31 December 2007

I'm Just a Girl Who Cain't Say No...

...to yarn, anyway. Last Friday Anne and I set out on the super-fabulous Great Winter Yarn Crawl '07! I had researched a long line of shops to visit in MD, but we ended up hitting four -- which turned out well because we were able to take a leisurely place and enjoy each stop. I apologize for the lack of pictures... still working on figuring out how to get them off the camera and onto my computer at work.

First stop was Dancing Leaf Farm (Barnesville, MD). I bought a skein of Salsa (wool/mohair) that Dalis had laid out in a Christmas display of red and green yarns. The red color I bought is really more of a deep coral -- a saturated orangey-pink sort of red. If I haven't waxed euphoric about how wonderful Dalis' colorways are, let me repeat it: GO SEE HER YARN. You will want to take it home with you and look at it and have it be yours forever. I also bought a hardbound copy of The Opinionated Knitter. Put the yarn and book together and what do you get?

A Baby Surprise Jacket for my nephew! It's about 1/3 done now, knitted on US4 needles. It's my first EZ experience and so far I love the ease of garter stitch and the simple pattern. I knit a lot of it last night while watching the Masterpiece Theatre version of Jayne Eyre (mmmmmm, Rochester....). Which reminds me of this:

I liked The Opinionated Knitter so much that I went to Borders yesterday morning and bought a copy of Knitting Without Tears (20% off coupon put to good use!). These will get more use after I explain Winter Yarn Crawl Stop #3...

Winter Yarn Crawl Stop #2: Forestheart, Woodsboro, MD. As we drove past Forestheart, I said, "That must be it. It looks like an artsy place." You will know you have arrived when you see the purple mailbox, purple roof and a purple van parked out front. The inside is jam-packed with all sorts of fiber art and craft-related activities and supplies. There is a wall of cones of weaving yarn; a huge section dedicated to rug-hooking; a section for glass beads and bead-making; various assorted fibercraft magazines, including back issues of Spin Off; a lower section for spinning and dyeing... It's roughly organized, although many things seem to be wherever they landed. Shopping there is a bit like going through your aunt's garage or attic -- you can rummage around and find something you want -- except you have to pay for the stuff you take with you.

I have wanted to try rug-hooking for several years but held off because (1) like I need another hobby and (2) supplies aren't cheap. Mary had a small kit that I thought was adorable and I decided to take the plunge and buy it. I also bought a book, The Art of Rug Hooking, because the featured rugs were beautiful, and a small perforated-paper cross-stitch Santa ornament (I used to do a TON of counted cross-stitch when I was little and I love working on paper -- these little kits are the kind you can do in an afternoon and feel good about finishing a project).

the finished rug-hooking kit.
yay sheep!

We stopped for lunch at The Vintage Coffeehouse on Main Street in Mount Airy. Their coffee is delicious and the interior is everything you think a coffeehouse ought to be: funky, warm and comfortable, with friendly staff and good food.

Winter Yarn Crawl Stop #3: Knittin' Chicks, Mount Airy, MD. This place is set a little back off the main road in a bright traffic-middle-line-yellow building. Inside is bright and cheerful with well-organized yarn just waiting for you to pick it up. I really liked this store. The owner, Dalia, is enthusiastic and helpful. It would be a great place to sit and knit. I picked up a skein of Cascade 220 Superwash Heather in a ruby color; I fell in love with it.

Remember that copy of The Opinionated Knitter I bought a few hours previously? Well, while fondling the Cascade 220 Heathers, I decided to knit myself a yoke sweater using Elizabeth's Percentage System. The body will be the deep claret color (4008?), with the Scandinavian-patterned yoke in grey, charcoal and deep blue (4009?). I can't wait to cast on for this one...

Also worth mentioning: Dalia had set out her finished body for the Noni Medallion Travel Bag. This thing is HUGE. She said that before felting it's roughly the size of a small country.

photo from noni

And when you see it finished, it's gorgeous. Anne bought the pattern for it, so I might wait until she's taken it for a test-drive before I think about attempting it.

By the time I settled on yarn colors for my EPS yoke sweater, the sky was starting to get a little dark... we headed off for our last

Winter Yarn Crawl Stop #4: Diane Kelly, Firesong Fibers, Cooksville, MD. Diane has a beautiful studio in her home. It's the best and most organized I've seen. She raises angora goats and Blue-Face Leicester sheep. I bought one washed Young Adult mohair fleece from a Reverse Badger girl -- a stunning black and white mix -- and two raw yearling mohair fleeces that are such wonderful golden colors and of superior fiber quality. Next step is to buy some combs (Diane recommends the two-row small Louet hand combs) and also to wash the stinky fleeces at some point. I am so thrilled to have them and look forward to spinning them.

All in all, it was a wonderful day. Plus, the places we didn't get to are in the Baltimore area, so that can be another day's journey!

1 comment:

Meredith said...

I just found my way here from your comments on Franklin's blog. And in an unbelievable coincidence, I'm about to be working on two Baby Surprise Jackets, and I just got the I <3 Mr. Darcy T-shirt as a gift from my mother. And I have yet to find anything better than chick flicks to watch while knitting, especially if they're set in the Regency era.