We’ll get back to the bag, but friends are much more important. I remember reading somewhere once that the average person has a single digit number of TRUE friends in a lifetime. (It was long ago, and the details and source are long gone from this mind.) This person made a distinction between acquaintances and real, see you through it all friends, and that’s a point well-taken. Maybe I’m deluded, but I’m sure I have more than single digit real friends at this very moment. I’d do a roll call, but this is a knitting blog. I just needed to take a moment to note how lucky I am to have some phenomenal women (and a couple of men) to call my dearest and best friends.
Some of you were expecting photos of two knitters from blogland meeting. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. POUT. I was doing payroll while Michelle and I finalized plans, and I didn’t write down the time. I got it wrong, and by the time we talked, she was 15 minutes from our meeting spot, while I was still over an hour away. Big sigh. Guess it just wasn’t meant to be right now. Sorry Michelle!
In other news, my Green Yarn Junkies pal’s box mailed out this morning, along with my first No Sheep Swap package. (Yes, mailed on the last possible day to be considered timely…) But more interestingly, I finished my vest. The arm holes are bigger than I like, but otherwise, it fits well, which for my first garment is good enough. I loved knitting with the Plymouth Royal Bamboo, and since I have nearly 250 yards left over, I can make another little project. My sweet husband suggested socks, but I don’t think that’s anywhere near a good choice for that yarn. It is a fairly heavy vest, as summer clothing goes, but on, it doesn’t feel heavy at all. I will likely wash and block it later today, and wear it very soon. Maybe then, I’ll be able to get a better photo. If you haven’t tried bamboo, I highly recommend it. It just glides through your fingers and off the needles. I also mastered the three-needle bind-off on the shoulders. Piece of cake! I’d done seaming before, first just a bit on Mugsy’s sweater, and then, on the Mitered Squares bag. There really was very little on this – just the shoulders to the back with the three-needle bind-off, and then, each side to the VAST arm holes. Oat Couture patterns are great!
That’s about it for knitting content. I’ll likely finish the first two circs. sock later this afternoon, and then I’ll have to decide what to cast on next. Probably a dpn sock, but I do have non-sock projects I could and should consider.
In non-knitting news, I have to give props to my incredible sister and her husband. We had an early birthday dinner for me last night, as they’ve headed off on vacation. My sister gave me FOUR charms, including the one Anne spotted on our Richmond yarn crawl. The picture could be better, so that’s a grater on the far left, a colander on top, a whisk on the right, and the needles and yarn in the center. My sterling charm bracelet will be much heavier once those are added!
However, my always funny, kind brother inlaw gets the bow. Because botching dates and times is what I seem to be doing this summer, I somehow flopped Anne and Ingrid‘s arrival date around, thinking I could go with my sister and other friends to Williamsburg, for the big Longaberger event there. So, my other brother inlaw’s girlfriend signed us up to weave our own baskets, something we’ve done before, but these were special, designed just for the Williamsburg crowd. Long story short, my sister said she’d found a friend to go with her to take my spot, and I stayed at home and greeted my guests. I thought nothing more of it. No one shared any details, which I thought was a bit rude, but I decided they didn’t want to make me pout – which you know I am apt to do – and let it go.
Wrong! They were all in on it. My brother inlaw, disdainer of all things baskety, set aside his eye-rolling urges and instead, rolled up his sleeves and made me a basket. I can honestly say, prince that he is, my own hubby wouldn’t have done that for me. Now, I have known my brother inlaw most of my life, as he’s also a volunteer firefighter, and first dated my sister when I was just a little girl. My inlaws are his son’s godparents, so even before he and my sister reconnected and eventually wed, he was still a significant family friend. My other brother inlaw’s girlfriend was sworn to secrecy, so now I know why she didn’t email with details of the trip either. I love it! There’s the close-up of the Colonial Williamsbur signature pineapple (a symbol of hospitality) and the special nearly Williamsburg Blue trim. Note the splint commemorating the event, and the beautiful tie-on. He also initialled the bottom, in Longaberger tradition, got the weaver (the guy who talked him through it and helped out as needed) to sign it, and then stood in line to turn it into a certified collectible with a signature from one of the Longabergers. Thank you!!! I am truly spoiled.
