First off, I found out this weekend that my across-the-street friend's husband went into the hospital for a minor surgical procedure and they found cancer. Lymphoma... I don't know much, but if you can spare a good thought for Maureen and Barry, I'd appreciate it.
I think I've mentioned that when I work on my laptop upstairs in the kitchen I am usually joined by Duncan, sitting on the corner of my desk.
He sits and has even started purring when I pat or skritch him. (He's never purred much for me.) He's a sweetie and this end poses no problems what-so-ever.
This end, however is a little more problematic.
I mentioned that we went to Fredericksburg this weekend. I visited the Knitter's Cottage there and, yes, I came home with some stuff.
I came home with this Alan Dart book.
Not because I love bunny weddings, but I do like Alan Dart's patterns and they are hard to find, I understand. And....
I fell in love with this guy.
The Lucky Chimneysweep. Isn't he adorable? There is also a wedding photographer, complete with knitted camera and knitted bird on stick.
And I got this.
I would love, at some point, to have all her books. I love her designs. The one that really struck me in this book was this one.
They call this shirt Marya.
And I bought this book.
Not because I want to learn how to knit socks two-at-a-time, though you never know when that desire might hit, but because I've read that the patterns in the book are nice and are useable no matter what method of sock-knitting you use. And indeed they are.
This one is called Belle Epoque.
My socks, you ask? Those green ones? Oh...here you go.
"Wait," you say. (Or I like to imagine you do.) "Weren't you farther along than that? Did you (gasp) have to rip back?!"
No sillies....that's the second sock!
It fits pretty nicely, I think.
It has an interesting, new-to-me toe that is worked in the round.
No Kitchenering! (Which seems a little like cheating to me. But it's handy to know this method if I am ever somewhere without Kitchener instructions.)
During this visit to the Knitter's Cottage, I got to talking to the two women there. I don't know if one is the owner...if they are both or neither one the owner... We were chatting about books and yarns and I showed them my socks. One of the women was knitting a sock in the same yarn that I bought...(oh yes, I bought a little yarn. I'll show you that tomorrow. Or later tonight if I get all energetic.) We were having a perfectly friendly ole time.
Then this young woman came in to ask for some help with her knitting. She was very apologetic starting off...."sorry to bother you....maybe you remember me....you helped me start this and I seem to have made a mess...can I pay you to give me some help?" And the owner/worker who started talking to her was exceptionally gruff and short with her. "Let me see what you've done here...you've probably used the wrong cast on! How did you do the cast on? (She grabbed it out of the young woman's hands and examined it.) No, your cast on is okay but this is much too tight. You knit much too tightly...you need to loosen up. Knitting is supposed to be relaxing!! You aren't relaxed enough!" (She actually went on longer than this...I'm condensing.)
And the young woman said, "But this gap keeps getting wider..."
"There's nothing wrong with this. Nothing wrong! Show me how you knit!"
The young woman took the project and started knitting.
"Well, no wonder you knit too tightly! You're knitting right at the tips of the needles. Don't do that!! Move the material back. Knit all the way through. Push those needles all the way through!! You knit all wrong!"
Okay. She didn't actually say the words "You knit all wrong." But man, that was sure the message she was sending. I almost (and now I wish I had) waited on the front porch until the young woman came out to tell her how rude and abrasive I thought the woman in the store was and not to let them get to her. It makes me very grateful for Tracy and Joyce up at The Black Sheep. They would never talk to a customer that way.
It really sort of soured me on the Knitter's Cottage.