Monday, October 30, 2006


I dragged half of the family out to the Yolo Wool Mill for the Mill-In this weekend (the other half were living the good life at Grandma’s house).

The mill is a tiny little outfit just north of Davis, California. They are one of the last places around where you can send a crummy little 10 pound fleece and have it processed into whatever you like, batting, roving, sliver, or all the way to yarn of two or three plies.

They gave tours of their equipment, most of which is vintage 1920s stuff. ‘Cool’ is too mild a word. My husband was positively drooling all over it!

The people were really neat. It was a small but fun gathering of fiber geeks enthusiasts; a handful of vendors with assorted cool things and of course, the mill put out its own yarns and fibers for sale.

Oh-oh-oh! And one of the vendors had done the Irish Diamond Shawl that nearly sucked the soul out of me I finished last year, done in a stunning red tweed.

And now I must knit it again.

In a stunning red tweed.

Thankfully, it was fairly light on the ‘yarn to purchase’ category. I mean, they had lots of yarn there – but mostly it was stuff I’ve already got umpteen tons of so I had very little temptation, really. I did still manage to have a slight llama-related accident:


And also, I bought some roving. It is apparently rather camera-shy, because the pictures I tried to take turned out pretty blech. I got a big bag of cheap stuff (mixed up wool) to practice on, and a small bag of very nice stuff (black and white) that hopefully I can turn into, you know, actual yarn.

On the way home, Danger Mouse’s sweater was finished…


I started a shawl yesterday morning on the theory that I was a little tired of DK-weight sweaters on 3.5mm needles and needed a little breaky-pooh. So I got out the laceweight alpaca and the 5.0mm needles and cheerfully cast on a stunning little example of lacey femininity.

About the 4,206th time I was extracting the laceweight yarn from one of the fissures in my chapped fingers (or peeling it out of a crack in my fingernail), I realized that I am really just not cut out for laceweight yarn. There is a reason why the ladies who produced the incredibly delicate Shetland laces were exempt from housework, and I learned all about it yesterday.

So I cussed and cried and threw my knitting across the room in disgust calmly put away the laceweight alpaca and the 5.0mm needles, and cast on Eldest’s sweater…

Yet Another Norwegian Sweater

Happiness is yarn that is of the same class as oneself.

Laceweight is too fine, too highly bred, too delicate for the likes of me.

I am meant for good old fashioned wool yarn. Stuff that can glide over my fingers, even when as chapped as they are right now from the endless housework and hand-washing that comes with Mommyhood. Stuff that doesn’t cling like the cobwebs I should be scraping off the walls, or catch on every blessed surface as though it were made of Velcro.

I especially love DK-weight wool.

It knits up so nicely on 3.5mm needles…


SamD said...

Yet _another_ awesome sweater done and that's WITH all those kids and that impress hell out of me lady!

PS my Dale book came and intimidated me something fierce till I colored the graph with pencils...but I have to do her Wintergarden first (which is just as well since the pattern is friendlier.)

Susan said...

I'm with you on the finger chap limitations! Went out at lunchtime to the nearest JoAnn's to ostinsibly purchase birthday gifts for my niece but of course I had to cruise the yarn aisles and feel up all the voluptuous wares. Moda Dea's Ticker Tape ribbon yarn cast its come-hither fiberlicious colors at me and like Homer to the Sirens I was drawn in. Thought I'd never escape. It was just like trying to throw away static charged cellophane. You pluck it off one hand and it sticks to the other so you try shaking it off but it only sticks even more...

Anyway, I've given up on silky underwear too for the same reason (it has nothing whatsoever to do with the 15 extra pounds I'm wearing).

Perhaps I should have introduced myself before dropping this giant delurk bomb on your comments section. I found you by way of... oh I can't remember but I probably started from Crazy Aunt Purl and meandered my way here. V. entertaining blog.

PipneyJane said...

I have a cure for chapped hands. Learnt it by trial and error in my nursing days, when I had the softest hands on every ward I ever worked on. It's Ponds Dry Skin Cream (the one with the blue lid/blue band on the lid). Slather on a thick layer at bedtime and leave it to soak in (even a light layer takes 20 minutes).

- Pam