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April 2010

Workin' Wednesdays

Not that I don't work other days of the week, heh heh.... BUT it occurred to me that probably quite a few of you who read my blog (assuming there are more than 3 of you out there) would like to know what I do most of my time.

I know that you probably read this blog for knitting-related stuff, hand knitting, designing, spinning, fiber in general, silly cat stories, and the occasional recipe. I tend to focus on my knitting projects because it is fun for me to talk about, and talking about my knitting projects in this blog creates a good record of what I have done so I can go back and re-read stuff, which sometimes helps me remember things.

However, Unique One is not just a yarn shop. And as interesting as it may be to see what it is like to work in a yarn shop, you might also like to see what else I do here.

Unique One is also a sweater shop, and we make our own sweaters. Like a lot of my local flesh and blood customers, probably a lot of you know I make sweaters, but I'm not sure you really get what that means.

Therefore, starting this week, I am going to try to devote Wednesday posts to something about the sweaters that we make at Unique One, and talk a little about the store, its history, how the sweaters get made, and feature a picture of some sweater that we make so I can tell you a little about it. I promise to try not to be too pushy about selling you the sweater, however I am pretty desperate for money, so ya never know. :)

Since this post is already getting a bit long, I am going to start this Workin' Wednesday with just a picture:


Here's my Cute as a Moose sweater for kids (hey, if you can be Cool as a Moose, why not Cute as a Moose??).
 We make these in both kids sizes and adult sizes, and they look the same, just bigger. We have always made them in both red and blue, and the adults sizes sometimes are available in vanilla or pearl (versions of buff or off-white), and also olive. This little pink version is new for Unique One. Putting the moose on a baby pink background was a customer suggestion, and I love it! So we will make a few moosies in pink this year. :)

My cotton sweaters, like the moose one is, are made of 100% domestic cotton that I get from a distributor in Indiana. We actually knit them a little bit big, because we shrink them in a hot washer and hot dryer so that you can launder them easily. Unique One cotton sweaters are machine washable and dryable! And very comfy. 

The kids moose sweater is available by phone (1-888-691-8358) and the adult size is available to purchase online on this page.

Modular Scarf pictures

Nora finally moved off the scarf and I grabbed it and stuffed it in my bag to bring to the store. Here is a picture of it done, before I blocked it:


I look pretty intense and somewhat scary wearing it:


A close up of the blocks:

I alternated starting the squares with purple and green, so as to make the two skeins come out evenly. I think if I had started every square out with the same color, I would have had to use 2 skeins of that color and call it the main color. The advantage to that is, I could have picked up the stitches all along one side and knit a row of the main color and then bound off, which would have given the whole scarf a nice even, more finished-looking edge to it, but as it is, one side of each block alternates ridges of purple and green, and the other side is a solid band of green on one square, alternating with a band of purple on the other square:

As you can see, there are 7 squares in the scarf. In this picture, it is drying after I washed it (Nora, wet cat, muddy feet, etc.) and so it blocks out to be 68 inches long and 8 inches wide, using only 2 skeins of Good Karma Farm secret sheep blend. I wish you could feel how yummy it feels :)  


What Fun!

The March Knitting Weekend has come and gone, and it was a big ol' pile of fun!!! It was fabulous and I am very happy about it. I already can't wait til we do it again next year. Fortunately I am doing another knitting weekend in April (see above), so I get to do it again sooner, but just with different people. Four people are already signed up for the March 2011 Knitting Weekend, so that is fabulous. I only have 8 more spaces left! There are still 3 spaces left in April this year! 

We had a blast. Everyone arrived at the knitter's reception at Unique One at 7 p.m., and we had wine and cheese and crackers, and salmon/dill hors d'oeuvres (see recipe below), and shrimp cocktail and chocolate dipped fruit and lots of time to knit and yak about knitting and meet new people. Then we went to the Lord Camden Inn and continued the party until it was time to go to bed!

