This is beautiful stuff:
That full sun shot washes the deep colors a bit, but I wanted to show the amazing color blends. I've been looking for the right yarn to make one of these shadow knitting capes for a while, but couldn't make the commitment. The depth of color and amazing hand of this Baby Twist from Alpaca with a Twist made the choice for me.
The book's photos don't do the garment justice. I tried a version of this on at my LYS a few years ago when they had a trunk show at the time of the release and loved it. Went on my long term wish list, but I just didn't want the rough wool spec'd. Enter alpaca.
But before I cast on anything else, I'm going to finish this sweater that I started on the plane ride from Louisville.
Rowan Classic Natural Silk Aran in a simple cardigan pattern from their Coast book. I've added shaping because it flatters and because I think my gauge was off. Part of my design-as-you-go philosophy. Up to the armholes now.
No pattern planned for this yet, but linen just makes sense here. Again, the bright sun, but otherwise this color is a bit muddy. OK, it's a bit muddy regardless, but a good, spa-soak kind of muddy. Not a side of the road after the snow melts kind of muddy.
Where did a get this lovely goodness? The Knit Nook in Louisville. Mother/daughter team have a fantastic yarn range, the latest books, a very welcoming environment and even a blog. I think we visited three times over four days - I got a touch giddy at the sight of new yarn. I let myself shop while traveling with a bit more abandon than when at home - the whole "Hey, I'm on vacation" bit. The shop is in the Highlands area, so if you're driving through Louisville on the 65 or 71 or visiting downtown you're just a few minutes away. Coffee shop next door is local and has great espresso, so you can get all your critical needs met. If you're a fabric person too, walk down about a block to the unimpressive looking minimall (a mid-century aberration in this otherwise beautiful Victorian neighborhood) to find the Forget Me Knot quilt shop with their Kaffe Fassett/Westminster prints right at the front door. They cut fat quarters too!
The weather over Easter break didn't offer much outdoor fun, so my mom had a great idea to take the girls to The Little Loomhouse for a morning of activity. This organization works to keep the weaving traditions alive by teaching adults and children about weaving and offering hands-on demonstrations. They have school groups, scouting and other clubs come for group demos, so if you want to stop by I'd suggest calling first. We had the place to ourselves so we got the weaver's full attention.
Each of us was allowed to choose a small loom already strung (sorry, the terminology escapes me at the moment) and the shuttle ready to throw. I can't recommend this more highly! We had fun and the girls were deeply engaged for well over an hour - not bad for a five year old. Just yesterday I found Emily's weaving being used as a rug in her dollhouse - perfect.
She did a great job with the shuttle, but we found that having me sit behind her and work the foot peddles really helped because she had trouble reaching them while reaching forward to throw. I'd say younger than five might get frustrated, but she got the rhythm going nicely. Rachel needed no help and had all the focus of a crafty nine year old. Sally said the boy's groups do just as well because they get involved in the mechanical element of it all. Never hurts to tell them that traditionally weavers were manly men in a guild.
The have larger, much more complex looms there too and advanced classes and activities for serious weavers. A wooden loom is a thing of beauty.
So, to what conflict am I alluding in the title? Well, working in the garden vs knitting and quilting of course. Finished two beds and the rest is almost packed full, so this will end soon. My DH is working on building steps and a path, along the bottom of the slope, so planting over there will wait. Starting to see the fruit of my labor though.
That's David Austin's Golden Celebration on the left and his Molineux and William Shakespeare 2000 on the right. Both vases we bought yesterday at the Palomar Collage student art sale. I've seen the notices in the past but never made it there. Lately I've realized that I don't have any good medium sizes vases. I'd browsed TJMaxx, Home Goods, etc, but left empty handed. OK stuff, but I wanted something unique. Everything at this sale is made by the students and they get to keep 75% of each sale. Much of the execution is imperfect but some work is gallery quality - all levels of students are encouraged to show, which I think is great. Anyway, the imperfections don't really matter to me and sometimes I think they actually accentuate the flower arrangement. Minor flaws are more than made up for by the sense of joy you can feel when you look at the pieces. The "Damn, I MADE that!" excitement is embedded with the colors in the glass. That's a feeling I think we can all understand.