Saturday, August 24, 2013

Another trip to the mill.

On Thursday my husband I went to East Jordan, Michigan, so I could get a sweater's worth of yarn at Stonehedge Fiber Mill. Ever since I worked with their worsted weight for the CookieA sample knitting, and their DK on my Zori sweater, I've been wanting to knit another sweater from their yarn. The perfect pattern presented itself in Rafters, by Stephanie Tallent, and once I added up how much I'd need, we headed out to the farm.

We had a lovely drive there, once we got through the traffic jam in Traverse City. It seems like everyone is trying to get in their last bits of summer fun before Labor Day, just like we are. As we got a little farther up the road, the traffic cleared out and we drove past lovely fruit orchards and smaller lakes. As we pulled into the driveway at the mill, their little black farm cat came over to greet us. This is the same little guy we met last year, still just as deaf, but still as fond of ear skritches as last time. Anyway, the shop door was closed, so I pet our little friend until the owner came by and showed me in. She said the door was closed because the goats couldn't be trusted not to eat the yarn. She told me that one of them had eaten a check from a customer - actually snatched it out of her hand and ran away!

Once I got inside, I was able to choose a color pretty quickly - I'd been thinking I wanted a heathered purple, and there were two skeins of pansy front and center. After a quick look at it in the sunshine, I asked for 10 skeins, which she had to get from the mill shed. She hadn't twisted the hanks, but no matter. She added an extra tie to them so they'd make the trip home safely. I can't wait to start on this sweater! Of course the search for buttons will be kind of a pain, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. I'm looking forward to all those pretty cables and the shawl collar, too.

Once we bought my yarn, we decided to go to Bellaire to the Short's Brewing Company pub. They make a variety of really tasty beers and my husband knew that they had a restaurant, so we took it in our way home. I had a delicious (and big!) avocado BLT and their Kolsch 45. It was so good! My husband had the Reuben sandwich and one of the IPAs. I took a picture of him with his sandwich, but he didn't want a picture of himself while he was eating posted to the internet, so you get to see my sandwich instead. I also took a picture of the beer board, just so you can see all the options. These guys aren't fooling around. If you're in the area, check them out.

Well, that's all I've got for tonight. We're headed home in the morning, so there's lots to do tonight before we leave. Until next time, Friends.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Everything's better at the lake.

Five hundred year-old book with really long sentences? Better at the lake. Yep, I'm in Michigan, enjoying the water, the sun and tonight, a magnificent storm. I'm also enjoying that I don't have good cell phone reception up here, which adds to my feeling of peaceful solitude. My phone did go off while I was on a bike ride this afternoon - I was so surprised to hear my phone ring, I actually answered it! It was work-related, but it was an easy call. Yay, easy.

Since I had a good 7 hours or so in the car as part of this trip, I've made a fair bit of progress on my husband's Gentleman's Sock. These socks actually started out as a different Kristi Schueler pattern, but I didn't like how the colors in my gorgeous Knitivity yarn (color: Cat's Paw Nebula) were pooling. I ended up ripping them out and starting over. There's still pooling, but it's softened a little by the stitch patterning. There's a sort of mock cable going on with the top of the foot and the sole of the foot is knit with the "eye of partridge" patterning, which is sort of pixelating the pooling. Of course, I'm not following the pattern exactly: I'm doing them toe-up, and I'll use my favorite heel as well. I'm only really working on these while I'm in the car, so I'm not sure when I'll get around to turning the heel, but once I do, the cuffs will practically knit themselves.

I've also done a little yarn shopping, with a little more yet to do. Our route to the lake cottage always takes us through the little village of Suttons Bay, Michigan, which is home to the Thistledown Yarn Shoppe. Every year we come up, I stop in and buy yarn. This year (same as last year) I picked up a couple skeins of Shibui Sock yarn to use on the Zirkel pattern. This is the pattern I'd tried once already, the one that didn't work with the yarn I had in my stash. It's hard to believe, I know. Anyway, that problem's been fixed, so once I can finish the Gentleman's Socks, I'll get going on this one. I also picked up a skein of my favorite worsted sock yarn, Jarbo Garn Raggi. I love it because it's super wash and has some nylon in it too. I made boot socks for my husband a couple years ago (I think) and have been coveting them ever since. Now I'll get to have a pair for myself. Whee! The last pair of worsted-weight socks I had for my own were accidentally machine washed. As they weren't superwash, they felted down to child's size. It was sad. Ah, well. At least I like knitting.

Tomorrow it looks like we're going to make a trip out to Stonehedge Fiber Mill, where they make the lovely Shepherd's Wool yarn. I'm probably going to get a sweater's worth of the worsted-weight yarn so I can make the Rafters cardigan, by Stephanie Tallent, which is in the most recent issue of Twist Collective. I'm hoping for a nice, heathery purple, but I could go for a green as well. I'll just have to see what strikes my fancy. So that's it for tonight, Friends. Until next time.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A little stuffed lion.

I knit this little guy in about two evenings, seamed him in another, then put on his mane on. Four days from cast-on to finish. Not bad. Of course, now I have to figure out what I want to knit next. That's the trouble with finishing a project. I guess I'll start digging through my queue.

Until next time, Friends!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What's next?

I've just finished the Hummingbird socks. Like, 10 minutes ago, I bound them off, tried them on, and took pictures of them. I haven't even woven in the ends. I haven't decided whether I'll do that on the bus tomorrow morning, or if I'll do it tonight. Actually, I think I kind of have. Decided, I mean. I'm not feeling it tonight. I'll do it tomorrow.

Of course, tomorrow evening is my Knit Night, so I'll need to have something on the needles to work on while I'm there. I was thinking about casting on for a stuffed toy of some sort - I still have plenty of that Rowan Handknit Cotton left over from making those hats. I've also been thinking about knitting a fall or winter sweater of some sort. I have a whole lot of Cascade Ecological Wool, but that might be a heavier sweater than I want to wear. It could be good for something for my husband; I'll have to check with him. And of course there's all kinds of sock yarn in my stash, so I could make more socks, but I'm not sure I really feel like another pair of sock so soon. (Surprising, isn't it?) I guess I'll just grab something and start swatching. The ennui! It's a killer, man.

Maybe next time I'll have a little more to say for myself. Until then, Friends.