Saturday, June 25, 2011

An idyll, with yarn

Because I suffer from mal de mer, we earlier this week ditched the idea of the ferry and flew to Block Island in a plane that felt like a minivan (minus children and soccer mom).  It takes twelve minutes, and besides being efficient, offers excellent views.

Stayed two nights, ate mostly at great restaurants, hiked, read, slept, etc.  From the lawn of the Atlantic Inn where we stopped for drinks and tapas

I espied this peaceable kingdom,

a hobby farm of esoteric animals behind the Manisses Hotel. Some of these critters, it turns out, provide fiber for the island's first and only yarn mill, North Light Fibers. The world being a small place, and Rhode Island an even smaller place, it turns out that Sven Risom, the co-owner of the mill with his wife Laura, is a former student of H's.

I am happy to report that North Light Fibers produces some amazing yarns, and a detailed account will be forthcoming in the pages of this blog. Dear Knitters, if you find yourself on Block Island in the near future, do please find your way to North Light Fibers to tour the mill and see for yourself the many fascinating and meticulous steps involved in the small scale processing of fiber into yarn, from the raw ingredients to the spinning and dyeing and skeining--all in the most environmentally-correct ways possible.

Short and sweet was this vacation--actually, a wedding-anniversary celebration. We shall happily return in the fall, just because.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The WWKIP that was

at the Langworthy Library on Saturday the 18th of June.  We came, we sat, we knitted--all two of us!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's that time of year again

Lady slippers, one of the few orchids native to North America, are blooming.  AND on Saturday, WWKIP (World Wide Knit in Public) week begins. I'm celebrating it on Saturday June 18th with the knitters of the Langworthy Public Library, from 10-12. Please join us if you're in the neighborhood!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Two deer

Yesterday began with this--

and ended with this--

In between I blocked some socks, and thought about the yarn I'd used, of which I bought extra balls in a range of colors.

As you can tell from the label, it's called North Pole, and it's from Universal Yarn, imported from Turkey. Fiber content is 72% Superwash wool, 24% nylon, and 4% metallic thread; each ball is 437 yards, enough for two pair. I bought it at The Yarn Outlet in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, for a bit under $15, and when I checked a few weeks ago, they had a small amount still in stock.

(A slight digression:  I first went to The Yarn Outlet about six months ago and was underwhelmed, which is why I didn't write about it (btw, this happens a general policy is not to cover commercial establishments that underwhelm me). However, if you happen to be in Providence or close to I-95 in Pawtucket, it can be a useful place to shop. Needles are discounted about 20%, and they carry bamboo as well as metal circs and straights. As with any outlet store, too, the merchandise is catch-as-catch-can, so it could be worthwhile to make several visits over a long time. They've got this funky North Pole yarn for $2 less than at Webs and $3 less than if you order it from the distributor (Universal Yarns), and they do carry small lots of good yarn like Manos and Cascade 220. But the selection overall leans towards acrylic, which is IMHO a turn-off.)

What I enjoyed about knitting North Pole:  its self-Fair Isle pattern is amazing, the yarn has a beautiful hand and elasticity, and it's light but warm and sparkly! (Socks knit from this are perfect holiday gifts!) As those of you who have read my article, "Stitch and Seed" in the current issue of Knitscene Magazine know, I love to knit socks in the summer, because the ick factors of heat and humidity make it hard to deal with large pieces of woolen stuffs, as with sweaters.

Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, and summer has unofficially begun (so the tv weathermen say), my knitting will be mostly small-scale items. After dropping younger son (who graciously took time out from his fun-filled college-reunion weekend to grace our house for 24 hours) at the Kingston Amtrak station yesterday,

H and I headed towards one of our favorite restaurants, Matunuck Oyster Bar, on a lovely tidal creek in East Matunuck RI, where I worked on a hiking sock while we waited for our entrees.  (He had the fried oyster plate; I had linguine with clam sauce. We drank a vidal blanc from Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth.)

If the dear boy looks peeved, it's because he doesn't quite understand the allure of always knitting, my friends. But you do, I know.

View from our table on the deck at the Matunuck Oyster Bar. If you sit out there, bring bug spray.