I was hoping to totally finish that twist front alpaca sweater this weekend, and was knitting along in the RV when I looked into the knitting bag. Guess what I didn't see? Another ball of yarn, that's what. Yep, I had brought most of my life essentials other than that final skein of yarn I'll need to finish (actually, I may well go into the fourth skein...who knows. So, I had to stop when I was at this attractive stage of the front of the sweater:
|A partial front of a sweater.|
So, since I ran out of alpaca, I picked up my poor neglected fall colors shawl and got quite a bit of it done. This is one of those projects that it's hard to gauge progress on. I know I put at least 3 or 4 inches on it, but it still looks small. Of course, the fact that the stitch pattern is that interesting double garter stitch that sort of bunches up doesn't help much. That will make it a warm one, though. So, here's how it looks now:
|Two-ball fall shawl progress.|
Now that I look at it harder, yeah, I can see I made some progress. I will quit whining.
I Went to a Store or Two or Three
I think it surprised my friend (a new friend, not one of my usual knitting friends or my old knitting friends who would know better) that everywhere I went someone knew me. I really enjoyed getting to talk to Stacy at the Knitting Nest, whom I hadn't seen in quite some time (since I quit going to yarn shops to browse!). We enjoyed the way the decor is all thematic, and were impressed by the larger space they have now. It must be very pleasant to take a class there. And it's always fun to trek down to way south Austin for something other than Volvo repair (son bought a Volvo way down south, which he has already blown the engine on, but it's OK because I made friends that way). I bought a tape measure and a book there. Turns out I already have the book, too, so it may go to the shopping friend.
I digressed again. Next we headed up to Hill Country Weavers, where I actually HAVE been lately or I would not be working on that gray sweater! Suzanne was helpful and chatty but not too chatty (so we could shop) and was glad I am enjoying that naturally dyed alpaca so much. I saw the other colors, too--dyed with beets, onion and cochineal, which made two different colors, I guess with different mordants.
I bought two books, one is the book about Judy's Magic Cast On, which has some fun projects in it. It has to be cool to know you invented a new knitting technique, so my circular hat is off to Judy Becker! The other book I got is Modular Knits, by Iris Schreier, which also has some good ideas, plus some complex stuff to really dig into at some point.
The only yarns I bought are these two:
|Another ball of Alchemy Haiku, and a Zauberball|
After checking out with our groaning weight of purchases, then eating a fun lunch right across from Hill Country, we checked out a couple of fabric stores that are typically "Austin." Stitch Lab is the one I'd send you locals off to, if you aren't already cool enough to have been there. It is incredibly trendy, modern (or postmodern) and updated it almost hurts. But there is fun fabric and all the classes look very entertaining. The teacher leading a class of little girls was really charming and very much in control without dampening their enthusiasm. I got a catalog for Beccano and Leigh.
The other shop is also very, very trendy, but in a more elegant way. It is called Common Thread. It had the kind of good quality fabric for sewing clothing that you can't get in the usual places. Nice natural fiber knits, and some gorgeous cottons you could actually see yourself wearing. I came close to wanting to sew something...and we also visited an upholstery shop just for fun...
Then we finally hit Gauge, where I hadn't been in the longest time. I was very glad to see they had nice, new yarns in good quantities. The selection still isn't huge, but it is well edited, and I know I can go there if I suddenly need more Entrelac stitch markers. Whew. I did know someone there from the olden days, but I didn't know her well and she was grafting something--you can't disturb that. The owners had all left right as we walked in, so there was an interesting man holding down the fort and dealing with customers.
All in all it was fun to do a mini yarn crawl, though I'd still like to get back to Paige and Yarnorama sometime. I know my friend would love to see the spinning stuff that all my beloved old knitting friends are now so addicted to!
And speaking of new knitting friends, I am still enjoying the little yarn group at work. There are just a few of us, but we do keep showing up! It's a very relaxing atmosphere, and I do appreciate that now that my whole life has calmed down and I can relax a bit.
(Remember, if you want to know what I am DOING all the time, visit the Ursula Lumbers blog, starring our bulky old RV, Ursula! There you can see me interact with horses, donkeys and cattle, and see a lot of pictures of farm and ranch land...someday there may well be sheep or alpaca on the ranch!)