Posts Tagged “Travel”
I’m back in NJ again and ready to share the crafty stuff I’ve been doing lately with y’all.
First off, on the way down to camp we stopped in Roanoke, VA for the night. To my surprise, DPUTiger was working an event nearby and asked if we could do dinner or something!
We had a great dinner at a downtown BBQ joint that we had been to before and then took an adventure out to find ice cream. The place was rather charming, what with the Big Ass Umbrella and all.
See? I wasn’t kidding. It was huge. HWJF couldn’t resist a picture (even with the iPhone at night). The ice cream he had was of similar size. I do believe a fun time was had by all and I was glad we could spend some time with Amy considering it was her birthday and I truly believe that No One should have to work on their birthday!
At bassoon camp, I mostly spent my crafting time spinning. I’m starting to think about fall shows for Zarzuela’s Fibers (which I hope to open again sometime this week!) and making samples for display in the booth. With that in mind, I took some of my “Blue Jeans and Leather Shoes” colorway in superwash merino and spun it up into a two ply yarn.
I sent this yarn and one other home with our friend Gerry who is a wonderful knitter and will be knitting up a sample for me in this yarn.
The other spinning project I worked on was sort of a test run for a new colorway and a return to making a true three ply yarn.
It seemed to take forever but I’m very happy with the results. It turned out to be a good solid sock weight yarn, which was exactly what I was going for. I’m not sure how many more skeins of this there are in my future, but I’m pleased with how the colors worked out in this merino-tencel fiber. What do y’all think?
There was also a bit of knitting on the trip. I’ve been in a “finish old projects” mood so I took this pair of socks with me that had been on the needles since last August!
Narraganset Bay Socks
Pattern: Narraganset Bay Socks from “A Fine Fleece” by Lisa Lloyd
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport (2 balls)
Needles: Size 1 knitpicks
I really love the end product with these socks but knitting them felt like it took forever and a day. I thought the pattern would be interesting to knit, but either I just wasn’t in the right mood or knitting and purling just wasn’t enough to keep my attention.
The yarn was a bit splity and the needles quite sharp so that may have had something to do with it. Still, I’m glad I made them. I think they are quite pretty and will be a good addition to the winter wardrobe.
Lest you think that I’ve turned into a slow sock knitter, I spent the last week while I was home with my parents making up for my failure to get my Mom a pair of socks for Mother’s Day (nevermind that my surgery was the next day and I was a bit preoccupied ).
They’re just a plain old pair of stockinette toe up socks using my usual construction. I knit them in two different colorways of Blue Moon’s Sock Candy, alternating the yarns every couple of rows to blend the colors. Mom has wide feet in a size 10, so I was worried that I would have enough yardage to get a complete pair out of them.
I really had no reason to worry because I ended up with plenty left over. I knit these in about 7 days. Much more reasonable time frame there. I finished them just before we left for me to come back to NJ yesterday. Perfect timing.
Getting back to the actual trip away, no vacation would be complete without at least a little stash acquisition. Believe it or not, it took until just about our last day on the road for me to buy yarn. I looked in some of the usual places, but I think I’ve honestly gotten to the point where if the colors don’t call out to me or there isn’t something really special about it, I’m just not too anxious to buy yarn. I have plenty of stash to work through at the moment and with job concerns and hospital bills still possibly on the horizon, it just doesn’t seem that important. But we stopped at two yarn stores on our way back through Roanoke and I came home with these three yarns:
From the top they are:
Blue Ridge Yarns Kaleidoscope
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock
Not sure if I’ll knit them up or something else during SOS’09 just yet, but they’ll wait for me no matter when I use them.
So I think that just about covers it!
I’ve got grand plans for this (hopefully) last week that I’m off work. We’ll see how much I actually get done. I just want to thank you all again for all the well wishes I’ve received on my recovery. Things are going well and I see my surgeon on Thursday to find out if I can drive again and go back to work next Monday. I’ll keep you posted!
Finally, make sure you go check out the SOS’09 group later today. We’re gearing up for the start this weekend and I hope to have a good announcement or two to share. See you there!
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Thank you all so very much for all the congratulatory comments on the last post!! Definitely a new commenting record. We are, of course, insanely happy. The response from our friends of many stripes and family has been overwhelming. I just keep telling HWJF how incredibly loved I feel. It’s really been amazing and has been so awesome to share our joy with so many. So much so, that it’s been hard to bring myself to write a new post, but lest you think I’ve fallen on my way to happy land, here I am.
I thought I’d answer a couple of the questions that I seem to keep getting from various factions.
1. No, I will NOT be knitting a wedding dress. Plans for a shawl have been in the works for some time however. There will be a blend of cormo, angora and maybe some silk, spun up and knit by me if I can find the time between now and then.
2. No, we will not be getting married at Wildacres. Sorry bassoon camp friends!
3. No, we will not be getting married at Rhinebeck. Sorry fiber friends! Also, although we are aiming for fall of 2010, do not worry! We will not be picking a date to interfere with us attending Rhinebeck in the near or distant future. A girl has to have her priorities after all.
