Saturday, July 31, 2010

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Keeping busy:
After my shocking discovery of so many items that I WISH were finished, I decided to get to it.
Here's something that is a cooperative project started over a year ago.

Celina found the material, Grandma Aud (June 2009) cut out the pieces, and Grandma Julia (me, July 2010) finally sewed it together.  It should be perfect for a one-year old on vacation on the West Coast.
And I realize I only have a few days to get some clothes made for Mr. Foster:
Sock yarn, size 2 needles... quite an improvement from the last blog entry. Easy knitting while catching up on "Days".  Being away for 2 months, I missed... nothing!  I've been watching 2 episodes a day, having missed totally May 22 to July 12. And lucky me, nothing happened.  Starting with July 13 I watched every third episode online.  An hour program turns into 39 minutes of knitting time!
 Hopefully I'll get pants made too, and take a picture of Mr. Foster modeling next week.  I'll be without internet most of next week.  (I'm just saying!)
I promised a report from Knit Nite, but I forgot to take my camera.  K displayed her beautiful hubby sweater.  It's gorgeous, fits him, and I bet he'll wear it come November!  Mary got her socks back on track for the ?th time.  P is knitting a blanket/rug with plastic bits in it... and I borrowed another cable needle to work on my Toddler Top.  
I must have a thing about cables... seems like every project (except the above) has a cable needle needed.  I like cables... :-)  Count 'em in the previous blog!

Friday, July 30, 2010


In random order, with no specific order:

Mr. Foster needs a new set of clothes.
This is probably the most urgent.  Mr. F (stuffed monkey) has NO clothes.  This is the "scrubs" top and pants to follow. What you see are the sleeves (cuffs) at R top, and body in the middle.  All to be knitted together at the armpit. It would be nice if he had some clothes for his camping trip in Yellowstone.

Sock to finish.
The socks that have been on the yarn crawl, to Maine and back.  There's another one somewhere...

Pullover in fair isle (for toddler)

How impressive is this!?  I just wanted to feel the wool... and use my yarn jar... Really, it won't be needed for a year and a half.

New long-legged overalls (for toddler)
I stopped working on this because of the same reason as the fair isle pullover... I might some back to this for the feel... Heavenly!  

Dang, that mitten.
Started ages ago (look for it on Ravelry for date) and I love the pattern, and it wouldn't take any time at all to finish that thumb and 2nd mitten, but... other duties call!

Fancy cotton dress (for toddler)
This is the most challenging part of the dress.  Haven't decided if it will have sleeves, or short sleeves or as in pattern.  How 'bout those pretzel containers!  Perfect, except I can't remove the label.  Adds to the ambience around here.

Cotton top (for toddler)
The dreaded start-over winner.  I'm sticking to it (from time to time).

And last but... maybe least:
Tote Bag
What?  You can't see anything?  Maybe, MAYBE, if you click on the picture you'll see a bit of cable/crossover with two very dark colors.  Totes/bags hold the least amount of interest.  Not when I'm starting them, or purchasing kits, or patterns... I just don't stick to it.  I don't see the rush.  But it will be lovely, someday.

Knit NIght tonight!!  More pics tomorrow!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back to the Future!

I'm back and running with my fingers lagging behind.  Nails are clipped, and will stay that way for awhile.  Choir rehearsals, church services, and my flutist is champing at the bit to get some playing time in.  
Life has a way of interfering with our practice time.  And if it doesn't get done, well, nobody's happy!
ME brought her music to practice last night and the first thing she pulls out is a Poulenc Sonata; it's easy, she says, very slow.  It's the second movement.
Hmmm.  Not THIS Sunday. How about 3 weeks. (I'm going to be camping for one of those weeks.)
YIKES!  It will be fine in 3 weeks.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Yarn Crawl Finale

Yes, all good things come to an end.  It's time to knit, isn't it!!!

Day Six:
Covering 3 states today, we made an early dash to Green Mountain Spinnery.  A few days ago KE showed me this pattern book and I knew I had to find it: 


We tracked it down in the shop in Putney, Vermont arriving in the morning. Amazingly there is a cache across the street from the spinnery, and it was difficult for me to decide which to go to first.
With GPS in hand I decided to have a look for the cache first.  It was wasted time... I couldn't locate it.  I was sure I found the hiding place, but there was nothing there.  I even went back after shopping in case someone in the parking area had it but it still hadn't appeared.  So, back to the yarn crawl.

We were surprised that the spinnery is huge, and the shop is...well, tiny! 

 And the most tempting of yarn is their New Mexico Organic Wool.  

