Friday, April 13, 2012

She Can Smell Yarn Fumes A Mile Away

I had such ambition in Washington DC.  I didn't even look at where yarn stores would be in  Baltimore, assuming that while the Philosopher is patient, he also knows just how much yarn is at Chez Hedgehog and how I don't really need any more. Besides, we had plans of the Aquarium and a wedding to attend.

The wedding was beautiful and utterly quirky. The bride wore a very late 20s/early 30s glamour girl dress with a cloche style veil. The ceremony was held in the formal parlor of the Engineer's Club, a mansion that took up three townhouses. The parlor comfortably held 120 or so of us seated in rows. I managed to sit down next to another knitter (neither of us had knitting with us--I don't take knitting to weddings) and we had a good chat about wool. After cocktails and food, a 10 piece brass/woodwind/percussion band processed through the house and we followed them into the ballroom/theater.  The music was lively and led to much romping.  It's safe to assume a good time was had when the band thanks you for your lively dancing, right?

The Aquarium was very cool, though we did resist the dolphin show. The Philosopher is a warm temperature man at heart, he loved the various jungle/rainforest enclosures that were set up. I was okay in one of them, found it muggy, but the other one was almost unbreathable.

We also visited the Walters Art Museum. I'd never heard of it before, which doesn't mean a whole lot, but we discovered it right next to our hotel. We only had an hour to visit it after we'd been to the Aquarium but it was an interesting dash through. They had an "Ancient Americas" special exhibit. My one complaint with it was that it was misnamed: only Central and American art was included.  This isn't a reflection on the collection itself (the project of one man and my thoughts did wonder to whether Peru or Mexico might start asking for some of these things back) just on the choice of names.

Leaving Baltimore, we took the train to DC, dropped our bags at the hotel and headed to the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum. We hit almost all of the areas, though we didn't spend much time in the mammals section. Having the Field Museum spoils us.

Cherry Blossoms in DC

And then, because the cherry blossoms were peaking two weeks early while we were there (and before the tourists who'd planned to come), we walked the nearly 5 mile loop of memorial monuments (Lincoln, Jefferson, MLK, FDR, Washington and the various wars). It was glorious.  People were out strolling. The trees were incredibly fresh and it was calm.

At the FDR Memorial
(Me at the FDR Memorial, Photo by Philosopher--and yes, that's a Piddleloop knitting bag)

The next morning the Philosopher took me to the hotel I would be at for the Computers in Libraries conference.  We took the DC Metro and then trudged up the hill towards the Hilton.  And lo if we didn't walk past a yarn store on the way there.  Here I'd said I wouldn't buy any yarn because it's too far out to Fibre Space and the wool fairies gave me an alternative with Looped.

I was very good and didn't immediately demand that we haul all luggage up to the second floor right that moment.  Instead we checked into the hotel, I dropped my bags, we got lunch and the Philosopher left to catch his flight. And then I went to the yarn store on the way back to the hotel.

It's a lovely store and the staff were very nice.  I was on a mission to find something I can't regularly buy, which eliminated a lot of their stash but that inspires me to find something special that will remind me of the trip.  This time, I found Dirty Dye Works.

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The yarn base is Paula, which is the 100% BFL base. It's not the squish of merino but it's a really nice wool. I purchased Avocado and Bark. I had intended that I would knit socks--after all they are fingering but then I remembered all of the two colored shawls I'd been stalking. There are some very interesting patterns out there that might do quite nicely.  And since it's past Easter....

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sock Show Thursday: Once More Into the Fray

I haven't been knitting a lot recently. Part of it was Lent--where I needed to resist the new, ooh, shiny; part of it was a ridiculous amount of work that's come up recently; part of it was general other stuff.  Life happens, right?   Of late I've had a lot of obligatory feelings about knitting and that's frustrating. I don't want my hobby to feel obligatory, it's one of the reasons I don't knit much for other people who are not blood. Sure, the 9 pairs of socks I gave to other people might belie that a little but I've been in a wallowing frame of mind where I didn't want to knit for anyone else. But not knitting makes me grouchy too. I need the repetition and calm of knitting, particularly when work is getting ever crazier--though I suppose it's good that it's getting busy in ways that are not meetings where I can knit because that generally means we're getting more done.

Anyway, I did have one such meeting the other day and I had a new ball of wool and needles with me.













Thus it begins, the return to wool.  There was a staff meeting this afternoon that I could knit through too.  I got a lot more done there.

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This is Lamb's Pride Superwash Sportweight. I bought it at What in Yarnation in Minnesota when the library and knitters paired up to do a yarn store crawl.  I'd intended to make a pair of toe up socks with it but for right now I'm just on my usual 2x2 rib. Baby steps back into my comfort zone. It's on size 2s and I have two skeins so I'll be making 8-9" cuffs.

One more obligation deadline coming up soon, so I have to do that this weekend. But after that I need to find something that really makes me happy to knit again.