Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Doesn't everyone plan vacation around yarn shops?

Or is that just me? We got the oddest look from the Canadian customs officer...

But first, we have to back up a bit to the domestic vacation. AKA a weekend in Oregon. I went to Black Sheep Gathering for the first time this year. I highly recommend it. I had such fun. I took three classes with Judith MacKenzie McCuin. I love taking classes from Judith but I learned something about taking classes this time as well as learning from the classes. I learned that I need assimilation time. When I took classes while at home, I had time in the evenings to practice what I had learned and review it mentally. But when I was in a hotel with family that wanted mommy time I didn't get to play and review. So next time, one class per day max.

I had lots of fun at BSG in the shopping arena too. I bought fiber every second time I went by the Tactile Fiber Arts booth I think (and I went by a lot). I also bought two fleeces. Both second prize winners in their classes.

A lovely slightly variegated grey Romney.

And a gorgeous black Wensleydale.

I needed to buy fleeces about as much as I dunno, a polar bear needs to buy snow? But they are sooooo pretty. Of course, now I have to wash fleece. And not so much in the time to do it department but that is a story for a different post. The Romney is from Fox Hollow Farm and Fiber right there in Eugene Oregon, and the Wensleydale is from Black Pines Sheep in Colorado.

I learned how to make the kind of sock yarn Judith likes (and why she likes it) and that I can indeed spin finer than I think I can. I learned how to spin really really fine too. And then I came home and had barely a week at home before we went off on another vacation and lots of stuff to do before we could go. So I didn't get a chance to spin (or even finish putting my wheel back together properly after its dismantling to get it into the car - GASP!!!) for weeks. I must remember next time to also allow two full weeks of limited obligations at home so I can practice what I have learned.

Our second vacation was a real actual week long one to visit my SIL in New York State. We flew into Rochester and since we were there it only made sense to take the child and hubby to see Niagara Falls.
That blue head on the left might be the FoUI.

And once you're at Niagara Falls, you might as well go to Canada. And once you're in Canada you might as well go to Toronto, and once you're in Toronto there's a yarnaholic's tonne of yarn shops. (I feel like a mouse with a pancake.) Sadly I had to pick only one but I picked a good one. Lettuce Knit is in the coolest neighborhood! Possibly many cities have multiple neighborhoods like that but I'm from the suburban sprawl of California and we don't have anything that vibrant around here. I was probably too effusive in my praise because the offspring felt compelled to announce that we were not moving to Canada.

When we were going into Canada the customs officer got rather an odd expression on his face when my DH answered the "why are you coming to Canada" question with "to buy yarn". I can see why he'd be suspicious of us, we already answered the "how long" question with "a few hours" which has gotta make people wonder. Although as near as we could tell hundreds (maybe thousands) of Canadians were going to America for the day. We found that a bit puzzling particularly since it was Canada Day. Which would have been a great excuse for why we were visiting, if we had known before we got to the customs officer.

The best part of that whole excursion to Canada? I got some yarn I've been just missing getting other places for over a year. 2 skeins of Dream In Color Fatty in Beach Fog.

Now if only I could remember why I wanted them...

In New York we did quite a few touristy things. We went to Corning to the Glass Museum and make our own blown glass ornaments. I find that whole thing alarmingly cool. Alarmingly because I need a new hobby (particularly one that requires large expensive things like kilns) like that aforementioned polar bear needs more snow. But it was a lot of fun and look at the pretties:

Mine is the blue and purple stripy one, my DH made the blue and yellow one.

And then on our way to arrange to take an evening boat ride around one of the lakes, we went to the neatest yarn shop. Finger Lakes Fibers is a great shop. Lots of interesting yarns. Lots of local yarns. Seats for the non yarnies. And they carry Brooklyn Handspun (which I had yet to succeed at getting a skein of) and they had one that called my name.
Soft Spun Plus in Hydrangea

I think I will succumb to temptation and use this to make the Hydrangea socks in The Eclectic Sole. Finger Lakes Fibers does a local fiber tour which includes a visit to Schaefer but I missed it by a week. They are also doing one to Ireland which is kinda tempting except I think I am going to be busy even if it weren't already too late.

That's enough for today this is already awful long.


Sheepish Annie said...

Wow. When you really do it up right!!!!

Susan Pandorf said...

Sounds like a great vacation to me!

AlisonH said...

Wow. Love the ornaments. Love that you got to go to Lettuce Knit!

Lynne S of Oz said...

You alive still? :-0