I'm back home after visiting with my little angels, and I've been knitting all along the way.
As you know, I never like to pass up a yarn shop, and even these short trips are no exception. I came across a jewel of a shop, tucked away in Roswell, GA, called "Cast On Cottage." The owner is Betsy Laundon, whom I haven't yet met, but I would be very surprised if she isn't as welcoming and helpful as her staff. The woman who has been there both times I've visited is helpful and available, but she also understands when a knitter needs to "meditate" over a project for awhile. Check out the website, and you'll get a feel for the neat little house -- chock full of scrumptious yarns -- right in downtown Roswell. I wouldn't have tagged it as a major knitting area, but they are running a full range of classes, and they carry just about any yarn you can think of. The choice in patterns and books is great, with all the most up-to-date stuff and some old favorites, too. I can take up an entire afternoon just browsing patterns.
So what was I able to liberate there? An unconscionable amount of Debbie Bliss Cashmere that I thought I'd use to knit my favorite vest pattern:
There's a finished version in my Aran Album knit from alpaca. Well guess what! The cashmere doesn't work very well for this design. It comes out looking "ruggy," even with switching to larger needles. It WILL go to the "frog pond." Not that the yarn isn't wonderful. It's lovely, and I have another project in mind for it. This vest will be knit from something else, though. I'm thinking that Elsebeth Lavold's SilkyAran is the one, I just have to click on the "Buy" button...
The design comes from this old collection:
As you can see, every design in it isn't a winner, but the mens' vests are quite nice. I've made several of them, over the years, and this is my third go at the current project. My original copy has gotten so dog-eared and disreputable-looking, that I found another one on Vintage Knits.
I'm still working on the Russian-style triangular shawl, but not as much, since I've decided that I won't be able to finish it to take on my vacation with me. It will be safe in my knitting bag until I get back.
My travel knitting is usually socks, and I've done one pair and started another. The designs came from the new/old book of "Favorite Socks" by Interweave Press.
It doesn't contain new designs, but it does have the best they've produced, over the years, and it's convenient to have them all in one volume. More important to me, almost all of them fit my knitting gauge, so I don't have to tinker with them to get the right fit. So far, I've knit these:
And started this one:
The bottom sock is a lace design from Nancy Bush, and I'm really going to like it. On my monitor, it looks gray, but the actual yarn is a delicate, sage green color. The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, one of my favorites. The navy socks are the old Fortissima cotton, no longer produced. I'm glad I bought quite a lot of it from Medrith Glover, before they quit making it, for good. I love it for socks, and thankfully, I can make quite a few more pairs.
You won't go wrong with the book, especially if you don't have all the back volumes of IK. I'm planning to take the green socks on my next junket, which is my official vacation for this year. (Yes, I do have to take Agnes with me. I took her to Sunday School with me today, and she went on and on about "our" vacation.)
I have about a week and a half to get ready. I'll go to Georgia for my grandsons' big birthday party, and from there, I'll fly to Paris (Yes, I do mean France, NOT Paris, Texas this time.) There, I'll do my best to make my way to Bayeux, where I'll meet up with Joyce James and some of the great folks I love to travel with, and we'll view the Bayeux Tapestry, and tour around in Normandy. After that, we'll board a luxury barge and float around seeing all sorts of wonderful sights touring in the mornings. I have this fantasy that we can come back to the barge, get a big bottle of wine, drink wine and knit all afternoon. If so, it will remain to be seen, just what sort of socks I'll be able to produce in France! I almost always knit a pair of socks when I travel to other countries, and then when I think back on the trip, I have my Shetland socks, or my "whatever" socks. We'll just see how the "France" socks turn out.
I've been practicing my French. Finally, those eight long years of French classes are going to pay off. I just know it!