travel ready

let me tell you a little story

from vacation with the cousins last month

that involves maine, and yarn, and math, and della q…ready?

after putting a pile of dirty clothes and the right number of quarters

into one of the big washers at the local laundromat,

i drove up the road a bit to

‘stone soup artisans’ on main street in saco.

this is a collaborative of maine artisans who all take turns manning the register

and being in the shop to fill the hours it’s open.

inside is photography,

jewelry made from beach rocks,

carved wood, pottery, sea glass, baby gifts,

and one basket filled with beautiful handspun yarns.

this is the wall hanging that is right behind the cash register:IMG_5664+

so true! when i asked the woman behind the counter if i might take a picture

(she obviously said ‘yes’), i noticed that she was

knitting a little baby sweater.

we started chatting

and it turned out that the lovely handspun yarn i had chosen to buy

was her yarn. she raised the sheep. she raised the alpacas. she spun it herself.IMG_5199sq

having lingered to talk to her about life at ‘ewe & i farm’ a little,

i was even more excited to get

back to the cottage and

cast on.

except, i had vacation brain. you know.

now i had the yarn, i knew i wanted a big squishy ribbed hat for me,

and my brain was refusing to do the arithmetiic.

so i did what anyone on vacation with my family would do,

i walked into the next room and asked my dad and my uncle jim to do the math for me.IMG_4985sq

they were a bit baffled by the parameters of what i wanted,

but they did the math anyway. thanks guys!

now all i needed was needles.

the exactly right needles.

normally on vacation i would not have had them with me.

normally i would have grabbed whatever was needed,

for the specific yarns i was packing,

and brought no more.

but, just before vacation my tri-fold circular needle case from della q had arrived.

i was so excited that i packed it up with my favorite needles

(from indian lake artisans) nestled inside.

i don’t have nearly enough of the lovely hexagonal needles to fill the case,

but now i can see clearly where the gaps in my collection are…

and i did have the exactly right 16″ 10.5 circulars that this new handspun needed.IMG_4980-1sq

i can’t really say strongly enough how convenient i find this case.

it packed well, it traveled well,

and it meant that i got to cast on asap

which every knitter knows always feels like such a good thing.

when the temps drop significantly below the upper 80’s,

i’ll get a pic of the hat in action for you.

for now, and in case you were wondering, let me say

that i did remember, with my new yarn snugly under my arm,

to pick up my laundry on the way back to the cottage,

but only because i had to drive right by the laundromat

and, i may have had to do a bit of a u-turn as well.

i did, never-the-less, remember the laundry.

‘travel’ taken from 13:21 of exodus.

note: now for just a little of the nitty-gritty.

i was given this circular needle case to review, but

i loved it so much that i went back and bought the matching dpn case asap.

and you know me,

a free case isn’t ever going to make me say that i like what i don’t.

i’m much too stubborn and pigheaded for things like that.


i do not spin.

i have no desire to learn.

this in no way keeps me from swooning over handspun yarn.

the way the thin strands get plied together,

causing the colors to intertwine…

i’m fascinated.

last weekend karen of seven sisters arts

was at lys in the loop while a group of us were sitting and knitting.

her yarns are gorgeous.

i could have listened to her chat about how and why she dyes

what she dyes all afternoon.

i did get a couple of skeins of ‘corona’

(more on that later),

but then her roving caught my eye.  in particular

this one colorway that ran from purple at one end, through pinks and

into orangey tones at the opposite end.

again, i do not spin,

my friend sharon does, though.

since it was just barely past my birthday,

she agreed that if i bought the roving, she would spin it up for me.

that was an easy ‘absolutely yes!’.

now, once sharon sets

her mind to something, it’s best to stand back and stay out of her way.

she’s fast and she’s skilled.

just a week later,

and an 1/8 of it has gone from roving to handspun.

ssa roving to handspunit’s 12 to 16 wpi, but i’m swatching with size 8 needles.

do you know why so large a size?

so i can use the indian lake artisan needles that i have here.

ha. that’s why.

not wanting to use anything else.

guess i need some more sizes, and soon.

‘stretch’ taken from 11:13-15 of job.