My current work in progress:

1. Mighty Mini, designed by Rachel Henry, knit from Socks That Rock Worthy in the "Tanzanite" and "The Green That Sings" colorways on a 3.0 mm needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Of Needles and Yarn Shops

I forgot to mention that I purchased a Pony Rosewood circular needle (US size 7) when I was at Stix-n-Stitches last Saturday.

needle052406 Of Needles and Yarn Shops

My Needle Enabler had previously purchased a Colonial Rosewood circular and we were able to compare the two needles — they are identical (as someone had mentioned in my comments last week). And the Pony needle is quite a bit cheaper.

needle052406a Of Needles and Yarn Shops

Yarn Shop Strategy

The other day, Ellen posted this comment:
Your account of your visits to all these fabulous yarn shops made me wonder if you have any thoughts on the best way to organize such a shop. I have seen shops organized by type of yarn, brand of yarn, color of yarn (that was a beautiful store!) and with no apparent organzational plan at all. I would love to know what you think about this. Maybe there could be a book on the theory and practice of knitting retail!

Good question! And one that started me to thinking.

I was in six establishments that sold yarn last weekend. Can I remember how the yarn was arranged? Nope.

When I enter a new yarn shop, I am immediately overcome. Sensory overload! Sensory overload!

What do you all think? What’s the best way to display yarn for sale?

While arranging it according to color would be lovely, it’s not terribly practical, I think. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shop that does this.

I think a lot of places arrange by brand of yarn, don’t they?

My preference? Arrange by type and/or weight. Put all the sock yarn together, all the laceweights together, etc.

Progress? Ha!

The weekend finally caught up with me. I was fine Monday. I was fine yesterday — until about 7pm, when I crashed and burned. And this morning on the train I could barely keep the old eyes open to knit. So there’s not a whole lot of progress.

Here is the handspun Flower Basket Shawl.

shawl052406 Of Needles and Yarn Shops

And here is the sock-in-progress. I’m just starting the heel.

sock052406 Of Needles and Yarn Shops

Lucy is just plain tuckered out too!

lucy052406 Of Needles and Yarn Shops

Re-Entry

I left my home this morning and there was no limo waiting outside for me. Huh? I took the subway to work. Yes, I have resumed my secret identity: a mild-mannered civil servant.

Oh well. What’s a girl to do? Just continue knitting.

I did actually finish something this past weekend, though I learned that signing books and knitting are two activities that sort of don’t mix.

Here are the Spirit Trail socks:

spirittrailsocks052306 Re Entry

As previously mentioned, I used Spirit-Trail 100% superwash wool yarn and my generic toe-up pattern. I did a simple lace rib on the leg of the socks that goes like this:

Row 1: (k2, yo, sl1, k2tog, psso, yo, k1) around.
Rows 2 – 4: knit

spirittrailsocks052306a Re Entry

So, I started another sock. I couldn’t resist the Claudia Handpainted yarn that I bought on Saturday, so that’s what I started.

sock052306 Re Entry

The colorway is “Donna’s Favorite” and I am quite entranced by the way it is knitting up.

My Other Travel Knitting

You might remember that I posted a photo of my wool/mohair handspun last week and indicated that it was going with me on my trip last weekend as well.

shawl052306 Re Entry

It is on its way to becoming a Flower Basket Shawl.

shawl052306a Re Entry

Charity Project Alert!

Rebekah at Knit-Knack is doing a charity project for her local Humane Society: The Basil and Abner Critter Charity Drive. She’s collecting animal toys and blankets, etc. Check out her blog for details! There are prizes . . .

Mmmmmmmm, Dinner!

Lookie here! My dinner!

food052306 Re Entry

Clockwise from the top, that’s Bakerina’s Apricot Hazelnut Jam (YUM!), Bakerina’s Light Apple Butter (YUM!), and Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter (Um, yeah . . . YUM!).