Saturday started with a beautiful breakfast at the Inn, followed by lots and lots of knitting and talking. Some people went in and out to take naps, go for a scenic drive and look at  the ocean, shop in Camden, or take a walk. It was all very relaxed and unhurried. People went out in two's and three's to grab lunch at the Camden Deli or Camden House of Pizza (Sarah and I brought pizzas back to the Inn so we wouldn't have to stop knitting!) and then in the afternoon we knit some more. There was lots of laughter and lots of learning. I helped Vivian and Jennifer figure out Judy's Magic Cast On for making toe-up socks, after I figured out how to do it myself, heh heh. Jennifer got off to a good start on a pair of toe-up socks; I will have to do that soon. She was doing two socks at a time from the toe up. Seems like such a great idea!

I re-wrote the Compass and Anchors hat pattern for my sister, Rachel, to suit her particular gauge. I think it will come out nicely. I also helped her figure out how to change the baby cables fingerless mitts pattern to suit her gauge. Lots of people started the baby cable fingerless mittens, especially since I had the pattern and the yarn in their goodie bags. I finished the second mitten on Saturday morning, and they are pretty nice, if I must say so myself. 

The rest of the weekend I worked on the modular scarf that was originally being designed and knit for the modular knitting class that got cancelled, so now it is a knitting pattern for the knitting cruise. It turns out that I needed 7 squares, and it only takes 45 minutes to an hour per square, so the whole scarf takes me only about 8 hours all together to knit. I finished the scarf on Sunday night (last night) and I would have brought it in to take pictures of it this morning, but Nora decided that it was hers. She was sleeping on it this morning and just refused to move. I guess she likes it a lot. It is quite nice.

Speaking of pictures, I didn't really get any. Apparently I was too busy knitting! However I think Conny got a few that she might share with me  :)

So now I am down to 4 projects, the easy socks from Frolicking Feet in color Cherry Pits; the off white baby blanket; spinning my BFL, and the Hard Alee Aran pullover I am making for the knitting cruise. I also got spinning again on my Quebec wheel, which I am madly in love with now that I know how to adjust the tension and put the drive band on correctly, and I am finishing up spinning some blue fluff I got at SPA in around 2008. I only have a little more to spin, and 2 bobbins to Navajo ply, and then I will have about 4 skeins of lovely 3-ply worsted-ish weight yarn to do something with. I'm making progress. 

Salmon & Dill Hors D'Oeuvres:

Cut smoked salmon into pieces that will fit on crackers. Spread rice crackers (or your favorite kind of crackers) with Kraft garlic & herb mayo, OR tartar sauce. Place salmon on cracker, and top with a sprig of fresh dill. Yummy! And so easy to prepare!

One Down, One to Go!

Yayyyy I was able to complete one fingerless mitten and get the picture of it and write the pattern just in time for my Knitting Weekend! 

 I am so excited, it is knitting weekend morning and people will start to arrive in Camden this afternoon.

I still have to pack! I guess it says a lot about me, that my knitting and my computer are all ready to go, but my personal stuff like clothing is yet to be put in a duffel bag. It shows what's important in my life! 

I can't wait to get together with everyone. There will be knitting and spinning and teaching. I know somebody wanted to learn to knit socks two at a time from the toe up, which I haven't done myself yet, but I have the book! And we can learn it all together. 

I'm also going to demonstrate Portuguese knitting and we will have knitting videos from Lucy Neatby if anyone wants to watch them. I am bringing a spindle or 3 and maybe even a spinning wheel.  It's gonna be a fun weekend. I wish it was a Knitting WEEK! It will be over way too fast. 

I still have two places open if anyone sorta local or willing to drive fast or get here a little late wants to join us! Come on up! Or down, as the case may be. 

An End, and a Beginning: Baby Cables for Spring

As a writer, I always like to start with the end. That way, I know where I am heading :) 

This morning my Corduroy Pullover came to a happy end. I am in love with it. I knit the last 3 rows on the cuff, finished it off, wove in the ends and washed it. The yarn I made it out of (Peace Fleece sport weight, 6 skeins) had sat in my stash for at least ten years and it was decidedly dusty. Also, as I was weaving in ends, I noticed rather a lot of cat hair mixed into it.... Nora cat hair. Now, she will just tell you that HER cat hair is more beautiful and therefore more visible, but there is lots of other cats' hair in there too, and I guess we will let her go with that. There was also a good amount of little twigs and burdock burrs mashed into one side, so I guess I know where Mr. Nicky has been sleeping lately. Anyway, it is done now, it is clean, it fits me perfectly, it smells wonderful and like pink grapefruit, since I washed it in Eucalan, and here it is, drying:


I hope Nick and Nora and Grace don't see this picture, because of the Pet Meds box in the background.... yes, it is the dreaded flea medication! Yikes!

