A great find actually. I only say it’s a fair find because I found this yarn at my hometown’s annual agricultural fair, The Berlin Lions Club presents the Berlin Fair. And you know, the Harlot is right… knitters do have “yarn-dar”. I was wandering the fair and something just told me to turn down a certain avenue and I happened to turn my head that the precise second that I was passing yarn. I had a suspicious feeling that I might find yarn at the fair this year, but I kept ignoring it thinking “Never in my LIFE have I seen yarn at the fair and I’ve been coming here every year since birth!”
Before I get into the yarn, I want to announce something. The Tyrolean Stockings that I have blogged about before are now complete. I entered them into the adult needlework exhibition at the Berlin Fair and….
They won 1st place!!!
I forgot to bring a camera with me when I went to the fair today, so I’ll get some pictures once I bring home my prize winning socks. I also entered in 5 other items (Clapotis, Strawberry hat, Amanda’s Squatty Sidekick, Cold Shoulders Shrug, and Fetching gloves) and they all won ribbons as well. I can’t remember what won what prize. I’ll blog about that once I get the pictures of my prize winning knitting and crochet.
After checking to see what prizes my entries had won, I started to wander the fairgrounds with my constant companions: my mom and dad. We grabbed dinner of kelbasa, pierogis, and deep-fried oreos (mmmm fair food!), saw the livestock exhibits, browsed the vendor booths, and picked up our “must eat” items (giant sugar coated doughnuts, french fries, butterfly potatoes… mmmm fair food!). While making our way to some apple crisp, I suggested we turn down a road we hadn’t walked down previously. Little did I know that my yarn-dar was kicking into action. As I walked down that road, I thought for an instant, Wouldn’t it be cool if I found yarn at the fair? And at that moment I turned my head and saw it… Yarn, but not just any yarn… Hand spun, hand dyed yarn that was being sold by the person who put all the work into it! I had to ask “Do you have a website?” Alas, he doesn’t, yet, but he sells out of his home and at local fairs… So I gave him my email address saying that I know quite a few people from all over the world who would love to get their hands on this stuff. I wasn’t lying.
The yarn is just ooshy yarny goodness. It’s a bit scratchy, so no scarves or anything else that will be worn against my sensitive skin, but it’s no Noro. I would say that it’s somewhere between Noro’s steel wool coarseness and Malabrigo’s yummy softness. The coarseness is because it’s unprocessed wool; I came to this conclusion because it smells like sheep and still had the lanolin on it. Growing up in a farm town, i know what sheep smell like, and it ain’t pretty. The colors are jewel toned and nature inspired and are breath taking when put to the light (I found his booth after dark). The yarns I saw and handled were bulky to super bulky, with a few heavy worsted weights thrown in. The sheer bulkiness of the yarn made me think that he uses a drop spindle instead of a spinning wheel, but I never thought to ask. I fell in love with his yarn. It was hard to decide, but I found 2 skeins I couldn’t part with, and at $55 for both, I figured it would be easier to part with the cash.
As soon as I got home, I dug out the yarn and flung it onto the kitchen table to see the colors in the light. I was right! The colors are jewel toned and shine beautifully in full light. I, of course, took pictures and added them to my Ravelry stash (I’m kNerdyKnitter if you want to add me) and share them with my friends and post it all on my blog.
So, I present you all with Jan Marek Raczkowski Studio and Gardens Homespun & Hand Dyed Yarns