Thursday, October 19, 2006

so I went to Ally Pally too,

and all I got was this, and this, and this, and this, and some other things as well.... and I may have also fitted in a trip to the elegant and helpful Stash Yarns too. (And this is long and rambling, but if I don't show the haul, I know I will be mugged by some people. You know who you are.)

So first there is the sock yarn. And this year the theme is breadth - in a campaign to trial as many sock yarns as possibly, all different (and let us not mention that some may already reside in the sock yarn box, for they are in different colour ways, and yea, that does not count). From left to right, bottom to top, with names and all (because some people will insist), Koigu KPM, no.2, Lorna's Laces in Douglas Fir, Cherry Tree Hill in Water, Hipknits (cos it is cashmere, and after day 1 at Ally Pally, my feet were threatening a coup), Trekking XXL, no.66, and finally Fleece Artist, in the colourway without a name.

And then there was the must get things for lace and such like, and isn't some gift-giving season approaching, and of course I can knit up this much between now and then, and finish everything else too.
Lounging across the bottom, Cherry Tree Hill's Cascade Fingering, in Spring Frost. A pretty pastel 2200 yards (just about 2000 metres) laceweight, again from Hipknits, and again because it is cashmere - which I am strongly thinking should just be made into a portable pillow, permanently attached to my head, so any time I am out and about, and maybe feeling just a little stressed, I can just pet it and pet it and love it and pet it, and rest my weary head on it, and then everything bad will go away. And finally some more Fleece Artist, this time Handmaiden's Sea Silk, in Vintage, with a matching skein of silk Rumple. I see scarves in my future.

But then, I made the mistake of being a sheep, and visited Piiku, because Ruth said so, to get some grey roving and some undyed carded fleece. And because I will not be beaten by a spindle.
And I compounded the sheepishness, by following Yvonne to Catalina and their shawl pins, and then to Taj and their Wagtail mohair (which is so soft it would make anyone wag their tail).

You think this is enough, don't you. But I found the Habu stall. At which point a hazy mist comes down, and I come over all wonderment at what the Japanese spinners can do with cotton and silk and bamboo and wool and copper. And I have to have it, all.
(When even serious stashers were impressed by my Habu haul, do you think I should be worrying? And please don't ask what I am going to do with this, because I think it is rude to ask people questions when you know they don't know the answers.)

And yes, there were some other bits and pieces, including knitting needles, because I am stupid enough to go to a show, in order to buy yarn, in order to facilitate yet more playing with yarn, and then remember that in an effort to pack light (more room for yarn, you see), I had decided to leave all needles at home. Well, faced with a week away from home, brand new and interesting and gorgeous yarn, and no needles, what would you do?

There was much to do, and much to see. There was helping out on the Relax and Knit stand (where I did try to be helpful, really I did), and the strange refusal of a ball of Possum yarn from Yvonne, who is truly a goddess of all things good and fibre-y (I have no idea what happened, I think I had just shut down by then). There was the meeting of many, many people. And the meeting of many, many bloggers. (What is the collective noun for bloggers, by the way? And is there a separate noun for that strange sub-group, knit-bloggers?). I finally met Mary-Lou, and have solved the mystery as to why I knew I liked her (well, I like her for other reasons, but she knows what I mean), bought some of her stitch markers - which arrived home before I did, and in considerably better shape - and generally discussed all matters of the world with her. I finally met the absolutely irrepressible WyeSue, who should have been a gibbering wreck, after all the shows she has been at recently. But she wasn't, and I don't think she ever is, and I think under her direction short people should rule the world (cos I'm short too, and we rock).

I met Jan who is extraordinarily generous, and a wicked hat fighter, and another Sue, who sat there all composed and helpful, despite sacrificing some of her crochet hooks to Relax and Knit beginners, and despite being tormented by a certain yarn manufacturer's fashion show. And there was Fred, who would come and tell us we were all knitting too slowly, seeing as he was supervising the Speed Knitters. (And I saw the fastest knitter, who works continental and on circulars, though on straights for the trials, and it just shouldn't be possible.) And I know there were many others, and at this point I would just like to remind you that I am useless at being organised to keep a track of names and faces (and I would refer you to those who are far more together), in the presence of so much fibre, so many knitters, and so, so many people with inexhaustable supplies of good humour. It may not be considered the coolest pasttime, to play with fibre, but it surely makes those who do deeply happy.

Finally, my heartfelt thanks to Ruth, who took me in, got her angel partner Tom (a handsome angel too) to rescue us from the train station, fed me pizza and wine and coffee (real coffee, proper, real, thick, strong coffee), let me play with her cats, let me sleep on her sofa, let me talk fibre until far too late in the night (she talked, and I listened - she knows what she is talking about, I am just very, very good at the bs), showed me her cat and dog hair blanket, but wouldn't let me steal her Hitchhiker, and all while all she wanted to do was play and experiment and design new and beautiful hats.

And now I have to go and finish with the laundry.