It took me 10 weeks to knit Corduroy from cast on to bind off, but really I only knit on it for 8 weeks, because I took 2 weeks off for the Knitting Olympics. It was a lot of fun to knit, and I would like to make it again someday, using my own handspun yarn. I'll get right on that....

Yesterday I also had a beginning. I started a small cable project. Cables are so cute when they're babies, but then they grow up to be Aran patterns with multiple pattern charts, all with horrifically different numbers of rows that are not multiples of each other.... and well. You know how they are. 

I decided (pretty insanely) on Monday that I wanted to offer a pretty little cabled fingerless mitten pattern to my Knitting Weekenders on Friday, so I am madly writing the pattern and knitting at least one mitten for a model. It's fun and it's also dead simple, so I should be done in time. It's a great theoretically quick spring project, and just in time for Easter. Here is the birth:


I'm using 2 skeins of USDK from Knit One, Crochet Too, because it comes in such pretty colors. I hope to have the pattern available to hand out for free to my Knitting Weekend participants, and to offer for sale in the shop, and maybe also as a pdf download on Ravelry. I am working my way up to getting more of my patterns available for sale on both Ravelry and on Etsy. 

Happy Spring, everyone! and happy knitting too :)

Bitten and knittin'

What a beautiful weekend! Saturday, especially, was a great day. It was around 70 degrees and sunny and positively hot. I saw my first flower in the yard:


I killed my first bunch of mosquitoes and find today that my whole body is covered in mosquito bites: 

Biteone      Bite2
I lightened the bite on my hand, since I have so many other spots on my hands, heh heh. I know pictures of my mosquito bites are not that interesting usually, but considering it is MARCH and I am getting mosquito bitten, I am documenting it!  

The cats loved being outside, too... Grace spent some time playing and rolling around on her rock:

...and then sleeping after all that exertion:

Nicky played under my feet and then did manage to get tricked into actually looking up at the camera (he is really good at avoiding looking at the camera):

His sister, Nora, is much better at it; she is so good that she stayed completely out of sight, so I didn't get any pictures of her. She was out having fun elsewhere. I heard a few squirrels swearing loudly in the trees out back, so I guess they knew where she was :) 

On Friday I finished a pretty wool crewneck for a customer:

and a couple of basic cotton hats for another customer:

I also knit the front and the back and the buttonbands on a windjammer sweater, but have no picture of it yet. Right now it is still just little crumpled pieces of knitting, but you can see what the finished product will resemble HERE  and read the description of it on this page if you want to get one made for you as well :) I am making it in a dark blue/green color called "Scotia"; it's very oceany.      

This weekend I worked on my Corduroy pullover, but I still have 10 more decreases and the cuff on the second sleeve. I could have finished the sweater over the weekend but a) I napped in my chair more than I should have and b) I spent a good amount of time cleaning winter accumulative crap out of my house and then spinning on my Quebec production wheel in all the resulting breathing room and c) I hung around outside playing with the cats a good bit on Saturday because of the freakishly summerlike weather. Oh well :) I will have the sweater done in a couple more nights of knitting. I will wear it to the upcoming Knitting Weekend! This coming weekend! So much fun! I am looking forward to it a lot. I still have 2 more spaces available, climb in a car and get here if you can!

If you're coming to the knitting weekend, I look forward to seeing you in a few days! And if you're not coming to the knitting weekend, happy knitting :)

St. Patrick's Day! Irish Spring!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I am wearing green, and what is even better, today is the first day this year that I am wearing a t-shirt instead of a turtleneck. It is so warm and sunny here! 