4. No, we do not have a place or date yet. Let’s just say the process of dealing with those two issues got into full swing last week and I’ve already been totally stressed out. We are hoping to have that nailed down by April. I’m hopeful, but a bit panicked about that at the moment.
I think those are the main ones. I’m sure I will be posting some details of the planning process here as I go along, but I certainly don’t want this to turn into a wedding blog and I’m sure that’s not what you come here for either. You should excuse me if there’s a bit of a production slow down in the coming weeks though as we try to find our place and date. I’ve felt it already. My head is still in the clouds and quite frankly I’m trying to enjoy that feeling while it lasts as much as possible. The stress is already rearing its ugly head and we’re gonna try and stomp that down if we can. But I have found myself staring out the window instead of knitting on the way to or from work lately. And I haven’t touched a wheel since before we left for Chicago. Priorities are a bit different at the moment I guess. That’s normal, right?
So let’s go back to the rest of that trip to Chicago for a bit. After the excitement of getting engaged, we spent a lovely few days enjoying the rest of our trip. As you saw in the engagement photos, we took Amtrak there and back and got a sleeper car for the longer legs of the trip. I don’t think I was quite prepared for just how small the room really was, but we seemed to get used to it pretty quickly.
What you can’t really see in this pic is that HWJF’s feet are nearly touching the back of my seat and the other bed folded down from above. Cozy for sure. We didn’t sleep too well on the way out (wonder why?!? ) but we slept like rocks on the way back. We got into Chicago around 9am on Wednesday and hit the ground running. The first stop was the Shedd Aquarium:
My only complaint with getting to the aquarium was that we had to park at Soldier field and I mistakenly thought there was going to be a bus. Hence, the lack of hat. And it was cold!! And not a short walk! Obviously I survived. It was a great aquarium and we definitely enjoyed it. My favorite animal was this funky breed of seahorse:
Next it was on to the planetarium which was another not very short walk away on the same campus.
See the wind whipping those flags? Cold!! But inside was a lot better. Unfortunately at this point the travel schedule and lack of sleep was starting to catch up with me so I was a little more tired and less interested than I should have been. We watched two shows, one of which was in a modern theater with a modern projection device. The other in the country’s first planetarium which was more like a fair ride than what you would expect, but quite interesting none the less. I must have learned a thing or two despite the tired because I found myself looking at the sky after yoga one night last week and was able to find Orion which I hadn’t been able to do before.
We finished the day by finally being able to check into our hotel, crashing for a two hour nap, getting an amazing dinner at Brazzas and I enjoyed the opening reception at the conference.
Thursday was all business for me during the day while HWJF made a trip to the Fox Bassoon factory to pick up his bassoon and have a tour.
You can see the full set of pictures from his trip here. I’m a tiny bit jealous that I didn’t get to go along, but I had plenty to do. Here’s one interesting shot from his trip.
A bunch of bassoons ready for keywork.
That evening we had a dinner of deep dish pizza (which was good but made me realize what an east coast girl I am) and I ran back to the conference for our second annual SnB where I got to meet none other than Franklin!
Franklin pictured with Laura Gayle.
He was a ton of fun and was kind enough to gift us all with a tote bag featuring his art work. I had a great time knitting with my fellow librarians for a bit and HWJF was kind enough to hang around and wait for me.
Then we took a very cold walk over to the John Hancock center to get a view of Chicago from above.
The next day went so fast it was almost a total blur. I did more conference stuff and then HWJF and I took a quick run through the Art Institute of Chicago where we both got to see a couple of favorite works of art.
That was followed by a mad dash through the Chicago Symphony store. And lest you think I’d leave a town without yarn or fiber of some sort, HWJF dropped me off at Loopy Yarns while he went to get our car so we could head back to the train station.
What a lovely shop! Franklin had recommended it and I was sorry I couldn’t have stayed for the event they were having that evening. I managed to take advantage of their sale and a couple of skeins of Lorna’s Laces went home with me. The shop owners were very kind and I ended up going home with another tote bag featuring Franklin’s artwork as well. At this point my back was not good and I had the beginnings of a whopper of a cold, and they were nice enough to let me sit and wait for HWJF inside after I had made my purchases.
After that it was back on Amtrak for our 24+ hour journey back home. I have to say I am very much in love with train travel now and I think HWJF would agree. It was definitely one of the more relaxed travel experiences I’ve had in a while and not worrying about how much shampoo I was bringing with me or taking my shoes off certainly helped. We also were able to take advantage of the nicer lounges that Amtrak offers its first class passengers (which includes roomette ticket holders like us) and that made things even more comfortable. Knowing that our luggage would arrive when we did was also quite nice. I would definitely do it again!
So I hope you enjoyed this little travelogue of the rest of our Chicago trip. Next time there will be actual knitting content including a finished engagement sweater and more!
