While on our trip through the White Mountains, I did a lot of hiking, picture taking, knitting, and (gasp!) crocheting. First, the knitting: I took one existing work in progress along, and was able to finish it pretty quickly.
- Pattern: Sunday Market Shawl
- Yarn: Classic Elite Wool Bam Boo
- Needles: US 10 1/2
- Mods: None. Can you believe it?!
This is a great mindless knitting project, perfect for travel or knitting on the go. It did get a little cumbersome toward the end when I had to pull out several feet of wool each time I wanted to knit, but it was well worth it. And the yarn held up remarkably well to all the abuse I put it through between being used next to the campfire and being repeatedly dropped on the sandy, pine needle-covered ground.
Keep in mind that, with the exception of the first and last rows, this baby is knit entirely in stockinette stitch. That being said, it knits up quick on big needles, and it was very fun to let those stitches drop in the end. I love the effect; the scarf turned from boring to a spectacular, drapey accessory.
While away, I also started a new pair of socks. This was something I wasn’t sure I would be doing this summer at all; the idea of knitting socks was not appealing to me in the least a month ago, for no apparent reason. Perhaps I had over done it with trying to complete so many in the spring. So I knit a couple of tops and washcloths to clear my mind, and set out to knit a pair of Hedera socks.
This is one of Cookie A.’s amazing sock patterns (available for free online) in my new favorite yarn, Araucania Ranco Multy.
The pattern is cruising along quite easily and quickly, which is keeping me engaged. But once my simple scarf was finished, I needed something else I could work on in the dim light of a campfire. That is where my friend, CrochetingKate came along. You see, Katie is a prolific crocheter. Over Christmas, she taught me how to make a granny square, and I showed her a little about knitting. In the intervening 6 months, neither of us did much with this knowledge. But I was determined to grab her on this camping trip and make her re-teach me the ways of the granny square. For some reason, I have been convinced that I need to make myself a good old-fashioned acrylic afghan!
So, one night after dinner we got out our respective yarn and needles/hooks and shared our knowledge with one another. It all came back to me pretty quickly, and before long I had a decent size square. And I haven’t been able to put it down since!
Here I am sitting outside the yurt enjoying a cold root beer and crocheting up a storm! I cannot believe how fast this blanket has grown! Knitting a blanket to this point would probably have taken me weeks, not hours. I cannot say whether or not I am a true crochet convert quite yet, but it is enjoyable and rhythmic and I am loving the results.
The LYS Search
I tried to find signs of a Local Yarn Shop everywhere I went. Aside from a few hot tips in my last post about the apparent dearth of yarn shops in New Hampshire, I was on my own. Address in hand, I set out to find the Woolen Rabbit in Conway, NH. I found the address, and it seemed like a private home. Okay, maybe I misunderstood….is this an Internet business? I was feeling too shy to go up and knock on the door, so we drove on.
Things started looking up when we decided to take the scenic route home through Maine. We were just cruising along on 302 when I saw a sign for a yarn shop that had an arrow pointing left and said 8 1/4 miles. Yipee! Sweetie turned the car so fast I was tempted to think for a second that maybe she is catching on to this whole yarn thing! After several minutes on a very bumpy, windy road, we ended up here:
I was skeptical to say the least. But, there were a couple of other cars there, and a flag that said “Open”, so we decided to brave it. Inside, I found one of the smallest yet finest collections of yarn I have ever seen. Jan Friend, the owner of Naturally Fuzzy Yarns in Harrison, Maine, says that she is moving toward carrying all organic and/or New England made yarn. She is off to a great start with Green Mountain Spinnery, Farmhouse Yarns, Valley Yarn, Decadent Fibers, Cherry Tree Hill, and Schaefer Yarn Co., to name a few. And she has quilting fabric, books, and accessories in there too, all neatly and beautifully organized. I came away with some great finds, and a bit of a wild look in my eye.
Here’s a peek at my favorite purchase, Nancy from Schaeffer Yarn:
Later on our scenic trip home, we found ourselves out on Cape Cod. I know, it’s not really on the way back to Connecticut, but neither of us had ever been there and we are always keen to cross destinations off our lists of places to see. Again, Sweetie pulled a James Bond-like maneuver with the Subaru and soon I found myself looking at a very non-descript yarn shop. It is, in fact, attached to the Ace Hardware store, and you wouldn’t know it was there if there wasn’t a sign pointing right at the door.
That’s my favorite yarn purchase from this store, Yarn Basket, in Eastham Mass. It’s more of the previously mentioned Araucania Ranco Multy. Check this yarn company out if you haven’t already; it’s sublime. Anyway, this store was a bit bigger and carried standard fare as well as a great sock yarn selection.
I made it home with such fine enhancements to my stash…it is all I can do to stop myself from casting on half a dozen new projects. But I will refrain, at least until I am done with my first Hedera…speaking of which, she is calling my name from across the room. Time to knit!