Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yarn Along: Strung Out

I am completely addicted to knitting with beads. When I first started this project as part of the Knitmore Girls Summer of Lace and Beads, I really struggled. I began with the bottom-up version of the pattern, which requires a cast-on of hundreds of stitches. I was so clumsy with the tiny crochet hook recommended to place the beads.  After a couple of rows, the project languished.
Then I found OralB Superfloss, a dental floss that lots of knitters have been using to place beads, instead of fumbling with the crochet hook. It really made a difference. I also got the top down version of the shawl, so that I could find my groove on a small number of stitches. The charts seem clearer too, but maybe that's just me. Anyway, I'm having so much fun working on it and I highly recommend giving knitting with beads a try. 

I'm reading Love and Salt: a Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters on my nook, slowly but surely. It was a gift from Muiche, who always writes the most wonderful letters to me, so it is especially meaningful to me.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Yarn Shop A Day: Kitchy Stitch

On Friday, we popped into our final yarn shop, Kitschy Stitch.  I absolutely loved the colorful porch, complete with lots of comfy chairs, colorful cushions, and happy pots of herbs.  Lucy fell asleep right before we arrived, and snoozed in her car seat while her cousins sat in the child-sized lawn chairs and blew bubbles.
Inside the shop, they had a nice area to sit and knit, and a few women were gathered there when we stopped by.  I wish this shop were close by my house so that I could hang out there constantly...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Yarn Shop A Day: Ginger Moon

On Saturday, we somehow crammed in two more shops.  We started with Ginger Moon, which can best be described as a tiny sparkly yarn boutique.  
 The yarn was organized by color, which really made things interesting.  It was mostly single skeins of art yarn, sequined or beaded yarn, and sparkly yarn.
I definitely had fun browsing through all the bling, but didn't buy anything, because I didn't have any projects in mind.  There was some beautiful Blue Heron Metalic that caught my eye, which I want to learn more about.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Yarn Shop a Day: The Fine Needle

Even though we planned to stay at home on Friday, to recuperate from our busy week, we couldn't resist slipping out quickly to check out The Fine Needle.  This time, we all went in together, and the lady who owns the shop was so kind.  She was packing up to attend a yarn and wine tasting, but still took the time to help us find everything we were looking for.
I decided to try some Kollage square knitting needles and bought size 5 dpns.  I also couldn't resist this transparent tape measure, especially since Lucy recently squirreled away my purple one.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Yarn Shop a Day: Carodan Farm Wool Shop

On Thursday, we all went to Chincoteague, where we saw the wild ponies being auctioned off.
Who am I kidding--you're here for the yarn shops.
 I cannot get enough of these signs!  The owners even had license plates that read WOOL.  They speak my language!
 Anyway, Carodan Farm Wool Shop is a must-see if you travel to Chincoteague.  They hand-dye a line of yarn that is inspired by Chincoteague and Assateague Islands.  I regret not snapping some of it up, but I was blinded by a sweater's worth of Rowan Felted Tweed in the exact color I was hoping to use to make the Calligraphy Cardigan.  I had birthday money set aside to make this purchase and was prepared to pay full price.  But!
The shop had a little display of paper horses at the register.  At checkout, you got to pick one and open it to discover a coupon worth anywhere from 15%-50% off your purchase.  I chose a 25% off coupon!  I can't wait to cast on this beautiful yarn, which will always remind me of our trip to Chincoteague.  My goal is to wear it next time we go.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Yarn Shop a Day: Salty Yarns

On Wednesday, Emily and I brought the kids to the boardwalk, where Salty Yarns overlooks the ocean.  The kids had fun sitting on the rocking chairs and watching the sea gulls while the mamas took turns browsing.

The shop specializes in needlepoint supplies, but does have a small side room full of yarn and needles.  I was most interested in the multitude of embroidery scissors they carried.  In the end, I decided not to get a pair, because I wasn't really sure what to look for.  But the shop is definitely worth stopping by, especially if you make time to sit on the porch and knit.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Yarn Shop a Day: A Little Bit Sheepish

After visiting the Upper Room Studio on Tuesday, Emily and I packed up all the kidlets and headed to A Little Bit Sheepish.  
 The secret to going to so many yarn shops with our four kids was taking turns.  One of us would sit outside with the kids while the other took a quick look around inside the shop, and then we'd switch.  It was so much fun to focus on the yarn while browsing.
 I am seriously contemplating getting this flag for our front door.
After much deliberation, I scooped up a gorgeous skein of Three Irish Girls Springvale sock yarn in the colorway Lucky Penny.  In reality, it is much more orange than this picture shows.  I think it needs to become cabled socks.
I also found these cute wooden needle gauges, just the right size for slipping into my little tool kit.  I grabbed a slightly bigger one with a ruler along the edge to stash with my interchangeable needles as well.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Yarn Shop a Day: Upper Room Studio

On Tuesday, we were lucky enough to check out two yarn shops.  First, we went to The Upper Room Studio, where I took a one-on-one spinning class.  Monika was so helpful.  She really made me feel that there are no absolute musts in spinning--just like knitting, it all comes down to preferences.  I was finding myself getting a little tense while spinning, and she showed me how to slow down and relax.  I love the long draw that she demonstrated and have been practicing ever since.  Now, since I forgot to snap pictures of the actual shop, I'll show you what I came home with instead:

Monika dyed this wool/silk yarn using natural dyes.
I also bought some fiber there, all in half-pound bags:
oatmeal Blue-Faced Leicester

 cream Blue-Faced Leicester
and cream BFL/silk blended top.

If you're ever in the area, definitely check out Upper Room Studio, especially if you're interested in taking a class.  Not only do they offer fiber-related classes, they also have soap-making, bread baking, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream making, etc.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Yarn Shop a Day: Serendipity Quilt Shop

On Monday, after driving for four hours, I met up with Emily and her babies at Serendipity Quilt shop to get supplies for Maggie Rabbit and wool for rosebud hair clips.
 And what to you think I saw when I walked in the door?
Yep, yarn.  It seems it has infiltrated even the quilt shop.