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First off, I want to thank you all so much for your very thoughtful, insightful and interesting comments on my two rather heady posts last week. I really enjoyed reading the responses and thinking about the points that many of you raised. It’s a lot to think about. Balance definitely seems to be key, and trying to find it in our crazy world right now can be so tough. It’s nice to know that so many of you out there are struck by many of the same things. So thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with me.
Second, I just have to type it. President Obama. Wow. That feels good! Here’s hoping that the hope and joy many of us are feeling right now will last more than the first 100 days.
We had a fantastic time in New Hampshire and Portland, Maine this weekend (which oddly enough, was cut short by the fact that my dept. has suspended Saturday work until May. Go figure?!). We started off with bassoon day at UNH which was quite an enjoyable and interesting time. Instead of a single guest artist, a bassoon quartet made up of the UNH professor and three of her colleagues from various groups including the Boston and Portland symphonies did the class jointly. Interesting to get so many differing perspectives at once. I hope the young people that were there got as much out of it as we did! We also got to reconnect with some bassoon camp friends which is always a good time.
After that it was on to Portland where we checked into The Inn at St. John. It’s a lovely B&B and the accommodations were quite comfortable. The price was right too since the room was nearly half the price of what it would have been in the summer! Here’s our room:
And the front of the building from the street:
Saturday night we took in a Portland Pirates game (the Sabres AHL affiliate and yet another reason for me to want to move to Portland!). Oddly enough, we must have been in serious vacation mode already because we both forgot our phones, HWJF forgot his wallet and I didn’t bring the camera, so there is no photographic evidence. It was a good game. Unfortunately, the Pirates lost (although they *were* outplayed most of the game) and with only a couple of min. left one player got a puck to the face and some missing teeth had to be retrieved. Ouch!
As you can see from the picture above, we had a
teeny bit of snow while we were there. 15 inches all told! This was the car when we went out Sunday morning:
But the Subaru, she never disappoints! We drove around all day in it without a problem. We did a lot of things during the day, but the highlight was probably taking in the Art Museum.
And I finally got FO pics of a certain hat!
Handspun Turn a Square Hat
Pattern: Turn a Square by Jarod Flood aka BrooklynTweed
Yarn: Hand dyed merino, spun on my Matchless and navajo plied. Seen here.
Needles: Size 7 knitpics harmony circs
Mods: Because of my gauge difference I used 88 stitches and didn’t do any increases
This is another “why the heck didn’t I think of that” pattern. So simple yet so brilliant. It takes the mind of someone with talent to realize that a square will fit a round head. Seriously.
I really enjoyed the process of creating this hat from the dyeing on up. If you’ll recall, I dyed 4, 1 ounce strips of roving in three colors. I spun 1 ounce of the black, then 0.5 ounces of the green, 0.5 ounces of black, 0.5 ounces of blue, etc. and navajo plied the yarn to keep the colors together so they would stripe. I was then able to just knit the hat without doing anything special with the yarn and only needing to weave in two ends. I did use the “jogless jog” technique described in the pattern to keep the stripes as true as possible. I’ve had a couple of requests for a tutorial on that, which I hope to do soon.
Despite my fears, I actually had more than enough yarn and HWJF lamented that there wasn’t more of the blue in the hat. But it does fit and he is happy with it and I haven’t had to bug him to wear it (too much anyway ). I think this was definitely a successful project and it got good use while we were in Portland!
At bassoon day I cast on for another of these hats in Cascade 220 and Noro Silk garden that I picked up at Modern Yarn before I left.
Finished it in the dark in the car on the way to Portland. Not a bad use of a day! This one is going to be donated to the Music Library Association for their silent auction at the conference next month. I have enough yarn to eek out another one and hope to do so before the conference.
Despite my serious attempts at being good, we did visit two yarn stores while in Portland. The first was KnitWit, which was a lovely little store with a good selection of luxury and workhorse yarns. And with giant mittens on the wall!
I picked up a skein of Trekking that will, no doubt, grace the feet of HWJF at some point.
On our way out of town we also stopped by Seaport Yarns. I find this totally humorous since I have yet to get to the one in NYC, despite working in midtown, but I’ve been to the one in Maine! Another small, well stocked shop, with a good selection of sock yarn. I definitely got the feeling that they are more geared to the online business while in the shop though. Still, I managed to find something that had to go home with me.
I think after the cold and snow of the weekend, and with thoughts turning to our coming trip to Chicago next month, I was thinking “We both need another warm cowl!”. Not sure what pattern I’ll use for these, but the softness of the yarn is mighty appealing and it’s going to be tough to stay away from for a while.
There’s still a sweater that needs buttons though…
, yarn shops
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I guess I’d better tell you about Christmas before 2008 comes to an end! I’m having a hard time trying to think of what to tell you. There was food, there was family, there was shopping. It’s all kind of a blur at this point. HWJF’s parents gave us a lovely holiday as always. Among the gifts was a bread board, which is sort of a rite of passage in his family. I guess we have to be grown ups now. There was also this beautiful vase they brought back from Kaiser on their trip to Germany.
