This year I hadn't planned anything and by October I realized how much those interludes mean to me in terms of providing an attitude adjustment. I felt like I was just going through the motions of those same activities I usually value. So, when my husband offered to cover for me on the home front for a couple of days, I packed and left before he could change his mind. It felt selfish, but I went and took advantage of his offer, knowing I would come back refreshed, with my mom-battery recharged.
I spent a couple of days in Ashland, Oregon, home of the fabulous Webster's. So, of course some stash enhancement was involved:
The pattern booklets are Modern Romance and volume 5 of the Signature Style series by Teva Durham, both from Tahki Stacy Charles. I'm on the Tahki Stacy Charles email list and I've been lusting after a number of their patterns. The Night & Day cardigan on the front cover is my favorite. Here is a detail of the back of the cardigan:
Here is another pretty one called Red, Red Wine (I am always drawn to knits in this color):
The second booklet has only one pattern I might make for myself. I usually wouldn't buy a whole booklet just for one pattern, but I've been wanting to knit something with cables and something in a natural wool color, so when I saw this pattern online it seemed perfect:
I was also excited to see that the Cascade Ecological Wool is about the right gauge for this Branching Cables sweater. If I substituted this yarn the entire sweater could be made for less than $30.00. I resisted buying the yarn though, as I am still trying to finish old projects and destash before Stitches West 2010.
However, there was one yarn purchase I didn't even try to resist. The 2 skeins in the first photo are Bluefaced Leicester yarn from the Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds line. The yarn is soft, and springy, and with just enough scent of lanolin that you couldn't forget where the yarn originates. I actually left Webster's the first day with only one of the skeins in my shopping bag. Making those "souvenir" yarn purchases is something I swore off of when I cleaned up my stash, but I couldn't help myself. I solved that the next day, by buying the second skein which gave me enough yardage to make this hat:
It is the Montera Hat by Pam Allen, from the same pattern booklet as the Lace Pullover I'm currently working on. I've admired versions of it by other kntters, but hadn't really thought to make it for myself as I find the alpaca yarn called for in the pattern quite itchy. But, the Bluefaced Leicester yarn is the right weight and soft enough for me.
Speaking of my Lace Pullover, my getaway also gave me time to crank through the stockinette part of the sweater and get started on the lace border. The lace is pretty simple, but I think it is pretty enough that I might reuse it in a scarf sometime:
The lace knitting, combined with all the work that was waiting for me when I got home, has put the brakes on my knitting progress since I got back. But I still think I am on track to get through my list before the next Stitches. My visit to Ashland felt like a preview of the knitting getaway Stitches will provide. However, if that was just the preview, the real thing next February will be even more fun, because it will be shared with friends.