As if hiking the island, indulging in all that good food, learning new techniques, and ribbing birders during night knits weren't fun enough... there was all that shopping. I've been wearing my red sea glass earrings constantly and, once I finish my neck warmer (no, seriously, I'm almost done..) I'm sure that, paired with the earrings, it will be this winter's Major Fashion Trend.
As a pleasant trip down recent memory lane, as well as a note-to-self re: next year's trip, I wanted to record here some of the places I enjoyed. I also want to remind myself -- Self? PAY ATTENTION-- to bring a bigger suitcase next year. Make that two suitcases. Because by the time I left for the airport, my little bag appeared to be nine months pregnant, so bursting was it with all that yarn and all those souvenirs.
So let's see- there was the cool little gift shop upstairs from the Port Clyde General Store. Run by the incredibly pleasant Bobbie Pendleton (who, yes, knits) it features plenty of nifty gifts. I, naturally, gravitated toward the room with the yarn and knitting needles, and picked up a gorgeous skein of Maine-made yarn-- rich variegated loveliness just waiting to be turned into a pair of socks.
And then, of course, there was The Mall aka The Black Duck, our home away from home at Monhegan House. I indulged in daily hot chocolates, the aforementioned earrings, a couple of very funny greeting cards (including one featuring a puffin in drag) and... drumroll... this nifty Yarn Cage. Okay, so it's not a cage. It's a cylindrical mesh bag with a zip top and a hole in it. You stick your ball of yarn inside, thread the yarn through, and, voila, you can set the thing on a table or the floor and the yarn doesn't roll away. This came very much in handy when I found myself sitting next to a totally humorless seat mate on my flight back to Austin. Clearly no one ever made the guy a handknit sweater or nice pair of mittens. I was glad to be able to contain my yarn lest it accidentally roll into "his space." I think he was glad, too.
Several of us went on a mini yarn crawl post Monhegan Island, including Romney Ridge Farm and Markings Gallery. Because I only had enough yarn for four lifetimes prior to visiting these places, and because I think it is crucial to have enough yarn for at least ten lifetimes, I had to add to my stash. I picked up four skeins of Nanne Kennedy's Seacolors yarn along with a pattern to knit a sort of jumper/mini-dress/vest which I'm certain will have nothing but a slimming effect once I find the time to make it. Over at RRF, I grabbed a couple of skeins with the intent of making some hand warmers, or maybe a hat. Or both.
Sunday I had an extra day before flying home, so I walked all over Portland including a stop at KnitWit, a mod knitting store. Judy, who was working that day, said-- upon hearing I was with the Monhegan group-- "Oh! There were some nice ladies in here yesterday from Ohio who were on that trip." Hmmm.... I wonder who that might've been. Could Cassy have traded in her Magic Ball for something more solid in color and consistency? I hope not.
One thing I picked up at KnitWit: a couple of skeins of very basic, very bulky red wool. Ori's birthday is coming right up and I recalled a long ago request of his for a Gnome hat. I have no idea if he was being serious, but any excuse to get more yarn, right? So I got the yarn and some really excellent circulars. These I took with me on the Mail Ferry that goes out to five islands around Portland. I put a red ball in my Yarn Cage and got cranking. I finished that hat the next day on the plane. And as soon as I finish this post I'm going to go complete a Gnome beard that I also made from some white chenille I had in my stash. Will Ori wear the hat and beard? Who cares-- as long as I now can justify adding still more yarn since, you know, using that chenille up depleted my stash.
When I got home and picked up my mail, I had a pleasant surprise: an advance copy of the Interweave KNITS Weekend issue that you can pick up starting September 28th. There was my essay about Monhegan. It'd been sometime since I'd turned it in and so I sort of forgot what all I wrote. As you will see, I managed to at least scratch the surface of the whole Knitting and Yoga Adventures adventure.
Here are some pics from our shopping frenzy: