Sunday, August 30, 2009

Damn you, Wollmeise

For the uninitiated following my blog, I guess I need to give some backstory. Think about when Beanie Babies were in their heydey - total fucking madness, and people bought them just because they existed and it was such a fucking thrill to actually find them, so who cares if you even like what you just bought. This leads to, essentially, a black market where people sell what they've got for higher prices to people that had no chance of getting it in the first place, or trade what they bought on a whim for what someone else bought on a whim. While no one does this with most Beanie Babies any more (side note: this was the most sought after, most expensive Beanie Baby ever - I looked it up to say "hahaha look how much the price has gone down" but WTF WHO IS STILL PAYING THAT?! And why did I give so many of these things to Goodwill last year?) the practice is alive and well... with yarn.

I know, wtf, right?

Yeah, well, I'm realizing that there comes a time in every hobby where you get so into it that anything is logical.

To my credit, I never was interested in paying premium prices for Wollmeise. For a long time, I had no real interest in most of the colors. I had no plans on ever being able to buy it directly because there's only one US supplier and it sells out very quickly, and the German woman who dyes it puts it up on her site early in the morning in Germany, but more like 3-5 am here. And there's no advance notice. Some people will sit at their computers refreshing the website every Thursday night/Friday morning (that's when it usually updates, but not necessarily) and I'm really not that hardcore about anything. That could be my only option to get a new kidney and I'd still say "fuck it, I'm tired."

Wollmeise (or WM) is $30 on The Loopy Ewe (TLE), the US distributor's website, and it works out to be about that same price when you convert Euros to dollars when buying directly from Claudia, the dyer. And then shipping is $5.95. So when you see people selling it on Ravelry, for $35-$45, that's actually a very fair price. I know, insanity. But it's 510 yards of fingering weight yarn, and I'm rarely opposed to paying $20 for 300-400 yards of fingering weight yarn for socks. And what draws people to WM is the intensity of the colors. I couldn't tell at first what made WM so different from anything else you can find in a yarn store or on etsy, but with the right photography, I could tell that yeah, the colors really are incredibly saturated and just jump out at you.

I caved and bought my first skein at the end of July from a Ravelry destasher. The color is called Versuchskainenchen I. Hell yes, I typed that without looking it up. Versuchskainenchen is German for "guinea pigs," and these colors are "test" colors not supposed to be part of the regular line. I did pay $40 for it, shipping included, but goddamn, look at it:

I really couldn't capture its majesty in a picture - I'm not a very good photographer, and I couldn't get the sun to be in the right spot (as physically moving sunlight is rather difficult) when I took the pictures. But still. It's gorgeous. Take my word for it.

I thought I was done with the WM thing until I checked twitter earlier this week and saw a post that it was up on Claudia's website. I flew for my credit card and hurried to remember what the address was, and then find the button that made it be in English instead. The "in stock list" was very hard to navigate and didn't have pictures of some. Many of the yarns had already sold out, but I did manage to grab one in Clementine, a bright blaze orange. I checked out as fast as I could, because people tend to get cartjacked: there's only one skein left, but it's been simaltaneously put into 10 people's carts. Whoever checks out first gets it. I totally got that shit. Still high on the thrill, I noticed there was also a bright yellow and an orange/yellow variegated that I liked, and tried to place a second order. As I was checking out, I got an automated phone call from my credit card company, asking if I had authorized a payment to "The hardware store" in Germany. Wtf, no. I had to press buttons for more info and figured out that yes, I had. In that time, I got cartjacked. Boo.

So that was Thursday. Fabulous, right? I got the joy of celebrating with a bunch of online friends who had also scored, many of whom had caught their first update, like me. I was still pleased when I got up Friday. I lazed in bed, made my bed, then came down and turned on my computer. Immediately, a friend messaged me to tell me that now it was up on TLE, too. WTF?! The thing about WM is that it's SO hard to get and so unpredictable - were there really 2 updates in 24 hours? Hurriedly, I selected a different red/yellow/orange yarn and tried to check out. Immediate cartjacking. There wasn't anything left in colors I liked. Having just scored, I felt ok passing up a brownish orange - a little smug, too. Oh look, I could have WM, and I'm choosing not. Aren't I just a fancypants.

So it didn't it just blow my fucking mind when the same friend IMed me later to say that TLE had just put up MORE.

I ended up placing two separate orders, out of fear of cartjacking. And paying shipping twice. Because I am AWESOME with money. I got Wasabi, a bright crazy green, and Birkenrinde, which I am madly in love for the fact that it looks like cookies and cream.

And then TLE updated again on Saturday night.

Hilariously, I was supposed to be out, but rain intervened. And, uh...
Petit Poison No. 5
Roter Himbeermund

I had a little bit of a frenzy.

I guess it's a good thing I didn't make it to that yarn sale this morning.

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