Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Weekend in the Twin Cities

This past weekend consisted of a whirlwind trip to and from the Twin Cities. Late Friday night, Liz met me at the airport, and we spent the next few hours driving and talking into the night.

Caffeine did its part in our trip Saturday as we woke up after four hours of sleep to wander some yarn shops in the Twin Cities.

I did my best to dissuade myself from impulse purchases by trolling Ravelry beforehand and running some advanced searches within my library and my queue for projects that took 750 yards or less of yarn. With that list, I tried to focus and commit each yarn purchase to a specific project.

First stop, Three Kittens. This is where the infamous milk yarn and corn yarn could be found. I bought a skein of each, even without projects in mind. After all, when fiber is made from foodstuffs, it’s practically written that thou must buy. Furthermore, these are what all those “One Skein” books were written for.

Second stop, the Yarnery. Our steps quickened once we saw the “SALE” banner out front. All yarn was twenty percent off, some thirty-five percent off. Those discounts made it easy to pick up some sock yarn as well as some yarn for a baby sweater.

Third stop, Borealis Yarns. This place had some drool-worthy yarns, but I was starting to be overwhelmed. They had some beautiful roving, but with a non-functional wheel, it was easy to avoid that purchase.

Only after much deliberation did I settle on some more Cascade 220, this time for a sweater from a book given to me by a dear friend from high school.

I hadn’t yet shared here the windfall of some amazing books. This fall an old high-school friend offered to let me look through her mother’s knitting books and adopt what I wanted. Her mother was an amazing knitter, particularly specializing in sweaters. I felt so honored to be given stewardship over these books – they’re my own connection to Nancy’s memory. I am now in possession of some Kaffe Fossett, Alice Starmore, Meg Swanson, Barbara Walker, and others. And while I can’t promise I will go to the extent that Liz did to commit to make something from every single book I own, I vow to familiarize myself with them enough and try to come close.

Anyway, back to our trip. By early afternoon, we were spent, both fiscally and physically. So away we drove, Liz dreaming of which projects she was going to cast on within moments of walking in the door, and me berating myself for having no extra needles, thus subjecting myself to working on one of my (three) in-progress projects. Good conversation, barbecue, and coffee continued into Sunday.

Sunday morning, after experiencing some torrential rains, we found my sister, and the second part of my visit commenced. I was able to visit her church and meet some of her good friends, followed by helping her in the studio on her sculpture project. This involved me helping her stir and pour two hundred pounds of concrete.

Then she later dropped me off at the house for the third and final part of my visit. Another friend had offered to let me crash at their place since they’re not far from the airport, thus making my mid-day return that much easier. We spoke a few hours, until society dictated we turn in for the night. I spent a couple leisurely hours with their darling dog the next day before starting my journey home.

First off, I feel I should give a defense for finding the need to include three different knitting projects on a trip of less than 72 hours duration. But each served its purpose, as my fellow knitting readers know. First was the lacy drop-stitch scarf, fairly mindless but the thinness of the fiber made it fiddly and not the best choice during the turbulent flights. Second was the garter-rib sock, truly mindless. Third was the faux-cable sock, which allowed me a little mental engagement. However, the latter required me to follow a chart, and while I wanted to make progress during the weekend, I didn’t want to have to spread out on the airplane, especially if I had neighbors who wouldn’t appreciate my set-up.

In addition to sharing time on three different knitting projects, I read a couple books on my trip. I made progress on Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth and I finished Jamie Ford's Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Again, like my yarn defense, I need to be prepared in the literary realm for whatever mood might strike me (I’m hoping you’ve all forgotten that I have nearly 30 unabridged volumes on my iPod, but those are all classics, and sometimes a girl’s gotta read a book written in her lifetime).

All in all, a successful and rewarding trip.


Snot Head said...

Oh! It sounds like a fantastic trip. Friends and family abound! I can't even go to my own sister's house, ten miles away from my own, without carrying multiple projects. Also, I am in the process of planning a wedding, and my fiance and I got these cutesy sort of Mad Libs books entitled, "Do You Know Your Groom?" and "Do You Know Your Bride?" One of the questions he was asked was, "What are three things your bride never leaves the house without?"

I had never put much thought into this question, but his answers were dead on. He said, "her purse, some yarn, a book" I rarely leave the house without some yarn unless I am headed to work. I never leave without my purse, which happens to be the size of a small suitcase, so there is always a book in there. Most days recently, there have been two books in there! :) You are not alone!

Dr. aWoW said...

I was so sleepy, I may "literally" have been dreaming about what to CO!!!

Again, it was wonderful to have you in town. Thanks for coming :o)

madalyn said...

Sounds like you had a great trip!

Katie B. said...

Too bad you didn't trek over to our place, we're next door to a yarn shop (in s. minneapolis!). Looks like you had a very productive trip. I love that you came to minneapolis and didn't visit the mall of america, but went instead to local yarn stores.

Faith said...

Which yarn shop do you live near, Katie? Gotta be prepared for the next yarn crawl!

Yes, I did snub so many people. Since we lived there a couple years, I had tons I would have loved to see, but I thought I'd save that for a longer trip, and Liz and Charity were the main catalysts for this trip, so they got to hog my time. I hope I can make it back before long for those extended visits, but I fear my limited vacation days from work put a crimp on travel plans.

Katie B. said...

I snub people in Ames and Des Moines ALL the time. Just has to happen that way! Some people are just higher on that list than others, and that's totally fine!