For me yarn is inspiration. The feel of it, the colours (as many of my students will know, I am partial to some hand-dyed delights), the weight...it all spells out exciting knitting potential.
Wherever I go (back in the days when we all travelled), I seek out local yarn. My husband now knows this is part of any holiday agenda and I swear even enjoys helping me track down knitting and yarn stores and make them part of our day's tourist activities and route. The yarn that I dive into choosing from for my personal projects is a selection from all over the world. Some are from my travels as an actress (I still have two untouched hanks of local wool from an ad job in Lithuania...) and some from mini breaks and longer adventures. No climate deters me as this picture of me, literally sweating, in Hanoi, Vietnam confirms. I stumbled across a yarn store while we were out one night exploring night markets and street food and I dove straight in to find something natural and ideally local. Those are my personal yarn buying rules: it has to be a natural fibre and if not locally spun, dyed or from a breed native to that country...then a colour that will remind me of the experience I had on that trip. In this Vietnamese case, I went for a vibrant teal blue cotton as the majority on offer was acrylic (understandable given the climate). I bought just one ball, enough to add to a knitted sock or blanket to conjure up the memories of Vietnam, the heat, the food, the energy and the beautiful beaches we discovered on our travels.
I still have some of that gorgeous cotton left having added it to the heel and toe of a pair of socks I knitted for myself...maybe I should dig it out and make a plan for the rest of it...it would make a lovely addition to a summer shawl....