Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Travels

Christmas is my favorite time of year. There is such joy in the air.  The music is happy.  There are jingle bells ringing.  The neighborhoods are lit up.  There's a crispness in the air.

But the reason I like Christmas most is that I get to go home and spend two weeks with my family.  I spend a few days at my sister Gayla's house and then the rest of the time at Mom and Dad's After the first few days' frenzy of doing all my shopping, it's a chance to relax and visit with everyone. 

This year is going to be especially fun because some of the women on Ravelry that are also doing the Advent Calendar Shawl and I are going to get together!  It's amazing how one project could brig people hundreds of miles apart together.

My first day here Mom had plans for us to attend a Christmas event put on by her Sunday School teacher.  It was held at his 27 acre compound.  We had a beautiful day weather wise and had a fun time at the event.  Here are some pictures I took that day.  It's a pretty amazing place...

(l to r) Me, Mom, Gayla in front of the tree in the library

One of the sitting rooms in the library

 There were lawn ornaments:

 And live animals:

 Babies too (awwww):

There was a really pretty lake with black swans:

 We walked over a bridge that Santa was watching:

To see the peacocks:

Then we went to the train station to hitch a ride:

Gayla and Mom on the train

Our Conductor

 We had a really good time and can't wait to go back next year!

My sister and I have been on the road for two days wrapping up my Christmas shopping which is done and wrapped!  The crowds weren't too bad,  You would never know there is an economic crisis from what I've seen here.

We visited Yarntopia Monday morning and I picked up a few yummies (pics to be posted later).  Cute little yarn store.  Saleslady (owner?) was very nice. When she heard me mention that I had purchased some Prancer yarn on one of my crawls she provided me with a printout of a one skein cabled scarf.  Now I know what to do with that yarn!

I'm looking forward to visiting Twisted Yarns this year.  I always find some yarn yumminess there :)

Back to Mom and Dad's tomorrow afternoon.  Try to help mom get ready for Christmas Day.  I'll report in as I can with more news from Texas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Meeting New Friends

 Ever since learning to knit and finding Ravelry I have made some of the best friends.  Ravelry has made it possible to meet knitters all over the world and every now and then you meet some online that are close to you in proximity.

Such is the case with Deirdre and Charles (knitfooldeirdre and okijuggler).  We have so much fun online and this weekend I had the opportunity to meet them in real life and spend the day doing a yarn crawl.  It was the "funnest" day!!!  I'm sorry that Cindy and Donna couldn't join us :(

Let me apologize here for the poor quality of the yarn photos.  Got home late Sunday night and they were shot indoors and do NOTHING to showcase the beauty of them

I met Deirdre and Charles at the Bethesda Metro at about 10:00 am and our first store was Knit & Stitch = Bliss in Bethesda, MD right down the street from the Metro.

Very cute little shop.  The staff was very friendly.  Walked out with the following:

MadeleineTosh DK - Ink

Trendsetter Dune

 As we were leaving I got a pic of Charles & Deirdre.

And a little "monkey kiss" for our friend Willa on Solstice Yarns ... lol

So silly but so fun! As Deirdre remarked during the day - it felt as if we've known each other forever.

Next stop was Stitch DC in Tenleytown, Washington, DC. We stopped by to donate several skeins of brown multicolor eyelash yarns for the women refugees from Butan.

It seemed like a good time to take a little break so we stopped for lunch at Booeymonger, Friendship Heights, Washington, DC,  We sat down at our table and started sharing our projects.  Deirdre brought her Solstice Yarns Kate shawl and OMG it's amazing!!  The yarn is soooooo soft and the pattern is gorgeous!  If this were my shawl I would never take it off.  As we were sharing projects the woman sitting at the table next to us said she was a knitter and came over to admire our projects.  We exchanged Rav names and I hope she'll friend us! You just never know where you're going to meet a knitter!

Next stop on the agenda Deirdre had so carefully mapped out for us was Looped Yarn Works in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC 

This was a beautiful shop and the staff was VERY friendly.  Charles and Deirdre were known here from their work on the Coral Reef project.  Snagged these lovelies while there:

Laines du Norde - Prancer

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic - Carnelian

Wandering Wool - Rapunzel
From Looped Yarn we went to my favorite shop of the day - Fibre Space in Old Town, Alexandria, VA.  This shop is the epitome of what a yarn shop should be.  They had sofas and chairs set up by the windows that were crowded with women sitting and knitting and sharing.  The staff met us at the door (again Charles and Deirdre were known here) and were happy and friendly and helpful.  The vibe in this store was perfect!  They had a wide selection of yarns smartly displayed and identified by weight.  There were women with babies and dogs and men winding yarn.  I just wanted to settle into the sofa and get to know everyone there.  But alas, I had yarn to buy!

Sublime - Black Currant

Sublime - Sealskin

Berrocco Flicker -This yarn is actually black

Miss Babs Yowza - Clematis

Butin Collar Kit

How cute is this knitting bag?

I really hated to leave this shop :(  But we had more stores to see!

Next was Aylin’s Wool Gatherers in Falls Church, VA.  I have to admit I have never been to a yarn shop that was located in an office building.  We entered the building and went up to the third floor (down the hall from the chiropractor lol) and walked into a room full of yarn,

 Aylin's had a wide selection of yarns but felt tight and cramped.  Lighting was less than favorable.  But that did not prevent me from finding a few squishies...hehe

Cascade Heritage Silk - this is for my Advent Scarf Kal

Manos del Uruguay - Emerald Green
Also here Deirdre and Charles bought me the cutest Christmas ornament that will hang in a very special place on my tree this year.
I will get a better picture of this at a later date but isn't that the cutest thing ever???  Thanks to Deirdre and Charles!!! What a great memento of our new friendship.

The last stop of our day was Nature’s Yarns in Fairfax, VA.  Very cute shop!  The yarn was well arranged and lit, the staff friendly and had a very cozy feel about it.  I was standing in the shop with a few of my selections all blacks and greys when a gentleman walked in wanting to buy some yarn for his sister-in-law.  He had NO clue what he wanted or needed and as one of the staff was trying to narrow it down they got to color choices.  She made a remark that black and white was boring and I turned around and said "so I'm BORING??"  LOL  A good laugh was had by all.

Managed to find these pretty little things to take home

Inca Alpaca

Berrocco Lustra

Polaris - Midnight

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
Cascade 220 Superwash - Black
I have to say here that one of my pet peeves about yarn shops is that they put their stinkin' labels over the names of all the yarns and it's nearly impossible to get them off without destroying the original label.  Deirdre said there is something that you can get to remove the labels but grrrrrrrrrrrr what a pain.

After leaving Nature's Yarns Charles drove me back to my car at the Shady Grove Metro and I gave Charles a big kiss from me (and Willa).


A BIG HUGE thanks to Charles and Deirdre for taking a day to spend with me. And thanks especially to Charles for all the driving.  I'm so excited that we got to meet and get to know each other better and I can't wait to see them again.

And just because we are so are a few other pics we took...

After I got back to my friend Lois's house we decided to go see a movie.  We wanted to see the new George Clooney movie Descendent so we drove back to Bethesda.  The movie was sold out so we walked around the corner to another theater and the only movie showing close to the time we got there was J. Edgar.  I have to say this was the WORST movie I've ever seen although I did learn some things about him that I didn't know. The only good thing about the movie was the popcorn and cherry coke. lol

Easy drive home today and now it's laundry and getting ready for a short work week.

Off now to do some knitting.  Despite all the yarn shops and talk of knitting this weekend not one stitch was knit and I have a birthday shawl to finish!!!