Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Maine Yarn Crawl

After teasing you with my travels, I think it's time to share the proceeds... so to speak.  
Here are some things that I didn't know would like a home in New Mexico:
First, a purchase from Halcyon Yarn.  What a wonderful experience in Bath, Maine.  Their catalog is enough to make you fall in love... but being there, and seeing and feeling.  It only makes me want MORE!  So, like a puppy wanting to sniff and nose everything, I staggered in a daze around the rooms, and I convinced myself that IF I was ever to get going on weaving, I needed a concrete plan.  And there it was...  These babies all packaged up with a pattern calling out, "Eat ME!"  And I did.

Homestead 8/2 cotton by Halcyon YarnLace / 2 ply
100% Cotton, 600 yards / 85 grams
AND I'm happy to announce that it works! I have the beginnings of towel number two on my loom today! (By the way, the Halcyon shop event was August 4th.)
Then, as knitters know, mistakes happen. Ripping out happens, and frustration, and sometimes, after repeated trials, you just can't take it anymore, and you...(Judy)... have a moment of insanity where you say to your neighbor, "Take it! I don't want it!" This happened to me, being the neighbor, and I put Judy out of her misery...NICE! Look at that color! Now, Judy, you may want it back, and as long as I haven't gotten it on needles, it's still yours! And to be fair, the color IS a bit darker than photographed, and remember, the reason you didn't like it was that it was too dark, and you "couldn't count". If you decide that the lighting at home is better than at camp, and there aren't four other chatty knitters to distract you at home, you are free to change your mind. (With the above caveat.)
Light Fingering / 3 ply
45% Wool, 25% Nylon, 20% Mohair, 10% Silk
437 yards / 100 grams

The LAST purchase, and the last one for today's blog... Something I never thought I would purchase, but the "high" of Tess' Designer Yarns put me over the edge...again. THIS time, we all agreed that going to Tess' on the last day of our 9 day trip was serendipitous. We wouldn't have appreciated the other shops as much, and we wouldn't have appreciated Tess' either!
The "yarn", or rightly referred to as "ribbon" was laid out on long tables with every wonderful color... undeniably understandably making the biggest knot in my stomach... So afraid I couldn't decide which color I wanted. It's like choosing who will live or die! Even three weeks later, I still envision all of those colors laying there, calling out...
Oh, yes, this purchase: I have two skeins of dark blue, and this one with blue and green-yellow for contrast. They have patterns, and models there to show it knitted... I was a goner. Hope I can do it justice!
Sport / 5 ply  100% Nylon
333 yards / 150 grams
Note:  The patterns were knit tightly, with a small gauge.
After being in my suitcase, and handled, I hope it won't be impossible to roll into a ball.

Thanks for tuning in.  I'm off to my stash-busting!  Feel free to scold if you see me buying more yarn from September to May.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Knit tour in Rockland

Outside there was a downpour!  Umbrellas were needed, and left at the door of "Over the Rainbow Yarn".  

Inside, there were all sorts of delights.  If you click on the photos you can zoom in on those display hats.  In Maine motifs... think "lobster".
And, oh so much, to choose from.  There were glamorous yarn bowls of inlaid colorful wood which were on the shelves.  Maybe you can zoom in to see those, too.
What did I buy?  Hmmm.  So many shops, so many purchases...  Can't think!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Her second mountain hike!  
This is Ulriken, one of the seven mountains that surround Bergen, and the highest.  It is closest to where we live, and 2110 feet high.  Papa climbs up the steep path every few weeks with his friends, and takes about 60 minutes to get to the top.  Here's J's first ascent with Papa, using 90 minutes, only 5 years old.  No problem!  It wasn't clear to me if they used the steep path, or the not so steep path, but they rode the aerial tram down.
Knitwear in August!  Grandma's contribution. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Packing for Camp

Disclaimer:  This report is from early August.

Returning from Norway with a suitcase full of yarn, however, my next adventure before going home is in the woods of Maine, with 4 other knitters.  We are making our own retreat by spending 6 days in a cabin, with outings to area yarn shops and lobster shacks.
Pre-camp we drove through Massachusetts, and (lucky us) we found WEBS just off the route.  The "mecca" of all yarn shopping sucked us in.  Eyes glaze over, and ... WEBS, I can resist your temptations online, but put me in the shop, and the tactile takes over.  
Thinking I had succumbed to the devil in the form of wool, I had no idea that the following day Freeport, the mecca of outlet stores had THREE wonderful tempting yarn shops.  No seconds... And below you see the damage done.  (Click on the photo for a close up.)

