Psssst… make sure to go through to the end of the post! There is a giveaway happening! Enter by Tuesday, April 13, 2010!
I’ve been going through my blog stats and when I looked to see how people are finding the blog I was
surprised delighted to see that the large majority of search terms (as in more than 50%) included the word “Wollmeise” in it. Now, obviously I have a thing for Wollmeise and am in love with it, as all of my readers know. I was just not expecting that of all the search engine words I get, Wollmeise was winning by far. In particular, lots of people are apparently looking for a way to get Wollmeise, as “Wollmeise Updates” or “When does Wollmeise update?” were some of the largest subsets of searches! And because I’ve been particularly lucky in being able to get Wollmeise I thought it would be helpful to others for me to write down what I know about Wollmeise updates.
First things first. If by some miracle you are a knitter and still haven’t found Ravelry, I suggest that you head over there right this instant and sign up. Trust me, it’s worth it! Secondly, if you are on Ravelry but haven’t joined the Wollmeiseholics Anonymous group, go ahead and do that too. Again, totally worth it if you’re Wollmeise stalking! In particular, pretty much everything I’m going to write in this post can be found in some form or another in that group. However, I have found that the information can be scattered and for a newbie who doesn’t know where anything is, it can be daunting to go through. But if you prefer to find things out on your own (hey, I like to do that myself!), then just head over there and learn the ropes. It can be done! I know because I did it!
If for some reason unknown to me you don’t want to join Ravelry (really???), then following this post without the Ravelry references will still get you to score some Wollmeise, so don’t worry. However, joining Ravelry and the Wollmeiseholics Anonymous group *will* make things easier for you. Fair warning. Now for the goods:
1. Go to the Wollmeise website and bookmark the In Stock page for easy access. Is the page in German for you? Don’t worry! Click on the US flag on the upper right corner and everything will turn to English like magic! Make sure to bookmark AFTER clicking on the US flag so you don’t have to do it all the time! The In stock list is the page you want to refresh when stalking for updates – that’s the easiest way to do it!
2. Wollmeise update times have been changing a lot but since the beginning of the year Claudia (that’s the owner of Wollmeise) has decided to make them on Friday morning and Saturday afternoon**. That’s Germany time, not US! It’s never on a *specific* time, but there is a good range of times available. I usually catch the Friday morning times. That means it’s Friday EARLY morning or Thursday LATE night East Coast time depending on how you view it. Basically Friday between 1am-4am seems to be the range. For Saturday afternoon updates that’s Saturday morning East Coast time which usually happens between 9:30am-12pm. Again, these are *ranges* and is usually when I start stalking the site. It is possible that the update will happen a little earlier or later, but I’ve found that those time frames work for me.
**Update: As of June 2010, the updates are taking place on Friday morning and Friday afternoon. The times for Friday afternoon are the same as those for Saturday afternoon – usually 5pm Germany time, so around 11am East Coast time.
3. Before you start stalking, get the In stock list page up. Make sure you’re signed into your account. If you don’t have one yet, make an account! This will be necessary for when you’re actually buying the yarn. Do NOT wait until the update to sign in as you’ll miss out on a lot. Trust me.
4. The Wollmeise website is configured in such a way that right before the update goes live (as Claudia and her workers start putting up yarn on the site) the entire site – every page in it – will go GRAY for anywhere between 3 to 15 minutes. I’ve seen as much as an hour wait after it goes gray, but that’s very rare. Usually a gray screen means that the update will be live within the next 5 minutes, so you start refreshing quite constantly when you see that gray so that you don’t miss out when things go up! Finding out when the screen goes gray can happen in different ways. One, you can just keep hitting refresh every 10-15 minutes or so to see what is going on. Two (and what I usually do), you can refresh the Chatter Thread on the Wollmeiseholics Anonymous group every 15 minutes or so where someone will always yell out GRAY when they see a gray screen. I do this because I prefer to refresh the thread rather than the actual in stock list so I can read the chatter. But whatever works for you, as long as you can see when the screen turns gray.
4. What in the world? I don’t see gray right now but a bunch of flags! What is this? The flags are VERY common and you might as well get used to them right now. They basically are telling you that the server is overrun with people and is busy. Just keep refreshing through them! If you see a flag, hit refresh. Don’t stop and think about it as you might miss out on the update!
5. The update goes live – OMG there are so many colors! what do I do??? First off, there are many different ways to approach this. If you’ve been refreshing the In stock list – the best way to do it, IMO – you right away should open all the pages of the in stock list, if there are more than one, in tabs so you can see it all in a glance. You need to be quick about this! Make sure that you’ve done your homework and you KNOW what colors you’re looking for because these babies move fast and half of them won’t have pictures. This is where Ravelry and knowing what colors are what comes in handy! The second way is to have the colors you really want open (you do this BEFORE the update) and refresh those pages. Of course, in that case you have NO idea if the color you want will be updated that day, so it’s a risk. I only recommend doing this if you know for a fact you only want that color and *nothing* else!
