The oceans and pangea – see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya

June 3, 2011 § 11 Comments

I haven’t written about the 4th Leipziger Wollefest at all, and it’s almost been a week since that particular event of the year. Truth to be told I’m still slightly overwhelmed – I haven’t even gotten around to unpacking and stashing my purchases yet, although that might also be attributed to a distinct lack of space.

I spent an awesome Saturday in the truly packed garden behind the Strickcafé. It was kind of insane – when we got there at 11am, the line to get in went all the way to the street. So many people. Even more yarn.

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Oh, and what yarn! I think apart from Wollmeise, all the major players on the German handdyer scene were there, and honestly, even the Wollmeise couldn’t have improved the yarn selection available. (Also, let’s face it: as breathtaking as her colors are, she isn’t exactly adventurous with her fiber selection. So, yeah.) (I don’t mean to snub her, really, but having Wollmeise available to me on a regular basis has sort of taken the edge off the hysteric fangirling.)

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I swear, the Dibadu stand was crowded all day. I have no idea how I managed to get this photo, but it had probably something to do with it being fairly late.

I was especially delighted to see the gals from DyeForYarn/DyeForWool, whom I’d discovered a couple of days before on Etsy, and one of which, as it turns out, wrote the pattern for the stole I’ve been planning for one of the yarns I bought in Berlin. Go check them out; they’re two separate stores, but they work together and they’re absolutely equally amazing. Both the yarns and the women. One of them was wearing a gorgeous blue shawl, and Saskia and I spent a good half hour debating which pattern it was. It was a good thing the Wollefest is one of those rare places where you can just go up to someone and ask about their clothes, and people are delighted instead of confused or freaked out. It also turns out that Saskia was entirely correct in her ‘Aeolian shawl with narrow edging’ analysis. I’d say that the student has surpassed the master, but I’m too petty for that. Also I’m still the better knitter. Neener-neener.

Anyway, my haul this year, overall a slight departure from my usual color scheme (i.e. no green this time):

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from top to bottom: dibadu BFL roving; DyeForYarn fingering-weight BFL; some dreamy orange alpaca/merino/silk lace yarn (from Kreativmitwolle) that was my first and most impulsive purchase of the day; blue/maroon/rust-colored merino lace yarn from DyeForYarn (again, I left a lot of money there); a gorgeous merino lace yarn from dibadu; four and a half cakes of Jamieson and Smith; and the breathtaking purchase of the day: a 70% cashmere/ 30% silk lace yarn from DyeForWool that I’ve been fondling to a point where I find myself creepy. It’s gorgeous, and smooshy, and most of all DISCONTINUED, which is the most magical quality a yarn can have. (They still have a single skein in a chocolatey brown in their shop. Act fast if you want it!)

What I like about the DfY/DfW crowd is that they give their yarns awesome names: they had an ‘Ex-Peacock’ that was named for the Dead Parrot Sketch (I asked); the merino lace is called Trauriger Harlekin (sad harlequin) and there’s a Death of a Harlequin colorway too; the cashmere’s called ‘fading lichen on a graveyard’ (I had to pull it out to verify. Excuse me while I go fondle my yarn. Again. Did I mention it’s discontinued?) and the BFL’s name is ‘Shadowstorm at dusk.’

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(in the background: Saskia’s Malabrigo shawl. It’s really soft. How I know? Well, let’s just say she does this thing where she comes up to you and very subtly announces ‘oh wow, this shawl I’m knitting is really, really soft TOUCH IT.’)

That one, by the way, was one of the two skeins Saskia and I wound to balls right there and then, chilling out next to the spinning wheels while Annelie was producing some wacky art yarn or other. People seemed to be confused by the fact that we were winding manually instead of using one of the winder/swift combos that were set up all over the place, but I like winding by hand. Although in retrospect it might have been advisable to wind at least some of my yarn with some mechanical support instead of insisting on winding three skeins of very, very thin lace yarn by hand. I kind of went on a lace rage there. Saskia also went crazy, albeit not quite as crazy as I did.

