Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hudson Valley Yarn Crawl!!

I woke up bright and early to meet Katy, Michelle, Jess, and Blogless Ruth for an adventure in the country!

Michelle met us with coffee and awesome muffins, and we headed out as soon as we all had arrived. Our first stop was the home of some fabulous alpaca! where Kelly showed us her alpaca and we learned about alpaca farming/owning and the things that alpaca owners think about.

I'm bad with names, so I don't remember what these alpacas' names are. But here Kelly is feeding them. If I had such beautiful animals, I'd probably have just as big a smile as Kelly does.

I think the brown one's named Cayenne and I have no idea about the name on the white one.

Then all of a sudden the alpaca started lining up and walking towards the barn in the distance. We were quite perplexed, but Kelly informed us that they usually get fed around that time at the barn, so we followed them (in single file as well) and were herded along by the best herd dog I've seen. We watched Kelly feed the female alpacas (is there a term for that?) and eventually wandered back to the car and back to the road.

Our travels took us to the Morehouse Merino Wool store. We wandered around the amazing store for quite some time. Not only was this place HUGE, but it also had a huge array of colors, other kinds of wool paraphernalia (roving and mats for dogs and all sorts of cute things like ram dolls). They had a huge selection of books to peruse as well. While I was there, I walked away with a kit for making a beret. I'm pretty excited about it and the wool is sooooo splendidly soft! I was tossing it back and forth as to whether I wanted to get the yarn for the Berkshire Pullover from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick. I would get the bulky Morehouse merino yarn that the pattern calls for in a blue tint called Moonlight (which I just noticed isn't on the website....*cringe*). It looks like a quick and easy knit, and the yarn was soooo soft. I'm feeling really stupid for not having bought it. But I should at least figure out if I'm getting any money back from the government for my taxes before I spend it (and damnit I'd better be getting some back!).

Anyway, after that we went through woods and on some nice dirt twisty roads. We had fun in the car. And we wound up somewhere called Countrywool. It was a really cute store. There was all sorts of different kinds of yarn there (including some forbiddingly soft cashmere!). In fact, I have a confession to make; until we went to Countrywool, I was pretty sure I didn't like Cascade at all. I probably based this on the Peruvian wool that I used to make my cousin's hat. The yarn kept splitting and it was scratchy and all that. I thought it was cheap. However, I have renewed my interests in Cascade. I liked making the socks for my mom out of Fixation, and am thinking of making my brother's sweater out of their superwash wool (cause damnit, he's gonna toss it into the washer anyway). It was soft enough for me to consider it, and I think the stitches would show up well in it. Each ball has a decent amount of yardage too, so there might not be that many ends.

We grabbed lunch in Rhinebeck, home of the most amazing fiber festival ever, and headed off again to Yarn Central. This place is home of Schaffer Yarns, and the Schaffer Yarns yarn they had there was pretty nice. They also had a lot of Berroco Yarns and other stuff. The woman there was so nice! It was so happy and cozy!!

After that short stop, we headed back to the road and over to Kelly's house to see the yarns she gets out of those beautiful alpacas. Que the "I can't decides."

Here's Michelle debating which yarns she should get:
You can see the look of pure concentration and weighing of pros and cons in that face!

I ended up walking away with some yarn from Luna and some from an alpaca that wasn't Kelly's but that I couldn't resist because it was just so soft. She told me the name of the alpaca, but I've since forgotten it. We spent about an hour there. And this is what Michelle still looked like:
You can see the concentration has started to fade and she's becoming giddy.

Of everyone, I probably got the least amount of yarn. I've been trying to deplete the stash before I get into more new yarn. However, I'm seriously regretting not getting the Morehouse merino bulky yarn. I have no doubt, however, that I will end up going there sometime in the near future. I've also heard that they're at the Union Square market, which is both exhilarating and frightening. I can like, call them and ask them to bring 9 balls of the desired color and they might do just that. This is a sort of yarn buying that is highly dangerous. But I'm very excited about starting the Birdwatcher's beret. It'll probably be done really quickly. I'm still working on the Embossed Leaves Socks, I have to put the neck on Angie, and I still need to get jump rings for the Hip Scarf that I'm designing. With all these projects, I think I'll have to put the Berkshire Pullover on the backburner for now (which is where it kind of started anyway).


MUD said...

Great pics, Jenn! I think the white alpaca's name was Star. And I bet you can get that moonlight merino with a simple phone call. For better or worse, that yarn is going to make its way into your arms...

Katy said...

You need the Morehouse yarn.
You need the Morehouse yarn.
You need the Morehouse yarn.

hee hee

Jessica said...

I thought his name was Marshall!
I vote that you call them, Jenn. That sweater looks so warm and wonderful--I think it would be a good cheer-up present after your ambivalent feelings about Angie. You could have it in your hands by Wednesday....

Johanna said...

I hate/love to be your enabler, but yes, Morehouse is at Union Sq. every Weds (through Memorial Day, I think) -- I'm sure they'd be happy to bring you whatever you like! =) Great pix -- sounds like you guys had a fantastic day!

PassionKNITly said...

My bank account hates you all.

Heather said...

do it, DOOO IIIT! hehehe - I'm just jealous!!

Emily said...

What a cool Fiber Field Trip. I can't imagine the will power it took you to not buy that yarn. How long do you think THAT's gonna last?

Judy Schmitz said...

I don't mind being an enabler!
I carry morehouse, so whenever you get the itch, feel free to come by, plus, I shoot the actual yarn colors, I don't use the color square swatches, so you can really see the fiber. Happy to host upstate knitting attacks, too! I'm in Barrytown, near red hook, on the river!
Judy Schmitz