Here is something you would think a person of my age and experience would have figured out sooner:  When choosing a knitting project to work on while on the plane, you should consider more than just the finished size of the item you are working on.  You should also consider (and this is a big one for me) how many colors are in it.  It turns out that even if all you want to take with you is a little old mitten to knit on in flight, if that mitten requires you to wield 8 full-size skeins of yarn in order to perform the color changes, you may still run into trouble.  That's what happened to me on the way from Washington DC to Washington State.  There I was, with this innocent little mitten cuff, and all the yarn in the free world, fighting for supremacy in my lap.  My 300-lb seatmates (one on either side, thank you very much) did not appreciate the exercise any more than I appreciated their elbows in my ribcage (one on either side, thank you very much). 

After that lesson, I promised myself that I would only work on projects requiring not more than two skeins of yarn at a time.  I would have promised only one skein at a time, but I don't want to sabotage my success by setting the bar too high.

In pursuit of that goal, I collected some extremely dreamy yarn last weekend:

From the delightful Village Yarn & Tea comes this Great Northern Yarns mink and cashmere blend.  Really?  Mink? Cashmere? Nothing to object to there, my friends.  And not as pricey as you might think.  What you can't see in the photo is that once it's knitted and washed, it forms this really luxe halo, not unlike 100% angora does.  Very silky and very warm.  No clue what to do with it yet and totally do not care - it had to be mine.  If this doesn't cure me of my need for multiple skeins, then I bet this will:

Locally grown, sheared and processed alpaca, put up exclusively for Renaissance Yarns of Kent, WA.  Lucky them.  Lucky us!  The buttery softness of this skein can only be matched by its perfect charcoal color.  Suggestions for use of 163 yards welcome.

And here I am, by the way, with the incomparable Nancy, who owns Renaissance Yarns.  Lady knows how to rock the LYS, I don't mind telling you.  Her shop is all decked out for the holidays, right down to the delicate scent of pine boughs in the air.  And her customers are all gifted knitters and excellent students, too.  The Mother Ship clearly called me home.

Tomorrow I'm off to Spokane for more adventures with yarn.  I get to meet none other than Kathleen Cubely, of Knitting Daily fame, and then to teach at Paradise Fibers, where we will explore both hats and mittens. 

I can't wait to show my new yarn to the people on the plane.  I think they'll really appreciate it.