Yesterday I took down the snowman flag and put up a spring flag:

When I was walking up to the Camden Deli to get coffee, I noticed a cool thing. You know how, in the spring, the leaves on trees all open on the same day? Well this morning, all the doors to all the shops and restaurants were propped wide open! It was like a summer day! Because today is fabulously warm and sunny and very springlike. So I opened early and propped my door open too, and played Let's-Pretend-It's-Summer right along with the rest of them:

I noticed that last year's paint job on the front of the store is already flaking off. I do believe that this building is paint repellent.  

It looks like spring is arriving early inside Unique One, too: 

The sweater stock is building up.

And yarn is busting out all over! Ya gotta love all the color in a  shop:

Yarn2      Yarn1

Yarn3      Yarn4

Yarn5      Yarn6
Yarn7      Yarn8

Nicky was soaking up the sunshine while I hung out my laundry this morning:


He is pretty laid back. Maybe he's Irish :) 

Now go knit an Aran sweater! 


Lack of progress

I don't know what's wrong with me, I haven't been knitting much. I have been picking up my knitting and holding it a lot, but not really knitting much. I only worked about 2 more inches on the first sleeve of my Corduroy over the weekend, and I was secretly thinking on Friday that since I had the whole weekend off, I would probably be able to finish both sleeves and be wearing the sweater by Tuesday. I should have been able to, too, but I didn't. I also did not knit on my aran design because to start it, I would have had to roll a hank of yarn into a ball, and that seemed like waaaaay too much work. Also I haven't worked on my modular scarf. I have been touching yarn and looking at half done projects and thinking about knitting, but apparently I can't quite bring myself to touch the stuff at the moment. Boy do I need a KNITTING WEEKEND!!!!! I can't wait, it is only 10 days a way and I realllllly need it.

My modular knitting class has been cancelled. I usually hold my classes at Cappy's restaurant ( I love Cappy's!!) next door to Unique One, but the owner called me and said she had another large group coming on one of the weekends of my modular class, and could I postpone or reschedule the class? But as I really didn't have a throng of people signed up to take the class, I just cancelled it; if I had had a few more people signed up for the class I would have held it somewhere else. But not to worry! I am still designing a few modular pieces that will become knitting cruise fodder, and I am quite happy about them. One  is the basic modular scarf I have already started with Good Karma Farm Secret Sheep Blend, and I have a couple other ideas. One is a scarf in 2 colors of Rowan Kid Silk Haze, made in smaller diamond pieces, modularly knit, and another project uses a skein of Cloth Candy Hand Dyes 100% washable sport weight wool. Cloth Candy Hand Dyes is hand dyed yarn made right here in Camden, and it is so beautiful! Diane Neil has been creating hand-dyed and painted fabrics for the quilting community for over ten years, and her dye work is absolutely stunning. Now she is venturing a little into yarn dyeing as well, and I must say, we got a good response to her strong, vibrant colors when I displayed her work at the SPA. Right now we have a selection of both sport and fingering weight skeins from Diane, and each skein will make a pair of socks OR a beautiful scarf. I am quite looking forward to making my modular scarf from her yarn; I just haven't selected what shape of module I want to use for it yet!

Ok gotta go knit :) 

Fitting Out

I have started fitting out for my knitting cruises already! I've been working for about a week now on putting together the elements for an aran sweater design that I will give to my Knitting Cruise passengers. I am calling this design "Hard Alee", because it has so many turns and bends in the cables, and "Hard Alee!" is what Brenda shouts when she wants the crew to scamper and tack the boat. 

I enjoyed knitting the initial swatch quite a bit:


This morning I worked at writing the pattern, which involved some measuring and some math, which is fun because it is like a puzzle. Now I have to write the stitch patterns out, wind some yarn into a ball, and start actually knitting the model. I am designing the sweater to have finished measurements of 40", 44", 48", and 52". I will knit the model in the 48" measurement, but I would love to find someone willing to knit the smallest size as well, because that way people could try on the sweaters and see if they need the next size up or down. Any takers? I can pay you in yarn or a gift certificate to Unique One :) 

I also have a modular scarf started (Modular Knitting class, April 10 & 17! Sign up now!) that I will also be using on the boat. I haven't gotten very far on it yet because I got sidetracked with the Therapi Wrap:

I am using the Secret Sheep Blend yarn from Good Karma Farm. What wonderful yarn to knit with! 