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But still fairly crazy. Wollum is never far away, no, he isn’t, my precioussssss…

Speaking of crazy. They had this awesome friendship spinning wheel there which I kind of want? Except let’s not kid ourselves, what would I ever do with it. Except brag about it to everyone I know, and some people I don’t, and land myself in a mental institution two months later. So, uh… maybe next year.

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It’s this ingenious contraption where one person treadles, but three people can spin at the same time. I don’t know how that would work out in reality – my passing acquaintance with a wheel has shown that regular stopping and seeing what the hell you’re doing is of utmost importance at least for a beginner – but apparently there are also wedding wheels, where the spinners sit next to each other, and that’s just too adorable for words.

But yes. I got to show off my Armada…

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… Annelie got to show off her mad spinning skillz and baby belly due to an evidently miscalculated due date…

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… and it turns out that as opposed to the Wollefest two years ago, where I had to cajole and threaten Saskia into going there to bring me more money, and she was bored out of her mind, this year she got to show off some lace knitting of her own and also do wacky yarn stuff with me.

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It turns out that if you don’t have any knitting friends, a little yarny bribery goes a long way in creating some brand new ones. In your own home! With items commonly found around the house! Go try it today.

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§ 11 Responses to The oceans and pangea – see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya

  • Rosemary says:

    So. Much. Fun. And so much pretty. Sigh, I am jealous …

  • wollphilie says:

    it’s definitely a jealousy-inducing event, but then again, you live within driving distance of Rhinebeck, so, uh, right back atcha :P

  • kiwiyarns says:

    Oh my gosh. I’d so love to have gone to that. Your yarn purchases look gorgeous. I was you, I’d probably have bought 3x that amount!

  • wollphilie says:

    haha! I have really bad impulse control, so it’s a very, very good thing it’s cash-only and I only brought €100, or I would’ve come home a lot more laden than I did!

  • Mneme says:

    *sigh* it really was a good time and this is a good report on it :)

  • wollphilie says:

    thanks, Geli :)

  • Esther-May says:

    Ohhhhh! I just discovered your site and I love it! I am also a little obsessed with the Fibre business. Textures, colours, smell…Yarn has everything to make me loose my mind!
    Thanks for being around!

  • wollphilie says:

    oh, thank you :) I’m always glad to hear there’s actual people reading my ramblings!

    it’s funny that you mention the smell though – at the Wollefest we spent about half an hour sitting next to the spinning wheels smelling our yarns and meticulously squeeing about the differences in smell between silk, cashmere, BFL, alpaca… though to be honest smell isn’t usually a big part of knitting for me. Mostly because my hands usually rest rather low in my lap, I guess. Now, texture… sometimes I think I’m the only person in the world who likes touching Lopi as much as touching baby alpaca or cashmere. Sure, Lopi’s kind of scratchy, but it’s such an interesting texture (not to mention a very rewarding knitting experience)! What’s your favorite fibers?

    ETA: ooh, I see you’re in Toronto! I’ve heard good things about Lettuce Knit, is it really that good?

  • Esther-May says:

    How funny, I was at Lettuce Knit this afternoon :) It is a nice little shop, in a great location (Kensington Market). They carry good commercial brands but also locally hand dyed wool (no acrylics there). But if you want to go crazy, you MUST visit Romni Wool, on Queen street West. It’s the biggest wool store I have ever seen. You might even faint on your first visit. Name it, they have it! Malabrigo, Lopi, Rowan, etc. Wools from all over the world. But…That’s not all! In the basement, you will find all the discontinued yarns for sale at excellent discount prices AND all sorts of fibers for spinning. They also have the biggest inventory of accessories and tools, from needles to spinning wheels and spindles. I tell you, it is the candy store of yarn. (And I am not sponsored to say this :)).
    Esther

  • Esther-May says:

    About my favorite fibers? I woold have to say Suri/Alpaca, but many Merino bulky are nice to feel. And the smell…To me it is part of the experience.

  • wollphilie says:

    oh wow, that sounds amazing. I’m really, really envious right now! I’ll try to keep that in mind, although I probably won’t be that side of the pond for a bit… however, I might just have to come now :D

    So, dare I ask – being from Toronto, have you ever come across the Yarn Harlot in person?

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