Monday, April 14, 2008

Still Knitting in Secrecy

So, the gift knitting continues, and probably will for quite some time. So, still no pictures of the current knitting.

However, I did visit a new-to-me yarn shop this weekend. Mind's Eye Yarns, in Cambridge, MA is a shop I've been wanting to visit for quite some time. I have called the shop on a couple different occasions when I was having "fiber emergencies" and was always met with such amazing helpfulness and courtesy that I've felt awful having never even been in to see the store.

The very first time I called was the day I bought my spinning wheel. Still knowing next to nothing about spinning wheels, I thought the lack of a drive band was going to be a big problem, and given the hour on a Saturday I was in a near panic to find one. I had gone to Waltham, MA to pick up the wheel, and I went directly from there to Gerry's house (1.5 hours closer than mine) to look up Ashford dealers in the area. Mind's Eye was the closest one. I called and was told while they had the drive band in stock I should save myself the drive, and use cotton kitchen twine. I was in awe! Obviously this shop was not out to make a quick sale, just for the sake of doing so. I have great respect for a business that will offer good advice at the risk of losing a sale. I know that the purchase of a drive band would not have bought the shop owner's next trip to Europe, or even enough yarn for her next sweater, but I still appreciated the help, and ethics involved.

Since I had plans to meet a friend in Boston for Dinner on Saturday I decided it would be the day I finally made it in to see the store. Somehow I had had the impression that it would be a sprawling expanse of yarn, roving, and wheels, but when I arrived the reality of the store's being in the heart of the metropolitan Boston area sunk in. Of course you wouldn't find a LYS the size of Walmart in the city- space is just too expensive. I did however find a very nice shop. In the bottom floor of the owner's home the store had several windows providing plenty of natural sunlight (very important for colour selections) and was well organized with a very nice selection of yarn, and a rather impressive selection of spinning fibers.
Of course I buy fiber and yarn about 100x faster than I can use it, and I'm running out of space to store it, but I had to have some of this merino/tencel roving

Also, I thought I would share a little more recent spinning. This is about 2 oz of white wool scraps that I decided to use to play with some dyes. One ply I used Cushings acid dye in plum, and the other ply I used Wilton's cake dye in black. The wool I dyed with the Wilton's ended up having mainly shades of a dark green with spots of a deep purple. When each of these were just tiny blobs of wool I wasn't sure that I cared much for either of them, and therefore didn't take much note of exactly how much dye I used, but now that I see them spun up and plied, I want more! I'm fairly certain I will never match this yarn (a shame that I only have 100 yards) but I'm sure I will be playing more with the dyes in the future.


Witchypoo said...

I love the purple yarn! and the roving looks yummy too.

Cat said...

Oh I love the color of the merion/tencel. Is it very soft?
I love yarn shops like that, it's always nice to find one, glad you did.


Lil Knitter said...

Sounds like a nice little shop. I wish we had more around here but I'm thankful for the one we do have.

That merino/tencel roving is gorgeous!

You gotta get a move on it...all this secret knitting is driving me crazy! I wanna see!


Briley said...

Cat- the merino/tencel is Sooo soft!

gerry said...

i'll have to check out Mind's Eye myself some time- and maybe some of that merino-tencel, too.

i can't wait to see what all this secret knitting is about, but in the meantime, *i* have secret knitting of my own to do (because Brian's birthday is coming up soon!)

Joansie said...

The yarn is gorgeous. It's always fun to discover a new yarn shop even if it's not the size of Webs or as beautiful as The Elegant Ewe. So, if you posted pictures, the intended recipient would know it was theirs? And...Gerry is teasing you which is great!

LDSVenus said...

The plum looks sooo luscious!! I'm spinning the "black" wilton dye roving I did too, when I get two spools done and get it plyed I'll put a picture up, I'm intregued with the colors.