Shown on a placemat my Mom needlepointed for us. It’s got bunnies!!!
I told HWJF he’ll just have to buy me flowers more often now.
There was one funny story I have to share. We stopped in Freeport on our way up to visit LLBean. After another awesome late lunch at Gritty’s we headed over to the Bean campus and what do I see on the side of the road but two people with live sheep!
I know the pic sucks, but it was the best I could do. They must have had a living nativity going on or something and they were wrapping it up. I got back to the street just in time to shoot a couple of pics and watch them load the two sheep in the back of…
A SUBARU WAGON!!!
This is much more funny when you know that HWJF’s car is a very similar one and there have been multiple jokes about me not being able to take his car to a Sheep and Wool Fest for fear that I will come home with a whole sheep in the back. I don’t know where he would ever get that idea. Needless to say, we had a good laugh at that one!
Of course, I know that you mostly come here for the fibery stuff, so why don’t we just get to that?! When we are in Maine for Christmas, we’ve begun to make it a tradition to visit Yardgoods in Waterville on the 26th for their annual sale. I love this shop! They are very friendly and have a great selection of yarns and 20% off doesn’t hurt either! After much debate with myself I decided on yarn for two sweaters, one of which I can’t believe I found the pattern for, as I’ve been looking around at it online for quite sometime now and haven’t really been able to locate a copy. Wouldn’t you figure I wasn’t looking for it at the time? This lopi book:
Has this sweater which I adore:
I kind of have a thing for roses. Of course, since I get to pick the colors, my roses will be BLUE! I’m sure you are shocked. Since there was no lite lopi to be had and it got the same gauge, I choose some lamb’s pride instead.
Then I found some DIC Classy hiding on a bottom shelf. I’ve heard good things about this yarn (although I hear now that it stretches when it hits water, which can be resolved by a quick trip in the dryer- wouldn’t you know our dryer died a couple of weeks ago?!?) and there were two lovely colors. Unfortunately the rich brown that I really loved was only one lonely skein, so I went with this instead:
It’s going to grow up to be a Red Rings pullover, because after I saw Kim’s, I decided I needed one.
One other item followed me home. This shop has everything you could possibly imagine for crafting, so I took advantage.
Expect to see that on my shop materials very soon.
The next day HWJF was kind enough to humor my still burning desire from this summer to visit Halcyon. So we ventured out on the 2 hour drive and let me just tell you, Totally Worth It. It’s a lovely shop with knitting, spinning, felting, rug hooking, weaving and other supplies. They have a ton of books, all sorts of samples ready made and great shelving and lighting so you can wander about and find things. The help was also kind, friendly and knowledgeable. It was a great experience. They weren’t having a sale per se, but I did find some things I haven’t found elsewhere. First up, two more bobbins for the wheels:
These are the high speed bobbins that go with the high speed whorl I bought at Rhinebeck. I was getting good take up without them, but I have some plans for some serious lace spinning this year so I thought it was time to make the investment. I have yet to have a chance to try them out.
I also found Harrisville Shetland on cones! I plan to make two pairs of these mittens, one set for me and one for HWJF and I should have plenty of yarn to do it with now. We decided on a russet red and a dark blue:
I have dreams of making the Ivy League vest someday, which also calls for this yarn, so I think this will be a good test run.
As if all that wasn’t enough, on the way back home we stopped in Portland and by a stroke of luck, Tess was open on a Sunday! I had a really nice time talking with the owner (and being greeted by her daughter’s dog!) about dyeing and festivals and such and tried to put the bug in her ear to come back to Rhinebeck soon! You may recall that I bought two skeins of her superwash merino this summer, which I only returned home to find out was not enough to knit Portland. I wasn’t able to get another skein, so I remedied the problem another way:
This picture doesn’t do the yarn justice. Trust me. But I have enough for Portland now.
As many of you noticed, there was also another stop on the way back. After spending the night with friends in CT we took a quick detour to Webs! I haven’t been back there since I moved to NJ in 2006 so it was really awesome to get the chance to go back. I visited the new bead store, which was quite nice, but didn’t have what I was looking for at the moment (and honestly, I walk past 12 bead stores every day I go to work that are at least twice the size) so there were no purchases there. I saved it for the yarn!
We were on a bit of a tight schedule, but I managed to make it out only one min. after my deadline. And that was mostly because the place was Crazy Busy. Gotta love that end of the year sale. I was very glad we got there when they opened! By this point, my credit card was pretty much screaming at me to knock it off, so I managed to limit myself to yarn for just one more sweater. Colorwork is definitely on my goal list for 2009 (more on that next time) and I’ve been dreaming of a Dale of Norway sweater for quite some time. What should I happen to find as a browsed their patterns?
Say hello to Sirdal, who has been patiently sitting in my queue for quite some time. I’ll be knitting this baby in a dark navy blue and white, because lets face it, this one is going to last a while and it had better be in colors that I’ll wear!