PS – I love spell check, but it doesn’t love me back. “Baskety” isn’t a word. “Blogland” isn’t either, if you can imagine…
1. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why?
Oh, that’s a toughie. There are so many… Maine. I’ve only been once and I was kinda’ along for the ride on that one. Washington. It’s just so different from my image of the West Coast. Montana. Big Sky Country. Texas. So many friends and family there. (I’ll quit there.)
2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why?
Again, can’t do just one. Scotland, because I want to see the ancestral home and more. Ireland, because it’s such a great mix of the pastoral and urban cities. New Zealand, because I miss my cousins, and with all those sheep, there must be great wool, thus, great yarn… Greece, because it’s the one place I feel I must go or I’ll really be missing something.
3. Have you ever driven across several states/providence/countries?
Oh yeah. The favorite example would be the cross-half-country trip around 1992, to a wedding in Chicago. “Life is a Highway” was a Top Forty hit, and I will never hear it without thinking of Rebecca and that trip!
4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? Where was it?
Nope. The only islands I’ve been to are off the Virginia coast, if that counts?
5. What was your favorite “travel” vacation? Why?
Any of those summer trips in college with Rebecca.
6. Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state (if international, country)? Explain.
LOL… Yeah. I live next door to one of James Monroe’s holdings. I work at the foot of the back side of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home. We have a host of great, local wineries and vineyards, a couple of unique museums, and I love to share it with friends!
7. Are you a museum visitor, beach comer or an amusement seeker?
Mostly beach comer with a dash of museum visitor thrown in. Since I can’t ride the rides anymore because of my back, amusement parks just get on my nerves.
8. What’s your favorite type of yarn?
Sock yarn! Or did you mean a brand, or particular fiber? I really don’t have a favorite. I like to try different yarns, different brands, and maybe when I’ve been knitting for more than just over six months, I’ll develop more opinions.
9. What’s your least favorite type of yarn?
Novelty yarns. Otherwise, everything has a purpose. Acrylics are great for soft, easy-care baby items and such. I didn’t really enjoy knitting with Noro Kureyon, but the finished results are nice enough to make it worth the trouble.
10. What items do you like to knit/crochet?
Right now, I only knit, but I’m hoping Anne’s mom (two different blogs, there) will teach me to crochet in a few days. But that wasn’t the question. I love socks. I like felted bags an awful lot too. Dishcloths are quick and fun. Hats aren’t bad. I’m going to cast on for my first sweater/vest shortly, so I’ll get back to you on that one.
11. What do you pack, knit/crochet wise when you go on vacation?
Dunno. Won’t be an issue until July. I’m assuming socks, and maybe a dishcloth?
12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit/Crochet?
I scrapbook. I make cards/stamp. I used to cross stitch and needlepoint but have no interest in either right now.
13. Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise)
14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite?
My favorites are greens, reds, blues, pinks… actually anything except orange or a strong yellow. Those are my least favorite, and I’m not crazy about purple or lilac/lavender either, but I love pastel pinks and blues.
15. Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)?
Sweet, sweet, sweet!
16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know?
Not really. For matching me, I do have dogs but I don’t smoke, if that matters.
ETA – I live in central Virginia.
Anne had a contest to talk about local yarn shops. She even posted somewhat of a wish list recently, which is what I think almost all of us need/want in a local yarn shop. Well, I’ve found one that is local, in a back roads, away from the city kind of way. Limerick Fibers (site under construction, but coming soon!), in Gordonsville, VA is a knitter’s dream. It’s cute. The owners are a mother-daughter team, and while I was there, I was introduced to another daughter and her wee daughter. I left work early and drove 25 minutes out into the country, and there on Main Street is the little grey building that is home to the best little yarn shop going.