I’ve Got a Small Problem

I wanna watch tv, but Lucy’s hogging the remote.

lucy052306 Re Entry

Weekend Update

[Disclaimer: When I'm not quietly at home, I suck at taking photos! So thanks to everyone who took my camera away from me and took photos this weekend. Also, follow the links in this blog entry to see more photos, far better than I could have taken!]

Wow — where to begin? Here’s the synopsis of my NY/NJ weekend:

Friday

On Friday morning I took a train to NYC — arrived Penn Station mid-afternoon. My blogless friend Margaret met me and led me out of the station, true Manhattan Goddess that she is. I might have mentioned that I have absolutely no sense of direction, so this was a very good thing indeed!

We grabbed a quick lunch and then headed to Habu and School Products. Habu was everything I expected, but I didn’t buy anything — I was a little overwhelmed!

At School Products, however, a couple of things insinuated their way into my affections. One’s a gift, so no pictures, but the other was a pile of handpainted laceweight cashmere. *drool*

cashmere052206 Weekend Update

After the quick yarn crawl there was just time enough for us to dash to my hotel, check-in, leave my stuff, and then Blogless Margaret and I headed down to the Blue Ribbon Bakery in Soho, to meet my publicist Liz and editor Jessica for an early meal before my Friday night signing. Then, over to The Point.

thepoint052206 Weekend Update

As soon as we walked through the door, I saw the group of knitters hanging out at the big table and spotted Cara. But for some reason it didn’t register with me that that was, of course, Ann sitting next to her until Ann introduced herself to me. I was so excited to meet Onslow’s mom. Ann, if I remember correctly, I signed your book “Love to Onslow.” Sorry about that. There’s always Wite-out.

And then a lovely woman with a beautiful smile presented me with a gift bag containing a jar of apple butter and a jar of apricot hazelnut preserves, a gift from Snow, made by Bakerina. It took me a couple of moments to realize that the lovely woman was Bakerina! Yes, I am slow.

Anyhow, hijinks ensued. I was welcomed warmly by The Point owner Helane, I did my reading from my book, went around and signed books and talked to as many people as I could. Then Bakerina phoned Snow and we all talked to her. Snow, I apologize for screaming in your ear “SNOW!!!! WHAZZUP???” I hope by now you have regained your hearing.

thepoint052206a Weekend Update

I think we left The Point a good hour after the event was supposed to over, but we were having so much fun. What a great knit hangout it is — with gorgeous yarn too! I think I started to hyperventilate at the sight of the Fleece Artist stuff. Publicist Liz managed to stuff me in a cab and send me back to my hotel before I did any permanent damage to myself. Or to others.

Saturday

I was scheduled to spend the day in Montclair, NJ and was told a car would pick me up at my hotel and take me there. I don’t know what I was expecting, but at the appointed time, there was a black Lincoln limo, complete with tinted glass windows and driver in dark suit, waiting for me outside the hotel, with a sign in the front window with my name on it. How cool is that?

The driver leapt out and opened the door for me, and off we went.

First stop was Modern Yarn. The driver had a bit of trouble finding the shop, but find it we did, although we were at the wrong end of a one-way street. I said “Oh, that’s fine — let me out here and I’ll walk down.” (It was like half a block.) Nothing doing — he backed the limo down the one-way street and parked in front of Modern Yarn, leapt out and opened the door for me. (This is a far cry from my usual modes of transport, but I really think I could get used to it.)

modernyarn052206 Weekend Update

I was a bit early, so I had some time to look around this fabulous shop. Owner Paige was wonderful! Modern Yarn has a lot of beautiful yarn that you don’t see just anywhere — I spotted some yarn from Tintagel Farm and Terra, and I bought some one-of-a-kind handspun wool:

handspun052206 Weekend Update

The brand name on this is “Handspun on the Web” and I’ve got about 300 yards.

Modern Yarn also has a lot of my favorite yarns. This is a shop I wish was in my neighborhood!

