Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Still the Best Husband Ever

My husband, Mike, recently returned from a week in Porto, Portugal, to study the wine industry, meet with industry leaders, and to eat and drink very well. I did not go because of the short duration of the trip but, based on his experiences, it sounds Portugal is an excellent destination.

Once he had his plans in place, the question he asked was, “Where is the nearest yarn shop?” A little online research and — voilà! — Ovelha Negra, which translates to Black Sheep. It was a short, but wet, walk from his hotel. He has been in enough yarn shops to know what to ask for: yarn with a local connection, produced locally or dyed locally.

He came home with two skeins of fingering yarn dyed by a local artisan, who also, coincidentally, works in the wine industry. He chose two colors that represent tawny port and ruby port (he also came home with bottles of port to drink). He had a conversation with the shop owner, who kindly gave me a gift of a Portuguese knitting pin that you can see attached to the ruby skein. I think the tawny skein will be a scarf for him; the ruby, a scarf for me.

Fortunately, I have the book Portuguese Style of Knitting by Andrea Wong. I plan to read it more closely and try it.

What goes better with port (and knitting) than chocolate? He also brought home some Portuguese chocolate to match with the wine.

Wonder where his/our travels will take us next? No doubt, somewhere with wine, yarn, and chocolate.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Finally, one FO!

Well, I have finished a few things but am behind on photos and, obviously, sharing.

This was an unexpected surprise. I wear it a lot more than I thought I would. It is the Cedar Leaf Shawlette by Alana Dakos. Because if the leaf motif, I decided that it had to be green (maybe I am too literal sometimes).

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool; 2 skeins; 45% wool, 35% silk, 20% nylon. I like the results with this yarn but I did not enjoy knitting with it. It did not flow easily through my fingers. That said, I would use it again in the right project.

Needles: US7

Yes, I would make it again. Probably in green again.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I Have Been Away

I did not realize just how long I had been away from this blog. Sheesh. But I have a good reason. I was in the Western Cape of South Africa in January. My first trip to South Africa whet my appetite for a return some day.

One of the highlights was visiting Carlé at Nurturing Fibres. Her yarns are gorgeous; I especially like her sock yarn and laceweight. Equally impressive is her commitment to her community and to women’s empowerment. If you cannot make it to Philadelphia (but you really should; it is a charming farm village), you can find her yarns at Spinknits at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Carlé and some of her yarns.
South Africa mohair at Spinknits.
Stash from South Africa.
We also visited the Barrydale Handweavers. I would show you what I bought but Christmas presents are involved so I cannot. The alpaca in my South Africa stash is from Barrydale Handweavers from a producer in Wellington. Barrydale is another charming town that is worth a visit.

Want to know more about our trip to South Africa? Click on the Travel link in the list of Other Interests on the right.