While it’s fair to say that I didn’t start my vacation knitting as we pulled out of the driveway, I did have a lot of time on my hands, so I got a lot of knitting done (insert cheering crowd noise here – or is that just me cheering?). Ten days on the road will do that for you. [There are a few pictures here if you want some non-knitting vacation photos, including lobster – ed.]
I had big plans to visit all kinds of New England yarn shops. If that sounds like a great vacation to you, here are a few words of advice: call ahead. Is the shop still there? Sadly, Cottage Craft fled Freeport in the face of rampant consumerism. Will the shop be open when you arrive? Bartlett Yarns is only open during the week – do these people have lives or something? This sign was worth the trip, though. Wool is also gladly received here, after all.
Furthermore, you and your traveling companion should have a mutual understanding of your itinerary – Halcyon Yarns fell by the wayside in our earnestness to reach lobster roll nirvana by dinnertime, and due to a tragic misunderstanding, I was under the impression that backtracking just 9 miles (plus shopping time) would put us woefully behind schedule in our quest to reach points north at a reasonable hour. When your husband says “It will take five hours to get there”, confirm that this is five hours from where you are, not five hours from the Maine border, two hours behind you.
But there was indeed stash enhancement, on a decorous scale. I was completely smitten with Green Mountain Spinnery, and loved my tour, personally guided by David (“well, if you won’t be around later, how about now?”). You should know that even though the Spinnery has a carder bigger than a Volkswagen Beetle, your house is bigger than their building. I have a really
small cute house, and my house is bigger. Why I am not using all of this space to make yarn, I don’t know. I would put this bumpersticker on my car, though.
Thanks to the Interweb, even though I stubbornly refuse to learn to spin, I knew all about carding and setting twist. David was impressed, in a laid-back Vermont-y kind of way. I was impressed because they make a lot of yarn for such a small space, and they use machines, but once you see how important the expert human eye is to their process, it will make you want to buy out the shop. Someone made this yarn for you to knit with – who are you to say no? I contented myself with some Cotton Comfort to make lacy socks from the Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book.
Thankfully, even though I do not spin, there are those who will spin with me in mind – not too long after we discovered Halcyon Yarn had been left behind in error, we stumbled upon the Purple Fleece, a shop so out of the way I worried no other people would find it, but with handspun like this, it’s worth seeking out.
So far, it’s been all about the stashing – here’s proof of the knitting. When we last left the Cabled Rib sweater, I had been doggedly working away on it, and [shh!] had made a few errors in the seemingly simple pattern – I’m sure this never happens to you. I was disenchanted with my lack of skill and wondering if I should rip it all out and start again. Here is how I know my knitting skills are growing: I picked it back up after my hiatus, looked it over, and fixed the errors – all of them. Why not? I had all the time in the world as the RV rolled down the road, so who cares if I spend an hour figuring out why a rib looks funny or a cable twist has gone astray? For ten whole days, it was about the process, and it was good (see? it’s longer, too – actual progress in addition to improvements).
My knitting also went sightseeing: the sweater saw most of New England, and this photo was taken at Lake Meacham in the Adirondacks, and the finished Opal sock waved hello to Niagara Falls. I’ll let you in on a little secret – it was too hot and cramped to keep trying the sock on as I got close to the end, so it’s a little short. I’m going to have to pick out the bindoff and fix that by knitting more – and I’m looking forward to the fix.