Sunday, August 15, 2004

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Good morning! What we have in mind is breakfast in bed for 400,000. –Wavy Gravy at Woodstock

For those who remember, Woodstock was actually held at Max Yasgur’s Pig Farm in Bethel, NY. They’re having a 35th reunion next weekend at the Pig Farm, by the way. Thirty-five years. My God.

However, the town of Woodstock makes all sorts of financial hay to this day from an event the town didn’t host. These days, it's more or less your archetypical artsy-fartsy tourist hole, filled with people who clearly don't know that Woodstock is over, as they say. Overpriced crafts, incense burning, horrible tie-dyed t-shirts. You get the picture.

We did enjoy walking about the town. It's quite pretty and there's a beautiful stream that runs through it, a bit hidden from view.

I didn’t go to the '69 Festival—I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter Jenn and even at 19, a relatively sensible person. So I’d never been to the town—been near it but never there. However, John and I went up yesterday just for something to do.

Somehow, if the spirit of Woodstock lives on, it sure as shit doesn’t live on in the town’s two yarn shops. Feh.

However, there was a quilting shop that might have lived up to my expectations, were I a serious quilter. Another potential needlework pitfall that I must avoid, although I know how to quilt. The visions of a fabric stash along with the yarn stash and not enough time for either is monumentally frightening.

I'm happy to say that I continue to be more or less the same hippy chick I was 35 years ago, with some minor lifestyle alterations and attitude adjustments. But not many.

The Imaginary Yarn Shop
I almost never think about going to yarn shops when I’m off and running to an unknown city, state or country. Why?

First, because I don’t plan trips around yarn shopping. Ah, sacrilege to the ears of thousands of Knit List and Knit U members who wantonly post their requests for “LYS in Tierra del Fuego, OH” without doing a search.

Second, it has been my experience, with one or two exceptions, that when I do get around to checking out local yarn shops in my travels, they are inevitably filled with crap I’ve seen plenty of times before. In other words, intrepid travelers, if you go to a local yarn shop almost anywhere, you will most likely see the same old shit you’ve seen in your town.

We all have this imaginary yarn shop in our heads, which is staffed by lovely, knowledgeable people and filled to the brim with the kind of yarn we love to knit with but have never before seen. Unless you live miles from any yarn shop, this is unlikely to happen. But knitters persist in deluding themselves. Myself included.

I’ve found several shops, The Fiber Studio in Henniker, NH, about which I’ve talked before, The Yarn Shop in Laconia, NH, and Aunt Jean’s, in Clinton, NJ, which did not disappoint.

And my first trip to Patternworks’s Poughkeepsie warehouse years ago, which was probably the closest to yarn Nirvana that I’ll ever see. (I have not been to the new shop in Center Harbor, NH.)

So I’ll keep stopping and looking at yarn shops in my travels. But I know that I’ll probably see an abundance of frou-frou and very little in the way of something new and exciting.

Working the Yarn
I’m about to go off to my spinning wheel and ply up some of the Romney I showed you last week. Spun a bobbinful of the “domestic” stuff, as well. Loopy suggested that I ply one strand of the Romney with one of the domestic to see if they work. I will do. But I’m not hopeful.

Knitting has slowed to a crawl. With two days a week working in NYC as a consultant, along with my other duties as Ops Manager the other three days at Eagle Rock, it’s been a trial to wedge in some knitting. Doing it on the train helps, if I don’t fall asleep.

I’m back to finishing up the Taos, since it’s simple and will be going into the book. I’ve started a chart for some purple, lavender, and green Fair Isle socks. I know, the colors sound vile, but trust me, they work. And I’ve been doing a few yards of spinning here and there. So I suppose you could call these little half-assed efforts knitting accomplishments of some sort.

Freebie Patterns
I will be republishing That Rude German’s Socks when I get a free minute to do some work on the blog. I’ll probably put up the Wilbury sock pattern too, simply because it’s a good basic sock pattern. Not terribly exciting but it’s my tried-and-true generic fingering weight sock design that I use over and over again, with variations on the theme.

So now, on this grimly dank Sunday in NJ, where the weather has sucked continuously, I guess I’ll see if I can be domestic and get some laundry done.

And do some increasingly rare knitting and spinning. How handy.

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