Shortly thereafter, Deb and Risa came, with Risa’s two adorable little ones. We had a nice conversation about yarn and spinning and dogs, etc. and posed for photos.

modernyarn052206a Weekend Update

Deb and I got silly and took pictures of each other taking pictures of each other:

deb052206 Weekend Update

Deb, I covet your hair!

I also met Ann in CT’s mom — Ann is a frequent commenter on my blog but was unable to come herself, so sent her mom to get her book signed. So Ann, this photo is for you!

annsmom052206 Weekend Update

It was a lovely visit and I think I stayed quite a bit past my time at Modern Yarn. I had a schedule to stick to, so I finally packed up my stuff and headed over to Stix-n-Stitches.

stixstitches052206 Weekend Update

More fun and hijinks ensued! I spent a couple of hours hanging out at the back table with a wonderful group of women. I met Monica, who took a great photo of the WendyKnits banner that L-B made for me hanging in the Stix-n-Stitches window — photo is on her blog. Scroll down for it.

And I had such a good time with Julie and Sheri and Remy and the others whose names I’m afraid I’ve forgotten, in my excitement. Here I am with Sheri:

sheri052206 Weekend Update

And a group shot of me with some of my new friends:

stixstitches052206a Weekend Update

This shop is also fabulous — lots of my favorite yarns and a bunch I never get to see in person. I bought some Claudia handpainted sock yarn and some Shaeffer Anne:

sockyarn052206 Weekend Update

I was having so much fun there, that when the car came to pick me up, the driver had to come in and get me and drag me away. Different driver for the trip back to Manhattan.

I got in the car and he said: “It looks like you were having fun. You spent the day with friends?”

Me: Actually, I was doing a book signing.
Him: Oh, and your friends all came. That was so nice of them.
Me: I’ve never met any of those people before today.

This impressed him a great deal — seeing as how we were all acting like old friends. And that’s what we felt like. This is another shop that I want in my neighborhood. Sheila, the owner, encouraged me to come back soon, and I sure will if I can.

So. Back to Manhattan. It was early, and by pre-arrangement I phoned Blogless Margaret who very kindly invited me to her home. So I uptown, where I met her gorgeous husband and stunning Siberian kitties, Kiki and Teddy. As soon as I came through her front door, the baby, Kiki, ran up to me and head-butted my hand, just like Lucy does. What a way to make me feel welcome! This is Kiki:

kiki052206 Weekend Update

This is Teddy:

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And me holding Kiki:

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I know Lucy will forgive me. icon smile Weekend Update

Blogless Margaret and I went out to dinner at Citrus Bar & Grill on Amsterdam Ave. Mmmmmmmmmm . . . dinner:

tequila052206 Weekend Update

Okay, I did actually eat some food as well — extremely good sushi. And after that, we watched a movie on DVD at Blogless Margaret’s home and indulged in some knitting — a wonderful way to unwind after an exciting day!

Sunday

Checked out of the hotel and headed to Knitty City. Wow! another fun, friendly shop that I want in my neighborhood. I was warmly greated by owner Pearl and made to feel completely at home.

knittycity052206 Weekend Update

Shortly after I arrived, author Mason-Dixon Kay came through the door. I’ve long considered Kay a Blog Goddess (even more so now since she posted a photo of me on Mason-Dixon Knitting that makes me look like I have only one chin), but I will from this day forth consider her a Food Goddess as well, for she brought me a tote bag containing a delicious deli lunch (complete with ice pack) from Zabar’s to have on the train going home, and a bag of H&H bagels for the KOARC.

I had eaten breakfast at 8am, and would not arrive home til 8pm, so the deli lunch was the most thoughtful and most useful gift I can imagine. And Kay include a bar of 82% dark chocolate in it. Swoon.

I did a reading, signed books, and we had a lovely informal discussion. Mary, who I know from my comments, took a number of great photos and sent me the link to them — here. They are much better than the ones I took so please go see!

