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July 2009

Odds & Ends, Catching Up

We got some new stuff at Unique One while I was out cruising, and today:

We got new summer clothing in a nice sunshiney yellow.

We got new Bartlettyarn. 

I finished my Mystery Sock #1 on Monday and have worked through clue 2 on the second Mystery Sock. Here is a picture of what the Mystery Sock looks like:
It has beaded butterflies on it :) 

I have a great coffee cup cozy that I put on coffee cups to prevent my hands from burning as I carry it back to the store from the Deli; it was lovingly crocheted for me by my dear friend Peggy (I think it was a free pattern on the Berroco website). I love it very much. Peggy made it from handspun yarn that she spun; she got the fiber from my friend and coworker Tracy, who dyed the fiber for her about 3 years ago or more. Here is the cup cozy. 

About a month ago, Tracy decided to dye some yarn and make herself a shawl/blanket from the book A Gathering of Lace. Here is her shawl:

So when I came in this morning and set my coffee cup down next to her shawl, it was kinda funny, because my coffee cup matched her shawl:
We decided Tracy must really like those colors! They are a good match, especially for hand dyed fiber and yarn, dyed 3 years apart. I told Tracy she should give me the shawl. 

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Actually, it was a dark and stormy knitting cruise, but we made the most of it and had a great time anyway!! We were rockin' at the dock on Friday night, so we knit in the boathouse, which was fun. Then on Saturday, we actually had a little sun while we were taking a quick trip to Unique One to make last minute yarn purchases before leaving the dock, and then it got darker and rainier. However, the knitters were game and happily knit away, and the food was AWESOME.

Brenda has a fabulous crew, with John, first mate and master of entertainment. I will probably smile when I think of the  Chubby Bunny game for the rest of my life. I still kick myself for not taking pictures of it. Jackie is the most amazing cook. Everything was fabulous and there was plenty of it! I don't care if it pours every single cruise, as long as Jackie is there to feed us. Wow. And her right hand man, Mark, was hard working and fun and also very entertaining! They are a fun crew and made the trip really great :)

We got a lot of knitting done, and saved a ton on sunblock. No one got sunburned. I actually finished my second blue Wandering Path sock on Sunday, and have the first Ty Dy Sock "sweater gauge swatch" (wink wink) nearly half done.

Here are pictures from the cruise:

Knittingondeck     Flowers

Knitting Cruise launch pad

Uh oh, I did a week where I posted every day and now this week I have almost gone a whole week without posting at all!! Sorry :) 

I have been busy at the store and at home and getting prepared for the knitting cruise. I board the Isaac Evans tonight!! I have been looking forward to doing this, very much. And this year I get to do it again in August, so I don't have to wait til September for the next knitting cruise. Have you signed up for the August cruise yet? 

I have the pattern for the Compass & Anchors hat all done, and ready to print. I have to fiddle a bit more with the Wandering Path socks pattern, but it is minor fiddling, so I will be ready to print that shortly. I have to charge my ipod and load new music into it. I got a great Joe Bonamassa CD, "Blues Deluxe", from my mother in law on my birthday (I took Tuesday off from everything, because it was my birthday. I am 50! My sister says I am now a woman of a certain age, but I should remind her that she will always be of a certainer age than I am.) I also recently got the B.B. King CD "Live at the Regal", and I just treated myself to two more CD's, Donna the Buffalo "Rockin' in the Weary Land" and Vassar Clements, "Livin' with the Blues". So, I got some music importin' to do. (Importing as I type, here). 

I have to pack my bag, people like it if you have clean undies on the boat. More importantly, I have to pack my knitting bag. It is only a three day trip, so I am taking my last blue Wandering Path sock, a new sock from Ty Dy Sock yarn that we just got at the store. Oh my gosh, I love this yarn.... it feels like the best quality pima cotton, or maybe a silk blend, but it is just superwash wool and nylon. It is by far the softest wool sock yarn I have ever worked with, and the colors are fabulous. I love this yarn. I am also taking my new Millpoint spindle and merino/tencel fiber that I got at the Fiber Frolic. Those 3 projects should keep me pretty busy for the next 3 days. 