I have a couple of other scarf projects that I really hope I can get done before the knitting cruises, but I will talk about them if I start working on them. 

And in my personal "just for fun" knitting, I have finished the body of Corduroy and am about 2 inches done on the first sleeve. I hope to be wearing it at the March Knitting Weekend! 

Portland Flower Show!

Today my friend Lynne and I went to the Portland Flower Show. It was great to get a shot of spring by looking at all the pretty blooms and shrubs. I am not a gardener. However, especially this time of year, I love to see actual living flowers. Here are some pictures of what we saw at the show:

Daffodils      Daffodils2
Flowers      Orchids
Pinkflowers      Otherpinkflowers
Primroses      Tulips

The best display in the show, in my opinion, was called "There and Back Again", a homage to Tolkein's hobbit world. This display had so much to see, but I only took a picture of the little hobbit house itself:

Thereandbackagain     Bilboshouse        

After the flower show, Lynne and I went to Whole Foods (what a great store!) and then we went to Jameson Tavern in Freeport for lunch. They had a drink special called an Elderflower Martini, and since I had never had one, I had to try it:

It was, of course, fabulous. It has kind of a grapefruity taste to it and it is a pretty shade of pink, and it quite appropriately came with a decorative edible orchid perched on the edge. I loved this drink and bribed asked to get the recipe for it. It is made with Absolut Mandarain vodka, St. Germaine liquor and cranberry juice. If you're going to be at the knitting weekend coming up SOON, I will be making them there so you will be able to taste one for yourself! 

We sat in the corner and above us was a lighted sign that was quite reassuring:


We were not street girls (however, after 2 elderflower martinis, I wasn't so sure) and although Lynne and her husband own and operate a fantastic windjammer in Camden, I was pretty sure we didn't qualify as sailors either, so we were safe. It was a very fun day :) 




It's a Wrap

I got the Therapi Wrap done (wellllll I do have to weave in some ends, but it is pretty  much done). Pictures before grafting and after:

I kind of messed up the grafting, due partly to forgetfulness and partly to stupidity. I forgot to pick up the extra half stitch from the side of the provisional cast on, so I would have been one stitch off in my count anyway, but I was three stitches off because I had cast on the wrong number in the first place. So I either increased or decreased 2 sts to get the right number, making  a mental note to do the opposite on the other end before grafting, but then I lost the mental note. Go figure. Since I did not count the number of stitches on both needles before grafting, (DUH), I ended up with three extra stitches on one needle and had to fudge it at the end. Throw in the fact  that I forgot to switch back to garter stitch grafting at the beginning of the garter stitches at the other end of the wrap, having done the first garter stitch/switch to stockinette stitch perfectly at the beginning, and you have pretty much a disaster of grafting. Which, by the way, I am leaving right where it is, so that everyone will see it and I can learn humility. 

Other than my own operator error problems, I am quite happy with the wrap itself. It's lovely to look at and lovely to feel :) 

I have never shown pictures of the Corduroy pullover I am making from A Fine Fleece. Here are some pictures:


I am using sport weight Peace Fleece that I got about 10 years ago, seriously. I finally decided to use it up. I love the color, a nice medium to dark purple. 

I have the body nearly done; I probably do a 3-needle bind off to join the shoulder stitches tonight, and pick up the sleeve stitches. It shouldn't take too long to do the sleeves and the collar, and then it will be done! I figure 2 weeks to finish it, so I should shoot for my deadline to be the March Knitting Weekend at the end of the month. 

It is a sweater, so of course it flips up on the bottom. 

 If anyone can tell me how to stop my sweaters from flipping up on the bottom, I would be very very very grateful! 

Now that my Therapi Wrap is done, I am pushing forward on the Modular Scarf I am making for my modular knitting class (April 10 & 17). The pattern will also be handed out on the knitting cruises on the Isaac Evans, and it will also be offered for sale at Unique One after April 17. I will show pictures as soon as I am able. 

I have also started work on designing another scarf, a pair of fingerless gloves, a hat, and an Aran sweater, all of which will be patterns handed out on the knitting cruises this year, and offered for sale in Unique One starting in July. So stay tuned for new stuff to knit :)

Therapi, I Need Therapi

I'm working on a store project right now that is really fun to make. I would want to make it even if it wasn't a work project :) As a matter of fact, I might make more than one of them. I want one for me, and it is also a great gift idea.

