This week on HGP we are to buy all the materials for our handmade holiday gifts, and my shopping list includes both cotton and wool. So I’ve bought some cotton in yummy colors, which I intend to use to make little things from a clever Japanese pattern.

Then there is my wool. I will be making things from Felted Knits. Now, I made my first attempts at felted knitting from Lamb’s Pride (in fact, if we count the  ruined sweaters I recycled, I also used Harrisville tweed). But I cannot get over the feeling that felting knits is a kind of recycling, which ruins the knitting even as it creates lovely cozy wooly things. Sort of like altered books — however wonderful they may be as art, they still wreck the book. So I found that I couldn’t happily make felted stuff from the fine all-wool yarns at the LYS. Since they do not carry any bargain all-wool yarns, and the Big Discount Craft Store doesn’t carry all-wool yarns of any description, I went to and bought up half a dozen skeins of discontinued colors at startlingly low prices. That was a couple of weeks ago. Yarnsale has a feature which allows you track the package on its way to your door. I found this rather fun. I could see that the wool had gone to Roseville, wherever that may be, and then taken ten days to get to Memphis. Admittedly, I don’t know where Roseville is, but it’s hard to see how it could take a box of yarn ten days to get from anywhere in the U.S. to Memphis unless it was stopping off on the way. So I assume that the wool was having adventures.

Some may find this idea a little too precious. They are thinking that wool is inanimate and therefore cannot have adventures. However, I have met sheep. They obviously have no thought processes at all, and yet can have adventures. There was one in particular, one with very fancy horns, whom half a dozen museum workers tried to get out of a truck and into a pen. It was certainly an adventure for us. The next time, we brought in Agri students, who made the whole thing look as easy as carrying yarn. In any case, I think that wool is just slightly less sentient than sheep, so I will continue to speculate on its adventures between Roseville and Memphis. I think it would be something like Cash Peters in Gullible’s Travels. Cash Peters is a former NPR reporter who travels the world visiting weird places. I was so distressed when I discovered that he had gone from St. Joseph to Carthage without checking out the Pig De-Snooter at the museum in Liberty that I had to email him about it. And he answered me. What a guy! But I digress.

The wool then moseyed over westward from Memphis to me, taking another four days, and finally arrived. It is Paton’s Merino, with a solid, honest sheepswool feel and soft colors with pretty names like “Ocean” and “Pearl.” Working with color and texture is a big part of what I love about knitting. And now that I am looking at it and feeling it, it seems to me that it would make a beautiful, subtle Fair Isle sweater. But I am going to resist this and instead make the snazzy felted objects I have chosen for my loved ones.

The only yarn for holiday gifts that I do not yet have is that for #1 daughter’s DNA scarf and hat. She wants cream, which was of course not a discontinued color. And I do want to get a really nice yarn for her. She is rather a glamorpuss, and takes good care of her clothes (unlike #2 daughter, who allows her scarves to become mottled, and then throws them on the ground where they are picked up by strange men who smell them. See her September 5th entry for details. She will be getting superwash for sure). I definitely foresee a trip to the LYS.

But at the moment I am revelling in having a bona fide stash at last.