Saturday, June 7, 2008

An excellent week in knitting

Well well well...sometimes days, weeks, and yes even months can go by when my knitting habit goes underground, existing solitary and quiet within the confines of my family room like a little late-night secret between the cast of endless reruns of Frasier and me. Often this is because of a large, long-suffering project upon which I am earnestly trying to make some headway. It can also be the result of yarn-purchasing guilt, while I try to use up some of my stash. Then there is the UFO-guilt, when I haul out half-completed sweaters and spend some time actually finishing projects so that I can justify NEW purchases. In any case, these periods of knitting isolation are very much assuaged by a week like this one.

On Wednesday afternoon, my friend Jackie (my most steadfasted knitting friend---read: fellow knitting geek) picked me up at work and we jetted off to Kingston for yarn-related fun. After a quick and entertaining stop at Wool-Tyme (There's a sale; you should go!), we made our way to Chapters on Princess St to hear Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, a.k.a. The Yarn Harlot. Many avid knitters are already familiar with this author, though trying to explain her to non-knitters can be a challenge. She touched upon this in her talk---the joys of explaining her genre. Not how-to, not patterns, she writes knitting-related humour. As usual, though we arrived with 45 minutes or so to spare, they had already run out of seating. They had only put out about 25 chairs---duh! Jackie and I prowled the store like chair vultures, and finally managed to snag a couple and bring them over. Not sure how many we were in total, but I'd guess at least 75. She was very witty, and Jackie and I enjoyed many a chuckle as we sat there working away at our respective projects. Highly enjoyable!

Then, as if the Kingston trip wasn't indulgence enough, I took a trip to Hamilton on Thursday/Friday and on the way back had a great time exploring an amazing yarn store in Ancaster. My brother Michael was competing at the all-Ontario track and field championships in the Javelin. After watching him compete and finishing in an amazing 4th place spot with personal best throws, my parents and I drove off to Ancaster to find The Needle Emporium. It was fabulous: housed in an old stone building with a layout of small rooms which led you, as if ambling along a quaint little path, through the store. It held an incredibly diverse selection of weights, styles, and types of yarn, and in each room I liked leafing through the leaflets of patterns that were held upright in bunches in wicker baskets. The range of colours and textures was dizzying---I really think I could have wandered around staring and touching for hours. I ended up buying 2 skeins of Lorna's Shepherd Sock yarn in a blue-green variegate. I had been hoping to get some Handmaiden Sea Silk, but the only skeins were 200 gms and were therefore priced at about $77. A little out of my league yet. The store in having a big tent sale in a couple of weeks so if you'll be in the area, I highly recommend checking it out.
So now I'm basking in the cozy post-purchase yarn high, and imaging how nice it'll be to get myself onto my porch (or to the cottage), a nice cold brew in my hands, all this nice new stuff on the needles!