I'm going to add a little to what Courtney said, and then start drafting another post that'll take a little longer 'cause it's going to be some kind of rant or manifesto or something. But before I forget the details, here's a little about what we've seen:
Well, first, Courtney's right about how crazy the landscape is here. It's also really entertaining to listen to all of the locals complaining about how freezing cold it is right now--high yesterday felt like about 55. The hostess in the restaurant where we had dinner said to Courtney (enviously, I thought), "You look warm." And Courtney very politely refrained from saying, "This is called a 'coat'; this is a 'scarf'; you can buy them without a license! You should try it!"
And, second, Courtney's still asleep somewhere upstairs--yeah, right, she was going to get up at 5:30 a.m. Uh-huh. Sure.
But as for the yarn: I really came here hoping to sort out in my mind all the new crazy fibers--ingeo (the corn derivative), soy, bamboo, ones I haven't heard of yet. I wanted to see how they draped, how well the fabrics hold their shape, whether they seem likely to pill--the works. I haven't had any luck with that. Too many different blends, too much distraction from luscious wools and alpacas. Too many salespeople hovering at the booths waiting to pounce. Once you let them start a conversation, they won't let you go. And often I get the feeling that they don't really know all that much about fiber performance or knitting structure. Sometimes I get the feeling they might answer my questions honestly even if they knew.
It's a dog-eat-dog world here.
BUT. How about a spring Rowan booklet entirely dedicated to Summer Tweed? How about 6 new colors of Shokay yak fiber? How about a few MORE kinds of laceweight yarn? If that doesn't prove that we're total, hopeless yarn sluts, I don't know what will. I mean, all you laceknitters back home--any of you feeling bored with the selection of laceweight we've got now? Anyone thinking, "Gee, I'd really like to make that latest Gonzo Crazy Shawl from Smith Island, but I'm just so sick of Anne/Zephyr/Alpaca Lace"? And those of you who haven't knit anything big and lacy yet, is it because you just haven't been able to find a yarn/color you like?
Yeah, I thought so.
That'll be it for now. Like I said, I've got some bigger things to say, but they're going to take a little more time and consideration.