Thursday, April 27, 2006

Southwest Washington Adventures

As you probably suspected, I brought more than just the sweater to work on for our trip. There is quite an array of stuff to knit, including a couple of new projects that I thought I’d cast on during this trip.

When I was first spinning yarn, a friend gave me a cotted fleece, a freebie for anybody in our spinning group willing to tackle it. It was from a Lincoln breed sheep, and the fiber was truly lovely - very lustrous & long. The cotted part was pretty nasty. Greasy & felted together, and a challenge just to pull apart. Once the fleece was washed, though, it was a nice spinning experience, and even though it is lumpy bumpy quite irregular newbie yarn, it should be nice for a not-next-to-skin garment. The color is silver - and the swatch looked nearly like chain mail (with lumps). Way cool.

So, after swatching, and washing the swatch, I measured and calculated the number of stitches to cast on for a vest, and jumped in. I got about 5” into the vest and realized that something was amiss, in a *very large* way. It would have comfortably fit me and my hubby, together. Apparently the Swatch Fairy had stopped by and poofed either my swatch or my arithmetic, or both, or perhaps I just picked up the wrong size needle when I started the vest. (I had tucked both a size 9 & size 10 1/2 into the bag.) Or maybe all of those things factored in. In any case, I frogged, re-swatched, re-calculated and re-started the vest.

I’d like to say that I’m on a roll now, with the vest well in progress. Yes, I’d like to say that, but . . . I’m using two balls of yarn simultaneously, you know, just like you would if you were working with two dye lots & trying to blend them. I’m doing garter stitch. So, a couple of times it appears that I’ve picked up the wrong ball of yarn & knitted back the wrong direction, which yielded something *other* than garter stitch. I’m calling these rows "design elements".

As for the other new projects that I had hoped to start, well, the Swatch Fairy has been messing with those as well. But today, I was lucky enough to find Tapesry Rose Yarn Shop in Ocean Park, which had several different types & sizes of needles from which to choose. I was led there by the handy-dandy Travel Guide, which I received from my friend Janice & her hubby for my last birthday. :-)

Tapestry Rose was wonderful. The shop’s sign was on the same building as a small cafe’s. When I entered the door, there was a corridor along the right side of the room which lead through numerous shelves of yarn into the shop, which was in a small parallel universe toward the back of the building, behind the cafe. The folks were most welcoming & helpful & I found what I needed, plus a couple of other treasures.

Just for fun, here is a photo from our trip - The North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment, near Ilwaco WA. The lighthouse is still operating today. Cape Disappointment was one of the last stops on Lewis & Clark's expedition.


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