Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Three Amigos: Episode 2,The Big Shop

Friday was possibly the longest Friday of my life. I usually don't have time to clock-watch, but I'll admit, I was watching the seconds tick past one by one.

I get a message from dkazck. "We're going to Olds tomorrow! I'm SO excited lol."

"Me too!" I said.

On Saturday morning, ten minutes before the scheduled arrival time, dkzack arrived at my front door. Tara was in the car knitting a sock. I'd like to say I was still running around getting things ready to leave, but I was packed and ready to go (apart from a pair of socks and shoes). We were some excited people.

We gave ourselves plenty of time to get to Olds, Alberta, to visit the Merchant Mall at their yearly Fibre Week. We also planned to visit Custom Woolen Mills in Carstairs that day as well. We'd all pretty much blocked off the whole day for this trip.

This was Tara's first time (in fact, the first day I went out for coffee and knitting with Tara, I told her she was coming to Olds), and it was the second time for dkzack and me. I have to say, Tara played it like she was an old hand at the Merchant Mall. The bags of fleece were in her hand way faster that I expected.

dkzack has a more careful shopping-style: the once-over, then second-look, then the purchases... and then, maybe more purchases later.

Me, I'm the mathematician... or so, I'd like to think. I'm adding the grams of fleece in my head, calculating yardage, keeping track of the dollars (or, at least I was for a little while until I decided to just enjoy myself). I'm also the enabler.

dkzack was looking at a bag of silk hankies. "Do you know how to spin these?," she asked.

"Buy it," I said.

"What do you think of the colours in this big ball of Fleece Artist?"

"Buy it."

We found out that day that, since Custom Woolen Mills was at the Merchant Mall this weekend, the mill was actually closed. Tara made the excellent point that that just means we have to do another road trip sometime. When life hands Tara lemons, she makes them into a gin and tonic.

The weirdest thing for me was that it felt like we entered a timewarp while we were in there. When we decided to head off for lunch, we piled all our stuff into the car and headed off to find somewhere to eat. I was informed we had been in there for two hours. "Two hours? No way," I said. It was agreed that we all had entered some kind of yarn-out/blackout state in there. I vaguely remember Tara putting her phone away in her bag after telling her hubby we'd just arrived and that she'd talk to him later... That was the last contact with the outside world I remembered until then.

After lunch, we hit the Merchant Mall again for a final run-through ("What about this?" "Buy it.") Then, we went into town and got some supplies for our upcoming fibre dyeing class on Monday. You've never seen three people get so excited over rubber gloves, I tell you.

So, what did I end up with? A whole lotta spinning supplies:

A pound of Merino roving and a pound of Red California roving.

200g of Merino dyed in Raspberry and 200g of multicoloured Corriedale.

283g of a swirly grey Merino which didn't have a name (but I christened it George when they were labeling it, and that's how they're referring it to now).

A 100g of brown alpaca/silk roving and 100g of black alpaca/Merino roving.

A bag of silk hankies, which are ready to be prepped for spinning.

100g of camel down. Yeah, that's right. Camel down.

An Ashford spindle and a brass tahkli spindle.

Am I a happy spinner?

What do you think?

The tahkli is my first supported spindle, which means I need to find a little cup or something for it to spin on. This morning, I woke up early and started daydreaming about what I could use for its support. I nearly got up and started rooting through my cupboards to find something, but sleepiness soon overtook me and I quite sensibly slept on. That's just another adventure for down the road, I think.

The funniest thing was that I left that big one pound bag of Merino in dkzack's car. I noticed about an hour later when I was putting my things away. With twitchy hands, I phoned Tara, who told me she noticed it in there, then I phoned dkzack and left a slightly high-pitched message on her voicemail. "Umm... I think I left one of my bags of fleece in your trunk... I can wait till Monday..."

She was nice enough to come by later to drop it off. How's that for an understanding friend?

Tomorrow, we get up early and head back to Olds for our fibre dyeing course. The Merchant Mall will still be open. This could get dangerous. If you don't hear from me by Tuesday, send out a search party...


  1. Ahh you almost make me want to learn to spin, almost. Stop that. :)
    When you christened it George was that in reference to the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where the Abominable Snowman calls Bugs and just about anybody George? "I will pet him, squeeze him, love him and call him George."

  2. Yeah, I call a lot of things George, and that's precisely where I got it from! Ha!