Monday, September 26, 2005

Oregon Trip, and (guess what?) Socks

In the past two weeks I've been to Milwaukee, Oregon, Colorado Springs, and Atlantic City. I'm happy to be finally home, so I'll post today, and again later this week, I promise.

I was unable to resist the allure of new projects, so instead of finishing any unfinished sweaters and black socks, I started a couple of new things. Really, sweaters are just too bulky to carry around for this much road and plane time, and black socks impossible in anything other than natural light, right? So I started the Peacock Feathers Shawl in navy laceweight merino (Skacel) and started and finished a pair of socks from some yarn I spun up from fibers dyed at a workshop at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in 2002. I don't remember the name of the teacher, but she was good and the dyes we used were Judith MacKenzie's primary colors, mixing our own color blends. The pink/lavender mohair in the heels and (elongated) toes I plied against Easter-egg colored Columbia roving, and then Navajo plied the rest of the Columbia for the insteps and cuffs. When finished knitting, I had about 40 inches left of the Columbia, and a 1" ball of the mohair.

I know, a little wild and crazy, but what are fibers and yarn from workshops for, anyway? These socks are really warm, and while I probably won't wear them to work, they'll be great this winter.
Since I was out in Oregon, Woodland Woolworks called out to me quite strongly, and I found that this was why:
It's a Reeves Castle wheel, about 15 years old but lovingly cared for, and came with 6 bobbins and a Lazy Kate. It is a really sweet wheel, and spins so smoothly it's totally effortless. Double-drive, and 6 ratios, so even with a relatively small flywheel, it works up a good speed. I'm almost sorry that I couldn't bring it home, but it is a farm wheel, so out there it stayed.
I also went to a newly opened LYS in Portland - Abundant Yarns. It was so nice, large, airy, with separate classroom and another room that is still being renovated, though I think it would be great with pots of coffee and tea, and comfy seating. The store is well stocked and the staff is great, even patiently answering every question that my 12- and 13-year-old nieces had for them. If you're in the area, or even across town, it's worth a stop. And there's a great independent coffee house (with a patio) across the street.

And, lastly, here are a couple of photos of views from the deck of the farmhouse. If you've never been to the Pacific Northwest, go! Even after a really dry summer that has left browned grass in the pastures, it is still beautiful.
I'll be posting about my Stitches adventures later in the week, and this weekend I'll be going to a spinning retreat in the Catskills - I'm really looking forward to it.