I also found the Canadian Olympic commemorative edition booklet and will no doubt have a couple of those sweaters in the queue none too soon. Especially Lake Louise (since I’ve actually been there)!
I’m so excited about these projects I don’t know what to start first! And you should have seen the car. HWJF started calling it the “jersey wooly” there was so much yarn! I guess it might have been cheaper if we’d flown after all.
I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve! I plan to kick off 2009 on the blog with a 2008 wrap up and then it will be on to a new year of knitting and spinning fun. See you then!
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Posted by Jessica in Travel
Happy Monday everyone!
We’ve just arrived home a few hours ago. HWJF is already at work. I’m attempting to unpack and get organized to go back to work tomorrow. It was a wonderful trip, full of good food, great company and a whole lot of shopping. However, this:
Represents far more credit card damage than I care to acknowledge publicly right at this moment. I’m sorting out, and when I’m done you can be sure that I’ll recount the goodness for you. Until then, I hope you all had a Happy Holiday Season so far and I’ll try to dig out from under the yarn pile before the end of 2008!
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As always, I find it difficult to put Rhinebeck weekend into words. It’s a glut of fibery goodness and stash acquisition what with all the fantastic vendors and things to see, pet and buy, but it’s also so much more for me. It’s a home coming since I get to stay with my folks, spend a bit of time with them and visit the area where all my childhood memories were made. It’s officially fall for me as I discovered again this year and we traveled over the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge Saturday morning for the first time and got to take in the breathtaking early morning view of the Hudson River and the fall foliage in full display. And this year, it was even more special since I got to share my love of everything this weekend offers me with HWJF and got to see him experience his first Rhinebeck.
My first stop of Saturday was the Golding Spindle booth. It was a little early and they were still setting up, but once I was able to get in I started trying to make a decision. HWJF had told me in advance that this would be my Christmas present.
(When the heck did my hair get so long?)
It wasn’t an easy decision and I probably drove Kristy, Sharon and Sairy crazy as they waited for me to make up my mind. Once I finally made my selections, it was on to the rest of the show.
We got to meet up with Anne and her son and watch him start to experience his first Rhinebeck. He got to pet some Alpacas! Lucky kid.
After that things become a blur of intermittently meeting up with friends and drooling over the good stuff with the occasional infusion of a hot cider or some other fair food (I finally tried the artichokes. They are as good as reported. HWJF even had some.) to keep us going. As you can see from the picture of me in the Goldings booth, the weather was rather cool which sadly kept my sweater, despite it’s alpaca content, hidden under my coat for the majority of the festival. I was asked by fellow NJ FiberFanatics Laurie, Marilyn and Linda to show the sweater at one point and HWJF comment at how wrong it looked for me to be opening my coat in that manner.
At one point rather early on Saturday I sent two new spinners off to find their perfect wheels. Lucky for them Carolina Homespun and brought two lady bugs with them for the festival or there may have been a fight.
I think those smiles say it all. Yay for new
Speaking of gateway drugs, I hear fleece is one of them.
Not that I would know anything about that. While I waited in the line to get into the fleece sale HWJF brought me food and ran some of my stuff and Kristy’s to the car. The women behind me on line commented that “He’s good.” and “You better hang on to him!”. Yes. Yes I plan to.
We even got to see friends from a different context at this festival.
That’s our friend Will from Bassoon Camp in the lovely green and white sweater with some of his friends and relatives. The sweater was made by the very nice woman to his immediate right. Yay for knitters and bassoon appreciators!
When we were all shopped out and quite tired of the cold on Saturday we made our way out of the fairgrounds (in record time. Yay for knowing back roads!) and across the river to Panera to have dinner and get the new spinners set up on their new wheels. It’s not every day you see three ladybugs in Panera!
I also got to try out my new high speed whorl. Now I don’t have to treadle like a mofo to get the laceweight I’m making for shop orders done! Whee!!
We made our way over to the Ravelry party later on only to find a scene of chaos as far as parking when. Sairy and Sharon decided to skip it but Kristy, HWJF and I stayed for about an hour, during which time the cops were called and HWJF had to move the car. Fun times. At least there was beer and food. We also got to see Sarah, Chris and Carolyn as well as run into Kim for a second time (we saw her and Yvonne at the Fold in the morning).
After a long day we headed home only to stop in our tracks about two miles from home when we found a loose horse on the side of the road at 10pm. I jumped out of the car to secure it before it got hit only to find myself standing on the side of the road freezing my ass off with a strange horses’ halter in my hand and no clue what door to bang on to find the owner. Luckily, one of the locals who knew where he belonged came along and woke up a neighbor who took him off my hands. I still can’t believe how many people kept driving and didn’t stop. As my Dad would say “The country ain’t what it used to be!”
Sunday found me driving to the train station to send Kristy on her way fairly early and then back to the festival on my own while HWJF and my Mom dealt with the car trouble that could have made this a very short weekend for us (luckily it was just a bum battery and was replaced without issue, but getting it jumped twice on Friday was looking dubious for a while). I met up with Sharon and Sairy again.
