Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Far and Away

This week, I'm in Woods Hole, MA. About two weeks ago, I was invited to take part in a Biomedical Informatics Fellowship. So this week has been full of lectures on decision support, secondary data use, REDCap, genetics, etc etc.

I've been knitting a lot during the lectures, it keeps my hands busy so I'm not wandering off to see if there's anything super emergent in my inbox (hint--there isn't). But knitting that much in a stretch means I'm going through a yarn at a rather alarming rate. Yesterday I finished the blue socks before our first break and got through the leg of Sock 1 of a new pair, AudioGirl in June. I'll show you those when I get back or if I round up some spare time on Saturday at the airport.

Don't worry, I brought one more skein of yarn in case I finish up AudioGirl's socks before Saturday. Yes, normally, I'd laugh at me saying that too but this week that seems like a fairly reasonable statement to make.

Today, we got out at 2 p.m. (the last two days, we wrapped at 9 p.m.) and we had the opportunity to grab the ferry over to nearby Martha's Vineyard. I'd never been there before and ultimately, I only had a couple hours there. Limited on time, brain slightly worn out, what's a knitter to do?

I hopped in a cab, headed across to a small community, and made a beeline for a yarn store. I hadn't planned on going yarn shopping, truly, but one of our hostesses pointed out that not only was there a yarn store, they were having a big sale. Thoughtful of her, wasn't it?

The store is in a small house, right off of Main Street and right in the middle of everything.
Unfortunately, they didn't really have much that was local. I was disappointed because I know there are both sheep and alpaca on the island. There was some alpaca but I have plenty of what-am-I-going-to-do-with-this-but-it-was-local alpaca yarn in the stash.  

Fortunately, the knitter who was working was amazing. She told me all about the farms on the island, all the various sheep they were raising, and everything that is happening there. They're building the Martha's Vineyard Fibershed, a very cool local source idea out of California. She's going to be establishing a minimill to help meet the needs of the small farms on the island where they have 15-20 sheep and it's not cost effective to send it off island.  They're also going to grow flax.  

We chatted about sock yarn, drop spindling (I think she's convinced me to try again), why silk isn't the best fiber in sock yarn that's being made into socks, current projects, a couple favorite indie dyers (Fiber Optic!).  It was so lovely to meet her and geek out about yarn for a bit. If I have the chance to come back to Martha's Vineyard, I will want it to be a trip that includes visits to several of the farms and perhaps to purchase some of her handspun.

I did want to get something, even if it couldn't be local, and so I dove into the new KPPPM colors that they had. Here's what I ended up with: 

Isn't it vibrant? That purple just glows. Right now, the current plan, as with all my KPPPM, is making these up for one of my research partners. She and I need to finish a paper first though.

As you can see from the bottom picture, I was back on the ferry when I took these pictures. It was windy and a bit overcast but we didn't end up with all of the downpour and thunderstorms that we'd expected to have today and I was able to be outside most of the time.

I'm back at the Woods Hole Marine Biology Library now-- we don't have laptops outside of class and I've got to get a letter of recommendation for a colleague going up for promotion out the door tonight. Best get back to that and then back to my knitting!

1 comment:

  1. You should definitely try drop spindling again. It didn't stick for me the first time I tried either (granted, I was only 14 at the time).

    I hope you're having fun at Woods Hole! It sounds like an awesome program.


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