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Swiss + Wulle = yay!

I don’t need more yarn.

I don’t need more yarn. 

“Mommy, you DON’T NEED MORE YARN.”

And yet, it’s really exciting discovering new yarn, and new sources of yarn. Isn’t it?

I’ve seen so many glorious hand-dyed (and other) yarns over the years since running Purlescence, you’d think I might be becoming jaded. I certainly don’t expect to be overcome with yarn lust so easily these days. My stash is more than full, and I know well enough that while this amazing skein may indeed be one of a kind, there is always More Yarn (equally amazing). I can leave a yarn shop emptyhanded (though I try not to, because I love them and want them to be happy). But I didn’t come home from the Swiss Wulle Festival emptyhanded. (Even if SOME people <coff>daughters<coff> might say I should have…) I’d say I was pretty restrained, really, but still: stash enhancement has occurred… and nobody could possibly argue that my stash actually needed the enhancement. 

If I tell you all about it, can we pretend I was just doing my bit to educate you?

1. The first thing that had to come home with me was one of the first things I saw: this intriguing silk/modal mix from Zitron. That’s not a blend I’m used to seeing in clothing at all, and I can’t think of any other such yarn. So this is a curiosity purchase: I just have to play. (It was sold by retailer Einzig-ART-Ix. They also had hand-dyed silk laceweight in highly delicious colourways, so I’m going to claim restraint points for buying only this one thing.)

2. I couldn’t resist these two gradients from Hungarian dyer Bilum – the coppery tones felt just right for my autumn mood, and as for that sparkly black-to-raspberry one, well.  I’m not sure if I have to blame my 6-year-old daughter for this one or if it’s enough to just say: sparkly black to raspberry gradient!

3. I’m obviously a bit of a gradient fiend, since three of my four acquisitions follow this trend. This BFL from Woolworxx (they call it Die Vielfältige – “the versatile one”) is the same yarn that I used for my Hap cardigan, which is the most worn thing I’ve made in years, and one of the most complimented ever. I love this loosely spun, earthy, energetic yarn so very much. In the skein, it doesn’t seem as compellingly soft as, say, a merino – every dyer seems to be working with the same merinos and merino/silk blends, and they’re undeniably lovely, but I fear the pilling. And… dare I say I’m kind of bored with those yarns? They just feel so very samey. But this BFL is a breed apart. (Sorry.) It waves, it blooms, it plays. And when you’re knitting it, you never want to stop. Suddenly you feel how amazingly soft it is, how it seems to stroke you as you work. You can’t wait to wear this lively, cozy, comforting, vibrantly coloured thing, except that wearing it will mean you won’t be knitting it any more, and that will be a crying shame, and… Yeah. So I have another ball now. I can’t wait to have a play and dream up something wonderful. 

How disciplined is that? Just four balls! Think of everything I DIDN’T buy! But of course I have a list of hot favourites to try just as soon as I need new materials…

Siidegarte (dyed by the festival co-organiser, Fides) is already well known. Gorgeous silk blends (from a Swiss mill that also supplies Handmaiden), luxurious colours. The familiarity of the bases (after my years retailing Handmaiden) partly accounts for my astounding ability to resist. For now. But I was particularly pleased to see a yarn that’s not (yet, I hope) on their website; the same base as Fyberspates’ now discontinued Faery Wings. That mohair/silk blend is amazing – lustrous, soft, haloed and charmingly crinkly – and having a local supplier, with glowing, refined colours? Brilliant news.

Atelier Ariadne‘s corner was tonal perfection. (Unlike my photos. Sorry, Ariadne.) Gorgeous felt art and yarn (merino, alpaca, mulberry silk), all naturally dyed.

But the biggest discovery – and greatest temptation – was Snailyarn. Again, the bases were familiar; but this is a dyer who seriously knows what she’s doing. There’s only one other dyer I can think of who is equally confident with intense, saturated colours, playful variegateds and complex, even mysterious soft shades (possibly the hardest of all to get right). That dyer is the legendary Tony of hard-to-get Posh Yarn. Now, comparisons are odious; you shouldn’t think that Snailyarn’s Valentina has a similar colour sense to Tony. Their styles are quite distinct (and Valentina does repeat colourways!). But they’re both amazing. I don’t know when last I’ve stood at a yarn booth completely stunned by how much of the offering is calling my name, and how LOUDLY. (Woolly Wormhead was also drooling a little at this booth, but she is clearly much stronger than I, or perhaps more practised at snap decisions: she snaffled a very beautiful skein of sock yarn, pretended to apologise for stealing it from me, and fled.) And I don’t even have a picture for you! My only excuse is that I was completely stunned – both days – and couldn’t wield a camera at the same time as fighting the gravitational pull of ALL THE YUMMY. You have been warned.

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