Thursday, May 16, 2013

 One of my good knitting buddies has been on a short medical leave  from her Real Job lately, and it's meant that I've had company in the "office" over here for the last week or so.   This has been awesome (well, maybe more awesome for me than for her since I didn't have any stitches....) and it was happy distraction to have somebody to comment on stitch dictionaries with.   Truth be told, she is really nice and claims to like almost all of the motifs and ideas that I sketch, and then furrows her brow when I shoot them down five minutes later in favor of the next Big Idea, which lasts about as long.  After a few days over here, she's pretty surprised anything ever gets knit in the end.

 But, she's about to be drawn back into the world of real employment and responsibility - as opposed to enjoying the sunny days and  indecision of a flighty at-home designer with me.   And I'll have to get used to talking to myself all over again.

We decided we should wrap it up with a textile related outing, and spent the day in Lowell yesterday.  First of all, I want to shoot all my sweaters here for the next year.  Between canals, brick architecture, trolley cars and outdoor cafes, I will never run out of spots.  Plus outdoor cafes = drinks.


We had big plans to go to into the actual Mill or Quilt Museum, but were waylaid by one of those cafes and some glasses of wine.  Instead, our day consisted of a yarn shop visit, some walking, a lot of photo taking, a pretty awesome lunch, a very cool vintage everything store, and planning for a trip back to go to the museums Another Day.  

We absolutely will be coming back - both for the museums and the aforementioned yarn store.   
We thought that Classic Elite Yarns had their offices and outlet yarn shop in town, which was what gave us the idea for the trip in the first place.  Turns out they've moved a bit to North Billerica, which we probably should have known, but hey.  Luckily we figured it out on the internet first and undeterred, we just made the yarn stop on the way. 

The yarn shop is called the Hub Mills Store and is in Classic Elite's office building, which means they have ALL of the Classic Elite yarns and never run out of colorways because bags and bags and bags are stored in the back.  It also meant that we got to  bother say hi to our friend Claudine in the middle of her workday!

I got a few things for swatching.  Including one of my all time favorite yarns, which had fallen off my radar - Classic Silk. -- it's from one of my first patterns - Nantucket Red -  and I just love the stuff,  but hadn't touched it in a while.   As soon as I saw this bluey-purple colorway, I knew it was coming home again.
I may have grabbed a few other things too.   In front is some Montera in a color I already think of as Brandied Cherry, and it's in serious need of fat cables.  Next to that is a skein of Kumara, which blooms into a soft, thick aran fabric when washed and is begging for lace.   There was more, but I showed restraint. 

I'm afraid that the yarn sale from earlier this week has done little to counteract what's happening in my Fall/Winter 2013 basket. 

So I cast on today for Tanqueray in the hopes of getting through all those skeins.   Tanqueray will be something simple with a cool detail that feels very Great Gatsby to me.   The yarn is Green Mt Spinnery's Cotton Comfort, in a gorgeous silvery gray.   Twisted rib, stockinette, and this time - surprise.... seams!  

 In preparation for all the knitting, my herbs are looking ready for use.   Some of the  liquid kind of Tanqueray will be paired with smooshed basil and a squeeze/twist of orange, and a splash of tonic later tonight.  

I also have rosemary, two kinds of mint, sage and oregano.  Let's call it a food herb garden, but you all know better. 
I'll need dill for my gin.


diana said...

I furrowed my brow? Loved sharing my sick time with you! xoxo

Hilary said...

That sounds so fun! Nice yarn haul, too!

And I'm SO using the reasoning in your last paragraphs to talk my husband into planting an herb garden at our new place.

Ellen Mason said...

If only I could bottle the smell of the Lowell Mills (hot gears and grease soaked hardwood, with musty undertones). Been there three times, and always stop to draw in a big whiff, eyes closed. Andover textile museum is good too!

Kathy said...

I love Classic Silk too -- I knit a baby dress for Cheryl's daughter in a great green. It drapes great, shows lace -- it's just great yarn!!

dianne said...

I did not know about the museums in Lowell! That will be a perfect thing to do some day. I clicked on the link for the Hubs Mills Store.....I sooo should not have done that! Wow, they have a great line up!

by Annie Claire said...

I just picked up some cotton comfort too! Cant wait to see what you're creating with it... and you're herbs, I have the same thing going on... I'm growing a particular mint appropriately named 'mojito', for my first post pregnancy drink! ha! due early July :)

Susan said...

I live in Lowell and actually recognized the city from the pictures you posted - even before I had read the blog. So glad you enjoyed your visit to our mill city, and delighted to hear you'll be coming back for pictures. There are indeed MANY scenic spots. The Quilt Museum is a treasure! I wish you could have seen the exhibit in honor of Fenway Park that they hosted last summer. It was fabulous. The American Textile Museum (moved from Andover to Lowell several years ago) is another treasure with great exhibits. I, too, was disappointed when the Hub Mills Store moved to Billerica, but it still close enough. Hope to see you in the city some day.