New Mexico Organic:  100% Fine Wool grown in New Mexico & Certified Organic by the NM Organic Commodity Commission Processing Certified Organic by Vermont Organic Farmers 2-ply DK Weight 2 oz. skein Approximately 180 yards

Somehow, it just seems wrong to purchase New Mexico grown wool in Vermont, when I'll be back in NM later in the week.  But, P didn't see anything wrong with it and she made plans to knit and purchased the wool for a pullover (East Putney Aran, page 6 in the above book).  Yummy NM wool dripping with lanolin.  Definitely rain-proof!

Then we headed south, crossing into Massachusetts, seeking out the Mecca of all yarn shops:  WEBS

How does a yarn shop get the www address  I forgot to ask, and I don't care.  I just know that I love their website, and their huge stock, and now I know why.

Home of Valley Yarns and my... Lions, Tigers and Bears! What a dangerous place!!!!!
One of the many endless aisles in the warehouse... Yes, you can shop in the warehouse, silly!

Where the aisles are numbered 100, 200, 300, etc.
Beaded socks...
Beaded cuffs...
Who can resist? Not I!
I purchased pattern and yarn for this great cardigan:  Sojouner Cardigan

I didn't take pictures of the weaving room... It was so inspiring that I am sure I can use up beaucoup time and yarn at home, relearning how to set up my loom.
We were lucky we got out alive! 

Next stop: NYS and finding a home for our lovely wares.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Still More Yarn in Maine!

After a good night's rest, with temperatures rising (heat wave in... Maine!! Who knew?) we primed ourselves for visiting 3 yarn shops in Portland.  Sonia, the car navigator, had us driving here and there, and sent us around in circles. Even when we could see the place we would hear: "Turn left in 200 feet."  ???  But nothing could deter us.  I admired P's handiwork (she wove these baskets for an exact fit under a window seat) and off we went in the yarn-mobile.

Day Four:Our first stop was Central Yarn in Central Portland.  An amazing button collection that covered a huge chunk of wall, and I sat on my camera! No, I didn't destroy it, just got carried away with looking with my eyes and feeling with my fingers.
Then, Sonia, sent us around and around the block until we tired of that.  On our own, we found Tess' but alas, no one was home. And no one answered the phone number on the door, so we continued on to KnitWit Yarn Shop.  We felt right at home, being Knit Wits ourselves.  This is where I found the lovely yarn jars!

And their own spun merino (without tags) which I found too yummy to resist.

I found that two yarn shops a day is my limit!  Especially since we would be traveling another (I say, ANOTHER) 2 days.

Day Five:
On the road again, heading west and home.  I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel... I've been away from my bed at home for 47 nights, so I was ready to move along.
We took some beautiful, undivided highways straight west into New Hampshire, carving a path to PatternWorks.  Beautiful New England setting, on a lake, with other craft stores in the same complex, white painted clap-board... sunny (hot) day and their "side-walk" sale made it a bit difficult to even enter the store!  Great bargains outside, and beautiful yarns, models and kits inside.  
I came away with the kit for Cable Tote in Purple.  Three interesting yarns are in the mix.
We asked for a recommendation of a place to eat and were sent around the corner to a lakeside restaurant called Canoe.  Still not too far from the coast, I treated myself to (another) Lobster Roll and Sweet Potato Fries. Yum!
P's tuna wasn't too shabby either!  Those are two long broccolini spears tempura'ed.  Rural New Hampshire!  I'll go back!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Did you know there someone out there with the name Halcyon?  What a great name!  And that someone is a friend of yarn-o-philes.  
And....  And...  there's a Yarn shop right on our route through Maine called Halcyon Yarn.  And... and... I knew about it because I've ordered yarn from them before!

And... And...  the shop is amazing!  

And... and... they have a "book room"
And... and... they have a "ladies room" where you don't have to hold on to a rail... (no picture...remember we had been on a boat for 4 days)  And... and...
the whole place was too big for one picture:  
So I took another:
And... and... I bought Debbie Bliss yarn just because!
And... and... it made me dizzy and short of breath, or was it the dry land?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day Three and Counting

Between days two and three (on the yarn crawl), we inserted the Non-knitters' Cruise. 

 It was a wonderful 4 days of sailing on the Isaac H. Evans around the islands on the coast of Maine.  

There was sailing and doldrums,

 geocaching, lobster bake, 

and we even attacked some Outward Bound kids who were resigned to days on a much less outfitted boat.
What is a pulling boat? Pulling boats are 30 foot open boats. Groups live, cook and sleep on board. Travel is either under sail or using oars. Groups spend some nights on shore but the majority of the nights are spent aboard under a tarp pitched between the masts. 
Emphasis on "live, cook and sleep on board."  

