Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Additions to the Yarn Treasury

Here is part of what followed me home from Rhinebeck. There are just two more photos, but for some reason uploading is not happening right now (could the uploading fairy be trick or treating already?), so I will have to fix that another time. And since I now have to insure costume happiness among the younger family members, I will leave you with the photos alone. I promise information will appear later.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Okay, get scared, it's twice this month - Rhinebeck and all that

Minor miracle, but there is so much fun to report and photos to show. Just because I went to Rhinebeck doesn't mean that is all I am going to write about. On Friday I accompanied my younger son on a school field trip to someplace called Stonehenge USA in Salem, NH. They were supposed to see aged stone works and find out what an archeological dig was like. I think those educational objectives were accomplished. See, first there was digging - like going in a time machine back to nursery school, but with a slightly longer attention span and no throwing of sand.
Then there was a tape guided tour of all these little stone caves and walls and piles of rubble - with the tape played on a boom box carried by one of the kids (only marginally successful for such a large group).
And then while waiting for the bus the kids amused themselves with trying to touch one of the eight or so alpacas that are raised there. What the alpacas have to do with prehistory and archeology I don't know, but the kids enjoyed them as much as all the other activities, I think. Maybe they are all fiber fanatics and just don't know it yet!

So that was just practice - only a 50 minute bus ride - for my trip to Rhinebeck the next day with the Yarn Safari tour group. That was a five hour bus ride each way. I think there were some things that made it longer than driving oneself - route selection, dropping off the other pick up point people first, riding in a glorified school bus - but if I had driven myself I couldn't have knitted for the whole trip out and half way back! I have never been to Rhinebeck or any other similar festival before, so I didn't know quite what to expect, but I am glad I did some homework. I spent a little time with the Web site looking at the vendor lists, scoping out the ones I already knew and loved, and then printing off a copy of the site map and writing those locations on the back. By the time we got there, the annotated maps at the gate were gone, and there are no maps posted anywhere that I could see. Later on I did get a map from someone who was leaving - maybe they ought to have a recycle bin? Fortunately, another of my knitting buddies had come on the other bus and brought along the entire alphabetical list of vendors by building, so between that list and my map we were pretty well oriented. Besides, there are wonderful lovely things everywhere! Like this (for those who like roving):

and this (Color! Yarn! Pick me!)

Not to mention the chance to people watch (and garment watch):

I saw only one MS#3 (very nice!) and had two sighting of Yarn Harlot and her amazing Kauni cardigan (if it was me I would have been carrying it instead of wearing it, so I hope she was not too warm). And through the wonders of the Internet and cell phone technology I met up with Gryfinitter (her blog is Wandless Knitting, and I would give you a link except I haven't learned how yet) even though we only know each other through exchanging comments in blogland. Amazing!

I managed to come home with an alligator scarf kit from Morehouse, yarn for three pairs of socks (STR, VanCalcar Farms and Sliver Moon FIber Arts), several patterns, some pumpkin scented soap and some stitch markers. This represents remarkable self restraint on my part, and I think I have escaped the spinning bug for now (but some of that roving was so soft and so pretty....).

I will save the yarn photos and the meme response (which I have not forgotten!) for the next post. I have to do the dishes and laundry before they come to life and lock me in a closet!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Posting once a month is better than not posting at all - isn't it?

Back at last! Photos poised and ready to jump into place! This will be a real catch-up effort, although I also have been tagged for the "eight odd things" meme. Since that is fairly recent maybe I will save it for last or (gasp!) another post. So here is the news: I was lucky enough to hear the Yarn Harlot speak again - this time she was appearing at my local Borders, a good 15 minutes or so away. Actually she was here in August but it is still news around here. She had made mention in a recent post of her own about possibly needing clean underwear. What a straight line - of course the knitters of Greater Boston came armed, and the poor Harlot was pelted with panties!

About this same time I received my State Swap parcel from my swap buddy in Arkansas. She sent all manner of lovely state-specific goodies, like barbecue sauce and candy, along with some terrific knitterly things. I now have my first skein of Collinette Jitterbug, and I can't stop admiring the colors - a sort of deep jade green with other colors sprinkled in. I can't wait to to see what sort of (short - why does Colinette put up sock yarn in such a short skein?) socks will result!

Check out the lovely little stitch markers. I love how dainty they are. These are stitch markers I can use and enjoy in real life without them getting in the way of the knitting.

And here lies a photo of my poor lonely MS#3.

Somewhere around the time I went to hear the Yarn Harlot I lost my beads and crochet hook. Fortunately both were easily replaced, but it slowed my momentum considerably. Then the last clue was revealed. I am still in shock and have no idea how I would like to proceed. Actually, that isn't true - I have lots of ideas and no time to spend working them out. Fortunately knitwear is patient, and will rest peacefully in its little zip-loc bag until I find the time to investigate.

And then there was the travel. I visited Swarthmore and Cornell in August with my college seeking son, but sadly had no time there for yarn stores (although I was armed with the necessary information!). Then in September I had the chance to spend a few days in Chicago visiting the University of Chicago (and finally one little yarn store...). Here is the obligatory photo of the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millenium Park.

Well, maybe not quite the obligatory photo; this was taken from inside the sculpture. Some really cool views to be had, what with all the curves and reflections.

For those keeping track of yarn stores to visit, when in Chicago please visit the lovely folks at Loopy Yarns (; 719 South State Street). It is within walking distance of Millenium Park and the Art Institute (places to leave muggles while you shop in peace) and the staff and selection are both fabulous. I was there late on a Sunday afternoon and was not rushed in any way, even though my final decisions were made well after closing time. And I learned that Lorna's Laces is a local yarn for them (dyed nearby), with many of the colourways named for Chicago neighborhoods (Ravenswood being the actual home base, so to speak). I brought home enough Mirasol Miski (100% baby llama and in a good cause!) to make something cozy and shoulder-warming for the winter. Loopy Yarns definitely passes the "if my son goes to college here I will be glad to visit this yarn store again" test!

(I really ought to be sleeping, so I will save the yarn store, and current projects for when Blogger will allow the photos. And by then I should have some photos and news from Rhinebeck!). Pretend I just drew a line through the sentence in the parentheses.

Why? Because I wrote most of this post early this morning when Blogger was avoiding my photos like the plague. Now in light of day I have edited, added, posted the necessary photos (okay, the ones I thought necessary!), and generally beaten the post into shape. But there are still two things I haven't learned - how to draw a line through a sentence I have edited (leaving it visible but alerting the reader that an edited version follows) and how to make a live link (so you can follow my suggestion to a site without the copy and paste action). Well, actually there are more things than that I need to learn, but here I am at the end wishing I could do both of those to improve this post. Something to look forward to!

Anyone going to Rhinebeck - suggest how we might meet. I will be there as part of a bus group on Saturday, so my time is limited, but any hints I can garner about how to have the most fun - and meet some new folks! - are all welcome!

Knit early and often!