Gosh, I didn't expect the new yarn to sell out overnight on eBay! Took me by surprise. I hadn't realised so many people felt a pull towards the ancient Celtic festivals but Samhain evidently rang a few bells. Here's a whole tray of skeins ready to be packaged up and sent off.
I always spend ages trying to squash the yarns into the tightest possible compass, squeezing out as much air as possible, so they'll fit into a resealable plastic bag and then into a padded bag securely. That way I can be sure they'll make the journey safely, and I know they'll spring out full of life at the other side, but I still hate to see them packed down tightly. They're free yarns and don't like being controlled. Yes, they all had a slice of thickly-buttered barm brack before setting out, so they'll be fine on their separate voyages to their new homes.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your kind commiserations on the recent yarn tragedy. No Angie, it wasn't blood. It was far far more serious. I mean, what can be more serious than shredded cashmere? I haven't had the heart to tell the mother cone and haven't had the heart either to wind up some more double thickness balls for getting on the with Red Sweater KAL. The event needs a few days to mend, to merge into the background. Muffy has been spending a lot of time under her cupboard since that little contretemps (little!) and I can hear the steady sound of clicking needles, but so far I haven't been able to pinpoint what's missing... And the heartbreaking comments I got from some of you (Jill, Vicki and others) about beloved pets now alas gone, for whom you would willingly trade every inch of yarn just to have them back, made me choke and give all my girls an extra hug (Muffy pretended she wasn't that impressed, she said I made her drop a stitch, but she was quite pleased really).
One or two of you wrote to say that Jamieson's of Shetland are indeed delightful but won't sell to the US or Canada. I've come across this with several places - one of my own favourite sources in the UK (Uppingham Yarns) doesn't even post to Ireland officially, only I rang them up and gave them a hard time (plus my credit card details). 'It's the postage,' explained the Uppingham director and Jamieson's said the same. 'Americans and other places far away won't pay the postage from here.' Why? I mean, why do they think that? Listen you guys, New World knitters are quite used to paying postage - they see the yarn, look at the costings, make the choice. So do it! This is a global village and if you want in, you'd better realise that.
Rachel H. sent me the most lovely surprise gift the other day. Isn't she a darling? Just look at these delights.
They all emerged beautifully from their tissue wrappings, one by one - a divine skein of sockweight from Fleece Artist, a superb mohair blend from Wellington Fibres - a Canadian producer I hadn't even heard of - by heck do you have a big country over there! - and that marvellous pattern by Alice Cooley for a shawl using just ONE skein of Seasilk, that everyone talking about. Plus - plus - plus - you see it on the right there, don't you? A SIGNED copy of Steph's classic.
What can I say? A copy signed by the woman who not only made me laugh uncontrollably and unstoppably but also gave me a new outlook on life and knitting - made it okay for me and for millions more to yearn after yarn, knit around the clock, start new projects every day, and know that it was OK. Best of all, who introduced us all to her and to each other thereafter, through weblogging. Go Steph, go! (And if you're reading this, take a rest, girl. Producing a book is worse than twins, worse than the flu, worse than a serious operation. You need time out to spoil yourself and get the elasticity back in life's rubber band.)
Rachel, you are the world's number one sweetheart. And I am already putting the pennies in the piggy bank to get to the Knitters' Frolic in Toronto next spring. To think of meeting up with you and all the other webloggers I've got to know through the Net - how great would that be?
You know what this reminds me of? A magazine called (I think) Sixteen, of which stray secondhand copies would find their way somehow to Cork in my early teenage days. It featured something called American Bandstand (bear with me, we didn't have all that much in the way of New World culture to get excited about back then) which was, I assume, a TV show with pop music and regular attendees on the dance floor. These regulars became minor stars in their own right, being interviewed and featured on the pages of Sixteen about their fashions, tastes, friendships, that sort of thing. And Sixteen then started a feature about a young girl who moves to wherever American Bandstand is recorded each week and actually gets to join in - to meet all the regulars. Wow, was she ever excited.
And that's what going to events and meeting other webloggers is like for me. You read and laugh and empathise from far away, and then one day you get to meet face to face and it's like old friends. I've said it before but it bears saying again - weblogging is a far greater force than is yet realised. We'll look back in old age and think, 'Hey, we lived through that - we saw it happen!'
A propos, I'm going to meet Julia at the Dublin Knit & Stitch Show on November 2! She's coming over from California and she's bringing me some dyes, the lovely helpful girl! Hope they don't get snatched at customs. They shouldn't - the Irish authorities would probably be fascinated to hear all about the process - they're like that. Still, fingers crossed.
Oh heck, got to go. Interview a road sweeper and then go to Die Fledermaus at the Opera House tonight. Love that show. Talk to you later.