The Plan and How it worked.

I left Toronto for Rhinebeck with a pretty good plan for wool shopping avoidance. I recognized in myself my susceptibility to become overly excited in the presence of wool (I blame fumes) and my special vulnerability to the ways of other knitters. I’ve got stash issues lately, and I’m trying to reel it in. I’m not stash dieting, because we all know that works with wool about as well as it does with food. (Lose two pounds of merino, gain four of mohair because you felt deprived.) Nope, the only answer to getting a hold of the stash is long term sensible change. These last few months the stash has outgrown it’s space and although I do not feel that it is a problem to use wool decoratively, I have issues with using it structurally, and that’s where we’re headed. (I have considered doing whatever it takes to contain the stash until one of the girls goes off to University and the stash can have its own room, but I think that when Amanda goes she won’t go far, and worse than that I’m starting to realize that explaining to Meg and Sam that they still have to share a room because “Mama’s a little loose with the wool money” isn’t going to get me that Mother of The Year Award that burn for.) Storage issues aside, there’s some really great stuff in the stash and I want to use it. Everything in there is something I adore and deserves to come into the sun a little. Burying it under further acquisition is not doing it justice. Furthermore, (the use of the term “furthermore” signifies that I have given this a great deal of thought) I have come to be convinced that the secret to living a calm, organized, spiritually centred life is possessing less stuff, and purchasing things makes there be more stuff. Therefore (another word indication thoughtfulness) I came up with a Rhinebeck plan and attempted to follow it.

Point: I would not purchase anything that I could get at a local yarn store. I would seek only the excellent and rare, the unique and spectacular. I would only buy things that I loved. Really loved.

Score: Excellent. This rule allowed for a small Morehouse Merino purchase (ONE skein…a personal best) and for a small baggie of naturally coloured baby Camel/silk roving from Fiber Kingdom that literally makes me weak in the knees. There are no camels in Toronto.

Point: I would not purchase anymore of anything that was already in the stash, regardless of other points.

Score. Whoops.


A Grafton Fiber batt. Mea Culpa. (In my defense, that was inevitable, and there is only one.)

Point: I would not purchase anything on the first day. Saturday would be for consideration, contemplation and assessment. I would simply not remove my wallet from my purse on this day, but instead admire the goods and sleep on the possibilities.

Score: Not good, but who really nails a new technique straight out of the gate. The Grafton batt was obtained on the first day, and…err…this.


This is a sock kit from Tongue River Farms. It has a book with the patterns for six really, really beautiful pairs of socks and three skeins of naturally coloured icelandic sock yarn with which one can make all six pairs. Six pairs of socks, six patterns and nearly endless entertainment for $60? I’m only human, and I’m pretty smart. It would have been irresponsible and foolish not to buy it and it looked like they were going fast. This was in my hands within about two seconds of sighting.


Successful delays include this Foxhill Farm Cormo that I “visited” four times before buying. (Four times! You hear that? I’m a tower of strength. If you could feel how soft and cushy this is you would be so impressed. Four times.) I also got this kit from Shelridge Farms, which I have wanted for three years. (Sorry guys, I don’t know what’s wrong with that link. It’s supposed to go to the Border Collie Shirt tail.) I’ve had a long running deal with myself that if it was ever there at the end of a show I would get it…and lo. This time it is mine.

Point: I would not purchase anything that I already own just so that I could use the stuff that I bought before I got home. This point was designed to stop me from buying needles and spindles so that I could cast on/spin stuff just purchased. I’m an “instant gratification takes too long” sort of girl, and have been guilty in the past of buying sock needles to start socks on the way home from the yarn store…even though I have 25 sets of decent sock needles at home.

Score: Nobody’s perfect,


and in my defense, that little spindle is exceptionally good, totally appropriate for the fibre (that’s the camel/silk) very beautiful and was made by my friend and yours, S. Kate. I started spinning that stuff before left the festival. Some things are too good to walk away from.

Point: I would not claim that yarn “doesn’t count” because it was on sale, very beautiful or present in small amounts. (Sock yarn included.)

Score: I did pretty well, with one tiny exception, but we may have to do an intervention with Cassie, since she tried this game with an enormous bag of unprocessed fleece, claiming that it “didn’t count” because it was going to the processors instead of to her home. Right. Is that a receipt in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Point: I would only use cash and I would not use the cash machine at the fair.

Score: Also well done, and to further impress you, I came home with leftover money and didn’t steal any money out of Juno’s purse while she was sleeping.

Point: I would resist peer pressure and not buy something just because everybody else was getting it.



Let’s just let that big bag from Spinners hill speak for itself. Shall we?

That’s it. That’s all I got, well. Except for this.


We’ll talk about that later. It broke a couple of rules, but it’s a sock kit, so it doesn’t count.