23 July 2007

Alive and Kicking

Hey guys! You're so sweet! I'm sorry I disappeared...here's what happened.

Arrival in beautiful New Hampshire. Lovely hiking, kayaking. Dog- and cat-sitting for a couple of critters who make up in trouble for what they lack in size. Huge bathtub. Harry Potter. Half a suitcase full of yarn. TiVo. Slow internet connection, and a weird unfamiliar firewall that's blocking all kinds of things.

The upshot is, I've been resting so very effectively that I just couldn't be bothered to get to the computer, and when I did it was so frustrating that I gave up quickly and knit instead.

I'm taking my vitamins and eating local, organic, homemade food, and either hiking or kayaking every day that it doesn't rain. I found two lovely, wonderful, exciting yarn shops. I made two pairs of felted slippers, an Invisibility Shawl, half a wedding present, finished a sock and a steek. Life is good.

But I've been neglecting this blog horribly, and also haven't been keeping up with my bloglines or Ravelry, which make me sad. :-( And I'm afraid it'll get worse before it gets better: we're leaving NH for MI in a few days, and I'll have even less access to the internet there (mom lives in the stone age). But I'll be taking those awesome lace classes with Galina Khmeleva, visiting Beth's shop and having an awesome knitters-only slumber party which you will no doubt hear about, possibly in real time??

In the meantime, a few catch-up updates:

1. I feel terrible I didn't get back to you all about the historical knitting event at the Merchant House Museum. Turned out it's on hiatus for the summer because they don't have AC, but will continue once a week in the fall, and I plan to try to be there at least once. The event also turns out to be more of a knitting group than any kind of instructional event. But it does take place in the museum, and we were told that several of the people who go are very knowledgeable about 19th-century knitting. People bring vintage patterns and projects, but others just bring whatever they're working on. It's a great little museum that I might not ever have seen otherwise.

I started a stocking on US 000 needles for that trip (the US0 needles with the red Wildflower sock above are there for scale), but it turned out the lace yarn I was using was way too thick. Sooo.....

2. When Aline and I consoled ourselves for missing the historical knitting group by taking a trip to Habu Textiles....I bought a remnant skein of extremely thin wool thread to use for the experimental 19th-c stocking (which I don't plan to finish, but to use for demonstrations whenever I teach the industrial revolution...)

I also bought enough cobweb weight 100% silk for a lace shawl. I'm terrified of it.

If you haven't been to Habu and can get to NYC - GO! I can't believe I lived there for so long without going. It's incredible. There was a yard of stainless steel/silk woven fabric hanging on the wall, which looked very steely and felt exactly like water I kid you not. Aline took pictures - I'll try to post more about it/them when I can.

3. I knitted the Invisibility Shawl from Charmed Knits and wore it to the release party at the Toadstool Bookstore in Peterborough, NH. I meant to take a picture of me wearing the shawl there at the bookstore, but we got so distracted by our own excitement that before we knew it 24 hours had passed, we'd read the book, and the shawl was forgotten in a corner. Here's some unmodeled pictures:

4. I also knitted up two pairs of the felted slippers from Knit2Together in NO time. They're awesome. They're exactly halfway between FuzzyFeet and the Galeskas felted slippers in terms of time and yarn investment. The pattern is simplicity itself, and I think I already have it memorized. They're sturdier than FuzzyFeet because of the tripled yarn and garter sole, and slip on quickly (though, obviously, not as toasty warm since they only cover the toes and soles). The soles flap up when you walk down stairs in them. It's a flaw I can live with. Pictures to come soon - we put them on our feet right out of the washer and haven't taken them off when we're in the house except to sleep and bathe.

5. A place called Harrisville Designs is just one town over from my dad's house. HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS BEFORE???!! This place is INCREDIBLE! It's housed in a gorgeous old building over a dam, and it's full of luscious, luscious fibers. I touched malabrigo for the first time. I saw many, many lovely spinning and weaving tools made of wood that made me want to move in and live there forever. These are the people who make New England Shetland yarn, and there's a gigantic sale barrel. I bought some pink shetland for hiking socks for myself, and some charcoal and forest green for Hubbster. If money were not an object, I would have just handed them my credit card and check book, put my sleeping bag in the corner, and never left. Honestly.

6. I also checked out an LYS in Keene, NH, since we happened to pass it: it was the lovely little Knitting Knook. I found the debut issue of Interweave Felt there, and the store also happens to be particularly well-stocked with felting yarns. Incredibly nice staff, too. Oh, and I touched malabrigo, for the second time. Ahhhh.

7. I think I may have also finally found the time, light and mental space to do the final steeks on the Palette Sampler cardigan (wha? You forgot? This one). I already crocheted the second side of the front collar, and both side down the front. All that's left is to cut, and pick up the sts for the edges. Cut. Hmm.