Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Quick note from Duluth, MN

How time does fly! We're getting ready to leave my mom's place in Duluth already. Seems like we just got here! We've managed to have plenty of fun, though, and I got to visit three local yarn shops and drop off pattern catalogs. All of the owners were positive about my patterns, and Judy, the lovely owner of Playing With Yarn up in Knife River, ordered my entire line on the spot! I just love visiting local shops - they all have their own, very distinct personalities. Judy's shop is attached to her house and overlooks Lake Superior. It's just a gorgeous spot, and she has a small space packed to the gills with the best yarns. I picked up some dark purple Colinette Jitterbug and a skein of Mt Colors Bearfoot along with a new set of Addi Turbo circs and the Vogue Knitting 25th Anniversary edition. After spending some time at the shop, the family and I headed to Betty's Pies, where we gorged ourselves on delicious pie (what else) and fried cheese curds (only in the midwest) followed by a quick wade in the river at Gooseberry Falls. You can certainly tell there's a drought here - the falls were the lowest I've ever seen them! They were barely a trickle.

This was all on Friday, and to top it off, we took my mom & Mark's sailboat out for a spin that evening. The kids just loved being on the boat, although we overestimated their enthusiasm and ended up staying out too late. The kids both fell asleep as we headed back to the marina in the dark, and then Sydney did that half-asleep/half-awake whining the entire drive home. Other than that, it was a perfect evening.

Ahoy, mates!

We spent the rest of our weekend eating (and eating, and eating), playing (and playing, and playing) and eating some more. Mom & Mark are putting a patio in behind their house and right now they've got a big pile of crushed rock that they're using to lay the foundation for the bricks. The kids were in total nirvana out there piling rocks, throwing rocks at each other, and generally making a mess out of all of Mark's hard work. Makes me think we need to get a pile of rocks for the backyard...

Sydney also made friends with the resident tame chipmunks...

Yes, she's petting one! Mark has been feeding them and cultivating their trust for years. They are very cute (setting aside any intellectual dismay I may feel at the taming of wild animals...) and fun to watch.

Here's what I've been doing, frantically, for most of the trip:

Ah, love that deadline knitting! I've gotten so used to socks that knitting an entire sweater (and at 7 sts per inch at that) is a challenge to my patience! I think it's going to turn out really well, though - I blocked a couple of the pieces last night and that got me all excited about it again. I need to get it finished up so that I can start on the socks that are also due in early September! I'm counting on that long car ride back across Montana to take care of those...

The other two shops I got around to (and have to mention) were Yarn Harbor in Duluth, which is a great little shop with a wonderful selection of both Cascade 220 and Jamieson's (in fact, when I was in there, the wall of Jamieson's had fallen down and the yarn was scattered all over the floor - I had to work hard to suppress my urge to roll in it), and Fabric Works in Superior. Fabric Works is a combination quilt and knitting shop, and from the outside doesn't look like much. In fact, I almost didn't go in but my mom talked me into it. It's just a couple of blocks from her library (it's just north of Belknap on Tower Ave). Well, I am sure glad I did! The front half of the shop is filled with a huge array of gorgeous fabrics, and the back half is packed with fabulous yarns. I picked up two balls of Sirdar Baby Bamboo. If you're in the area, I'd definitely recommend a stop at both of these shops (and Fabric Works is a great reminder to never judge a knitting shop by its storefront).

And now the family is getting impatient to hit the road (well, Bill is, anyway). We're off to visit my grandmother and then we're heading to the Twin Cities for the next few days to visit friends, family and, of course, more yarn shops. I'm looking forward to squeezing in breakfast at my favorite restaurant, the New Louisiana Cafe in St. Paul. Cajun breakfast, here I come!!!


Blogger Carol said...

Well, it sure sounds like a great time. I love the picture sitting under the tree and knitting...My kind of day.

6:36 AM  

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