It's my Mum's birthday next month, and she wants me to crochet a bag for her so today we went the local woolshop to choose the yarn. It's Patons cotton (DK) - this cotton is a lovely yarn, there's nothing better. So I have to start it this weekend...
Of course, while I was there I spied this lovely yarn in the sale bin. A gorgeous tweedy purple, so I bought all 11 balls - Patons wool tweed. It's DK but the shop owner assured me it would also knit up as a light aran on larger needles. So this has gone into my winter stash box, i.e. wool for knitting up later in the year. I've no idea what I'll do with it, but that's half the fun!
Then we went off to Fairfield yarns to look for nice remnant yarns. Originally the idea was for Mum to buy me a particular garden tool for my birthday next week, but this tool proved hard to get and ridiculously expensive so I suggested she should buy me some yarn instead. She's a bit aggrieved because my finds were too inexpensive! Anyway, we start with a lovely Italian yarn which looks so much better in the flesh than in the photo. It's a lovely shiny yarn, brown with flecks in it, mostly a blue/green colour. I'm told it contains linen, viscose and some other things, but he was unable to locate another cone with the label intact.
And this is a silk/cotton mix, slightly slubby so will knit up into a textured sweater, I think. This also has flecks of other colours in it, mostly light blue and green, so I'm looking forward to starting with this.
And another thing for my winter stash - lambswool in a lovely petrol colour. Why do we call blue green "petrol"? It's not like it actually resembles the colour of petrol, which has no colour at all. Anyway, I fell in love with this colour as soon as I saw it. Gorgeous.
I like knitting with coned yarns, but you do have to swatch rigorously, something I'm not particularly good at generally. The first thing I'll do is wet one end of the yarn to see what happens - coned yarns are often wound so tightly they're compressed so you don't see the full effect. Once I've determined roughly what thickness the yarn will be once knitted and washed, I can start experimenting with swatches and different needle sizes. I'm very lucky to have a remnant shop nearby, the variety of yarns available is amazing. Most of them are fine, some too fine for handknitting, but there are some glorious mixes and unusual yarns - baby camel, alpaca, silk, cashmere, angora and designer yarns.
So I have a gansey to progress, Sanquhar gloves to finish (made good progress this week), a birthday present to crochet and itchy fingers as I want to make a start on these new yarns...
Oh, and I also have to work for a living, shame.