Knitters appear to be no different than any other consumer, often getting caught up in the hype of a new pattern or yarn. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where or when or how one of these crazes begins, but suddenly everyone is knitting a Chevron Scarf, or everyone is scrambling for the same sock yarn. It’s an interesting phenomenon, one from which, I have to admit, I’m not immune.
Fortunately, my experience so far indicates that there’s a reason a pattern or yarn becomes “it” in the Knitting World – it really is fabulous. I love my Monkey socks and my Central Park Hoodie and I adore Socks that Rock and Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarns – they’re popular for a reason. But those patterns and yarns are relatively easy to get ahold of; there seems to be a current craze for the hard-to-get.
Wollmeise. Sock knitters start drooling just at the mention of this yarn which has almost reached magical status. It’s hard to find (it’s hand-dyed by one woman in Germany; the only US outlet I know of for it is The Loopy Ewe), it’s dyed in small quantities at somewhat irregular intervals (I think, actually, Claudia is dying yarn as fast as she can but she does have a life and needs to do things like sleep and eat once in awhile) and it’s snatched up the instant it goes on sale. The instant. (The Loopy Ewe had 300 skeins that they put up for sale on their website – unannounced – a couple weeks ago and it all sold in 4.8 minutes. Crazy.)
It is also possible to purchase Wollmeise yarn directly from Claudia in Germany. She posts yarn on Fridays (not every Friday, but many Fridays). Again, it disappears fast. If you happen to get to the site when there is yarn available, throw the yarn in your shopping basket (virtually speaking) and pay for it as fast as you can. Do not dither. It will literally (not virtually) disappear out of your shopping cart if you hesitate. (The smart thing to do is to register an account with the site and put together a wishlist; then check your wishlist on Friday and any yarns that are in stock will be indicated. From here you can add them to your cart and checkout quickly. Fridays are no time for window shopping; Fridays are serious) (I don’t know why I just told you that; I’m just creating more competition for myself!)
I got lucky; on my first try a couple weeks ago I went to the website almost on a lark. And there was yarn available! Hardly believing what was happening, I got two skeins. Interestingly, it’s no more expensive to buy the yarn from Claudia and have it shipped from Germany and, in spite of it’s rabid following, it’s no more expensive than any high-end, handpainted/hand dyed sock yarn that is more commonly available (especially considering the very generous yardage of 575 yards per skein!).
Shipping was super fast, considering it came from Germany – I ordered on July 11 and the precious package arrived in my clutches on July 25. And, really, what’s more fun than getting a package of sock yarn – from Europe?! Friday was a gooooooood day
The package did not disappoint. The colors are, simply, amazing. Intense, complex, rich, subtle. It’s difficult to tear your eyes away from them. Both of my skeins have very subtle color changes which means they’ll be perfect for complex patterns. The purple/blue skein is “Rittersporn” (meaning Larkspur or Delphinium, perfect for flowergirl) and was difficult to photograph; it’s more purple than the photo shows, with deep, lapis blue shading. The red/pink skein is “Dornroschen” (Sleeping Beauty) and while red and hot pink sounds like a wild color combination, it blends together beautifully. Also included in my beautiful package was a sample twist of worsted weight yarn in lemon green (very pretty, very soft) and a small package of gummy bears! Fun!
Of course, the real test will come with the knitting; I’ve used some yarns with gorgeous colors, only to be disappointed by the yarn itself. I like some substance and lots of softness. I have some other projects that have to be done first but I’ll be testing these out soon. I think they call for something special; in my book that’s a Cookie A sock pattern. I’m thinking “Twisted Flower” and “Marilinda”. Complicated and beautiful. Can’t wait!