Saturday, June 9, 2007

Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap Questionnaire


This questionnaire is posted per request of the Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap!

1. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why? seems beautiful and enchanting, or the Alaskan wilderness...same reason, but different climates! I think Alaska wins out, though. Of course, there MUST be LYS to visit, too!

2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why?
Tahiti...a tropical paradise, and my parents have visited there a few times, and loved it. Seems tranquil, and the ocean color and sea life are unbelievable. Wait! My son and mom are in the UK for a month...I want to go, too! Scotland...actually a small place outside Glasgow, because that's where my family is from..I think it's Rutherglen. Yes, Scotland would be my first choice over Tahiti.

3. Have you ever driven across several states/providence/countries?
Yes, all along the Eastern US seaboard. We also have a cottage at the Outer Banks in North Carolina, where we yearly vacation in the summer.

4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? Where was it? Bahamas, Caribbean. Not too exotic, but it's the best I can do!

5. What was your favorite "travel" vacation? Why? Camping trip with good family friends on a horrific weekend filled with had a ball, we had Gevalia coffee, we were soaked to the skin, but the fellowship and fun fill my memories! In second place: Germany with my mother while I was in High School...great memories of mom and the small town and villages!

6. Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state (if international, country)? Explain.No, never took the time. :( Wait, before we moved here, we did. We hit all of the touristy spots, like the now gone "Old Man of the Mountain", and Storyland.
However, we have hosted 2 Japanese high school students for 2 summers and played tour guide for them...we had a blast!

7. Are you a museum visitor, beach comer or an amusement seeker? I like museums, local craft/artisan stores, and I seek the local food! I'm definitely a beach comber.

8. What's your favorite type of yarn? Fingering weight sock yarn.
Koigu PPPM, Claudia's Handpainted, wool and superwash wools for sock knitting.

Also, wools for's a new thrill for me! (Cascade 220, Manos, Lamb's Pride Bulky, Noro Kureyon)

9. What's your least favorite type of yarn? acrylic and fun fur, unless novelty yarn to felt in bags with the wool.

10. What items do you like to knit/crochet? socks, starting to knit lace. Felting, too! Handbags, especially. I'm addicted to both socks and felted bags.

11. What do you pack, knit/crochet wise when you go on vacation? socks, of course! Any WIP that fits in my bag. Knitting travels with me everywhere.

12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit/Crochet? Are there any others?

13. Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise) Nope.

14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite? Jewel tones. Least favorite: pastels. I love bright colored yarns for felting, as well as autumn tones. :)

15. Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)? Sweet, although TRYING to lose, almonds, bite size chocolates (to keep me from eating large amounts!)

16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know? Not that I can think of.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Cooler Socks Retreat with Lucy Neatby!

I've returned from my 2 day sock retreat with Lucy Neatby! What Fun! I'm not quite back to reality yet, as I returned last night, but while the memories are's what we did!
First, the class was hosted by Harrisville Designs in Harrisville, NH. Wool Yarn has been spun in their water-powered mills since 1794, and it's like stepping back in time...except for paved roads and automobiles! :) Harrisville Designs strives to preserve the textile heritage...and does a fantastic job. Here are a few photos of the Mill and Harrisville.

By the way...the yarn in the Weaving and Knitting Studio...unbelievable! The color palette from which to choose from is enormous.

10 Students from mostly the New England area, and Lucy Neatby in a large, well-lit mill, surrounded by Lucy's socks, projects, and lots of yarn. Did I mention the enormous store below our class? It's where I spent a lot of money. If you went to this link to their patterns, you can see a few of the patterns that I came home with: The Cable and Lace Cardigan, the Roma Cardigan, and the Touch of Aran pattern. Can't tell you how much I sister reads this post! Yet, the patterns themselves were free...I had a free coupon for 3 free HD patterns with the purchase of any yarn.

Look at the front and back of this vest that Lucy is modeling...isn't the needlework incredible? Her socks are just like that as well. Incredible.

I learned quite a bit from Lucy. After her class, I've realized that I can knit anything, if I put my mind to it, adapt, dream, think, adjust, and try, try, try again! We covered quite a bit..the provisional crochet cast on, Channel Island cast on (my favorite), alternative heel stitches, running yarn markers, Short Row heels, Turkish Heels, Toe Chimneys and grafting...a few pictures are below on my sample thing...we took a piece of yarn and cast on, grafted, heeled, bound off, added and took out all sorts of things from it....I should name this "pet yarn", since I spent so many hours learning with it. :) Continuing...a few modifed bind offs, Latvian twists,
Tubular cast on, and so much more that my head spins. There was one on one help from Lucy...and the 10 students ranged from beginning sock knitters to other instructors. It was truly a delight to see, hold, feel so many of Lucy's socks and see the tight construction and yet unbelievable designs.

Another Highlight of the trip to Harrisville was meeting Vivian Hoxbro, who was in town for an upcoming book signing at HD this weekend! Her designs are beyond description.
• She is a Danish Knitting Designer and author of Domino Knitting and Shadow Knitting and had her collection with her at the shop, and let us try on all of them. Yes, I purchased a lovely kit of the Trip-Trap sweater seen on me here as part of her Domino-knitting Collection, but in the blue colorway (#12). I don't think I would have purchased some things in her catalog because of the colorways shown in the brochure were "not me", but the samples were knit in an array of beautiful colorways to suit almost anyone!...and all using Harrisville yarns. I'm a believer in Vivian's work!!! It will take me forever to knit, but that's OK.
One of the students who is an instructor in NY told me I needed a knitting project on needles larger than 0's to avoid repetetive stress on my hands...sounds like a good excuse for me to buy Vivian's kit! Vivian's website, in English, is here.

I met so many wonderful people...and look forward to hopefully seeing them again.

I'm glad to be back home...Eldest son is flying off to London today, and I've got to clean house, mail off yarns for swaps and contest winners from the SoxBoxSwap, do laundry, grocery shop, and work on my felted bag!

OH... These ladies are Knitting Central's Mona Lisas! Knitting Central of Westport, CT. They're knit in Lobster Pot Cashmere. Yum.
Forgot to tell you...did I? While in CT earlier this week, I went to a LYS to ONLY pick up a pair of 10.5 dpns for my felted bag project for a swap. Sounds like a quick trip, right? So, mom and I head to Westport, CT to Knitting Central, a LYS near my mother's appointment that we just finished.
To make a long story shorter. Small shop. Who cares! They have everything. I do mean everything. I appreciate the assistance in choosing many new yarns (Manos) for a few felting projects, Fiesta yarn for a shawl, a lovely pattern for a shrug, and a few pairs of bag handles...needles to say...the bill was $500...but the experience was priceless! I wish I remembered the owner's name...she's fantastic. So...stop at Knitting Central if in Southwestern CT. A gem of a place.