Friday, April 11, 2008

Trekking Around...and Out!

Trekking Socks
The eternal sock project

Well, maybe not eternal. I started these in January, but I had a more pressing spinning project going and lots and lots (and lots and lots and lots) of meetings through the winter. I didn't get nearly as much done during the down time as I had hoped. But I never do. I'm almost finished with the socks, though, and I love the Trekking yarn, purchased at Mosaic Yarn Shop in Blacksburg on the advice of lovely Cheryl. I'm still not quite finished, but when I can bring myself the close the toe I'll be done!

The yarn part of the shop
Spin a Yarn...Weave a Web

I headed into North Carolina on Tuesday to pick up hand crafted triangle looms from Lura, who lives just across the line. It was another dull, overcast day but I enjoyed the trip across the hills to tiny Grassy Creek. Mom went with me last time we visited Lura but she was busy with book fair at the school this week. Lura's farm is nested under the hills across from an old white frame church. It would have been nice to see it in the sunshine. The looms are in the shop now and look very handsome!

After I left Lura's I headed through the hills along a winding mountain road toward West Jefferson, to visit with friend Jane at a yarn shop she frequents. By the time I reached the town I was starving and cranky. Poor Jane rushed me out to a wonderful restaurant on the main street and fed me, and I was soon more myself! While we were eating we caught up on the news; Jane has been doing some traveling herself and we had some notes to compare about things.

Good fiber friends
Good fiber friends

I was in a much better frame of mind after lunch and ready to enjoy a yarn shop visit. Gracious Nancy greeted us with the news that a guild from Virginia had arrived, and to my delight I discovered that it was the Mountain Homespun group that I used to belong to, oh, so long ago! Several of the original members were still part of the group and it was lovely to catch up with how the years have been treating my old friends. It was especially nice to see sweet Shirley and Lou, and beautiful Susan, who is one of the most talented knitters I've ever known. Delightful Sandy had lots of news to share for the guild, and I think they had fun shopping!

Jane and the little one
Jane and the little one

After the guild left things settled down a bit and I was able to look around the shop a bit. I found samples that Jane had knitted from some of her handspun, and a display of her yarns near some roving and some funky hand made hats. A shipment of yarn had come in and we got to fondle some new purchases and admire the colors. In between her many tasks I was able to talk to Nancy a little and find out about the shop and what they do. Spin a Yarn...Weave a Web was staffed that day by four generations of her family, including fourteen-month-old Chelsea (I hope I have the name right!). Along with the yarn and tools for knitting and spinning, Nancy stocks hand crafted items by local artisans and locally grown foods. It makes for a lot to take in with one visit to the shop.

Recent Yarn Purchases
Recent Yarn Purchases

Of course I had to buy some yarn; how can you visit a yarn shop without buying? I chose more sock yarn, two skeins of ONline Supersocke Cotton Beach. I haven't worked with cotton sock yarn yet but I love the softness of this yarn in the skein and the delicate colors. I have an idea I might make a pair of cabled knee socks with this. The little skein on the left is Toofutsies that I fell for at Mosaic when I visited last. My other purchases at Spin a Yarn included some local honey and some heritage seed packs for planters at the store.

The rest of the week has been quiet, but the sun finally came out yesterday. There have been no walks for the early morning crew in over a week, thanks to damp and drizzle, but yesterday Lily and I ventured down Concord road to meet Kym and Bently. We had a lovely walk with lots more talk to catch up on the news. I came home in the early morning light as the stars faded; it was lovely to see daylight across the wet fields.

Speaking of Kym, she introduced me recently to an absolutely awesome place to buy clothes, and it's seriously cutting into my yarn stash budget. The Ross store in Christiansburg opened up recently, and I think we've hit it three times, for hours of shopping. I'm not a shop-till-I-drop type, either, but this place is awesome. I'm ruining my thrift store image, but Oprah looked at me one day last winter out of the TV screen and said, "Girl, loose those sorry-**** ugly flat shoes you been wearing for THREE years now." Yes, ma'am.

This morning one of the local sheep farmers got me out of bed (not really; I was reading with Lily tucked in beside me after our walk) and sold me some beautiful carded Coopworth. And I'm expecting Sandra from Atlantic Breeze Alpacas in just a few minutes to show me a new shipment of alpaca yarn and roving. I'd tell you about the wonderful yarn that Linda from Little Bit of Heaven sent down, but it almost all sold over the weekend!

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