My current work in progress:

Beadwork, by Jade Starmore, knit from Wendy Guernsey, using 2.75mm needles.

A LYS Visit and a Contest

Hey, guess where I went today?

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If you said Fibre Space, you are right.

Fibre Space is a new-ish (opened last summer) yarn shop in my hometown — Alexandria, VA. And I finally made time for a visit. It’s located on North Fayette Street in Old Town. Great location — there was plenty of street parking within a block of the shop, and there is a Five Guys across the street. ๐Ÿ˜€

Here are a few images of the shop. The street view:

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They just decorated their front window for the holidays:

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They have excellent taste in the books they have for sale:

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They have a great classroom off the main room:

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And they’ve got lots of yarn!

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The owner, Danielle, kindly allowed me to photograph her behind the counter:

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I’ll be doing an event in conjunction with Fibre Space in a couple of months (more on that next week) so it was about time I stopped by to check out the shop.

A Contest!

Y’all remember that I did a sock design for the Dye Dreams Four Seasons Sock club — right? What you may not know is that the lovely ladies at Dye Dreams have also started a Four Seasons Mitten Club — and they asked me to do a mitten design for the first club offering — the winter mittens.

And I need your help.

I’ve created the mitten pattern and love it but I have one problem — I can’t for the life of me think of a good name for the pattern. Here’s the mitten design:

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Another view:

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We want a winter-themed name. Any ideas?

Leave your suggestion for a name in the comments to this post by noon eastern time this Sunday, November 29. We’ll pick a name from the suggestions and the person who suggested the winning name will win a kit to knit the mittens!

Lucy sez

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“Those of us with floofy feet don’t need mittens.”

Almost Wordless Wednesday

A November day:

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A Droid resting quietly (next to peppermints from The Loopy Ewe):

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Still life with banana and pen:

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A sock nearing completion:

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Possible yarn choice for next sock design:

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My supervisor:

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A Slick Trick

This is not a knitting trick, but a trick for the Droid phone, which is my new favorite toy.

I was all set to purchase the multimedia docking station for the Droid — the one that charges it while displaying weather, time, photos, etc. I figured I’d replace my alarm clock with this nifty little solution that costs $29.99.

Well, you can download a free app from the Android Market called “Dockrunner.” It puts your Droid into multimedia mode without the dock. Here’s my little Droid running multimedia mode and going commando without a dock. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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You need to plug your charger in on what is now the bottom of the phone, so you do need some sort of stand for it if you want it to stand up nicely on your nightstand.

I ordered this stand from ThinkGeek.com for $3.99. Beats $30!

I’ve had my Droid for a week, and I am still in love with it.

Current Knitting

I’m working on a sock design using the lovely MacKintosh Iona sock yarn pictured in yesterday’s blog post. Here is the first sock, which I completed yesterday:

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I’m calling the design “Thistle and Heather Socks” and it will eventually be available for sale from MacKintosh Yarns.

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Or maybe “Heather and Thistle Socks.”

We Have a Winner

The winner of the Nicky Epstein book is Carol R., chosen by the great and mighty Random Number Generator. Thank-you to everyone who left a comment. If your name is Carol R., check your email. ๐Ÿ™‚

Psssst! I’ll have another book to give away later this week . . .

Meanwhile, Lucy hasn’t done any more mountain climbing.

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Shaky Old Geezers of the World Unite

I’m happy to hear that I’m not the only one who finds the lack of a viewfinder on a point and shoot camera unacceptable. Yes, even with image stabilization, I find my photos too shaky. But most of my blog photos are taken with this:

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That’s a Canon SLR camera. It’s an older model — I bought it in 2006. There are newer models now that do much more, but this one works very well for me.

Speaking of stuff that works well, I recently bought the new Boye electric ballwinder. It retails for around $70 – $90, depending on where you buy it. If you do a Google search on “Boye electric ballwinder” you’ll find a bunch of buying options. Here it is in action:

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It has a big suction cup on the bottom of it so you can attach it firmly to pretty much any flat surface. And it has variable speed, which you adjuct by sliding the on/off button.

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And it does a nice job of winding.

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What’s that yarn I’ve wound up?

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That is a skein of MacKintosh Yarns Iona fingering weight, which is a blend of 80% superwash merino, 10% nylon, and 10% cashmere. The colorway is “Maude.” I’m doing a sock design for MacKintosh Yarns. But I’ll talk about that later.

That means that I finished my Cloister Socks.

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Lucy has taken to mountain climbing. Here she is on top of the wall unit in my living room.

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(I had to get up on a step-stool to get her down because she was scared to jump down.)

Solomons Island

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Early Saturday morning I hopped in my car for the 90-minute drive down to Solomons Island, Maryland.

The private knitting retreat I mentioned last week was held in a beautiful Victorian house, owned by the organizer of the event. This is the front of the house.

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Isn’t it gorgeous? Built in the 1880s, if I am remembering properly, it has been fully restored and is a lovely place for a group of happy, feisty knitters to spend a weekend.

This is the view from the front lawn, with the house behind me:

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The house is on the very tip of the island, with just the road in-between it and the water.

On Saturday we had two sock classes — toes techniques in the morning, and heel techniques in the afternoon. Our hostess Marie provided a wonderful breakfast and lunch, and after the second class she put out a sundae bar. You know, to help us keep up our strength after all the work we did.

We all went over to the Solomons Pier Restaurant for dinner. It was pounding down rain for parts of the afternoon and evening, but we were able to see the spectacular sunset from our table.

The evening was spent in knitting, spinning and conversation. Some of our group were staying in the house, some at nearby hotels or motels.

Sunday morning was the sock design class. Here is Denise, who started a toe in Saturday’s class and that night looked up my sock templates on my website to adjust the heel to fit her foot, and knit the heel that night:

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Beautifully fitting sock, Denise!

All too soon the weekend was over. We had another yummy lunch, courtesy of Marie, and then gathered on the front lawn for a group shot.

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Then back in the car for the quick drive home. Thank you, all! I had a wonderful weekend.

Oh, and guess what I finished Friday night? Lucy wanted to give you a hint:

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“It’s my new kitty blanket!”

Yeah, we’ll talk.