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I Knit Around

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Music, Bloggers, and Yarn. Lots of Yarn

Gryphon and I took advantage of the great weather Saturday to get out and about.

We began right down the block from home, at the Wilton Harvest Festival. I got to Knit Around while listening to friends of ours, JoeLinda (Joe Pollock and Linda Goodman) sing some tunes.

JoeLinda on stage - Folkcat knitting on hay
Bridgette Now Has the Spirit of Music
Wearable Hug 12, aka Bridgette, has been knit on bridges and in a Chinese restaurant, and now at a concert. Connections, cultural diversity, and music. Interesting spirit we're knitting up here.

Walking around the festival brought us the usual opportunities to connect with people we know around town, but seldom see, which is always good. I got a couple of bonuses, however - one booth was set up by some teenagers who had learned to bead at my shop, and they were apparently doing very well selling their beaded jewelry at the festival! They told me how much they missed the store, and how they loved doing beadwork, and one of their mothers said the store had made a huge impact on the girls' lives.

Almost immediately after, I chatted with a woman we don't see often anymore. She's a local massage therapist, but we knew her first as the leader of an African drumming circle we used to attend, some 7 years ago. I don't remember how the subject of my current knitting came up, but she told me that the son I knitted a baby blanket for when he was born was now seven. How time flies! Even more special, she told me that her daughter, 3 years later, used the blanket, too, and they loved it and she's planning to keep it as an heirloom.

You can't help but feel good after connections like that.

Some of the other fun at the Harvest Festival included a vegetable art contest for all ages. There were some adult entries, but my favorites were the ones made by kids.

Vegetable Art Contest
Creative Vegetable Art
There was an amazing amount of imagination displayed by surprisingly young children, but I think I had a clear favorite:

Britney Broccoli Spears
Presenting: Britney Broccoli Spears!
Ms. Spears was created by a first grader, can you believe it? All the kids showed great imagination, but the attention to detail on Britney here was wonderful. She's even got a fashionable little visor on her head, and a strung bead necklace. Wonderful!

Our next stop was at my LYS. I had reached an impasse on Gryphon's sweater vest when I needed to start shaping the shoulders, and realized I didn't own enough stitch holders to do the job! I know, I could have used a piece of yarn or something - but then I wouldn't have had an excuse to go shopping, would I?

The big surprise of the visit, though, was when we were chatting with the staff on duty that day, and into the store walked a knit blog buddy, Kat! So of course, we had to blog the moment...

Knit Blogger Kat with a K
As Kat Puts It, "Blogging You Blogging Me"
And since we both had knitting with us, we got Gryphon to document us Knitting Around together.

Kat and Folkcat Knitting Around
Knitting Around in the LYS
We also got a picture of the two of us without the knitting, but my Gryphon caught me with my chin down and looking like a bullfrog in that one. If you want to see a comparable shot, however, visit Kat. The pictures he took on her camera had the opposite problem - we looked better there without the knitting than with. Go figure!

As a secondary result of the trip to the LYS, I learned that the yarn I'd picked out previously to do the entre-lac Market Squares bag from Bags: A Knitter's Dozen was probably not the best choice. Seems that the Bartlett yarn, while 100% wool, is tightly twisted enough that it won't felt well. Since I hadn't been as happy as I'd have liked with the colors anyhow, I took that as the final sign that I should trade in the Bartlett and get something more suitable.

Five Skeins of Bartlett
Bartlett - Nice Yarn, Not Right for The Intended Purpose
Instead of the Bartlett, I chose five skeins of Galway. Same yarn (in different colors) as Kat picked out for her project of the day, LOL.

Five Skeins of Galway
The Replacements - Better Colors, and Feltable
I like these colors a lot better, too - they're going to make a bright and happy tote bag.

We did some more bumming around throughout the day, but the one other significant stop* was to confirm something I'd heard some time ago - that the Dublin General Store, on Route 101 in Dublin, sold yarn.

Dublin General Store Sign, Dublin, NH
Look for This Sign to Find Them
Well, it's true! Off in one corner of the store, you'll find a small side room filled with yarn, books, and supplies. Their selection is limited (it's a very small space), but this is one of the first shops in the immediate area where I've seen a significant offering of Rowan yarns.

Dublin General Store Yarn Department
Folkcat With Some of the Yarn at the Dublin General Store
This stuff is lovely, and it was great to finally see in the wild some of the yarns that I see so many knit bloggers rave about. I know now, for instance, what the fuss is about Kid Silk Haze - they have one color of it here.

The selection may be limited, but they do have a sign posted that they can order any Rowan Spin It : Making Yarn from Scratchyarn you want. And they also carried a fingering-weight handpainted yarn called Delicious that came in marvelous colorways. As for books, I came away with a copy of Spin It: Making Yarn From Scratch. It's from Interweave Press, and it's all about hand spinning with a drop spindle - no spinning wheels here! This is exactly the book I've been looking for, as it will likely be a long time before I can afford a wheel. I've looked at other books on spinning, but they only give the briefest discussions of drop spindles before plunging you into the world of spinning wheels.

Another book that tempted me, but that I left for now....well, I don't know the title of it, because it was in Japanese! But they had on the shelf a Japanese book on felting, with a lot of cute creations for bags, hats, and little plush creatures. With my passion for all things Japanese, it was very tempting - but I couldn't argue that I needed it now as much as I could use the spinning book immediately.

The Dublin General Store may not serve all your knitting needs, but it's definitely worth remembering for the knitter looking for a slightly different perspective and selection. Plus, I don't remember their exact hours, but they're open until 7 pm or so most days of the week.

On a final note, there was an interesting tree with berries out in front of the General Store that I'm hoping someone out there can identify.

Unidentified Berry Tree, Dublin, NH
Mysterious Berry Tree
The structure of the berries is a little like raspberries, and the reddest ones you see above are ripe - that's the color of the ones that had already dropped to the ground, too. The closest thing I've found online is a mulberry tree, but that has longer raspberry-like berries that hang downward, and are deeper purple. So if anyone has a clue, please leave a comment and let me know, okay?

*Footnote: Okay, there was one other significant stop for the day. But you'll have to read about that on Monday at Confessions of a Chantraphile!

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