I got these kits for a Braided Wrap, which is like a shoulder shawl that is joined in the middle with a braid. It is a continuous loop. It's a great design, but what really makes this wrap beautiful is the lovely yarn, called Therapi, from Southwest Trading Company. It feels so soft! The way it feels reminds me of the Tencel Wool yarn from Plymouth that we used to get. It is soft and yet silky all at the same time, but it has the springiness of wool, too, which makes it fun to knit with. One interesting thing about the yarn is that it is made with jade. Yup, that jade, the semiprecious stone. The fiber content of Therapi is 30% bowlder (jadeite) fiber, 50% fine wool, and 20% silk. I love the color I chose, a pretty periwinkle blue, but we have the kit available in lots of colors. The colors are luminescent and practically glow. You can get the kit at Unique One for $52.95.

Here is what I am shooting for (this is the picture from the inside of the kit):


The picture on the outside of the kit has a great picture of the model's face, but not so great a picture of what you're making. Silly editors.

Here is the wrap I am making, a little more than half done:


The method of construction is,  you start with a provisional cast on at the center back, knit around to the front, separate the piece into 3 parts, knit each of the 3 parts to a certain length and then braid them together to form the front of the wrap, put the 3 pieces back on one needle, and then knit merrily around to the center back. You join the ends together with either Kitchener stitch, or a three needle bind off, and voila! a seamless loop of a wrap. Very easy, very fun :) 


Here is the same piece, braided together. Notice the lovely purpleheart size 7 needles I am using, with pretty purple Swarovski crystal tops, from Autumn Hollow :) Let's have a close up of those needles:


This is the crochet provisional cast on I used, but you could use whatever provisional cast on method you like, really. You probably could just cast on regularly and bind off at the end, and just sew a seam together, if you didn't mind having the seam down the middle of your back. It will be interesting to Kitchener stitch it together, since the edges are in garter stitch and the middle is stockinette, but I will do my best.

I placed a pin to mark the row I joined the pieces on. I know how many rows I knit before I separated the piece into 3 strips, so now I have to knit that same number of rows, Kitchener stitch it together, weave in the ends, and stand back as the crowds of people flock to the store to buy the kit! I might have to wear this wrap a lot, as it quite appeals to me :) 

This Braided Wrap is a very easy and fun and very, very quick thing to knit.   



Pictures as promised :)

I finally found the cord for my camera! Yay! 

 So here are pictures from the Spa:

Spa1      Spa2


People walking around the vending room :) When I got to the Hilton, there was no power, and I made the decision that I was prepared to work the whole Spa weekend with no power, if necessary; CMP was not sure if they could get the power on by the end of the weekend. But as I was checking in, the power came on, so all was well. We had had a pretty nasty storm on Wednesday and Thursday, rain and high winds, and lots of people were without electricity. I was expecting to drive to the Spa in sloppy weather, but hey, it turned out to be fifty degrees (according to the bank in Waldoboro) and sunny the whole drive down! It was the easiest, most comfortable set up we have ever had.


Lots of knitters and spinners hung out in the lobby and other public areas.

Breakfast, bring your wheel! 


Things got a little messy in our booth toward the end...

Who wouldn't love a Bartlettyarn wineglass filled with wool top?!

Springtide Farm's booth was next to ours, and Pistachio the goat spent most of the weekend chewing on a cashmere scarf.

Even the mannequins were having a good time! By the way, that luscious tan and white two color hat in the bottom left of the picture? The pattern for that hat is in the new issue of Wild Fibers magazine (Spring 2010), page 65! We have Wild Fiber Magazine at Unique One!


My sock monkey slippers got lots of attention, so they had a good time too :) 


Fluff      Fluff2

I got 4 ounces of 100% superwash blue faced leicester fluff from Sereknity to spin into something luscious! The color is Aegean. It is a beautiful mostly blue but with a little green too. Very oceany.