I have to go to Camden, to Unique One, and pick up the porthole prizes for the boat. They would normally be called 'door prizes', but on the boat, it's 'porthole prizes'. :) 

Then I go to Rockland to Staples to copy the patterns for the Compass & Anchors hat and the Wandering Path socks, and add them to the passengers' folders of patterns, which I will give them after breakfast in the morning. And finally I have to go buy a few supplies, like deodorant, sunblock, and hmmm beer? mmmm, beeeeeer. 

Looks like a busy day. I better get a move on! Wish me sunny weather for the cruise!! :) 

Rainy Day .....


It's raining. So I got to thinking about my Rainy Day Scarf, which I put the pattern for on my blog one spring when it had rained something like 26 days straight, in May or June or something. I never knew it would take off like it did, and get popular.

I actually designed and knit the Rainy Day scarf in an airplane, flying back and forth from a TNNA yarn show. It was a fun way to focus my mind and shut out the dull roar of the airplane engines.

So today, it being rainy and all, I thought I would look at my Rainy Day Scarf again. 

I found 127 photos of my scarf on Flickr.... so fascinating to be able to see it in so many different yarns and colors!

In Ravelry, there are 264 Rainy Day Scarf projects, 20 blog posts about it, 33 forum posts, and after 151 ratings, it gets four stars out of 5!!! Wow, I am overcome :) 

More New Yarn

I got new stuff at Unique One yesterday! 

I filled in my much-depleted stash of Done Roving's "Frolicking Feet" sock yarn in all the luscious colors, and I also got a new Done Roving sock yarn called "Tapping Toes", which is a bamboo blend:

Tapping Toes is a superwash merino/bamboo/nylon blend, and it is a heavy fingering to sport weight yarn. There are 434 yards per skein, easily enough for a pair of socks. It has such a fabulous bamboo sheen, and it feels great in the hand. One of the colors is called Champagne Melon, and I love it very much..... a skein of it came home with me. Also, one of the new Frolicking Feet colors, Starry Starry Night, came home with me, too. Starry Starry Night looks like a solid dark sapphire blue/purple, but there are small bits of much lighter purple/blue spread through the skein, so when you knit it up, it looks like little stars...... 
I get myself into so much trouble owning a yarn shop. Sigh.

New Knitting Cruise!

Out of the blue, I got a call from Brian Thomas of the schooner Isaac H. Evans. Could I do a knitting cruise in August? They have a lot of teachers who wanted to go on a knitting cruise but couldn't make it for the June cruise or either September cruise.

I have always said I couldn't do anything like that in August, because July and August are just so busy for me. But this particular year I happen to have enough people who could cover me on the days in question, so I said yes!

The August knitting cruise will board August 4 and return August 8. Like all of the knitting cruises, passengers will experience beautiful scenery, great sailing, wonderful food (including a lobster bake), and all the knitting time you want, with a resident knitter fixer on board (me). It's gonna be fun! If you haven't already signed up for a knitting cruise but wanted to, now is your chance! I think the June and September cruises are nearly booked, but this cruise is wide open at the moment, I think, so hurry and sign up now!

Spinning My New Fiber

All day yesterday, my finger hurt. Part of it was the gigantic mosquito bite, but it hurt inside too. It is my left index finger, and it hurt a lot by the first joint, like I had sprained it. I didn't want to even think it could be arthritis, although that will probably show up in due course. 

I am trying to get back to my ten minutes a day regimen for spinning, so I dutifully pulled out my spindle and fiber to spin for 10 minutes after breakfast. And lo and behold, I discovered that my finger hurts from spinning. Day before yesterday, I was deep in the throes of New Spinning Project Syndrome, and I spun on my new spindle with the tencel/merino fiber for over an hour. This morning when I picked it up again, I discovered that my finger hurt because I have to pinch more when drafting out the fiber, because the tencel is slipperier than plain wool. I have spun this 50/50 tencel and merino fiber many times before, but always on one of my wheels, and I guess I didn't run into the problem. I was just glad my finger hurt from spinning and not from something else :) 

This new spindle is a production spindle; I could not believe how much I can spin in just ten minutes. I think I will be able to spin and ply the first ounce of fiber in only 3 or 4 days, which is awesome. I will probably spend more than 10 minutes a day to do that, of course, but the ten minutes gives me a base from which to work. 