I was in a good frame of mind to judge, as I’d picked up the last of the back ordered Cotton Fleece from the LYS in the city I frequent. (They know me by name, and even what I have in the works.) They’re nice enough now that they know me (and coincidentally, I’ve spent a boatload of money in there), but they’re still disorganized and always seem to lack whatever I went in there after. Not so at Limerick Fibers. They didn’t know me from Eve, and had not a clue whether I’d buy anything then or ever, but Paula assured me I should take my time, let her know if she could help, etc.
My cell phone has a camera. I should have used it. I have never seen so much Cascade 220 in one place, neatly stacked in wood stained cubes, higher than I could reach, in row after row. Sigh. There was even an entire row at the back with the Cascade Sierra, which is what I wanted to use for hubby’s blankie, but the above-mentioned LYS had one little cube full of maybe three colors, so I went with the Cotton Fleece, and still had to order five of the colors. I’m pleased with my selections, but the multi MONTH wait for the last color was unacceptable, and Cotton Fleece simply doesn’t have some of the colors I wanted. (There they are. There are multiple skeins of many of the colors, but you could have guessed that, since I said it was for a blanket, right?)
So, here is what I purchased, minus one more pattern that is for a swap. Those are Bryspun needles. Almost since I reconnected with my inner knitter, I’ve wanted to try them. Soy? Good, but you know about that, because I went overboard about why I love soy with the SWS. They have sharp points too, just like those awesome Options. Yep, despite my initial less than love for Cascade 220, there’s more of it in there. There’s also Euroflax in there, because Knitters Stash and a mystery customer in the above mentioned LYS said I needed to try it, and the mounds of beautimousness all around are the Plymouth Bamboo that called to me. It wants to be the vest on the left, because I don’t do sleeveless. And again, the folks at Limerick’s are so cool that when I began to walk around stroking the bamboo and talk to the spinny racks of patterns, Paula went downstairs to find the three balls she’d pulled for her own use and for a shop sample. With those three balls, there was just enough for the pattern. Joy! There’s another felted bag pattern on the teal paper, but that’s for a swap too.
These down-home geniuses are also going to have a wish list section on their website. Even without a working website, they noted the ball winder and swift I want for my birthday, and said to send my family in. My husband, sister and mother inlaw have all been so advised. (Already, I trust Paula and her family. I won’t end up with three swifts. They do gift certificates too.) They have spinning and needle felting stuff too.
I also got more lusciousness from Sheri at The Loopy Ewe. It’s in a colorway called “Preppy” in colors I love dearly, by Sknitches. I’m still called “Preppy” and this yarn makes me proud to share the title. It also makes me want to go buy some penny loafers too, but I wouldn’t really wear them. (I wonder if Clarks makes something like a penny loafer?)
Limerick’s could be better. No Sunday hours, only open five days a week, but I do feel sure that if I can’t leave work early and arrive there at 4:30, they’ll stay until I’ve selected what I need and want. They are heavy on Cascade, carrying yarns in that brand I had only seen on websites before. They don’t have much in the way of sock yarn, and I don’t know whether it is a plus or a minus, but they have no Yuck Yarn – that’s Noro Kureyon for the rest of you. However, they’re more than willing to custom-order, which is nice, but realistically, it means that the city LYSs will still get plenty of my business, as will the internet stores. That I feel comfortable sending my family in there speaks volumes. That I checked to make sure they won’t be closed for their family vacation while Anne is here means I’ve found the first “must see” stop on our Virginia yarn crawl.
Speaking of vacations, those crazy gals at the Knitter’s Virtual Vacation Swap are tricky! International dateline and all, sign-ups are already open! Be there or be square. I’m already plotting what would go in my Virginia is for lovers swap box. (That’s the state’s tourism slogan, or was for too many years while I was growing up anyway.) I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing what everyone else comes up with. Maybe I’ll be inspired to add to my places I want to go if I’m ever able to take more than four days of vacation at a time list.