Signs

If this recent trip had a theme, it would have to be embracing the unexpected.  The trip itself came up on short notice, and it took a wee bit of finagling to make it practical for me to come along.  But we sorted it out.  As a result, we went to the water, obtained lovely yarn, launched a new embroidery obsession, visited dear friends, discovered new drinks, and had two of the best meals ever (seriously, Gracie’s and T. W. Food, go if you have the chance).  That’s an awful lot of delightful things to manage on a short-notice trip.  But as a final sign that it’s sometimes a good idea to just go with it, the universe had one more bit of serendipity to throw our way.

It turned out one of our very favorite bands was playing a mere two and a half hours away.  Now, two and a half hours may not sound like a short distance to go for a concert.  Perhaps if I tell you that we’ve cheerfully driven to Buffalo, Chicago, Hershey, and Ottawa (yes, yes the one in Canada) to see them in the past, it will put the issue in better perspective.  Two and a half hours with more or less zero advance notice seemed totally reasonable.

The band is the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.  Yes they really are that fantastic.  Yes, I’ll wait quietly while you go listen to a few of their new songs (those are youtube links, which means sounds, don’t be surprised).  We had, as always, an amazing time (and somehow managed obscenely good seats).  There was lots of this.

cpdAnd this.

blowAnd this.

strumAnd this.

bangAll together, a lovely way to wrap up the week.

Unexpected Development

I’m accustomed to falling prey to random fits of yarn lust.  That’s pretty normal at this point.  But my final purchase of the trip was something rather more unexpected.  I bought a coloring book.  More specifically, I bought The Tattoo Coloring Book, and it is astonishingly awesome.  I highly recommend clicking on the picture to go see it in its full glory.  I’ll wait.

The Tattoo Coloring Book coverNow, this sort of behavior isn’t without precedent.  I have a handy little collection of coloring books (and have since college) plus a giant bucket of colored pencils, and I turn to them in times of stress.  But this, this I don’t intend to actually use for coloring.  At least not right away.  Instead, I’m going to do something much cooler.  I’m going to get some of these images onto napkins (those moth/butterfly pics are my first plan) and embroider them.  Because embroidered napkins are marvelous, that’s why.  Please do not try to convince me otherwise.  I am quite firm in my conviction.

And yes, yes I will be reporting frequently as this project progresses.  First step, go find colors.  I’m awfully glad embroidery floss is cheaper than yarn, I feel a rainbow coming on.

(The image is not mine.  It is from Megamunden’s website and is used here with permission.)

Hypnotic

So Wednesday’s trip to Webs was lovely and totally met my yarn acquisition needs for the week month near future.  I had absolutely no intention of seeking out more yarn on the trip.  But somehow, completely without my conscious intervention, this happened. _DSC9191

I just sort of fell in and couldn’t pull myself out without bringing a pair of them home with me.  I’m sure you understand.  The way the color is put on the yarn is fabulous…it’s not this stretch is blue and this stretch is purple and this stretch is green.  Rather, each bit of yarn has all the colors, just in different proportions and on different sides of the strand.  It’s Splatter Dash by JoJo Land, and the pictures on their website in no way do it justice.  You really should seek it out if you get the chance.  I found this at Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge, and I’m very much looking forward to getting it on the needles.

In which the lighting is bad, but the yarn is good

 

Wednesday I got up early, dropped The Boy off at that pesky work thing, and ventured west.  A few hours later, I found myself in front of Webs.  Now, I’ve shopped on Webs’ site and listened to their podcast for years.  One of my first thoughts upon realizing we were headed to Boston was hmmm, that’s not far from Webs.  I was rather looking forward to going, and I was not disappointed.

Now, that’s not to say it was quite like I expected.  I think I assumed it was something like the world’s biggest, coziest yarn store with a bit of an overlay of fairy dust and magic.  Employees would all jet around on segways, possibly while wearing tiaras.  Any sock you brought in the door would somehow be four inches farther along by the time you left.  Yarn would wind itself into perfect cakes the instant you bought it, tangles would not exist, and having once been in the store, you’d never again be able to lose your place on a complicated chart. These may have been slightly unreasonable expectations.  The store isn’t super high on the cozy factor (it might be a bit too big to pull off cozy), but wow is it well stocked.  It’s very likely the biggest yarn store I’ve ever been in.  There is a front room (bigger than my house) that looks like a blown up version of your regular yarn store (yarn on show in cubbies and shelves, displays of buttons and notions, racks of needles). _DSC9165Then there’s a back room, which looks rather more like a warehouse or the self serve portion of an Ikea.  Not picturesque, but full to the brim of yarn at ridiculously low prices. _DSC9163I may have indulged a bit.  Just a bit mind you.  It would be hard not to.  Truth be told, I’m not really even sorry. _DSC9190 That’s Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool XL (four each of purple and orange, destined to become socks for The Boy and me), Louisa Harding’s Grace Wool Multy in a lovely sage/brown mix (three skeins, I feel a cowl coming on), Baah’s Shasta in a freaky bright orange, it’s a bit blown out here alas (two skeins for socks), and Dream in Color’s Classy in a lovely slate gray (again two skeins, not sure what for quite yet).  Plus some Kollage straights (I’m working on upgrading my straights, I may have to get a bunch of sizes if I like these as much as I think I will). Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a yarn hangover I need to sleep off.

What Price Notes

Remember the slipper?  The slipper from back in October?

slipper 1I found I wanted it to have a mate.  So I grabbed the yarn, felt terribly clever that I’d packed the needles up with the yarn, and started knitting.

Now, I wasn’t quite clever enough to have held on to my notes for these.  But I figured I’d made it once before, I had the first one, I can count, so how hard could it be.  I cast on, did a bit of counting and fiddling, and soon had the first half of a slipper.

_DSC9153But all was not well.  Not well at all.  I kept having the feeling that the sole stitches were just too small.  Now I knew I had the right yarn and needles, I knew my stitch count was right, so I kept on.  I kept thinking things like ‘it will bloom when I soak it’ and ‘I’m sure it will work out.’  Eventually, the feeling of doom was just too much.  I did some investigating.  A closer examination of the first slipper (and a perusal of the previous blog entry) revealed the problem.  I’d held the white yarn double on the first slipper.  I’d very clearly not held the white yarn double here.

Strong language was used.  Rather a lot of it.  I let fly with a constant, fluent, and creative stream of it for the whole time it took me to turn half a slipper into this.

_DSC9157I may possibly be done with this spurt of creative language by the time I knit the first half of the second slipper for the second time, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

 

In Which an Opportunity Arose

Occasionally, in the course of The Boy’s job, the need will arise for him to make a last-minute jaunt.  Sometimes, this means I get to haul myself out of bed very early and drop him at the airport.  Sometimes, it means I look at my schedule, do a bit of calculation, and declare my intent to join him.  One of those calculations found us here on Sunday morning.

Cold BeachAnd yes, that is snow on the hillside.  It was rather brisk.  I was glad of my fetching woolly hat.

We saw a host of mysterious sea denizens.  I have no idea what this is but I’m fairly sure it hates me and wants me to suffer.

mysterious sea critterAnd I reminded myself, repeatedly, that the rocks are never ever as pretty once they’re home and dry (seriously though, look at the colors…excellent beach rocks in these parts).

colorful beach rocksWe’re headed back home shortly, but not before I make a pilgrimage to Webs.  I will take the proper camera, I will wear comfortable shoes, and I will bring snacks.  Then I will report back, assuming of course I can be convinced to leave and don’t accidentally set up residence. Wish me luck.