Thursday, April 10, 2008

Swap till you drop

How much swapping can one girl handle in a week? The other night I came home to this:

Whee! Isn't mail awesome? Email might be fast and convenient, but nothing beats a cardboard box with your name on it sitting on your front step. It's a welcome change from the eXtreme Fitness flyers and overdue Hydro bills that usually fill my mailbox.

This bounty is from Kristina in Sweden. She found some yarn in my "trade" stash on Ravelry and asked what I would like in return. As I'm quite fond of all things Swedish (H&M! Ikea! Lingonberries!), I requested local, Swedish yarn. Oh, and chocolate. I'm not an idiot!

Kristina included a very detailed note about the yarn, so I'll leave the explaining to her. (My comments in italics)

The pale greeen and soft grey are Swedish Rya yarn. This is yarn from a special Swedish breed of sheep - although many breeds can have Rya wool, only the Swedish Rya Sheep has enough wool to make it worthwhile. I don't know if there are any foreign Rya yarn breeds out there though. Rya yarn is mainly used for rugs nowadays, but has been used for blankets in the old days. I find it perfectly suited for making socks! It wears extremely well, in fact it gets very shiny when used! It is very long lasting and since it's moth proof it is a gorgeous sock yarn! Especially if you don't want to wear nylon or other man made materials. This is 100% Swedish Rya wool. It is discontinued, so unfortunately, these are the only skeins I have to share in these colours.

This stuff is like no other yarn I've met before. It's very tightly spun and almost like rope, yet somehow not at all scratchy or rough. It's got great sheen to it too. Even though I'm not a big sock knitter, this yarn just screams socks. When yarn screams, I listen.

The Drops Alpaca is not a Swedish yarn; it is a Norwegian brand and Peruvian alpacas. I added this because it was in my stash and I thought you might like it!

You though right, lady. Mmm... alpaca...

The pink lace yarn is another Swedish wool yarn. This comes from the Swedish Finull (= fine wool) sheep. Actually, this sheep is a mixture of of a few breeds, but I think that could make it a a breed of it's own, right? Anyway, the yarn is made in Sweden from the sheep to skein. The producer, Ullcentrum, spins yarn of white, gray and black sheep to get colour variations, and then dyes the thing. This is why the pink is variegated!

How cool is that? Variegated before it's dyed. It's a very soft and squishy single ply yarn. The strands really stick to each other, so I'd like to exploit this in someway. It's going to need just the right pattern.

The dark red/wine red yarn is also Swedish. I don't know what kind of wool that is though, it was sold as "Swedish wool yarn". Actually, several Swedish wool yarn manufacturers don't use labels. I don't know why that is.

Is knitting so much more popular in Sweden that they just assume yarn-buyers will instinctively know what needles to use? The gauge? How much yardage is in a skein? Interesting. It's some nice yarn, though!

I hope you like the sweets!
Kristina (sticktantem)
The chocolate is, err, was, fantastic. Then this guy had me puzzled for bit:

Menacing bear... Salta? My guess was some kind of licorice thing, though I couldn't quite figure out the bear connection.

Aha! Wee licorice bears! This is serious licorice. Not like that Twizzlers nonsense that's just a vehicle for high fructose corn syrup. Serious. Swedish. licorice.

In the not-so-serious arena: Do you think this has ever been featured in Vice Magazine's tidbits section?:


Reckless Glue said...

mmmm Daim chocolate--always a weakness for me whenever we go to ikea--and salty black licorice? my fav! great swap!

Macoco said...

I love salt licorice! My sister's husband (from the Netherlands) introduced me to the stuff. I love coming home to packages, best feeling in the world. ;)

kgirl said...

great haul! Doesn't confectionery from other countries always look so intriguing?!

Nadine Fawell said...

Awesome goodies! I think I may have to try this swapping lark