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O'ahu born and Rockville bred, both Maryland and Hawai'i are home. Middle-aged knitter (believe me, my 40 is NOT the new 20) seeking the courage to live consciously, each and every moment. Now if I could just remember where I put my keys...

Friday, September 17, 2010

HECK YEAH - Real Men Wear Pink

So. Here is something that takes about 2 hours to knit (Russian-style, did I mention how fast we Russian-style knitters are?) and can only be called a statement piece.

The yarn - my beloved Colinette brand Point 5 yarn in colorway Alizarine (probably also known as PeptoBismal swirl) in the Pansy scarf pattern from the Colinette pattern book Artyfacts.

Should this be the post where I spell out my frustration with getting Colinette yarn in the US in all colorways? In the past three years, almost every store in these United States that used to carry it, stopped. So seeing it in person in the US is not easy. The one place in the US that seems to maintain a strong relationship directly with Colinette is Flying Fingers Yarn Shop in Tarrytown, New York.

I have yet to make the pilgrimage, but must someday climb on the Yarn Bus! (People. If you click on no other link, you have to check this out. Truly a case of real life trumping fiction - I could not make this up.) It's been featured in The New Yorker magazine. I'm just faux-intellectual enough that this gives me goose bumps...

Gotta give props to Flying Fingers. They have saved my everloving behind a couple times when I haven't had enough of a skein to finish a project - and owner Elise shares my deep love of all yarns Colinette. The other great Colinette lover on the planet seems to be Sarah Durrant, of Australia, and she is also great at figuring out how to finish a project when you can't find that one last skein of something Colinette.

Colinette yarn is exported from Wales. Now, for you lucky Celts and Brits and Scots and Welshies, and for world travelers, there's this place where all the yarns are produced. Mad textures and colors - solids, stripeys, lots of fiber, lots of fun... true fiber artistry. The Colinette Mill Shop (ye olde mille shoppe, I'm picturing, a la Disney theme park for knitters) in Wales. And if you live in the UK or other select countries you can order their products online at the Colinette website. For really good prices! But I, alas, live in the US, and so have never seen ART or Hullabaloo, and unless I get to Tarrytown someday, I'm giving up all hope.

ORIGINS OF COLINETTE: From what I can find, Colinette Sainsbury is a real live person, an artist from Italy, and I've heard one person say they remember her selling her handpainted yarn out of a pushcart in Covent Gardens. Urban myth says her son now runs the business, and I'm glad for that (a world without Colinette - how would I exist?), but this distribution issue and the huge price discrepancy between EU prices and everywhere else (is shipping REALLY that expensive, and I know, I know, I know the distributor needs to make a living) - rough for a customer to navigate and unless you're really a freak, like me, you can move right along at the LYS (Local Yarn Shop) and start fondling the pretty stuff one bin over. Maybe they are staying small by design? This whole thing makes sense to someone, and I wish that I was in the know... rant rant rant.

OK, enough ranting about the sumptuousness of Colinette and the current sad state of distribution at retail across the US. I'm just trying to say that if I had to pick ONE YARN BRAND EVER to knit with, I would have a hard time saying goodbye to Noro and Artyarns, but it would be Colinette, hands down.

Sigh. Any updates as to the state of US distribution would be appreciated in the comments section under this post. Please note the date you make your update - many thanks...


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