We went to LL Bean where I found it easy to resist purchasing ANYTHING!  
Above you see purchases starting next to the WEBS bag:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk+, Rowan Natural Silk Aran (pink) with the pattern book below it, and Madeline Tosh merino light (red).  Only the Rowan has a pattern idea with it.  The others were pure sensory purchases.  Then there's the BABag on the left which was an essential purchase to get everything home (think carry-on), and the wonderful little project/goodie bag that K made for each of us.
Most of this didn't make it to camp but waited patiently in Portland for my return.  We were "traveling light"... which was a good thing since we were 5 knitters in one vehicle, and miles of shopping to go!!
Yarn shops in Freeport:  Grace Robinson and Company, Mother of Purl, and Casco Bay Fiber Company.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Yarn on the Plane

Second sock syndrome... Knitting without thinking!  I turned the heel and began knitting the insole when after a dozen or so rows I realized I was using the WRONG CHART!  THIS is what makes an 8 hour flight zip by.  I unraveled only the insole and left the heel decreases.  It worked (this time).

Catching up with the summer.  Where did the last month go?
Here are the same socks--finished!!
Sorry, kind of a crappy picture, of yummy brown tweed.  Lots of bits of black and beige, somehow looking not so black and beige.  The pattern is Cookie a's Twisted Flower, and these are my FIRST socks using Stroll Sock yarn.  "I love it!!!"  First of many, I hope.  Thanks, Marguerite for the tip off.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fifth Birthday!

Doll cakes are a tradition... My grandmother was a master cake maker, and baker. (She had weekly standing orders for dozens of rolls:  Not uncommon to see her kitchen filled with 20-40 dozen rolls rising. But I digress...)  As the only grandchild for 18 years, my early birthday cakes were often barbie knock-off dolls planted in richly decorated cakes.  Back then, she shaped the cakes, and bought real dolls.  That was the '50's, and even when my daughter had her early birthdays, grandma was the go-to source in the '80's.
My daughter couldn't wait to try her hand... and with the help of correctly shaped pan, and all sizes of top-only dolls, she created a beauty!
It was really impressive.  I wish I could have caught the look my granddaughter had on her face when she first saw it.  It's one thing to see it in progress:

 But pretty impressive when finished.

There were two parties, and at the first one, no one dared to ask for cake!  Funny... it was just a curiosity.  The second party was only 4 and 5 year olds, and there was much speculation as to what the rest of the doll looked like, and "is it really cake" was thoroughly discussed.
They couldn't wait to cut into it, which was a good thing.  I'd hate to throw it all away!
The chocolate cupcakes were a huge hit and disappeared without discussion.
It was all "princesses and pink"!
 And the boys loved it!
 And the girls got to kiss the frog.  Lipstick is always a winner!

Friday, July 18, 2014

On Hold.

And then there was an unexpected project.
I can't stand to see (some) things unfinished.  Especially beautiful projects that have languished for years in upstairs spare bedrooms, with no hope of ever attaining FO status.
I'm guessing it has been at least 8 years since my daughter took over our house on a visit by creating, planning, and piecing this quilt.
Until I unfolded it this morning, I had no idea how HUGE it is.  What was she thinking?  This is stretched out on a California King-size bed.  It's turned so it is wider than long. And gorgeous, no?
As with many a quilt, I'm sure, the quilting got in the way.  It's so much fun to play with the colours and put it together, and so... time consuming, and heavy, and repetitious, to quilt it.  She has learned her lesson though.  She quilted most of the centre (not the outer two rows of inner blocks) and then put it away, and then folded it nicely on a single bed in her mother-in-law's upstairs spare room.  And she hasn't "quilted" a piece since.  She has made several smaller quilts, and sent them to be quilted by the local quilt shop.  And they are beautiful.
Unfortunately for me, obsessive-me, I slept in that bed last weekend.  Only it was 80 degrees in that room, I had to move it, and I discovered it needed binding.
Having 2-1/2 weeks left here, I thought... yeah, I can do that!  But this morning, I see how much work it's going to be.  When you count the borders, I bet it is half quilted.  I spent hours this morning replacing basting that had fallen out.  It will NOT cross the ocean, so if it gets closer to finished, that's what it will be.
 If I should get to the first border, it will be machine quilted from there.  In fact, I had grandiose plans to use the machine for the triangles, but the size of it, and the turning on those little pieces... to match what's there already, make it impossible.  I guess I'll be staying warm!
A 36 cm hoop.


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