We knitters know all about the fabulous yarns that come to us from Europe -- we may even whisper the names of the great mills in our sleep. Colinette... GGH... Lana Grossa... Wollmeise...
But the sad truth is that, while great yarn may come FROM Europe, it's getting harder and harder to find great yarn IN Europe.
Perhaps someone knows the reason(s) for this better than I can surmise: are they sending it ALL to the United States, to supply our seemingly-endless appetite for stash accrual? [If so, shouldn't we be willing to share just a little with less fortunate knitters around the world? Those who don't have a Churchmouse or an Acorn Street in the next town?] Or are we the custodians of the craft for now, while Europeans give it a rest for a while? [It certainly seemed as though the wave came over from here in the late eighties, when I came back from Germany and was a lonely knitter in the days before cyberspace and the knitlist and ravelry...]
Well, whatever the reasons, the truth is plain to see:
My hometown, which used to sport no fewer than NINE yarn stores (Nine! for a town of less than 40,000!) (Nine!), now has only one full-on yarn store, and two departments in larger stores, both of which are rather scant.
Germany is, of course, the undisputed King of Self-Striping Sock yarn. I continue to remain unmoved by Opal (someone, please try to convince me of its merits - there is some on sale over here at the big department store, but at these exchange rates, I ain't buyin' unless someone's got some overwhelming reasons for me).
But this Lana Gatto Meilenweit Stripes was a-callin' my name, given its Karen-color-ness:
Self-striping, for wide stripes. I like these striping patterns for making welted socks, for my Cuff Craze workshop (plug plug plug).
And then there's the Couldn't-Resist-It-Boutique Yarn:
This 100% silk, sport-to-DK weight, came from a fabulous little shop called "Die Weide" (transl.: The Meadow), which used to have an entire wall of hanked natural yarns - wools, cottons, silks, all dyed in house and hung on the wall in hues. I remember fondly a little vest made of two panes of turquoise and purple with a cable in the front where the colors twisted over one another. The vest never got finished, and the yarn has long since been frogged and put away, but my glory - that wall of yarn. No ball bands, just long hanks of color in various sheens. My oh my.
So imagine my glee when I poked my nose in the shop, Boyhood and Herself in tow, and found that they once again had a collection of yarn... Not a wall of hanging hanks this time, but a sweet corner shelf sporting a more or less random assemblage of some commercial yarns, some more boutiquey, no-ball band numbers.
So there was this silk. I bought all she had, at 5Euros a hank, and... well... I can't imagine that these colors will ever work together in a project. Perhaps My Lady Susanna of the Stripes will be able to provide some guidance, or perhaps one of you can weigh in with your opinion. I have 400+ yards of mustard yellow-brown; 280 yards of a mid purple; 400+ yards of a bright turquoise blue; and 140 yards each of a pale dove gray and a navy blue.
Impossible? Am I crazy to think of using these in one project? 1400 yards would be plenty for a pullover in my size, but are the colors in combination and in this proportion just not going to work? [Note: the turquoise was washed out by the flash in the photo: it really is a screaming turquoise.]