Here is a picture. It is not well lit and it's a little out of focus, but at least it gives you an idea of how much I have spun so far. I will try to get a better picture soon; this fiber is so much more beautiful than it is in this picture:


Have a good day today, wherever you are! I am off to work shortly; I have a new helper starting with me today, a lady who like most of my employees, started out as a customer! She is a wonderful person and it will be great to have the help. Things are starting to get busy at the store again, which is fantastic. I hope the rest of June continues to be as good as the first week has been, I hope this hasn't been some cruel joke.

Oh! Hey! tomorrow I will post about the NEW knitting cruise I am going to do! My knitting cruise schedule just went from 3 cruises this year to 4! Yayyyy!

Wonderful Fiber Frolic!

I had the best time yesterday at the Fiber Frolic :) I got a little sunburned, ate a LOT of ice cream, and bought a few things. I don't think I went too overboard in the spending department, either. 

I got some pictures of some incredibly cute animals:

2alpacas  3llamas

Bluecollar  Cutetwins
Fuzzyhead  Goats

Llama1  Llama2

Llama3  Longears

Longhairgoat  Sheep1

Sheepbigears  Sheepchuckling


I even got to see the llama parade: 


I ate plenty of ice cream from John's Ice Cream (where they make the best ice cream in the world); I had vanilla, chocolate coconut almond, strawberry, and pistachio:

I did buy a few things. I got a Fiber Frolic tote bag; 4 ounces of merino/tencel fiber in color "Bermuda" from The Sheep Shed; a fabulous spindle from Millpoint; and some fabulous superwash merino/cashmere/nylon fingering weight yarn from String Theory Yarn, in a glowing turquoise/blue with flashes of purple. 

The spindle is Canary Wood with a Purple Heart shaft; it is not a spindle I would normally have even looked twice at. The yellow canary wood is really pretty, but I tend to go for more natural colors of spindles. But when I picked it up, it immediately bonded with me, like in Harry Potter, when the young wizards choose their wands. You just know it is the right one when you pick it up and twirl it a little. I love this spindle a lot! It is 1.8 ounces and I know it is my new favorite wooden spindle. 

The fiber just glows in the sun.... I love shiny things. And the 'Bermuda' colors sing to me today.

The yarn, oh I wish you could feel how soft this yarn is. I picked it up and I seriously could not let go of it. My mind said, drop it, and my body said, nope. I was thinking 'scarf' when I bought it, but now that I see it is both superwash and has nylon in it, I am thinking 'socks'. Hmm. But it is so soft, I think I want it around my neck. Tracy was with me at the time, buying a similar yarn from the same booth, in a lovely green, and I think we might make scarves together. That will be fun. 

Pictures of newly-acquired stash:


I had so much fun!

Progress, Indiscretions, Promises


I finally finished my purple Wandering Path socks that I made from the Ball and Skein yarn which I got at the SPA in February:


I really like the pattern, and the yarn is fabulous. I am also using Ball and Skein sock yarn to make my Mystery Sock, which is kind of languishing at the moment due to me needing to finish up the socks for the fast-approaching  knitting cruise. 

I am starting the next pair of Wandering Path socks today, using the Fortissima sock yarn that I dyed blue. My goal is to get at least one of the blue socks done in time to photograph it for the pattern and to have a model of it on display on the boat, and then knit the second sock during the knitting cruise. 


I couldn't help it, I started a sock with the new Ty-Dy Sock yarn from Knit One, Crochet Too. I had needles that matched the yarn; how could I resist?


I will try not to work on them too much; I do have a few other projects waiting patiently for me to make progress on them, too. 


I promise to go to the Fiber Frolic today! And I promise to take lots of pictures and blog about it soon! I can't wait to go. It will be fun and I will have lots of John's ice cream, yummmmmmm.  Since I have so much I haven't knit or spun from my Spa purchases, I will try to be good and not buy much, but I gotta have something, ya know. Still, it amazed me how long it is taking me to use up what I got at the Spa. I know I got a lot, but I *have* been making really good progress on my projects since February, and I still haven't used it all up. I figure I have through at least September using up my February purchases. And then that makes me think of the Spa purchases and Fiber Frolic purchases from the last 2 or 3 years that I bought happily and which are now lying in a Rubbermaid bin, unused. I hope to remedy that this year. I am making a push to start really using up what I buy, right away, and if I use it up and need more projects, I have the scary bins to open. 