6. So you click on a color you love and add it to the cart and OMG NO!!! More flags!!! What do I do??? Don’t worry, just keep on refreshing. If you’re sending it into the cart or checking out it will ask you to send the form again. Do it. Don’t worry about sending the form more than once, it will only go through once. Just keep refreshing and hitting “send” until it goes through. Make sure to go as fast as you can through checkout! There will be a page where you have to check a box to keep moving, so make sure that’s checked off or you’re losing precious time. Go as fast as you can – this is where speed *really* counts! Once you hit the page that says Pay with Paypal, you’ve got your yarn! Don’t worry about paying for it right then if you still want something else. You can just leave that window/tab open and use another tab to keep looking OR you can close it and when you receive your email confirmation there will be an order number there. You can then go to paypal later on and use the email address from the confirmation to send a payment to Claudia. Make sure at that point that you write the order number in the comments so she’ll know what it’s for. If you got cartjacked and lost your yarn, just go back to the in stock list and find something else you want! Things move fast, but during one update I usually do at least 2 and oftentimes 3 checkouts so there’s time to do that for sure.
7. How many skeins should I buy at once if they go so fast? That’s a good question. The main rule is that you should buy in sets of 2 or 5. The reason for it being the size of the envelopes that Claudia uses fit those amounts of skeins. So to minimize shipping costs (which aren’t cheap from Germany), you should try to go for 2 or 5 skeins. The orders will NOT be combined for shipping, so keep that in mind. If there are two colors I like and they’re right next to each other on the In stock page, I buy them together. If I feel like it’s a popular color and I know I won’t make it if I wait to add another color, I just check out with one.
8. Easter eggs. What the heck are those? Easter Eggs are colors that didn’t make it into the In Stock list – you have to hunt for them! The way I find easter eggs is either through pure sheer dumb luck – a color I wanted that I had open was available – OR I search for them. During the update you can see the in stock list and you KNOW what Claudia is offering that day. Either the Twin base or the 100% base or lace (could be all). Then you go into that section of the shop and start searching. Click on all the colors one by one – yes lots of flags! – and try to see if you can find one that says in stock! If you find one that wasn’t in the In Stock list, and you like the color, buy it and you’ve got yourself easter egg.
9. What is this We’re Different section and what are grab bags? Grab bags are bags of skeins that are one-off. They are usually grouped by color groups (Teal, Purple, blue, red, etc.) and come in small sizes (2 skeins) or large sizes (5 skeins). There are grab bags that are a random mixture of color, as well as some that are “harmonious” colors. If you get a grab bag you won’t know what exact color you’re getting until it arrives. It’s like a surprise! I love getting grab bags because they’re fun. But if you don’t want to be surprised, then I’d steer clear of them. Usually grab bags are on Saturday updates and single skeins are Friday updates, but that is NOT always the case. I’ve seen grab bags in a few Friday updates (and vice versa), so keep that in mind!
10. How long will it take for me to get my yarn? That SO depends on the customs officer that receives your package, on how slow the mail is going, on a million different little things that it’s hard to say. I can say that I’ve had it take as little as 10 days and as long as 20. So, a little while. Definitely not instant gratification, if you’re the impatient sort!
11. Wollmeise is so expensive, though! $45 on destash at Ravelry! … If you just paid $45 for a skein of Wollmeise on Ravelry, you’ve been cheated. And I know that this will piss off some people, but I don’t care! If you are selling Wollmeise for that much, shame on you. Honestly, those people are making a huge PROFIT from selling you Wollmeise at that price. For 1 skein I pay – including shipping from Germany! – approximately $32 depending on how the dollar is doing vs the euro that day. I honestly believe that you should never pay more than $35 for a skein of Wollmeise from a destash. Please stop buying from people selling it for more. It just encourages the behavior, which I find atrocious – to make a profit on someone else’s hard work.
12. Once you get your skein, enjoy its yummy and gorgeous colors! Just look at this bouquet (I think it’s a bouquet!) of colors I received recently!
And now for the fun stuff! As you can see, I bought two skeins of Stella Polaris (a very popular color right now!) and I didn’t mean to. I actually only wanted one skein – a little trigger happy with the finger there, LOL! I was going to sell it, but I thought wouldn’t it make a fun giveaway? So, up for grabs to one lucky winner, a skein of Wollmeise 100% in Stella Polaris:
If you are interested, please leave a comment by the end of the day, Tuesday, April 13 letting me know if you have any other questions about Wollmeise that I didn’t cover in this post. Also, if you post about the giveaway on your blog, come back here and tell me you did so with a link to your blog to get yourself an extra chance to win! If I get a lot of questions about a certain thing, I will update this post with the info. The winner will be picked by Random Number Generator – US or Canada shipping only. Good luck everyone!