I keep forgetting there is another aspect to write about: knitting, or in German, stricken. (As in so much yarn, so little time). In Germany, the knitting buzz is not nearly what it is in the states, so the availability and variety of the yarns reflect that. In other words, I am glad I stocked up before I came here. The yarns here are very good quality, but sometimes you want wool to look like wool, and not so tightly strung that it loses its fuzziness. (And the alternatives are acrylic, or fun fur (imagine a blown up muppet), or anything neon). It's like the difference between cotton tight on the end of a Q-tip and a cotton ball. One looks, well, tight, and the other like a small cloud. The difference between the two is how you have treated that fiber.
So imagine when I walked into my LYS (local yarn shop for you non-knitters) and they have some wool-looking sock yarn that is from, of all places, Switzerland. This is time for the poker face, where you have to subtlety claim the sock yarn from Switzerland as yours while not looking like a nut at the same time. If you are a knitter, you know the strategy. It's like when your LYS has gotten a new batch of Koigu in and no other customers in the shop have noticed yet. So get a look at this puppy named "Super Soxx":
Not only does it look and feel like wool, but it is variegated! And it only cost me 6,75 Euros for a giant ball of this well-made loveliness. So I have wasted no time. Did a swatch last night and this stuff is already being made into Grumperina's Jaywalker. I wanted something that would show off the colors but without being too intricate so that the needlework overpowered the yarn. I just finished the cuff and will get to the leg today.
Oh, and that hat that my friend, Katy, sent me extra yarn for because I was the idiot who didn't buy extra in the first place? Here's that hat, called Shedir, from the Breast Cancer Awareness Edition of Knitty. It's so soft and I can't believe I did that hat without messing one thing up. That's a first.