Thursday, August 26, 2010

LYS love...

The LYS {Local Yarn Store for any non-knitting types out there}, aka home-away-from home to most knitters—the place where so much more than knitting and yarn acquisition occurs {although, happily there is plenty of that too}.  It's where we gather and share our lives, where friendships are made and grow.
I live in a rural midwestern town {read—the middle of nowhere} and there are no knitting stores in our area, but shortly after our move here I was invited to teach and work part-time at a shop an hour down the road.  Needless to say, I jumped at the offer and through the intervening years it has been a godsend for me.  Yarns Unlimited has been a Bloomington institution for over 30 years.  It is known for its beautiful yarns and positive energy, and I feel so fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful shop.  When I think of Yarns, the words empowering and supportive come to mind.  Whether it's a tricky lace pattern or sending a child off to college, "you can do it—it's going to be okay" and "we'll be here to help you along the way"  are the words of encouragement that I, and so many others hear at Yarns.  That's really what a good LYS offers.

Now, I'll be honest, I do sometimes buy yarn online, and there are some wonderful indie yarn producers and online yarn providers that I truly love and happily support, but I have to say that no amount of online offerings will ever replace a good brick and mortar yarn store—you just can't get that touchy feely {and here I'm talking both about the burying your hand deep into a hank of lovely wool part of knit shopping as well as the "we're here for you" part}. 

So before we get too far away from our New England vacation, I want to take a moment to sing the praises of my Vermont LYS—

The Knitting Studio in Montpelier, Vermont.  You know that feeling you get when you walk into a yarn store and it just feels right~in a this could be my knitting home if I lived here kind of way?...Well that's how this shop feels to me.  It is my favorite kind of yarn store—colorful and cozy, stuffed to bursting with beautiful yarns from near and far {I especially love that they have lots of locally produced yarn}, gorgeous knitting accessory and notion offerings,  a great pattern/book selection, and with a staff that just oozes a good knitting~happy to be here~glad your here vibe.
Let's take a quick tour...  
That's my sweet girl admiring the buttons.  As you can see by her shopping bags, we did some serious damage at The Knitting Studio.  Over the summer my daughter made the transformation from being a casual~I need a scarf for gifting kind of knitter to a real~I love to knit~finisher of projects knitter {you know how happy this makes me!}, and in one of those bags is a sweater's worth of yarn—she began and completed her first sweater ever this summer—huzzah! {Ahem...the other bag?...we'll discuss that another time}.
And here you see the lovely Lee {on the left, in the rosy sweater and gorgeous lace skirt—all handknit of course}, along with some of the shop's very nice patrons.  Every time I stopped by this gem of a shop {more times than I care to admit}, I returned home feeling the kind of happiness that comes from a spell of admiring beautiful yarns among really nice, knowledgeable and positive people.  You can just tell that this is a place where good knitting and good friendships grow...LYS bliss for sure! 
Do you have a LYS love of your own?...I'd love to hear what shop makes your heart sing and gives you that happy knitting, perfectly at home feeling?

Wishing you much bliss...knitting and otherwise...


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hanging on to summer...

Okay, so posting by phone from the mountains...not so much.  It seems that my posts didn't make it all the way through and ended up abbreviated and a bit choppy.  So sorry to those of you who received my mixed-up missives.  It was worth a try though, and who knows maybe I'll figure it out before my next get-away.  I love the idea of the quick pic and three sentence away-from-home post, but then again, I guess that's what Twitter is for, right?

Anyway, we are indeed back home.  Our visit to the mountains was idyllic in every way and was exactly what we all needed.  Here's a peek at the face of our summer vacation... 

...big smiles and floaty relaxation all

Now that we're home, we are back at it {and how!} of our bunch is already in school {so not right} and the rest of us are getting ready for the start of a new semester.  It promises to be a big one around these parts, full of change and lots of firsts—more about that another day.  Anyway, suffice it to say that we've hit the ground running.  It's amazing how many directions five people can fly in at one time.   All the hubbub makes our little break feel even more precious and I am trying to hang on to every bit of it that I can, in every way that I can.  I've been living on a steady diet of tomatoes, basil and olive oil...YuM...
{really, is there anything better than toasted crusty bread, rubbed with a clove of garlic, and then buried under ripe tomatoes and basil with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper?, I don't think there is}. 
I've been knitting and crocheting every possible moment...
Okay, the knitting isn't so different, but me crocheting and not griping that crochet isn't knitting is definitely a new thing.  I think that all of that yummy color must be doing it for me.  I'll post more about this little {actually not-so little} project very soon.

And lately I've become quite adept at ignoring the piles of laundry and stacks of books and yarn covering every available surface of our house—I figure the mess will still be there when things slow down a bit, and if I don't steal the remaining bits of summer that I can amidst all of the running around, it will be gone before I know it {but then there will be fall...lovely, knitterly, crispy no tears here!}.

Hope you are managing to steal a little summer for yourself...


Sunday, August 1, 2010

And the living is easy...

Hi from the Brookfield floating bridge.  Yes, this bridge actually floats—one of only a handful of floating bridges in the world.
I've been spending a lot of time drifting in this pond.  We make our way to the pond on every warm sunny day we get up here in the mountains (and even on some not-so warm days—brrrr!).  After all of the schedules and hubbub of our day to day it feels really good to drift aimlessly, letting all the cares of the world drain away and working on nothing more pressing than contemplating the clouds.  I usually have a hard time being still for this kind of thing, but this pond seems to do the trick for me and before I know it, I'm rocked into relax mode every time.

Sending you summer wishes for blue skies and aimless sunny afternoons.