Every once in awhile a big box of samples comes in the mail from a mill. Yesterday was one of those days. This time around there were things from Italy and Argentina. Last week, we got a bunch of stuff from Great Britain.
Most of the yarn was wool or a wool blend. Some of the fibers in the blends were a little different than I usually see. One had fox. Another had nettle. There was also the usual suspects like angora, mohair, alpaca and silk. There were even a few that I had to look up, like lino and cabrito. (I'm still not 100% sure what cabrito is...maybe goat?)
Sometimes the samples we get are dyed, like the ones you see here, other times they are not. Even though color is what we do every day, we all have to consciously remember not to let the color sway our opinion of the fiber. Even though we are "trained professionals", it's not always easy.
It feels almost like Christmas when the samples arrive. Except for the fact that decisions are required. Do you like this yarn? No? Then how about that one? One of the crew likes yarn that's not quite so soft. Someone else insisted that only soft will do. What about the one with a little sparkle? Is two ply the thing? What about this six ply? Silk? Cashmere? What if we took this and made it a bulky rather than a worsted? The choices are endless.
Sometimes the conversations become, ahem, spirited. Ummm, now that I think about it, it's exactly like Christmas what with those spirited conversations. After all, we ARE almost like family around here.
We took that big pile of yarn and whittled away at it until there were about a half dozen that we decided were interesting. Next step is getting more significant samples to do some testing. Then the real hard part comes...trying to figure out what you will want to knit with this time next year.
It would be so much easier if my crystal ball were not all full of wool.