Yarns of My Travels

I have a fairly extensive bucket list with many of the higher priority activities involving travel. Got a problem though…well, really two problems.

One, my income as a professional storyteller and freelance writer really doesn’t cover much after the bills get paid.

And the second, I’m a spinner and knitter, i.e. fiber-holic. This means that extra $20 I did manage to squirrel away was most likely spent on that yummy merino-silk lace-weight yarn that was put on sale for half price. Plus, I’ve been using the bucket list bucket for storing my fiber stash.

The second problem does offer one advantage though when it comes to my yen for travel. Once a year (and even more if I had the time and just a little more income) being a wool, silk, cashmere and alpaca aficionado gives me a chance to travel North Texas via the DFW Yarn Crawl. If I wanted to do more, there is another yarn crawl in the Hill Country of Texas as well as in other cities around the U.S.

For anyone questioning the validity of counting a yarn crawl as travel, my response is “au contraire!”

From my own personal experience with other fiber addict friends, I can attest to hours spent poring over maps and calendars while trying to decide which gal pals to go with to which yarn shop(s) on which day(s). Could I bear being trapped in a car for five hours with “the non-stop talker” buddy if this is the day we want to go to the Rose Path Weaving in Tyler? Do I dare take my co-dependent “you know you’ll hate yourself if you don’t buy that” friend to the wall-to-wall luscious and out-of-my-budget Madtosh in Ft. Worth? And if we hit both the FiberCircle yarn shop and Fancy Fibers spinning and weaving shop in Farmersville, will we have time to squeeze in the FiberLady in Lewisville to squish all their wonderful silky bamboo?

If you map out your strategy carefully, you can still have a worldly experience without traveling too far from your own backyard. You can purchase super-soft yak yarn from a Himalayan country, those funky and wild colored yarns from Japan, or that slightly scratchy wool from the Shetland Islands. Or you can use your new skeins of yarn to knit an Irish lace shawl, a Nordic designed cardigan, Estonian style socks, or a Jayne Cobb-style hat if your tastes are more out of this world. (The latter is a tip of the earflap hat to a fellow Firefly fan.)

After navigating a 10-day yarn crawl, I feel confident to plan a trip overseas.

When I finally get my money saved up for an overseas vacation, where do I want to go first? Maybe Ireland and Scotland or New Zealand, and of course, I’ll set aside some time for visiting the sheep farms and woolen mills.

So while you’re saving up for your dream trip, I’d recommend taking up knitting.

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