I have been traveling for the past month, for the holidays (to see David's family first, then out east to see my family). I'm still not back in the midwest, but I didn't want to postpone posting any longer because A. I didn't want to become a has-been blogger and B. The amount of stuff I have to post about is already getting unwieldy! Belive me when I tell you that I have been getting up to lots of sheepy shenanigans.
First up, I went to Back Alley Fiber Arts, in Caro, MI. This is the new yarn shop in David's hometown. When I walked in the door, I was greeted by one of the 7 women who started the shop as a place to get together and knit when the old yarn shop, Ruby's, closed down a few months ago. The shopkeeper asked me what I liked, and when I told her I was into the natural stuff, she pointed me to a basket of locally grown and spun yarn. The prices were amazing!!! I bought a bunch of it, and the brown sheep wool became a hat for my dad (thanks to Fig & Plum for the Cashmere Ribbed Hat pattern). I also stopped at Zeilenger Wool Co. in Frankenmuth and picked up some dreamily soft alpaca that became a baby hat for my new cousin Chiara, who lives in a small town in the Dolomites in Italy. Kingston is really enjoying the brown hat...
In another yarn shop I picked up some light blue Koigu and used it for the first time -- oh yeah, it's true, it DOES knit like a dream! With this, I'm making the Shedir cap from Knitty, as a belated Christmas present for a friend. Hmmm...didn't someone else just make both of these same things? Thanks, Schrodinger, you're a good leader, even if you didn't know I was following you.
Wait wait, adventues in yarn continue! I mentioned the Farmhouse Yarns sale I was going to this weekend, right? Well, it was fantastic. Just imagine a mini-Rhinebeck in someone's (very large) driveway, in the middle of the woods, with sheep baa-ing in the background. Carol, the owner, buys fiber from many small farms and has it spun into her own lines (like Lumpy Bumpy, Silk Spun Cotton, Fat Sheep) which she sells to yarn shops. But every once in a while, she needs to do an inventory reduction so she hauls everything out into her driveway in hundreds of bins, most organized by type and color of yarn, and invites crazy yarn addicts like myself to come fondle and buy it at majorly reduced prices. She even had some roving for sale, and her flock of sheep literally overlooked the entire event. I just bought a few skeins -- light blue for a jumper for Sam, green (color Avocado!) and electric blue for something for Brady, orange for pumpkin hats and the brown for a hat for someone, not sure who. I almost purchased some undyed Lumpy Bumpy, because when I plunged my hands into the bin the yarn was so buttery soft I wanted to roll around in it naked. But alas, the bin wasn't big enough for that and I wasn't alone with the bin, so I decided to keep my clothes on and pass on the yarn. Truth be told that particular lot of undyed yarn was too sheep-smelly, even for me.
Rest assured, I have not been ignoring Rogue entirely during my yarn-buying frenzies of late. Here's a shot of the sleeves in progress (I'm trying to do both at once). But small hats are so much more portable and instantly gratifying. Didn't I used to be a monogamous knitter?