Saturday, June 16, 2007

Shopping for Yarn in the Highlands

Knittah having a one-track mind and all (I should be careful--most of you reading this do too), a pressing task for this trip was to buy some locally spun yarn. Arriving in Ullapool, we went to the LYS and were directed around the corner to the Saturday market...

scot kilt potatoes

One of the local residents, Hilda, has a flock of sheep and hand-spins yarn (including cheviot, hebridean, and shetland). Hilda's neighbor occasionally represents her at the Saturday market, offering her knit goods and yarns. We were in luck.

The catch was that all of the skeins were represented in terms of grams. Eliza doesn't think in terms of grams. Eliza thinks in terms of yards. Eliza thinks that with about 1500-2000 yards of some sort of yarn, you can probably make some kind of sweater. Thus, Eliza had a problem. Hilda's neighbor (I wish Eliza had gotten his name) doesn't knit, so he called over the couple from the neighboring stall (again, sadly no names). I'll call the wife Mrs. Scot (she's in the green jacket in the photos that follow). Mrs. Scot knits. She also thinks about yarn in a different way altogether: by volume. She bunched up one of Hilda's scarves and then mushed up some skeins of Hilda's yarn to show that that's how she would guesstimate how many skeins she needs to make something.

Mrs. Scot's solution: since the yarn is in grams, weigh one of Hilda's sweaters and then buy that much yarn. Having nothing else to go on...

Mr. Scot (of the potatoes, above) contributed the digital scale from his stall.

bringing the scale for the yarn

Mrs. Scot folded up one of Hilda's sweaters.

preparing to weigh the sweater

Hilda's neighbor carefully balanced the sweater on the scale.

weighing sweater

And with that, Eliza had a number to go on. Knittah, we really tried... I can't post the photo of the yarn here because that would spoil the surprise. We hope it's enough to make something good, anyway.

Thanks to all the Ullapoolians for their valiant assistance in this endeavor!!!


Knittah said...

OMG - hilarious! Mrs. Scot sounds like a smart knitter. I'm certain what you bought will be perfect. And how perfectly Scottish does Hilda's neighbor look?

noricum said...

Knitters to the rescue! (Too funny!)

Knittah said...

P.S. I wanna move to Scotland.

Celeste said...

i absolutely forbid you to move to Scotland.

that said, Eliza, what fun! The Chinese yarn shop I went to was the same way - labels record only weight, so the shop owner just kept appraising me and saying "better take one more ball"... lol

noricum said...

Of course you needed one more ball... on second thought, buy two or three more just in case. ;)