Saturday, September 26, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Seems it has been forever since I sat down to update this blog-not really, it just seems that way. So what have I been doing and where have I been? Knitting, spinning, reading, working and to Virginia answers those questions. Knitting on socks, a lace scarf; spinning more Leiscester & Dorset and some alpaca/merino blend; reading more Donna Leon 'Inspector Guido Brunetti' books (once you start this series, you can't stop); spending Sunday's at The Spinnery working; and dining with former colleagues at a wonderful B&B and visiting good friends at their beautiful home in Virginia. Also spending time with good friends - both old & new and welcoming in my favorite season of the year- Autumn!

The SS09 socks are completed and have already been worn on a couple of our cooler days and the Cat's Paw scarf is just rows from being completed. I have already decided on my next lace scarf pattern - 'Branching Out' which I will knit in Shetland yarn. My needles also hold another pair of socks, of course, my needles always hold at least one pair of socks in the works. This pattern is perfect for Autumn but since this pattern requires diligence and concentration, I will be casting-on another pair that will be portable. I finished the fourth (!!) Penllyn sock this morning -so I can justify casting on another pair of socks - Yea! I say 'pair' because that is what I will do - cast-on a pair and I think it will be toe-up on Magic Loop. The Falling Leaves sock required me to finally get a grip on making a short-row heel and I find it quick and not too awful looking. I also like not having to pick-up gusset stitches, my least favorite part of knitting socks. You may also remember that I will not have to purchase any yarn to begin a new pair of socks, another plus; even though, just this week, I had 2 new skeins of gorgeous sock yarn join their new friends in my stash. These yarns are from Blue Moon Fiber Arts and are called Gail's Autumn Joy and Fall "On Tap" - you can just imaging the colors; now tell me, how could I have resisted these yarns!

Oh, yes, I also attended the Garden State Sheep & Fiber Fest a couple of weeks ago with my DH and a friend, an excellent knitter and just getting into spinning; and, yes, I did come home with more fiber and yarn. But, I had to - I had no choice! One must support ones local merchants, mustn't one? And this same friend and I took a 2 session Drop Spindle class at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison, NJ. A good class with an excellent teacher and we both came away with a skein of 2-ply drop-spindled yarn and a desire to spin some more on our drop spindles. It will never replace my wheel but I feel like a more complete spinner since I can now spin and ply decent yarn on the drop spindle. BTW, if you are in the area and have never visited this gem of a museum - drop in sometime.
During my sojourn from 'blog updating' I made my first needle felted item - a little pumpkin, just in time for Autumn. This process is fun and I see some simple Christmas presents being made over the next few weeks. It is sure faster than knitting presents for everyone. And, finally, I taught (and got paid to do it!) my first knitting class at The Spinnery last week - I really enjoyed it and am now writing a Socks 101 class that I will teach on November 14, 2009. This is wine-making time and DH is vamping up for that this coming weekend. So things have not been quiet at Davenport Pines while I have been away from my blog. Hope all of you have been busy, happy and well. 'See' you soon.

PS. If you have not seen the movie 'Julia & Julie' - don't miss it!
PPS. As I read back over this Blog entry - I realize how correct Eric (Julie's husband in the movie) was when he said to Julie "It is all about you." By its nature a Blog is all about you - hmmm, I have to think about if I like that.