The down side of knitting with wool is that it's jolly expensive! Unless, perhaps, you have your own sheep and know how to spin.
Therefore, when I come across a stash of high-quality wool, wool-blend, or novelty yarn someone is offering for sale at a garage sale or a rummage sale (church rummage sales are the best for this, I find) I know no shame. For the past two years I have been ruthlessly snatching every ball or skein of good vintage yarn I can find and adding them to my stash for future use. Estate sales, thrift shops... Just get out of my way! Someday, I figure, I will find just the right project for each type and will use it up.
Dare I share with you the depths of my yarn hoarding depravity? Of course I do!
Here I have several skeins of vintage Bernat Mohairspun, which is 66% mohair, 17% wool, and 17% nylon. There are no barcodes on these babies!
This heap of dusty pink boucle yarn is Spinnerin Astralon, "the light-weight bulky yarn for fashion lovers". It's made of orlon and nylon. Nubby sweaters were very popular in the 1960s, and I'm guessing this harks back to that era.
Here's a good example of what I'm talking about. This partially completed sweater was one I was thrilled to find at an estate sale in a senior community. The granddaughters of the woman who made this and were handling the sale were selling as much fabric, yarn, or clothing as one could fit into a large box--for $1 apiece! Boy, did I bring home a haul!
I will probably unravel the piece and salvage the yarn for another project, as there's no pattern left for me to complete it. The blue yarn is Bernat Astrakhan Yarn and it's 60% wool and 40% mohair. The cream-colored contrasting yarn is Spinnerin Linette, a wool and irish linen yarn imported from Switzerland. Cool, huh?
There was also a sweater she had nearly completed, and by a bit of clever rummaging and digging, I unearthed the pattern she was using, and so I brought the whole shebang home, hoping I can someday pick up where she left off and finish it. This gal was good! I stuffed the sweater, still on the needles, into my box and I hope I can do as good a job completing it as she did on the first 3 1/2 pieces. It's not of wool, but it's so well done, who cares? (As if I don't have enough unfinished projects of my own, I bring home someone else's! I told you it was an obsession.)
Here's a recent acquisition, 4 skeins of surpringly bright 85% wool, 15% mohair skeins in a bulky weight Lamb's Pride yarn made in Nebraska. I don't know when these were made, maybe not that long ago, but the price on each skein is $7.99. I doubt I paid more than 79 cents apiece for them, if that much.
Both Etsy and eBay have also been good sources for me for vintage yarn at bargain prices. Type in "destash" or "yarn lot" and you'll find excellent deals. I have to be careful about looking because it sets up a frantic yearning to buy... Like some kind of yarn Gollum, I wants it!
Here's a lot of beautiful rich red and black Italian-made Bucilla Flame yarn which I bought from a seller on Etsy. It's 60% acrylic, 40% wool, and my camera does not do justice to its rich, ruby color!
I was also tickled to find five skeins of this vivid orange Columbia-Minerva Zephyr fingering yarn in 50% wool/50% nylon. Think of the fun baby sweaters and hats I could make with this--phooey on pastels!
Not that I don't like pastels--I do. Here are some premium brushed acrylic yarns, superwash wool yarns, and vintage wool baby yarns and fingering yarns.
Okay, two more, then I'll quit, I promise. Even though I have more I could show you!
This yarn is actually a deep rust color, darker than it appears in this photo. It's not wool, but 100% acrylic of a good quality, being Unger Miranda, made in France. I have a big bagful of this yarn, and I'm eager to make it into a cardigan or a beautifully textured pullover sweater of some sort. It came from the $1/box estate sale I mentioned earlier. I'll be lucky ever to stumble on a yarn trove like this again.
And lastly, from the same sale, is one you'd never guess. Take a look at this, and tell me what your first reaction is.
If you're thinking Red Heart yarn, worsted weight, variegated, you'd be correct. If you're thinking cheap, dreary acrylic Red Heart worsted weight variegated, you'd be wrong! This is 100% wool. I saved the label and tucked it away somewhere, because I was so surprised when I found this. I don't think Red Heart has produced wool yarn in decades. I have just the one skein (oh, and it was an actual old-fashioned skein that had to be rolled into a ball, not one of the modern era pull-out skeins) so it will become a terrific hat or other small project someday. Maybe I'll do some checking and see if I can find out when it was made.
Okay, I need to sign off and stuff all this back into boxes and bins and let you swoon with envy and desire for a while. It's time to quit blogging about knitting and actually do some knitting, so I'll be off the proverbial radar screen for a bit until I have something tangible to show you. Feel free to bug me about my progress--I need the nagging.