I recently joined my local knitting guild. It seems to be a pretty good group of people. Certainly they are very talented. I am about a generation younger than most of them, but I learned something very, very important from them today: older knitters have better yarn. Or maybe it's just that this is a particularly affluent guild, being located as it is in one of the more expensive areas of coastal California. Whatever. I don't care. The guild had a yarn sale yesterday. Members donated their unwanted yarn and the guild put it up for sale to raise money. I was expecting their cast-offs to look like my cast-offs; you know, the bulky neon green acrylic, the half ball of leftover alpaca, and the scratchy magenta thick-and-thin wool that I bought online before I learned how to decipher online descriptions?
Hah! The very first bag I picked up was 22 (count them!) balls of Bluefaced Leicester at an absurdly low price--so low that my brain momentarily short-circuited, leaving me completely paralyzed for a good two minutes, and causing me to miss out entirely on several other equally good deals because I couldn't get my hands to release the bag long enough to grab the 1200 yards of handpainted worsted from Twisted Sisters ($20) or the 6000 yards of cream colored lace weight alpaca ($10) or the 20 balls of leaf-green mohair ($10). And this was all at the first table! By the time I recovered enough to check out the other two, there was nothing left that I wanted, although there were some lovely things. I can only be thankful that my temporary paralysis prevented me from flinging my body across the table and screaming, "Mine, mine, it's all mine!" like a raving lunatic.
What really surprised me was that most of the women barely gave the yarn a glance. There were ten or fifteen of us rummaging through the yarn, but most of the other 200+ women in the guild were sitting quietly in chairs, working on their latest projects or wandering around socializing. There was even yarn left over--and not crap yarn, either! I passed on about 40 balls of lovely superwash merino in heather grey and cream colors which were still there (calling my name mournfully) when I left, and there was a whole table of summer yarns in primary colors that don't look good on me but would be gorgeous on someone else. All I can think is that these must be some privileged (or very stoic) knitters!
So, anyway, does anyone know what I can make out of 2300 yards of worsted weight bluefaced leicester in a beautiful camel color? Since most of my sweaters take about 1100 yards of worsted weight, and the largest sweater I ever made, with a 50-inch chest and allover cables, still took less than 2000 yards, I'm thinking maybe a house cosy?