Shopping in Hay and its consequences

Ages ago now, I went to Hay-on-Wye with friend-R. I bought second handbooks, as you do in Hay (it’s a small village in Wales with dozens ofsecond hand book shops), including some vintage knitting books. Ibought them for various combinations of because they’re funny andbecause they’re useful – one has marvellous mini-stories about LittleJohnny and Little Susie* and how they feel about each other, theirclothes, and their mother who knit them. Another, while having deeplyhumourous seventies-ish fashion photography also contains what lookslike good and useful advice about designing and adapting patterns, although I confess I haven’t read it yet.

What I didn’t expect to buy was yarn or fibre, but buy them I did!


The fibre is undyed grey alpaca, the ball of yarn is Trekking XXL sock yarn in a colourway that reminds me of starlings, and the skein is Opal Handpainted sock yarn, bought by R, and intended for socks for her (I think she wants Coriolis socks, but I’m not ready to knit them again yet). I want to use the Trekking for something for me, but I now have serious amounts of sock yarn in the stash, so I should probably get on with knitting some of it. Counting on Ravelry just now, I think I have about twelve pairsworth of sock yarn in my stash, and that’s not counting the leftovers which are probably enough for at least another pair. Although I’ve made good progress on the purple cable cardigan recently, I’m stalled on it again, so maybe I should cast on for some socks in the meantime. The question is which…

The alpaca fibre is still somewhat in limbo, too. I dyed it with two different shades of purple cold water dye, which may have been a mistake because the colour didn’t take very well, hence the pastelly shades it’s turned out. I like it though, and it feels lovely. I’ve also supplemented it with a big bag of natural black alpaca from my local alpaca farm! Yes, I have a local alpaca farm. It’s in Great Milton, about eight miles away, and their natural black actually mostly is black, unlike the natural black shetland I’ve spun before. I’ve been making various sample cards of the two alpacas, which will be the subject of another blog post soon.

*Names may be misremembered.

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