Today we had a trip to Shilasdair in Hallin, Waternish, in north Skye. I've wanted to go there for a long time. They were looking for an apprentice last year and, if I lived nearer (it's 61 miles away from me), I'd have jumped at the chance. I'm not sure they would have been looking for such an old apprentice though...! Eva showed us the vats of yarns she was dyeing and told us about some natural dyes. It was incredible to watch the effect of indigo, how it oxidises and changes from yellow to blue... I had no idea...! Her yarns are just gorgeous and I particularly loved the baby camel hair yarn!! It was soooo soft. As was her cashmere - wow! And such beautiful colours. The shop is so well laid out with rows of different colours in different weights: Shetland wool - Aran and double knitting; cashmere mixes in double knitting; baby camel. I was in heaven. And my brain seized! Not enough time to decide - What should I buy? How much should I buy? What would I knit with it?!! In the end I bought some yarn for a gift and a 50g skein of cashmere in a gorgeous green for myself, for a loose lace scarf for the winter - £10 but worth it just for the joy! I'll take a photo in daylight (it's nightime now) and add it later. I swithered between green and my usual purple and others wanted me to get a turquoisey green but I went with the green I wanted - a yellow green - and was so happy later that I'd got it, so I knew I'd made the right choice. Ooo green makes me happy!
I was also delighted to find an undyed silk twist that should (I hope) be perfect for the bridal shrug in Vogue Knitting Spring Summer 2008 that I've said I'll knit for Donna's wedding in August. The pattern called for Tilli Tomas' Rock Star which is extremely expensive! I got 500g for £45. Use double, Eva and I worked out it should be enough. I hope so. It'll be a gift from all of us at RTT.
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On the ME front, that was a 120 mile round trip and I did the driving. I also had a car full of people, which is a bit of a novelty for me and what could have been a major distraction and stress addition. It was only about 15 months ago that I made my first big (lone) journey - a 75 mile round trip - and it exhausted me. All these little landmarks show how my health is improving. And there was torrential rain on the way back. I'm not saying I wasn't tired though...!
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Special Pal Question #3: What would you consider the perfect amount of stash?
Interesting question, considering how my brain froze at Shilasdair today. I concluded that I'm a little averse to collecting yarn and building a stash - it feels greedy and covetous! - and I don't like the idea of having a load of yarn just piling up. I didn't want to buy just a little for some future unknown project. I think I prefer to know what I'm knitting and to buy the yarn to go with it. However, I know that if I found something I couldn't get online and didn't expect to see again, I would snap it up (if I had enough cash!). Perhaps the yarn at Shilasdair wasn't unusual enough...
So, in conclusion, my perfect amount of stash would be one that topped up with enough for the next project while I'm still knitting the last one! Oh and a side stash of bits and pieces in all sorts of colours and textures for those ad hoc times when you need just a little for a trim or something! Clear as mud?!