I observed a weak moment.
And a funny one.
And many others before they had to head back to NJ. HWJF, my Mom and I continued on for a while. I finally made HWJF pose with his Cobblestone next to another.
I definitely like my model better.
Mom and I indulged in a little fried dough before she left. HWJF and I finally got to see some animals.
We also finally got to see Kris at the Coopworth breed display and watch a future spinner get their first lesson.
And there might have been another fleece purchase.
By that time the festival had wound down and I made one more purchase before we headed home. Tired, cold and happy. When asked if he would ever come with me again, HWJF’s response was the title of this post. I think I got a little teary.
If all that wasn’t enough, on our way home on Monday we decided to go for a “little” walk at Mohonk.
You’re going to want to clicky to biggie those pictures! Trust me!
I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. HWJF did not complain once and kept us all in stitches (ha!) most of the time. Yep. I think I’ll keep him.
(Sorry for the lack of linky love but I’ll never get this posted if I don’t do it now. More on the stash acquisitions in the next post. Thanks for reading if you actually got this far!)
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… how’s about I tell y’all about Maine!
It was awesome!
No wait! There’s more!
Despite leaving after work on Wednesday we didn’t actually get into Maine until Thursday morning. It seems that we must have officially reached “old” or something because the prospect of getting in at 1am or later did not appeal to us this year. We stayed with friends near Boston Wednesday night and were on our way Thursday morning.
First stop was Portland. There’s something so very charming to me about this city. Perhaps it’s the smallness compared to my daily fight with NYC, perhaps it’s the smell of salt on the air that instantly makes me crave steamed clams and lobster, or maybe it’s the people who totally dress like I would want to dress on a daily basis and don’t seem to notice that they’re special. Either way, I just love Portland. And this time around I finally got to go to Tess’ Designer Yarns! Every time we’ve tried before it hasn’t been open but this time we were lucky. I was so excited I didn’t even get a picture, but you better believe I got yarn!
It wasn’t an easy decision, but I ended up with these two skeins of their Superwash Merino. It’s so silky and the colors just imidiately grabbed me when I walked in the door. There is a touch of buyer’s remorse with these only because I probably should have gotten a third skein. Now that I’m back to Ravelry access, I find that the sweaters I had in mind need a touch more yardage. I may just call them to see if I can get more though. I also bought sock yarn for HWJF which has become the yarn of choice for his Ravelympic socks.
I didn’t start them until Saturday because I wanted to work on the Morning Surf Scarf first (more on that another day) and I wasn’t too sure how they were going to work out, but they’re starting to grow on me. I decided to go with this instead of the handspun that I had originally planned when I discovered the gauge was going to be way off otherwise. HWJF seems to like them so far and that’s all that matters to me.
We almost literally tripped over another yarn store while we wandered the city, Central Yarn Shop. This was a really cute store with a wide variety of yarns and some really interesting samples, not the least of which were some with a serious lobster theme that we saw in the window.
We picked up another skein of sock yarn there. This time Berroco Sox.
HWJF says that I “hog all the blues” so this one is for him too.
We made several other stops including a couple of record stores, an asian grocery (hello Pocky!), L.L.Bean outlet and a Stonewall Kitchen to stock up on our favorite Sunday breakfast, but I think HWJF was most happy when we found out we could take a tour here:
While the video was interesting the “tour” was less than stellar. They basically took us into the packaging room to show us all of this:
Which was kind of cool to see all the bottles going around but less than what we were expecting. But hey, it was free and there was a tasting afterward. I’m not a beer girl so I gave the boy my samples. Obviously, we went home with a couple of beverages.
Then it was on to Freeport for lunch at Gritty’s which was Oh.My.God. amazing. Try the lobster bisque if you’re ever there and the pulled pork over sweet potato fries with cheese and maple sour cream. Sounds gross but was amazingly delish! The food was so amazing but we ended up scarfing it down because it was 3pm and we found a brochure for an Alpaca farm nearby that closed at 5pm! Meet the alpacas of Winters Gone Farm!
We only had 30 min. before they closed by the time we made it there (who knew there was traffic in Maine?!?) so I didn’t want to keep the owners, but I did manage to score 8 oz. of the softest spinning fiber ever! Expect to see that spun up sometime soon!
Our day ended by going back for the mandatory stop at L.L.Bean (it’s a state law according to my Dad ) and then heading home.
On another day we also made it to another yarn shop that I hadn’t been able to get into before, Pins and Needles. It was a really lovely little shop with a great selection of different types of yarn, most of it from Cascade. We picked out this skein of Cascade’s new sock yarn, Heritage.
Since this was sort of HWJF’s birthday trip, most of the sock yarns ended up being for him. But one ended up coming home for me:
This time it’s J. Knits which is another yarn I’ve not yet knitted with. We picked this one up at our favorite stop in Waterville, Yardgoods. We also had to visit our favorite lunch place in Waterville, Big G’s. The sandwhiches? Insanely huge!