I got only one skein of yarn. Can you believe it??? It is a pretty orange skein of cashmere from Springtide Farm, and I am going to make it into fingerless gloves, but I have no picture of it :(

I bought 3 sets of needles from Autumn Hollow Farm, but only could get pictures of two of them to come out so they looked like much:

   Pearltops      Cocobolasize8s   

These are cocobola size 8 needles, with pearl tops. I love them! I can't wait to start using them.

Birdseye9s      Birdseyetips
These are birds eye maple size 9's, and I believe they have amethyst tops. My picture taking skills kind of suck. I love Autumn Hollow needles, for many reasons, but especially for the utterly perfect tips on them. 

I have a third set of purple heart size 7 needles with Swarovski crystals (purple, of course) tops, but I couldn't get a picture to come out well. I am sure you will eventually see them though, as I am currently using them to knit the Therapi Wrap that we have a kit for. Pictures soon :)

AND the most beautiful thing of all, I got a spindle (also from Autumn Hollow) that is so gorgeous. It is cocobola wood with an inlay of beautiful blue lapis lazuli around the outside.... it is so beautiful I can barely look at it, and apparently neither can my camera, because every picture I tried to take of it came out with a dark slightly spindle-shaped blob and no sign of the lapis lazuli. I will try to sneak up on it when I start spinning the Aegean superwash BFL and see if I can get a better picture at some point. 
When I got home, I noticed we had a LOT of water in the harbor, and some parts of the park were flooded, and the parking lot was pretty close to almost being flooded:

Highwater      Highwater1

What a wild weekend :)  



.... I haven't gotten any of my Spa pictures up, including pictures of what I got there. I did take the pictures, but I'm having a little trouble finding the cord that connects the camera to the computer. Guess my next camera better have Bluetooth connectivity. 

I have gotten quite a bit of yarn in the store, stocking up on old favorites and adding new things. It keeps me busy. 

So I am just checking in today so people won't think I promised pictures and didn't come through. 

SPA 2010

This last weekend I was at the 2010 New England Textile Arts Spa Knit & Spin event in Freeport, Maine! It was so much fun!! There were tons of people there and sales were better than last year, but I really want people to remember that the Spa is about sharing and learning fiber stuff, and meeting and making friends, and although it is really great that it is an opportunity to make money for the vendors, it's not all about making money. 

I saw lots of friends, both long-time friends and brand new friends, and talked to all kinds of people about knitting and spinning, and basically I just had a ball. It was great :) 

Last year I came home with lots of yarn and fiber, LOTS, and I had made myself a goal that I would only get the stuff I wanted if I promised to use up all of it by the next year's Spa. Well... I did it! But it took literally a whole year, and actually I am still spinning that last bit of BFL laceweight fiber. As I was oohing and ahhhing over yarn and fibers at last year's spa, I was remembering all the things I had purchased over the previous 6 years' SPA events, that I haven't even pulled out into the light of day since I bought them. That had to end. 

This year, I still bought things, but I focused on tools rather than consumables. I will get pictures as I use the tools and fiber and yarn, but in a nutshell, I got:

-- 3 pairs of knitting needles from Autumn Hollow. I swapped out my rosewood needles on my Therapi Wrap so I am now using the purple heart size 7 needles I got at the Spa. Best wooden needles ever!

-- a gorgeous spindle, also from Autumn Hollow

-- four ounces of superwash BFL top in a blue/green color called "Aegean" from Serenity Yarn & Fiber

-- an ounce of orange cashmere from Springtide Farm (best cashmere ever) and the pattern for some lacey fingerless mittens (yes Kelley, just like yours! but orange). These might become a gift around Christmas. 

-- two wineglasses filled with wool top from Bartlettyarns! the glasses have the very cute Bartlettyarn logo on them. I have always loved that little sheep, knitting away ;) 

So yes, my goal this year is simple: I have to knit the fingerless gloves and spin the 4 ounces of fiber. That will take way less than a year, you betcha. BUT.... I would like to say, I promise also to use up all the yarn and fiber I got at the spa in 2008, year before last, except there is one little problem. I think probably every one of those purchases is probably still in my stash, unseen for the last 2 years, but I can't remember what I got! So I am going to look through my blog posts and try to figure out all the things I said I bought in 2008, and use up all *those* items in 2010, along with the two consumable things I got this year. Wish me luck :)