Monday, August 25, 2014

The Yarn Supply in Dahlonega, Georgia
Lady Lacewings loves to knit socks. Why am I writing in the third person?

Alas, sleep deprivation strikes again.

On a whim last night (as always, as things can only ever be created on a whim), I decided to cast on for a pair of toe-up socks. I am, of course, making up the pattern as I go along. Usual vendetta against my brain. But wait! What's this?

I used yarn from my stash. GASP! I didn't go out and search for the most perfect of perfect options?

No. Unfortunately, and to my immense dismay, there are but two locales from which to purchase fibery stuffs.--

*Except during the months of October (Goldrush) and April (Bear on the Square). Street vendors will sell beautiful artisan goods including needles, handspun yarn, and hand-dyed alpaca.*

--The first is WM. Now, the WM in Dahlonega, Georgia is not for the faint of heart. There, you shall find derelict dregs of society intermixed with sorority girls and the eyes from the hills. And then there are the sweet old ladies that want to talk with you for an hour before you must dash because you are now late after being stuck in the twilight zone that is the Dahlonega WalMart (For our purposes, it shall henceforth be referred to as the DWM).

Now, the craft section. Not so bad if you are a budget quilter who likes smurf and flaming basketball prints. No Michael Miller or Amy Butler here. Sigh. The ribbon comes in neon colours and the shelves have pictures of ribbon styles for ease of restocking. However, not all styles are present and some are placed where they do not belong, as if on purpose. Oh, the Laze. The sewing needles are ok, if you have a Singer or Brother machine in one of 3 models.

Note: NEVER purchase a serger/overlock machine from DWM. Enough Said.

And now, the "yarn".

Yarn is "yarn" here, because the quality and redheartedness of the entire shebang is just too acrylic for my little woolen soul. No offense to dear Gram, but loads and loads of sport baby acrylic and supersaver acrylic and that dastardly ribbon thing in garish colors to be made into a jellyfish-like thing are just an eyesore. Admittedly, the colours of the Lion Brand "Amazing" are appealing, but only until you read the label to discover that it is, alas, but an acrylic incog of wool. Ah! Lion brand has wool-ease, right? But only in weights that are not rather appealing to flighty fingers of the sock and lace knitting populus.
The prices should be a quarter of the shelf proclamations, because how many dollars does it really take to produce that petrol derivative stuff? (Needless to say, the price should be less because it is produced IN MY STATE).

The conclusion is that WM "yarn" is for beginners only. Unless you have the hots for those groovy McCall's Home Crafts or Needlecraft magazines circa 1967. Wavy Afghan callin' your name?

There is only one exception: The sadly discontinued bamboo rayon yarn that Red Heart marketed as crochet thread. It acts like silk and is very pretty. I got 6 balls for $1.50 each and never saw it anywhere again, ever. Sad.

The other shop in Dahlonega is Magical Threads. The building is the first house built in Dahlonega. You will find pure, unadulterated wool YARN there. I bought some pencil roving from Plymouth yarn company there, and it was $16. I later spun a 2-ply laceweight from it and ran it through a fishing line gauge to measure it at 748 yds. That would have cost me about $10 more if it were pre-spun, I figure.

The shop does have Crystal Palace Mochi in a few colours, and some kidsilk haze. The yarn selection is mostly novelty yarns, but they are all on sale and they have K1C2 Ty-dye coming in.

In the next post, you will find more about my past and present sock knitting. Let's not be preemptive. I can't even resist the future.

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