Saturday, August 09, 2008

I've been remiss

I just can't get over how quickly time flies. I know that I say that all the time. Enough times that it sounds trite and meaningless. But I do mean it, truly I do.

For instance, Doug and I went to Michigan to retrieve my lovely daughter from her visit with her father. When was that? Would you believe that was the weekend of July 20? Me neither, but that's what the calendar claims.

The designated weekend began with a trip to Fort Custer Rec. Center near Augusta, Mich. Why? Because it has one of the sweetest mountain bike trails that I ever hope to see. Doug and I like to ride, and we ride hard. We do not do the extreme variety of biking which requires one to maneuver across bridges just wide enough for your tires, elevated trails, or really BIG jumps. We like two-track trails between the trees with switchbacks, bouncing over roots and rocks, some challenging up-hill climbs followed by thrilling down-hill rides. More than the average ride you'll get on a paved bike trail around here, in other words. Fort Custer is maintained by the Southwest Michigan Mountain Biking Association, and they do a tremendous job creating and maintaining. In fact, they do their job well enough that we always purchase a one-year pass to the Michigan State Parks, even though we don't even live in Michigan. How's that for a great recommendation?

The second thing we did that weekend was visit with family -- lots of family. I have five brothers and sisters, and four of them live near Battle Creek. Along with their spouses and children. There's a lot of us. Did I take photos? Nope. Just snapshots with my heart. Dang, I do miss seeing them more often.

The third thing that we did that weekend, and one that I try to always do when in the area, is visit my favorite yarn shop in the Battle Creek area. Yes, I do have a favorite yarn shop in most areas that I visit. For this area, it's the Yarn Garden in Charlotte, Michigan. The owner, Lindsay, has done a marvelous job collecting an assortment of delectable yarns, patterns, buttons, shawl pins, and especially the atmosphere of that place. It's a good thing for me that I don't live any closer than I do, because I always find at least one item to purchase there.

Did I say purchase? Why, yes. Yes, I did.
Doesn't that look interesting? After two weeks, it is still all contained in the original bag. I take things out, spread them around and look at them, fondle the yarn, dream about the finished item ... But they are not quite yet ready to grow up, move into stash or become finished. So they stay in the bag, near the knitting light so that I can just casually reach over and ... So what did I find too irresistible for words?

This is O-Wool Balance, destined to be a dress for my little niece. She will be one year old on the 28th of August, and I think this little dress and the hat -- oh my goodness, the cuteness of the hat -- will be perfect for her. She isn't quite walking yet, and her birthday is rapidly approaching, so I think I'll make the largest size for her for next spring/summer. Besides, she only wears a hat for the 30 seconds it takes for her to find it on her head and rip it off. Maybe by next year she'll be more fashionable?

I have wondered about getting something glittery and sparkly for my own shop. This wool, called Yin and Yang, from Southwest Trading Company was just lying there, calling sweetly in my ear. Coincidentally, there was a pattern right there as well. Talk about good planning, eh? (Doug--it's all in the name of market research, really.)

And THIS--
The photos in the pattern do not do it justice. This is truly an amazing wrap. Very many different stitch combinations, and done up in Noro? Breathtaking. My fingers are all itchy, my breathing is rapid, my heart is palpitating ... All over again. Must.Finish.One.Project.First.

Truly in the name of market research, I also purchased these single balls of Elsebeth Lavold Cable Cotton and Cotton Patine. I've wondered about bringing in these two lines for next summer, and I figure this is the best way to decide. Actually knit with 'em.

Since this post only covers through July 20 weekend and Blogger seems to limit the number of photos to 5 per post, you'll just have to wait to see what else I've been up to. But I'll give you a hint -- Stitch 'n Pitch and retail therapy.

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