Saturday, August 20, 2005

a yarn-ful day

This was a loooong week. Most days I was up and at the hospital by 7:10am and I wasn't done before 6pm. After having a few weeks of schedule-less days it was a rough transition!

Right now I'm dog and cat-sitting in a house with an attached barn (that means I'm also chicken and turkey sitting, and get the eggs each day) and I'm enjoying my time out here. This afternoon the cat that "doesn't like people" was splayed across my lap purring while the younger golden retriever was at my side. Both demanded that I pet them (at the same time while trying to keep the dog from nipping the cat when he felt jaded with not enough petting) so my attempt at catching up on reading knitting blogs was a lost cause. Now they are all enjoying post dinner naps, and I'm hoping to remain "hidden" for a while this evening.

Late this morning I took advantage of the knitting resources down here and made the rounds to a few places I'd never gotten a chance to see up close and personal. Liberty Graphics is in Liberty and they have an outlet store that is worth the trip. Next door is Liberty Wool - a small shop with fleeces, finished sheepskin items a some wool. I picked up a few things before heading across the street to Liberty Tools. The "tool store" is really like a trip back through time; every sort of old tool, bit, supply (such as staples and nails) and other odd or end is there. My dad warned me that it was like walking through my great uncle's old barn and he was right!

From there, on the advice of Toby at Liberty Wool (no link - it's a small operation), I headed out to Hope Spinnery. The shop was technically closed, but they invited me in and showed me all of the equiptment they use to turn raw wool into yarn. The mill is partially run off of a windmill and they dye the wool instead of the finished yarn. It was wonderful to see it all up close and personal and when I have a few fleeces of my own (far, far in the future) I'll give them a call for processing (his wait list is 6 months out right now, but the turn around time is usually within a week). It's possible to buy the Hope Spinnery yarn other places and now I have something to keep my eye out for.

My trip continued out to the coast and I had good luck with Unique One's bargin bin. They were busy with lots of summer tourists so I kept to myself and took my time looking at all of their yarn. They had the higher end Lorna's Laces (Helen's Lace and the wool top) but didn't have sock yarn or shepard sport; I didn't see any koigu but they did have a few different types of Alchemy yarns. I picked up a few skiens of sock yarn and a set of Inox #2 dpn's. I've been knitting socks on bamboo needles and though I like how they turn out, I want to try a metal set and see if there is any difference.

One of the best finds of the day was at ABCD Books (link on the side). I quickly reviewed the "knitting" section and found "Charted Knitting Designs" by Barbara Walker. It was in great shape, fairly affordable and is a solid guide for different sorts of stitches. They had a few Alice Starmore books (including Celtic Knits) that I enjoyed looking at, but I couldn't bring myself to pay what they wanted for them. I like most of her designs, but don't think I'd knit up a sweater as she wrote it; gathered waist lines that suggest a "belt like" shape around the middle or complicated colorwork that would take me a long, long time to finish just aren't practical right now. Her cable designs are stunning, but my new treasury book has a couple of chapters with several cable variations, and I think I'll enjoy working on creating a sweater on my own. (that isn't to say that I won't work on St. Brigid in the future; Aran Knitting has the best patterns of the books I've seen (and after today's trip into town I can say that I've seen a few of them!)). If you are seriously looking for some Starmore books or any of the back issues of Rowan check out the website - I overheard that they can ship if you're interested.

From there it was off to Stitchery Square. They had a small selection of what I consider "uppity" yarns (the expensive silk/cashmere blends, Noro and high end Debbie Bliss) and I didn't see a bargin bin. Seeing as how I had bought something everywhere else I'd been I felt as though I couldn't leave the store empty handed so I picked up the Fiber Trends Leaf Lace Shawl pattern. It might reappear as a gift in the future, but I make no claims as to when it will be started (or for that matter, finished). Believe it or not most of my Christmas shopping is done, but my Christmas knitting has yet to get started....

It was a good day. I need to dig into my books tonight and will spend tomorrow going over board review things as well as catching up on the reading I need to do for next week. The days are just packed.....


Anonymous said...

Where are you doing your current rotation? I am a physician in Bangor, so I was curious...

8:14 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Hey, next time you're in my backyard (practically) give me a shout and I'll yarn-crawl with you. Did you get any good $5 tees at Liberty?

10:28 AM  

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