And totally yummy. Of course no trip to Maine would be complete without a stop at Gifford’s either, especially when our favorite flavor (Pumpkin!) was available.
Yeah. Totally raining and cold. Did we care? No way.
We also managed to take in a concert at the New England Music Camp in between the raindrops.
Note the handknit socks and the new shoes.
There was also a visit with HWJF’s father’s turkeys.
And the hilarity of HWJF trying to find eggs for us for breakfast one morning.
Before we knew it, it was time to head home. Only we decided to make a little detour. HWJF’s parents were nice enough to give us two bikes to bring back to NJ, so we decided to stop and try them out.
I’d never been to Kennebunkport and I must say it is a very cute town with a lovely beach.
Of course, I can only look at the water from a distance, so I made HWJF go find me some sea shells.
Unfortunately it was 5pm before we knew it and we were still in Maine! We didn’t get home until 11pm and well… you know the rest.
Someday I hope we can live in Maine. It just seems like it would be a good fit for us in so many ways. In the meantime, I’ve definitely added to my list of places I want more time to explore!
Did I mention we’re driving up there for Christmas?!
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At least that’s what I keep thinking after signing up for Team Splurk and the Ravelympics! As if I don’t have enough on my plate lately right? So what do I have planned? First a little bit of knitting.
The Blue Jeans and Leather Shoes yarn is done!
I think it came out quite nicely. There’s about 194 yards and it is destined to become a Morning Surf Scarf (Ravelry link). I may cast on fewer stitches than the standard to make sure I end up with a decent length. That seems to be the consensus from those knitting it so far. This project is also serving triple duty as a KAL for Let’s Knit Together Ravelers and Spin City NYC.
I also have another pair of socks planned. Remember this yarn from earlier this year?
HWJF has a birthday coming up. Need I say more?
The rest of my plans are for spinning. First up will be a special order of some merino yarn in my DC Sunrise colorway.
Next will be some BFL sock yarn in my Roses in the Dark Colorway.
(Both of those colors are still available in the shop as of this writing if you want your own!)
Then I’d really like to do something for myself, so I think I’ll give the Lorna’s fiber I bought in Pittsburgh a try.
I also just got two more pounds of NJ fiber in. That might hit the wheel too.
Think that’s enough? So do I! That all means that despite finishing the first Berlin Muster sock
It will probably get put on hold starting Friday morning. Good thing we are off to Maine for a long weekend after work today! A road trip might help the second sock progress a bit, maybe even finish before Friday if I’m lucky.
It’s also good that the Ladybug is coming with us. I think she’s going to get a work out!
No post from me on Friday but I leave you with a bunny pic to keep you company until Monday.
I can’t believe I got her mid binky! I also can’t believe she’s over 7 lbs. now and just about ready for her second haircut. They grow up way too fast!!
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…since I obviously didn’t get around to posting then. *sigh* It’s already been that kind of week. And seriously? Couldn’t we all use a 48 hour day (as long as extra sleep and going to work weren’t necessary?!?!)?!?!? I know I could.
Our trip to Pittsburgh was fun if not hot as hell in the car. It was so hot I had to drink two fisted when we stopped for lunch on Sunday.
One was water, the other was some fruity thing that tasted good despite probably not being on my diet. I didn’t care at that point.
Thanks to Kim I did get a fibery fix while we were gone. We stopped at Natural Stitches and I was not disappointed. Witness if you dare, the wall o’ Cascade 220.
Nearly every color they make. Crazy eh? If it had been a little cooler and I could even have fathomed sweater knitting, I might have picked some up.
What did I actually come home with? Sock yarn of course!
Noro SILK GARDEN sock yarn!! First time I’ve seen it live and in person. And since I’ve been in a spinning mood lately…
Lorna’s Laces roving. Love these colors! Hopefully I’ll get to spin it up soon.
Believe it or not, I’ve even managed to finish a pair of socks too!
Pattern: Express Lane
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy, Blue Lagoon
Needles: Size 1 addi turbos
Mods: I used my usual toe and heel
This was a really lovely pattern to knit. Easy to memorize and it works up pretty quickly (if you actually don’t have your attention on 27 other things). It was easy to insert the toe and heel I am most comfortable with in this pattern. I also love the fact that the patterning is continued on the back of the leg.
If you’re looking for a pretty simple lace sock, this would be a good candidate.
This was my first time knitting with this yarn and it did surprise me a little. I found it to be a little on the splitty side and it didn’t feel nearly as thick knit up as I thought it might be when looking at the skein. The yardage is definitely generous though. I had plenty left over and could have made the legs a bit longer (which is saying something when you’ve got a size 11 foot!). The dye work is definitely the highlight of this yarn though. There are very slight variations in the color throughout the skein that keep you wondering what could be next.
I definitely think this is going to be a pair of socks I’ll get a lot of use from this winter. For now it’s on to the next pair, which I’ll show you tomorrow. You know. 48 hours from now.
