Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Good Day

A couple weeks ago I read somewhere that a knit designer I admire (I admire her designs, anyway; I don't really know her) was going to be appearing at a yarn shop nearby close enough. She would be hanging out to sign books, discuss her designs and show off the actual prototypes and samples from the books.

I realized (with some glee) that this was all happening on a day I had scheduled off to use up some of my accumulated comp time. I had no other plans, so I decided to go. Why not?

The day dawned with some snow, but it was supposed to taper off throughout the day, so off I went to Country Needleworks. I drove the hour and a half to get there, and got to meet Ann Weaver, designer extraordinaire, and she kindly signed my new book.
I had to admit that I hadn't actually knit any of her designs, but I had started to notice that I could pick out her patterns when I saw new stuff I liked. She is the designer of the Oranje sweater that I went on and on about here. (Still plan to make it, by the way. Maybe this year--I need a pullover to enter in the fair!)

Another one I have my eye on is this large circle shawl:
I am fascinated by circle shawls and don't know why I haven't made one yet. This one's in the book I bought, so maybe this will be the first.

While I was at the store, I took a look around. They not only have quite a large yarn selection, they also have supplies for beading, embroidery, scrap booking, etc. I, however, stuck mostly with yarn and picked up a few new skeins...

They stock Mini Mochi, and I grabbed this colourway, "Blueberry Pancakes":
My Circle socks that I made from Mini Mochi are the best feeling socks I have, and so of course I want some more.

I finally broke down and decided I may need to knit Troy a pair of socks. This Ultra Alpaca
was a suitable colour, suitably soft, and hopefully suitably hard-wearing since it contains a lot of nylon content. And also, suitably priced since I had to buy two skeins to make sure I could make them big enough and long enough.

And the best find of the day was these buttons:
They are quite large (about 2") and very lovely, and I bought all they had. Thank you, people who gave me cash for Christmas! (Splurge time!) No, I don't know what they will be used for, but I love them very much.

Then I sat down for a while and knit, listening to the conversation of the group. What was I working on?
I started an easy take-along project--a new bias triangle shawl like this one I had to give away. I found a very similar colourway in a wool-silk blend and knew right away that I would use it to make a shawl for myself. I made pretty good progress while I was there. Like the first one I made, I am holding the yarn double, working from both ends of the same ball. I have a little more yardage than I used in the first one, so it should end up about the same size. (This is a pattern you can work until you run out of yarn.)

Then while I was sitting there, I noticed that they had some old cross stitch samples for sale in a back corner. Not only on sale, but on clearance.
I really liked this subtly Christmas-themed sampler on red linen. For $15, I thought it was a steal.

Here's a detail of a darling little bunny:
and the deer and snowflakes that run across the bottom:
It was fun sitting in a shop in the Grand Rapids area. For one thing being blond is normal instead of the exception. They were talking about seeing Cokie Roberts at the January series at Calvin College (my alma mater). And in the clearance bins of cross stitched samplers, I found one with the words of Lord's Day One of the Heidelberg Catechism. Only in Grand Rapids. (Well, I'm sure people in Pella say, "Only in Pella.") It's fun sometimes to be among "your people."

And then the fun did not end. I met up with a friend who moved out of the area a few years ago, and we had a great time talking over an early dinner and then seeing a movie. And since you can never have enough of this hunka-hunka-burning-awesome, I will even include a picture:
Yup, we saw Skyfall and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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