Spin me a yarn…

I’m now the proud owner of two skeins of Handmaiden Lace Silk, in ivory. Hear that? That was my little whisper of contentment.

It is just. Stunning. But, I learned a valuable lesson with this yarn. One which is probably already known to everyone else in the UK, but on the offchance that anyone else is as unworldly as I was, here’s the rub: order something from outside the EU, and you get hit with a customs charge. In my case, I did the maths on the lace silk, and worked out that even with postage, ordering it from the States was pretty much the same price as from the UK (plus, I couldn’t find the ivory colourway for sale anywhere over here). So off I went and merrily ordered online, and then three weeks later found out that I had to pay an extra £15 on top before I could actually get the precious silk in my hands — an £8 handling fee to Royal Mail for the privilege of them dropping a note through my letterbox, and £6.94 in VAT to HMRC.


Hey ho. It’s gorgeous, properly grown-up lace yarn which I love, and I’ll now know to be cautious in future when buying from overseas. But honestly, how enraging is THAT? Argh!

On the subject of yarn

I know you want to see it. But a quick knitting equation first. Skeins = winding. And a skein of lace yarn = hours and hours of winding.

I don’t have a swift, and, as I discovered when winding the seasilk the other month, holding the skein loop in one hand and winding the ball winder with the other means you need your third hand to keep the tension right and, ideally, your fourth hand to gently tease the yarn away from the skein without incurring knots. However I decided that three hands would just about be enough to (slowly) wind away with fewer mishaps, and so I roped in a little helper to assist by holding the loop of yarn.

Can you tell what it is yet?

This little tableau featured in my lounge for most of Sunday afternoon. In extremis, I do recommend having a duck to hang your yarn on.

They don’t even complain.

And then they guard your yarn for you afterwards. (Note: this is only one of the skeins. I’ll save the second one for a really desperate rainy day.)

In significantly cheaper news…

Liberty is having a half-price Rowan sale. I went in on Thursday night last week to possibly buy a single skein of something simple, and came out with most of a bag of RYC Cashcotton DK for £20 (eight skeins). Do I need it? No! But frankly I think I did pretty well not to have spent £200 (think how much I would have saved, though, if I had!).

Normally I might not be so keen on buying stuff like this in bulk — it’s lovely, but very mainstream if you know what I mean, and usually a bit unsatisfyingly uniform. However, this particular colourway has little flecks of extra colour in it, and it won me over. I have a possible lace sweater in mind for it — whether or not eight skeins will stretch to a sweater remains to be seen, but I reckon I’m in with a reasonable chance. If not, perhaps a sleeveless top with some sort of cowly neck? Possibilities!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. glitterboy1 says:

    It does look gorgeous!But oww, yes, I hear you about the customs charges: I’ve been stung by them before, too. Actually, what’s more annoying is that, sometimes, they pick it up, and sometimes, they don’t. So, when they do charge you, you end up feeling hard done by.Yay for ducks! I’m sure it was far more helpful than a cat would have been. Oh yes.


  2. Kate says:

    If you ever want to order something from the states, just let me know and I’ll get it for you and mail it over as a “gift” on the customs form. What a waste of the strength of the pound if you get all that added on!


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