Too, too soon, I had to leave, because I had to catch the train home. Blogless Margaret, (did I mention that she is a true Manhattan Goddess?) took me on the subway and got me to Penn Station with 10-15 minutes to spare before I had to board my train. If I had attempted that by myself, I’d still be on the subway platform. Whimpering.

Lucy had had a wonderful time while I was gone, playing with her Daddy.

lucy052206 Weekend Update

But she seems content to have me home!

lucy052206a Weekend Update

Tomorrow? Back to work. Talk about back to reality with a thud!

Thank-you to all of you I had the good fortune to meet over the past few days. I had an amazing and unforgettable weekend thanks to all of you!

Good Sock Knitting Day

Sunrise this morning:

sky051806 Good Sock Knitting Day

I started the second of my Spirit-Trail socks on the train this morning — got the toe done.

I had a multi-agency three-hour meeting this morning. In a fit of optimism, I brought my sock-in-progress. I don’t know why, because I never bring knitting to work meetings. The only time I ever knit during working hours is during conference calls when I am alone in my office.

But I brought my knitting. When I arrived at the designated conference room, the organizer greeted me and asked me if I brought my knitting.

Now, that sounds like permission to knit to me. Doesn’t it to you? The meeting was accompanied by PowerPoint presentations. The lights were dimmed and I discreetly and happily knitted under the table.

So I got a whole boatload of work done on the sock in progress. After the meeting came lunchtime knitting group. More progress. Then the trip home.

So here it is in its current state.

sock051806 Good Sock Knitting Day

We are pleased.

This Weekend!

The weekend starts tomorrow morning for me, when I board a train and head to Manhattan. The weekend’s events are listed in my sidebar, but I will repeat them here:

May 19, 2006, 6pm: The Point, New York, NY

May 20, 2006, 11am-1pm: Modern Yarn, Montclair, NJ

May 20, 2006, 2-4pm: Stix-n-Stitches Yarn, Montclair, NJ

May 21, 2006, 12:30-2pm: Knitty City, New York, NY

So there you have it. I hope to see some of you this weekend. I’ll be the one knitting on this:

project051806 Good Sock Knitting Day

I’m getting home late on Sunday, so will not be posting here again until Monday.

And Lucy will be enjoying spending some quality time with her Daddy this weekend.

lucy051806 Good Sock Knitting Day

Not So Much With the Knitting Progress

The Little Princess required that I play with her for quite an extended period last night, so knitting time was severely curtailed.

lucy051706 Not So Much With the Knitting Progress

I do, however, have one finished sock:

sock051706 Not So Much With the Knitting Progress

This is knitted in sock yarn I purchased from Spirit-Trail at the MDS&W festival. (P.S. to those of you who have asked me what yarn it is — I always list the details of my works in progress over in the sidebar. Well, except for the shawl I just finished. But that wasn’t a “real” project — that was a diversion.)

Because I have little progress to show, I present instead a photo essay.

This week I did an impromptu photoshoot for work — they wanted still photos of a particular courthouse to be used in a training video we are making. Okay, here you go:

wrongcourthouse051706 Not So Much With the Knitting Progress

Except . . . that’s the wrong courthouse. Oops. Try again:

dccourthouse051706 Not So Much With the Knitting Progress

That would be the wrong courthouse, too. In my defense, there are a lot of courthouses here. Third time was the charm:

rightcourthouse051706 Not So Much With the Knitting Progress

And it even has a cool statue out front:

statue051706 Not So Much With the Knitting Progress

Do you feel properly diverted?

Oh. The yarn posing on the computer in yesterday’s post? That’s some of my handspun — it’s the last item documented on this page. It’s going with me on my trip to NY and NJ this weekend and it’s going to be knitted into . . .

Gotta run! Lucy wants to play.

lucy051706a Not So Much With the Knitting Progress