Friday, May 25, 2007

Knitting in Public

Am on vacation in Corning, NY at an LPGA Golf Tournament. I certainly don't spend my hours walking the course like my husband does each day. Instead, I strategically place my fold-up chair at either Number 9 or 18 and use my time to knit socks. Currrently I am knitting a pair of self-striping socks from On-Line's Beach line. I bought the yard at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival and love the feel of it. Will be glad to get the pair done so I can give them the real test -- wearing them.

Also have been reading a knittng novel I bought at my LYS. First book in a new series is called Cast On, Bet's Off: A List & MaxDevereaux Sit & Knit Mystery. Author is Jack Olesker. Really quite good. I know I will get future books in the series.

Back to that sock! Look for photos soon. Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Loopy Ewe's Sock Club is Outstanding!!!

Today's mail included a nice red,white and blue USPS box....from Loopy Ewe...oh my...could it be the first installment of THE SOCK CLUB??!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS it was and Sheri did not disappoint me. In fact, I was so awed by the contents I called and told her that my expectations are high and she certainly did not disappoint.

See the contents in the photos. First there is the lovely pattern designed by Lisa Parker at Wildhorse Farm Designs. This one is called Summerfield Socks. It is designed for 64 or 72 stitches but I use 56 stitches for my fingering weight socks. Fortunately, it is an 8-stitch repeat so I can adjust to suit. The Loopy Ewe sells really cute plastic zip top bags for sock or other projects. Well, this first package included one complete with Loopy the Lamb in his 4 socks, the name of the shop and the words "SOCK CLUB" on the front. This is a collector's item...there are only 150 people in the club!

The yarn is a gorgeous merino/bamboo/nylon from All Things Heather in a colorway called "Skinny Dipping." The skein is a gorgeous summer color of turquoise, green and yellow. Yummy!

Sheri always has just the right additions to make her packages extra special. This one did not disappoint. Of course there are the always present packet of Hershey Kisses that come with each order and additionally a sheep-shaped soap and a packet Kool-Aid Lemonade. To top it off is an adorable thank you poem from Sheri.

Wow! I don't know how she will top this for the next quarterly mailing! Thanks Sheri.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

MDSW was the usual fiber lovers dream....yarns of all weights, colors, textures in building after building. Much of it was hand-dyed in gorgeous hues ...brights as well as muted colors. Something for every knitter or crocheter. There seemed to be plenty for spinners, too, but not nearly as much selection as for knitters. I was very conservative in my purchases this year and bought 2 skeins of cotton blend sock yarn for summer socks, a few patterns (which were my major goal this year), and a gorgeous kit for a vest made from garter stitch short rows and garter stitch miter squares.

I traveled to MDSW on a bus with 55 other fiber-holics. The bus trip was organized by The Knitters Underground in Centre Hall, which is my LYS and also a former employer. Our travels have picked up a few more participants so this year Molly rented the larger bus. The driver was happily suprised at how many people were making the trip. Molly's trips are really nice and include a little perk -- a very useful totebag with an original "Molly design" silkscreened on it. And, she knows how to start our day at 7 a.m. Inside the bag was a bagel, OJ, cream cheese and jelly. She doesn't do the breakfast stops we did when I organized the guild trip but instead does the bagels. Personally, I prefer the breakfast stop (because I am starved upon arrival and the food lines are often somewhat long) but most riders just want to get much as I like the bus trip I might go on my own next year and spend at least 1 overnight. The jury is of course still out on that decision.

In addition to fiber fun there are the animals ... I got to pet baby goats and angora bunnies...such fun.

Billie and I always have a good time shopping together. This year we both had the same gameplan...begin in the big building and head for The Mannings. I really like their sock yarns and patterns and was quite lucky...that is where I bought both summer weight skeins of yarn and also a few patterns. We meandered through the other booths and were carefully looking...we were on a mission for Billie. She knits THE most gorgeous lace shawls I have ever seen and was searching for the right colors in yarn to knit herself a square shawl. We have a lot of the same taste in colors -- purples and tealy-greens -- so we spent time looking for a color combo that jumped out at her and called her name. There were several candidates but the winner came from Tess Yarns and Billie's choice is gorgeous in hanks and will be outstanding when knitted. I can't wait to see what creative design she comes up with.

Let me return to our arrival...Molly made a few announcements to the riders and I suggested she add no live animals could be brought on the bus trip home. No one could buy a rabbit, goat or sheep of any size or age. Other chuckled and some shook their heads in disgust at the thought of the announcement...well folk, I have some previous MDSW visions....

While waiting for the last group of people to return to our bus, lo and behold the next bus was getting a live adult sheep. The idiot woman who bought the poor animal was trying to put it into a dog travel crate that was not nearly large enough with the plan of having the sheep ride in the underneath luggage compartment of that bus the whole way back to New Jersey. It didn't happen, thankfully, because the fumes would have smothered the creature. The bus driver refused but to me it looked like he was I grabbed my cell phone and Melissa's MDSW book and called the number inside the cover. Got a recording. So, with a "don't leave without me" to Molly I was off the bus and went outside to watch the proceeding. I was going to head to security but it wasn't necessary. They got the sheep onto the bus and as it pulled out we saw it in the back passenger seat. I bet it and the other passengers were damn glad when that trip ended!

Yes, this will bring about some correspondence from MDSW, to the Howard County Fairgrounds and to anyone else I can think of associated with MDSW. I know the vendors are there to make money but they also need to be responsible with the sale of the animals. They need to make sure they are properly contained and in a good space for their trip. No, I am not a member of PETA but I have common sense and also compassion for those with lesser brains -- in this case the lesser brains were housed in the head of the woman who bought the sheep and also in the person who sold it. Oh, BTW, the latter stood by and watched the exchange between driver and new sheep owner. I do hope she learned something...but I bet she didn't.