my brain all lazy so I'll take care of it some other time (you know, when I'm not preoccupied by New Yarn).
It's the last day of my post-New Year vacation, and I have to go to work tomorrow. Remember how in my last post I was so gung ho about getting out of the house, and going to the gym, etc? Pfft. I haven't been to the gym at all in 2008. The last time I went to the gym was December 30, 2007. I'll go tomorrow, and start A Schedule, but for the past week there hasn't been much of A Schedule, and I have done a lot of Sitting On My Ass (SOMA). I haven't been completely lazy though. Here's a list of things I did while SOMA:
1. Organized the photos on my desktop. I deleted several that I no longer need, and put the rest into a folder titled 'BURN' with different subfolders for different subjects so we can easily locate, say, our photos from Puerto Rico or photos of Zelia.
2. Organized my loose patterns. I had a bunch of them stuck into a looseleaf notebook, and I put the page-a-day calendar patterns into looseleaf pages with little photo-sized slots, and organized everything by what it is (hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, baby stuff, socks, etc.) and have a different folder for each. These folders are in my nice new magazine box purchased at the comic store, along with my Interweave Knits back issues.
3. Organized my jewelry boxes, and cleaned my silver jewelry. I used my mom's method of water with a splash of ammonia and Dawn dish detergent. The scuzzier pieces needed a gentle brushing with a tooth brush, but they are all shiny now. I threw out a bunch of crap that was beyond hope too. This required me to Get Off My Ass a few times, so I could go out to the kitchen to throw jewelry into my container of cleaner, and also to throw stuff in the trash can. That's exercise, right?
4. Organized my side of the bedroom. Okay, somewhat. I organized the jewelry boxes like above, and I also put away my clean clothes and got Crap I Don't Need off the dressers. I also draped some nice fabric on my dresser to hide Crap I Need But Don't Want to Display. I did have to Get Off My Ass a few times for this, too.
5. Taught myself how to crochet! I'm about 40% done with a Cute Project, and my hands sure do hurt. I think I'll be taking a breach from any knitting or crocheting until perhaps Tuesday.
6. Watched a lot of movies. At least I knit or crochet while doing so (when I'm not eating, that is). I think knitting or crochet while SOMA watching TV burns 54 calories an hour, which is better than just SOMA watching TV, doing nothing else, right?
I also want to show off what my Secret Pal, Criosa sent me!
Not pictured in this photo is the DVD of "Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas" and the knitting girl sour apple mints.
Here's the Berroco Soft Twist:
There are four skeins, in a gorgeous blue. What should I make with it? (I'm wondering if it would make a nice slinky spring mini-Clapotis).
Here's the gorgeous laceweight:
There's 400+ yards of it, and it's a wool boucle. I have a surprisingly lot of options for it; I just want to see what it looks like knitting up first. I have a few ideas though.
I took a picture of the sequins that were floating around in the box too:
I just thought they were cute and wanted to save them. ZMrK used some of them for his daughter's Xmas stocking (she has five, I think, including the one he made for her this year, which she took with her. Next year he'll make her her sixth one! I need to make him a new stocking, too, as his is literally falling apart because it's about 30 years old and one more CD will be the death of it).
Oh, and speaking of Christmas and yarn . . .
1 skein, Ellen's Half Pint Farm Wool/Bamboo sock yarn (from ZMrK), and
1 skein (3100 yards!) merino-silk laceweight from Skaska Designs. This was a gift from Ken!
I don't know how the little bugger got past my parents to Rhinebeck to buy that for me without ZMrK or me seeing him, but he did!
Calling him a little bugger is being kind. That little bastard bites:
He's gotten me two or three times on the leg today, and I'm bruised from it. He'll just jump up, wrap his paws around my leg, and give a good bite and hang on. Ouch!
He does have his good points, though. Here's how cute he is when he wants to be fed:
And here he is when he thinks no one is watching, making bread on (or humping?) my pajama pants: