Archive for the ‘Wool’ Category

This week’s photo challenge is Texture. I went to The World’s Most Famous Beach for our family beach weekend. Sand, surf, the roar of traffic up and down A1A outside the beach-front hotels, hugs from big and little ones, crisp hotel sheets on sun-exposed skin, seafood restaurants, and of course, a yarn crawl. I had to see what the local yarn shop The Ball of Yarn had to offer.

The Mandarin Petit and Kashmir yarns are from their Swedish import rack, although they have a flag of Norway on their labels. The shop proprietor told me that they love Kraemer brand yarns, which are spun in America and were used in the Ralph Lauren knitted apparel worn by our Winter Olympics competitors. Isn’t it a small world after all?


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DH and I were invited to spend 4th of July weekend with his brother and family at their resort condo in Longboat Key. We had a refreshing time relaxing, partying on the beach, shopping, and talking with loved ones in a place that is just short of paradise.

Longboat Key

Early morning sunrise from the balcony

Longboat Key

Beach at 9:30 AM

Longboat key

Majestic Norfolk pine in the landscape

Florida gulf coast

Florida gulf coast beach

Longboat Key condo

resort condo

fireworks on the beach

Fireworks on the beach




























































I seized the opportunity to do some yarn shopping in nearby Sarasota.

Yarn Shop

A Good Yarn

A Good Yarn truly was The Mothership of all yarn shops. It was BIG, stocked full of all of the most popular, trending brands. Next to the front window was a work table, decked out with shop patrons who were calling for assistance from the friendly, outgoing staff. There was a large, comfy sitting area with “guy” magazines, for those patrons who don’t get all that excited about yarn. I had ordered Rowan fine tweed and felted tweed from an online vendor, but they were sold out of two of the colors that I needed for a Martin Storey project. But I couldn’t remember offhand what those two colors were, although the cute young clerk located the pattern book for me and allowed me to browse through it. “Don’t worry,” she said, “you can figure out what they are when you get home and then order it from us!” Awesome to know that they do a great mail-order business, too.

The shop owner is an underwater photographer, and on one wall, they have a selection of yarn in color ways that match the several photos of marine life framed above the skeins. Here’s a shot of the damage I did (to my bank account) while I was there.

A Good Yarn yarn

yarn haul

We have here, clockwise from left: CoBaSi (cotton, bamboo, silk blend sock yarn that doesn’t sag and bag like cotton alone would) by HiKoo in orange and blue; Lorna’s Laces Hand-dyed Shepherd Sock in U of F; Lorna’s Laces Hand-dyed Shepherd Sock in A Good Beach (they said it was in the colors of nearby Siesta Key Beach, white, light orange, sandy gray);HiKoo American Brand fingering weight yarn in Wind Cave (white); Rowan fine tweed in Tissington (orange); Rowan felted tweed in 178 blue; fine tweed in Bainbridge (dark red); Anzula Hand-dyed Sebastian (70% super wash merino, 30% sea cell) in Hyacinth; Madelinetosh Dandelion (merino/linen blend) in Midnight Pass; and at the bottom, Hand Maiden 100% silk in Rumple (metallic grays.) The bags are decorated with logo stickers and scraps of yarn, by students at a local school.

I also stopped in at Picasso’s Moon, a Sarasota yarn shop/antique shop.

yarn shop

Picasso’s Moon

art yarn

art yarn from Picasso’s Moon

Owner Debra Lambert spun this yarn on a Mach III wheel with a large orifice. She is set to give a workshop on spinning at Towles Court later this month. The shop is (as the yarn tag indicates) an eclectic collection of fibers and antiques arranged in sort of a giant web of skeins and scarves, shawls, bowls and baskets of old wooden spools, balls of yarn, decorative objects, hanging garments, and in the center of the room sat Debra on the floor, weaving on what looked to me like a little Cricket loom. Nearby was a beautiful, compact Schacht loom warped with a very fine, black yarn. I learned that art yarn such as this is VERY pricey, but I was under a spell, taken into the gypsy mystique of fiber artisanship, an alter ego I once vaguely sought for myself…some day, I want to delve deeper into the fiber arts.

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Knitting getaway side trip: who did I find?

meeting Tina


Wonderful to catch up and talk about old times. What a beautiful little corner of the world she calls home now! I knew that I’d take a road trip up here some day! I keep up with her through Facebook, but it doesn’t compare to a hug and a face-to-face catching up session….and look, aren’t we color-coordinated in our orange and blue!

We took the opportunity to visit Tina’s LYS, Warm ‘n Fuzzy in Cary, NC.

Yarn Shop

Cary NC LYS Warm ‘N Fuzzy

Artsy shopping

Ashworth Village Art Shops

Serendipity Deli, Cary NC

Our lunching spot

Old church in Cary NC

This beautiful old church was across the street


Luscious fibrous finds

Clockwise, from top: the blue-green-yellow is 100% merino Tweed Dragon Fly from local Echo View Fiber Mill in Weaverville, NC….the peach-brown ball is Wolle’s Yarn Creations Color Changing Cotton in Copper 2 Colorway, from nearby Virginia….the next group is by Quince&Co. Owl in Papuan color way: American alpaca/American wool, Piper in Sweetwater and Caracara:Texas Merino/Texas mohair, and Kestrel: 100% organic linen in Rosehip color way…and the blue and white fingering Phydeaux Soie merino/silk in Blue Moon. Thank you to the young lady shopkeeper who was very knowledgeable about the local yarn scene!

The next day, this scene was pandemonium with the Food Truck Rodeo “Chatham Street Chowdown” going full-tilt.

Food Truck Rally

Food Truck Rally

Donut Truck


Food Truck Rally

La Farm Truck

Food Truck Rally


Food Truck Rally

Chai Tacos

Food Truck Rally

Sōl Tacos

Food Truck

Baton Rouge Cuisine

Food Truck

Gussy’s Greek

Food Truck


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Day 6 of Eskimimi’s Knit and Crochet Blog Week Challenge is to write about someone you admire, and about yourself in comparison/contrast. My knitting idols are my grandmother and her sister, Auntie Marg.


Margaret and Alice about 1917

When I knew them, I didn’t think much about knitting. They became my knitting idols much later, when I thought back, in amazement, of the things they knitted. Most vivid in my memories: the sacred afghan that remained on our couch for the purpose of keeping warm, while watching TV and slipping into Dreamland. We called it the “duggy-wuggy” (I do not know the origin of that term, so it’d be no good to ask! 🙂 ). It was light green, dark green, and gray. And possibly some canary yellow in there, too. It was about 4 1/2 feet long by 2 feet wide and had fringe on both narrow ends. Thick cables coursed down the length of it. It had a fabric backing that was a dark gray-brown wool crepe, very slinky. My dad took a nap on the couch every day when he got home from work. I aspire to that, too. I’ve had couch blankets, lap quilts, throws, on the couch…but none so awesome as that duggy-wuggy!

Next memory is of the baby layette items after my daughter was born. I’m sorry to say I don’t have a single one of these left. They were so classic, and so delectable. A yellow cardigan with raglan sleeves, with a matching white and yellow Tyrolean hat with a little pompom on top (not frilly, in case she turned out to be a boy, but yellow, so she could still wear it if she was a girl). Knit-stitch booties with a satin ribbon to tie. A white ripple-effect baby blanket. A white crocheted jacket and bonnet, with a satin ribbon tie.

I can picture in my mind, the two sisters looking at each other with purposeful ambition, whenever a new baby was announced.

Aunt Marg

Auntie Marg, c. 1929

Here is my great-aunt, wearing a shawl that she undoubtedly made. Aunt Margaret never married; she lived with my grandmother in a house full of cats.

As for me, I guess my leaf didn’t fall far from the tree, but to compare with their expertise….I still have a long way to go! And I’m still searching for that plain baby cardigan and hat set pattern!

knitting with cat

Me, Bob, and Mom

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Wednesday night and we were knitting nicely…

knitted mittens and snood

Tricia’s mittens and snood

Tricia knitted beautiful sparkly white mittens and a matching snood.

knitted snood

Tricia’s snood in process

I love the needle-cushions she bought at JoAnn’s.

knitted shawl

Lois and shawl in double crochet

Lois worked on a shawl in a woolly Lion Brand yarn (color: Ruby).


Jerilyn knitting

Jerilyn worked more on her beginning knitting project.

slouchy beanie

slouchy beanie

I finished the cabled slouchy beanie.

Next time: maybe a little woodworking?

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Fair-Isle knit tote bag

blocking the Fair-Isle knit bag

Posting this nearly completed tote bag in the hopes that it heralds the end of winter. This was the Winter Olympics Knit-along project that Carol from Yarnworks put together. I certainly loved it to pieces and I’m very proud of myself for doing Fair-Isle knitting in such a distinctive set of patterns! And I love, love, love the I-cord bind-off around the top, it’s smashing; it segues right into the I-cord strap. I got all the yarn in a kit with instructions (part of which didn’t photocopy hence the partial red stripe on the white mountains, but I’m ok with it) so I didn’t have a skein sleeve to tell me what brand of yarn it was or even if it is wool. I figured it was nice yarn, after all, Yarnworks put it together, duh! Now, after soaking it in warm water to block the finished article, I know it is wool because it has that wet fur smell!

But now it’s time to look forward to some spring and summer projects, don’t you think? As if just the act of working on a spring lovely will bring gorgeous weather about!

books to read

books to read

The new lean, extra thirsty Bob

The new lean, extra thirsty Bob

Sneaky Pauly, lurking in the background

Sneaky Pauly, lurking in the background

gray cat with thumbs

Stella with her “hands” folded



The cats are showing signs of cabin fever. Oh, wait, they’re inside cats; cabin fever doesn’t apply to them at all, I guess I’m the one.

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Discovery: It is December 4th and our Christmas knitting is in the coulda, shoulda, woulda state of being. Except for Ethel, she’s been very, very good this year, so Santa, take note!

Ethel got some holiday knitting done; check it out!

knitted gnome Christmas ornaments

Ethel’s gnomes

red, white knitted Christmas ball

Ethel’s knitted Christmas bauble

I managed to wind my skein of felted wool yarn into a ball…I have started a few things but it just doesn’t feel right, so I am back to a ball…Any suggestions on what to make with it?

ball of Gaelic felted wool yarn

the fruit of my labors so far

Ethel showed off some beaded Christmas earrings she made from a kit she got at Avalon Bead Shop.

beaded green Christmas tree earring

bead kit from Gifts of Avalon

clear crystal Christmas tree earrings

crystal Christmas tree earrings

Amber worked on the Sirdar sweater again, and it’s looking beautiful.

Sirdar knitted sweater

working on the sweater

I finished the woolly owl hat I started a few weeks ago.

knitted intarsia owl hat

finished intarsia owl hat from last year’s Simply Knitting

child's knitted poncho

Ethel’s new project: a poncho

Ethel worked on a poncho for a grandchild, in James C. Brett Marble Chunky, a blue and green self-striping machine washable yarn. And she’s already lined up a new project, a knitted billed hat.
knitted hat with bill

Ethel’s next project

Alice Starmore's new Tudor Roses

a present for me

Following a wonderful week of Thanksgiving partying with well-loved folks I don't get to see very often, I've been feasting my eyes on the new, reissued Alice Starmore book Tudor Roses. Visions of sugarplums are dancing in my head…

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