Megan Canning. This was my first time - I brought an old project that I've been working on forever. It's not a difficult one but it is slow going because the yarn is so thin and on smaller needles, it takes much longer to finish. I also brought supplies for a new project, a ribbed cowl using Blue Sky Alpaca yarn I purchased at Purl Soho.
There was a good mix of people and skill levels, and it was great to get pointers on technique, yarn stores and general crafty ideas. It got me really excited to start other projects, and afterwards I bought enough yarn to fuel different projects for the next two months or so. I learned about the The Purl Bee from Megan, which is a great source for ideas and free patterns, and they link directly to supplies from their stores. Great little marketing tool as well!
Basically, it's bulky yarn on size 15 (24") circular needles. Cast on 48 stitches (you might want to do 49 or 50 if you don't want it that snug around your head). Knit 3 rows then purl 3 rows. Repeat. Finish with one last set of 3 knit rows, then bind off and weave in the ends. Total time is probably about 2 hours. Very quick and easy. This is 50% alpaca and 50% wool, which ensures that it is warm and snuggly.
As the weather gets warmer I'll have to start thinking of warm weather projects to make... or just stockpile for the winter. I would like to try selling some if they turn out well.
A great source for super cheap yarn is Knit Picks, which is usually where I order from if I don't need the yarn right away. They have free shipping with orders $50 and over, which doesn't sound like a lot but last night I bought $58 worth of yarn, which is enough for at least 8 projects. When the weather gets nicer I would like to check out WEBS Yarn in Northampton, MA. My friend Sean told me about this place, which is like a Mecca for knitters and crocheters. They have great fibers and you can go there and learn to spin your own yarn. There's also a butterfly farm nearby, as well as the Berkshire Mountains. Sounds like a fun field trip to me!