Saturday, October 28, 2006

Retail Therapy

Field Trip!

Last January while we were at the Green Lake Retreat, a bunch of us made the trek to Neenah, Wisconsin to check out Yarns by Design. It's a terrific shop with good high-end yarns, all the accoutrements, and a very helpful and empowering staff. I'm new enough to knitting that I'm still fearful of asking The Dumb Question, and I so appreciate that empowering part of good customer service. That's when I bought the Jamieson Shetland Spindrift that I used for the Kimono Shawl.

In about June, a postcard arrived one day telling me that because I was such a good customer, here was a $15 gift certificate. Now how much sense does this make--this shop is 120 miles from my home, gas is hovering around $2.25 a gallon, but I HAVE to get back to that shop to use that confounded gift certificate!

Whether it made sense or not, today partner-in-crime Renee and I hauled ourselves all 120 miles up to Neenah to shop. And we had success! Did anyone doubt we would?

I came home with two kinds of Blackberry Ridge Laceweight--a 50/50 wool/silk in a lovely pale aqua, and a tan 75/25 wool/silk. The handpaint is Celestial Merino Dream in a color called Sugar Maple (couldn't resist THAT), and finally a couple balls of Dalegard Hauk in a zoomy burnt orange. And there's more! I also ordered more of the Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift in a heathery pinky-lavender. Renee said she had no shopping agenda but fell victim to the siren song of a detail-laden Dale pattern and the yarn to go with it. In her hands, it will be a gorgeous project. Sometimes having no stated agenda can be very dangerous.

After the yarn shop, Renee and I headed over to the wonderful Primitive Gatherings in Menasha, Wisconsin, only a couple miles up the road. Primitive Gatherings was featured in this year's Quilt Sampler magazine. It's a pretty cool place, full of inspiration and ideas for traditional and primitive quilts and woolwork, and I'm not surprised it made the cut for national recognition. I'm not making as many traditional quilts as I used to, but those antique-y patterns and homey fabrics just suck me in every time. I bought some oranges and blacks--that proverbial Halloween quilt WILL get made some year.
And amazingly enough, they had Noro Kureyon yarn at Primitive Gatherings. I got the nerve-jangliest colorway I could find for my daughter, who has a special project in mind but hasn't been able to find Kuryeon in the DC area.
The Noro is sitting on a piece of red hand-dyed wool that I couldn't resist. I have a tomato pincushion pattern. Hmmm. Wonder in which lifetime I'll get around to making that?

Our Seams group got together this past week. We had some celebrating to do--our Mary A. won no less than three blue ribbons at a recent quilt show in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, for pieces like this and this. Mary's work is exquisite and jewel-like, and she STILL is known to hand quilt.

As always the show and tell was outstanding. Diane brought along an unusual antique Pineapple quilt made from all sorts of shimmery silks and other offbeat fabrics. It had never been backed or bound and Diane wanted our input on how much finishing this piece ought to get. Finish it or leave it be? Good question. The jury is still out.

Wonderful arrangement of funky colors.

Individual block

The blocks were foundation-pieced on shirting scraps.

We've been following the progress of Diane's Winding Ways quilt. This month, an appliqued border is in the works and look at the flowers--tiny Winding Ways.

Casey is working on turning a small pieced quilt into an embellished girly-girl quilt for her mom for Christmas.


As for me, I showed off my finished Kimono Shawl--so many in this group listened to me whine and gripe while the shawl was underway. They needed to see that YES, I actually do get things finished eventually.

Tonight I'm hard at work on my Rosedale United. After some knitting and unknitting, puzzling and brow furrowing, the long overdue lightbulb went on in my head about how to actually work the intarsia part of this project. Knitting patterns use such economy of words--would just a little bit of detail be too much to ask??

Pictures coming...


Hedgehog said...

What an incredibly talented group of women! Love your Halloween colors, too!

Cindra said...

You are so blessed to have so many beautiful projects and talented people around you.
Sounds like you had a great day yesterday!

Jan said...

The trip to use the gift certificate makes *perfect* sense! Looks like it was worth it, too. Wonderful yarns there! (I've seen the Celestial Sugar Maple knitted up...I don't think you'll be disappointed.)
And that antique pineapple top. What a find!

Tonya R said...

That pineapple quilt is INCREDIBLE. envy envy envy. This post is too long - too many things to be able to comment on, gosh darn it. Congrats to Mary for the blue ribbons - enjoyed seeing the pics of her quilts. Gorgeous stuff.

Sassenach said...

The pineapple quilt is beautiful!

I recommend either leaving it alone or mounting it (which is not the same as quilting it). A mount would "finish" it without doing the damage that quilting would, and it is a reversible process which would not detract from the value of the quilt.