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I seem to buy a good deal of my yarns either at fiber festivals or on vacation. There’s just something about having a great yarn to be a great reminder of a fun day or trip that holds memories for me, almost better than photos. I can relive some of my happiest moments as I knit my next garment and continue the flow of memories as I knit new memories into that garment. It seems that wool is a good holder for my thoughts these days, so I did a little bit of stash enhancement on the trip.
As you can imagine, my happiness with last year’s Bovidae yarns and the resulting sweater necessitated a new purchase.
The colors you see from left to right are Wild Grape, Thistle, Natural Light Gray (there are actually 5 skeins of that), Wild Aster, Rosebay and Peacock. The Gray will be the background color of what I hope will be my first steeked cardigan with some sort of fair isle yoke incorporating each of these colors and perhaps some that were left over from last year’s sweater.
On the same day as the trip to Bovidae my compatriots and I also made a quick stop at Yummi Yarns in Burnsville. This is another lovely shop, packed to the gills with amazing yarns. One of the members of my party was a new knitter who hadn’t quite seen anything like it before and the enabler in my loved watching her glee as she petted lovely yarns and oooooed and ahhhhed. I managed to restrain myself enough to only pick up a bottle of Eucalan (you wouldn’t believe how hard it’s been to find that locally) and this:
I have succumbed to the Noro bug. There are just too many gorgeous pairs of socks out there knit in this yarn, knots or not. I consider this my little indulgence.
On my trip to Earth Guild on our day off during camp (which really is a fantastic store that must be experienced in person) I picked up some wheel oil and a copy of Traditional Fair Isle Knitting by Sheila McGregor. I had purchased Traditional Scandinavian Knitting by the same author last year and can’t wait to use this book in much the same way.
After we left camp this year we actually were able to take our time getting home. We definitely took the scenic route, winding through some of the back roads around tight corners and some steep slopes until we made our way into Blowing Rock, NC. It’s a cute little touristy town with some nice little shops on the main drag, although I wouldn’t actually recommending going to the actual “Blowing Rock” because it’s a bit of a let down after the brochure hype (trust me on that one). While we wandered the shops we happened upon Dee’s Yarn Nook which was a cute little store with a nice variety of products and a nice little seating area on the porch for boys-who-tolerate-yarn-stores-but-maybe-need-to-make-a-phone-call-or-something. That’s where I finally broke down and bought one of these:
Yep. That’s my first Barbara Walker bible. They didn’t have the first one or I may have bought that too. I think this book could be really dangerous. I already have several ideas for sock patterns.
After Blowing Rock it was a short drive to Boone. By this time it was getting pretty hot and sticky and we were in search of relief in the form of ice cream. [side note: those of you in the north east who have been dealing with this wicked heat wave- you totally have my permission to blame me for the awful weather. It was perfect the whole time we were away except for one day of rain and the last couple of days we were down there. I fully believe it hitched a ride on the back of our car as we made our way home and we couldn't defend ourselves since we couldn't see out the back of the car. Mea culpa.] Our faithful GPS (a.k.a. Gromitt) lead us to a Marble Slab (apparently the southern equivalent of Cold Stone) in a mall in which HWJF suddenly noted a huge sign for YARN right next door! I love that we found yarn even when it was the furthest thing from our minds! Turns out it was Laura’s Yarn Tastic which was another lovely (air conditioned!) store full of fantastic yarns and even a little bit of spinning fiber. I resisted the urge to buy a sweater’s worth of Blue Sky Cotton and instead ended up with…
more sock yarn! Miss Babs Hand-Painted Sock and Baby to be exact. The colors in this one just couldn’t be ignored.
I definitely thought I was pretty restrained with my yarn purchases this time around. Perhaps the new wheel had something to do with that. Speaking of which, that isn’t all the yarn I came home with! Some of the fiber I brought with me actually turned into yarn too. For instance, remember how I saw some tulips and hydrangeas in the park one day? I dyed the fiber before I left.
And made it into my first spin on the ladybug.
That’s 360 yards of BFL goodness at about fingering weight. The purple needed to be a bit bluer to match what I was going for but I’m pretty happy with how the colors played out in the finished yarn. And I totally loves me the Ladybug!
I also brought a pound of some wool from sheep named Khalu I had purchased from a local farm with me and spun it up into this:
All told there is about 542 yards of this Rambouillet/Columbia/Dorset cross in this lovely dark chocolate brown. I spun it to a good worsted weight and after washing it bloomed really nicely and has a great bounce to it. It isn’t next to the skin soft, but it isn’t super scratchy either.
Finally I also spun up another pound of something that definitely isn’t for me.
All together there is about 696 yards of this 100% merino in a nice bright orange. I tried to spin this with a little less twist in both the plying and the spinning to retain it’s lovely softness. I picked this up at Rhinebeck last year from The Sheepshed with HWJF in mind. It definitely isn’t going to work for socks, so we’ll have to figure something else out.
Well I hope you’ve gotten your fill of delicious yarns with this post today. On Friday I’ll prove that I really did do some knitting. Honest!
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