We spotted a "group" in one such boat.  There wasn't much lively chatter coming from them until our Captain Brenda quickly went into attack mode.  The young boys were equipped with slingshots, bread, marshmallows and any gull friendly ammunition that could be wrested from the galley.  

Their aim was not to be feared, 

and the kids from the attacked Pulling Boat, were as sullen as can be. 

 Then Hershey Bars appeared which were flung at them and the others sprang into action and they were suddenly adept at maneuvering.  With the use of paddles they were fishing them out of the water and were VERY glad for the interruption.
As we were driving back to Portland, in mid-sentence I shouted "YARN" and P skidded to turn in to a back road where we discovered Romney Ridge Farm.  Romeo, the goat, greeted us at the end of the driveway, and we milled around the chickens and admired the wool left on the sheared sheep.  A true road-side stand with mostly worsted to bulky weight yarn in wonderful colorways.
This tiny cabin was lined with shelves of... wool.
My purchase:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Flying with accessories

I worry about the knitting and accessories I carry when I pack for TSA.  Stephanie has a great way of putting it... see her blog.

On the other hand, I could never assume that my proximity to anyone on a plane would elicit a conversation longer than, "What are you making?"  Seldom will anyone venture a stab at naming the craft.  And when I answer, "Socks," the follow up question is, "Who are they for?" Clearly the eyebrow raising in response means I have hours of no conversation ahead, and I can continue with my complicated chart pattern.  Adults don't wear socks...(?)

My carry-on bag was re-scanned to get a better look under my yarn jar.  I love my yarn jar.
I was politely informed it would need a second scanning/screening and I realized that the second time it was on its side.  More yarn under it, I'm afraid....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Yarn and Knitting!

Got time?  I wonder if I do!
I've got a problem...
What can I say?  I even cut out a visit to "one more" yarn shop.  I figured more than 2 a day would be too much.

Our yarn crawl started near Buffalo, NY and ended with the Mecca of all: Webs in Massachusetts.  In between we hit 7 others.  Each time I vowed I would just look, but they put something in the air in yarn shops.  I swear I can resist cinnamon rolls better than yarns.

Day one:  Woolly Lamb

On a side trip to visit relatives, we stopped at Woolly Lamb in East Aurora, NY.  It's a great shop on Main Street, with New York State's Main Street at the front door, otherwise named Route 20A.  The street is wide, and brick fronts abound.  There are two doors in the front, one for the yarn shop and another for an eclectic clothing boutique.  They meet inside, so you can wander freely from one to the other.  One whole wall was devoted to sock yarns.  They are all placed in labeled drawers very much like keeping your stash at home.  One thing that prevented me from grabbing everything off the shelves was a lack of pricing.  I like to finger my yarn, look at the label and see the price attached.  Instead, I found the staff trying to eat lunch in the back, and had to bother them for the price of several items.  They showed me their "system" of clipboards hanging here and there, and then they themselves had some difficulty figuring out their method of alphabetizing.  I would like to think that should they bite the bullet and use stickers they would make the shop more user-friendly and possibly increase their sales.
I came away with MORE Heritage (Cascade) sock yarn.  Yum...
I've been looking for more solids to use for my intricate sock patterns from Cookie A....
Since it was July 2nd, we rushed back to start prepping for the July 3rd celebration at the lake.  Only one shop that day!

Day Two:  Purl Diva
After the 3rd, we drove 500+ miles to reach Portland, ME so we could sit under the stars, listen to the Portland Symphony with a noisy crowd (I estimate 5,000 in attendance) and watch the most amazing fireworks I've ever seen.  Yes, DC is supposed to be fantastic, but... I wonder how they compare?
The following day we took off towards Rockland to report in to our schooner captain Brenda, another 78 miles from Portland, all the while keeping our eyes peeled for signs of yarn.  P already knew of several, and easily found Purl Diva in Brunswick, ME.  We were indeed fortunate that they were open.  Being the 5th of July, so many businesses took the day off.  We might have been her only customers that day, and of course, I found the bargain I couldn't refuse:

P had me worried that I wouldn't have enough to do for 4 days on the ship... and I had a pattern I wanted to make with Rowan's Pure Organic Cotton.  This is a close match at !!! $2 per ball.  This was a cosy store in a beautiful cosy white clapboard house.  I'm so glad they were open!

(This is the yarn I used on my flights, not needed on the ship!  Too much to see and do, so I saved the knitting for car travel and .... see July 14 and 17.... sorry about the repeat of pictures... nice yarn!)

Day Three (to be continued)


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