And, well, I do own a yarn shop...... just in case I run out..... HAHAHAHahahahahahahahahhaaa

(I am a Yarn Demon, after all...)

Future Incoming...

I have another great new yarn coming from Knit One Crochet Too that will ship in early August. It is called Geologee and it is a fabulous multicolored heavy  worsted weight single ply yarn. The salesman stopped by on Thursday and left me a sample ball: 

Geologee  Geologee2
If anyone wants to come by the store and feel the sample ball, or the knit swatch if I actually get it knit, come on in.

Also I ordered a Great American Yarn company yarn (yarns made in the USA!). It is a silk/merino blend and comes in totally yummy colors, and it's shiny! I like it. It will be great for sweaters or for accessories like scarves, because it is so soft. It will ship in August, so keep an eye out :) I got it in both solid colors and variegated colors too.

I ordered a novelty-ish yarn called Lustro, which is 3 strands of yarn, two strands of light mohair in two different colors, and a gold colored chainette strand. It makes a beautiful scarf with one ball, and the pattern for a scarf is printed on the inside of the label. It will sell for around $10 a ball, so it will be great for gift scarves in the late fall. 

And finally, I broke down and ordered some wool/bamboo roving from Frogtree, for spinners. It comes in great colors and feels yummy :) It is coming in the fall. 


We got new stuff at Unique One. Yay! 

Summer hats and bags:

Bigstrawbags   Smallstrawbags

Beadedbags   Stripedbags

And yes, I got some new YARN too! 

Ty-Dy Socks is a fantastic sock yarn from Knit One, Crochet Too, which has the added distinction of being a Maine company!!! This sock yarn feels great, very soft and silky feeling. It is a little thinner than some sock yarns, and I recommend using a size 1 needle on it rather than a size 2. It is going to be very very very very difficult for me not to set aside the Wandering Path socks and start a new pair of socks with this, abandoning my SPA-finishing goals and just going off the wagon all together. Sigh...... someone, please push me off the wagon.....

Ty-Dy is 80% superwash wool and 20% nylon (Yes. It is perfect.) and has 436 yards per ball, so one ball makes a pair of socks. And it is $15.95 per ball. Did I mention, it is perfect?? How can I resist this stuff? 

Here is another new yarn:

Brae Tweed, also from Knit One, Crochet Too, is the yarn that settles the tweed question. People love the look of tweed yarn, like Donegal Tweed, but they don't necessarily love the 100% wool feel of it ... it might feel a little scratchy next to the skin for them. Brae Tweed is the answer! I wish you could reach through the monitor and feel it. You know how some yarns make you want to take all your clothes off and submerge into a tub of yarn? Well, this does that. It is a tweed that consists of 60% merino wool, 20% baby llama, 10% bamboo, and 10% donegal tweed bits; it is handwashable. It feels heavenly! And its from a Maine company. I love this stuff. 

I ordered a bunch of colors; about half of the colors came so far, and actually, by the time you read this, the rest of the colors might be here too. Brae Tweed knits at a gauge of 18 sts = 4" on a size 8 needle; each 50 gram skein has 109 yards. It costs $7.95 per skein. It would be great for yummy-feeling scarves, mittens, hats or socks, but you should see the very cute sweater patterns I got for it too: 

Cara Cross-Over Cardie

Kelly Pullover

Come on by, and check stuff out :) 


Well..... I at least have wound up the blue yarn, in preparation for knitting the next Wandering Path sock. I am still working on the  purple pair; I have turned the heel and have barely started working down the gusset. I really haven't been knitting much at alllllll lately. It's taking me two weeks just to finish the foot on the purple sock, I bet. But I do have a deadline looming, so I will try to push myself :) 


Knitting & Lawyers & Contracts, Oh My!

I went to the Girl from Auntie's "Diversions" page recently, and found this very cute knitting contract. It's a pdf file, so you can click to view it, or download it. You can actually use it to make a raglan pullover.

I thought it was funny :) This was my favorite part: 

25. The parties may consider any obligations under this Pattern void 
in the event of flood, major storm damage, or Acts of Cat.