It’s less than a week to Wonderwool Wales, one of the most tempting and completely insane events I have ever visited, and I’m thoroughly over-excited. There are going to be about 160 stands, almost all of which will be laden with goodies I cannot live without (though I might draw the line at trying to fit an actual alpaca in the boot of the car).
And now, of course, I spin as well as knit, so there’s even more I have to resist. Plus I’m growing my own…
There’s more to my problem, though. I went a wee bit mad last time (‘wee bit‘??) and then injured myself about a month later, so I haven’t really used much of the stuff I bought. And here we are again.
Last year I was very impressed by one of our knitting group who said, quite firmly, ‘I’m not buying any yarn’ and then stuck to it. She had achieved such Zen-like control by getting every single item in her stash out the night before.
So I decided that if I got my stash out, it might help me be more discriminating when faced with all the fabulousness that is Wonderwool.
I started to empty the old laundry basket that holds my stash. (Do not be impressed that I could fit it all in a laundry basket. It’s a big laundry basket, plus there’s the bag of shawl skeins, the bags behind the sofa and the basket on top of the laundry basket. And the one next to it. Stop looking at me like that. I know people with more.)
Part of the problem is my inability to turn away from a bargain, like a great heap of Twilley’s organic cotton at half price, a huge amount of 4-ply cotton from Save the Children, or a cone of emerald green cashmere (yo!) from another charity shop. You can just see the latter lurking beside the basket, being coy behind a plastic bag. It’s yummy. How could I resist that?
And then I have the willpower of a maggot when confronted with things such as Fyberspates laceweight or beautifully coloured alpaca:
I know just what I want to make with them, you see. (And they’re both from Wonderwool – 2009 and 2010 vintages.)
Then I stopped fondling my shawl yarns and added a few more bags:
Among this lot are some left-over yarns that I really must use up. I also found enough Yarnworks’ Donegal Tweed to make a garment, and it’s ages since this rather lovely heathery yarn was available. Some I found in a charity shop, some was left over from my early knitting and some came to me from a friend of a friend who had shockingly – whisper it low – given up knitting.
I’d no idea I had assembled so much. I’ve examined it closely and there’s no moth damage or anything like it. Now all I have to do is come up with a pattern; Fair Isle, I think – the colours seem to go together well.
I felt I’d achieved something, at least, so I ploughed on.
Time for me to put everything back, at which point the lid came off the laundry basket.
There was a basket of roving nearby, so I got that out too. Initially I was impressed; there wasn’t that much, and it was all delightful. These are a mix of Welsh Black and silk on the left, and dyed merino and silk on the right…
and they’re both from a Wingham Wools day that the Meirioneth Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers hosted in the summer. I could barely use my hand so I went along for the craic, the way you do.
But before I could start congratulating myself on my restraint, I remembered there was more in my spinning basket, and I had somehow forgotten to consider fleeces (not quite sure how, as there is one beside me now as I type, sitting in an old feed sack). Oops.
So, last night at the Knit and Natter, I announced my intention of not buying any yarn at Wonderwool this year. The Zen Mistress (who is excited herself, and had brought last year’s booklet for our WW virgins to look at) said ‘Look me in the eye and say that,’ and – oh dear – I couldn’t.