I’m going to take the liberty of looking back on a few events/projects that have happened recently (but before before this blog), mainly because I want to capture the experiences for myself. The two or three of you out there who are actually reading this can come along for the ride, if you like.
A couple of weeks ago, we took our regular Thursday night knit and chat session on the road. Instead of our usual evening at a local cafe, we headed off down to Ancaster, just outside of Hamilton, which is home to the lovely Needle Emporium shop. More specifically, it’s home to the Needle Emporium’s Tent Sale.
Picture this: an idyllic afternoon in early June, with the sun shining and the trees just bursting with fresh, lush leaves. Four of us carpooled together from Waterloo, though we met at least two other Waterloo knitting friends there. We drive down off the escarpment into Ancaster, past lovely old stone buildings and brick homes, and a few minutes before 7:00, we pull into the church parking lot. A crowd of knitters is already assembled by the door to the church hall — I’d guess maybe 50 people, mostly women, ranging from tweens to seniors. We chatter about strategy: what do you hope to find? We share shopping bags with each other, making sure we each have a couple of big fabric bags. None of the four of us have ever been to this sale, though it’s an annual event, and it seems clear that most of the assembled crowd are regulars.
Finally, the door opens, and the crowd presses in. Julie, the store owner, passes out plastic bags to those who need them; everyone makes a beeline to the piles of yarn. Everything is sorted by brand and weight. 100 gram balls are $6; 50 gram balls are $3. One end of the room is oddments, at $1 apiece, regardless of weight.
Within a few minutes, the Noro is all gone. I scooped some into my arms, not taking the time to see if any of it matches, but it turns out when I finally pausde to sort through it that I scored three matched pairs of balls of Kureyon. (I put the other two balls back.) Others were diving into piles of Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Blue Sky Alpacas, Colinette, and oodles of sock yarns. There are yarns by the bag, and I hung onto a bag of pure silk sportweight yarn that would have made a pretty summer cardigan — for $30! — but eventually convinced myself to put it back. (It was an oatmeal-grey heathered colourway, which would look lovely on someone else, but sickly on me…)
This was a serious mob scene. It was definitely the knitting equivalent of the Klondike Gold Rush, or one of those wedding-gown sales they talk about in New York City. A total whirlwind — but (with only a handful of exceptions) a remarkably polite one. People were sharing tips on where the best finds were, handing each other things that were out of reach, and generally being total enablers for one another.
As for me, what did I end up with?
Well, I spent under $70, including tax, and I was quite proud of myself. Yeah, okay, that’s still a fair bit to spend on glorified string — but oh, what gorgeously glorified string!
I got 8 tiny 10 gram balls of pure angora, in black, for 5/$1. I got other blends of angora, silk, mohair, alpaca, merino… The most ‘basic’ yarn I bought was a skein of Cascade 220, for $1.The full Flickr set, with detailed stash photos, is here. (There’s even a shot of my receipt, just for proof that I really did behave myself and stick to a budget!)
I sat down once I got home, and roughed out what the yarns in my shopping bag would normally have cost. I’d be surprised if they were worth less than $300… Now, of course, I just have to figure out what exactly I’m going to DO with all of it!