When I left work on Saturday night, I packed four projects to take home for the rest of the "weekend"--a shawl to finish, a pair of socks to start, a crewelwork project to wrap up and a cross stitch sampler to start, both a birthday present to myself and a reward once I've finished the crewelwork.
I'm always so blissed out by the idea of a day off, I invariably pack my schedule with an obscene amount of stitchwork. Like I'm on vacation. Like I don't have six loads of laundry, three weeks worth of dust buffalo to vacuum or a bathroom to deep clean have no other obligations in life. Like there's a chance I'm going to run out of something to do.
It's obvious to me now that I am unequivocally delusional about the amount of stitching my two hands can manage over the course of 41 hours.
But still. I managed to cast on and knit about five inches on a new sock (a gift for someone I'm fairly certain does not read this blog) and I alllllllmost finished the X on my sampler last night while watching several episodes of Rome, Season 1.
(This is an older picture of the sampler. With just three letters left, I've been at a standstill since mid-February. What's wrong with me?!?)
At least no one can say I lack ambition. But endurance, wherewithal, stick-to-itiveness?
A long coveted gift--to myself. (Go. Buy this book from your nearest independent retailer. Reading it alone will change your life. I can only imagine what hiking the PCT would do.)
Shrimp + black beans + quinoa + pomegranate seeds + cilantro = one heck of a superfood salad. Even grown up girls enjoy birthday sleepovers with friends that include cupcakes, pajamas and a variation on the classic Pin the Tail. True story.
And of course, I spent a good portion of the weekend knitting my latest project, Ishbel by Ysolda.
Last week on Saturday after work, we locked the door to the shop, threw a few sweatshirts and clean underwear in a backpack and headed South. Well, sort of. Curt had spring break last week and without the funds to go all out back to Costa Rica, our only goal was to spend a little time together--and away. Anywhere. We didn't take the whole week off (back to the grind on Thursday), so after whittling it down (Milwaukee, Chicago, Louisville and Nashville were all strong contenders), we ended up choosing someplace not initially on the list at all.
Shaker Village. How's that for totally random? (And not even slightly urban...)
Shaker Village, established in 1805 and fully restored in the 1960s, is a living museum. You stay in these beautiful buildings that were built two hundred years ago, chat with volunteers who wear starched white bonnets and watch demonstrations on how to weave and make brooms and those cute little stacking boxes. You can read all about it on their website and even watch a little video. Better yet, go there. I have a strong sense that if you found this blog, there's a chance you might like it. A pretty significant chance.
[And just in case you were wondering, even though the Shakers were celibate, (I know, I can't really wrap my mind around it, either), you can sleep in the same bed with your spouse. Also, they have wireless. Fears be quelled.]
The rooms were simply furnished with beautiful, classic furniture,
(Most comfortable mattress ever!)
and I could actually see myself living here forever.
Or for a very long time.
Okay, I was ready to leave after the second night.
I guess when you own a yarn store, grow your own food, actually anticipate canning season and your husband milks cows for his second job, you realize it's not really a huge stretch from your real life.
Of course there was knitting. Of course. You know how I said we threw a few things in a backpack? That was true. It only took me 15 minutes to gather my toothbrush and pajamas. Packing my knitting, however, took me two and a half hours.
Yarn: Madelinetosh Pashmina in Terrarium, one full skein.
Needles: Addi Lace US 6 24" circular.
Mods: Added 12 stitches when casting on. Which could have been a mistake. I only had one skein and I wasn't about to spring for a second, so this piece was 8 inches shorter than the suggested length, before blocking. I was sweating it the entire time hoping that all the comments on Ravelry about how much the Pashmina stretches could work in my favor. Melissa--1, Yarn Gods--0.
Notes: The best project I could have knit on this trip. Seriously. You know how horridly motion sick I get. Anything that requires the slightest bit of concentration (including reading GoogleMaps on my iPhone) is out of the question. So if you're looking for the perfect project to keep your hands busy while solving the world's problems with your very best friend while driving 1400 miles in four days, this'd be the one.
You can wear it looped twice (I prefer this way),
or long and lanky, which is very cool, too.
Obviously, I didn't get the other three projects finished.
Is it possible that it's halfway through March? That it was 79 degrees in Northern Michigan yesterday? That only twelve days before that we received 30 inches of snow? That I forgot to blog about a project I finished almost a year ago?
Yes, yes, yes and yes. Utterly bizarre on all counts.
Project: The Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West. If only all patterns could be so gloriously simple while achieving such striking results.
Started & Finished: Sometime in 2011. Spring? Early summer? Who the heck knows. The only reason I'm blogging about it now is because it's time to bring it out as a shop sample--we've got some springy yarn up in here!
Needles: those fabulous casein needles of my grandmother's, US 5 24" circulars.
Notes: I used a smaller needle size, finer yarn and less yardage than Stephen's original pattern. Do not be alarmed--it works. (Although if you're even an average knitter, knit this on US 6s.) I knit through one entire skein with just a few inches leftover. Love the results and so does every customer that walks in the door. The perfect spring-turns-summer project.
It's a true sign of spring when we're putting this yarn back on the shelves at Wool & Honey. That and the parade of motorcycles, the robins in the backyard and afternoon knitting breaks on the front step. So glad it's finally here!
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Filigree, one skein
Needles: Addi Lace US 6 24" circular.
Modifications: I cast on 25 fewer sts than the original pattern--and because TML is a fingering weight yarn (vs. the original Malabrigo Lace), it turned out to be almost identical (in length) to the original.
Notes: This was my first project knit from TML--the first of thousands. Love, love, LOVE this yarn. Which works out brilliantly, as I'm putting together a monstrous order for our first Madelinetosh delivery to arrive sometime in mid-June. More on that soon!