Monday, January 14, 2008

Post Christmas Madness

I have been derelict in my writing.  Post Christmas seemed to be a whirlwind.  I took the week between Christmas and New Year's off and headed down to my home in Fort Lauderdale.  It always sounds better than it is.  Wow! A second home in South Florida...what could be so bad?  Well, I hadn't been there since June, and in my absence a family of squirrels moved into my attic and a family of small mice into my linen closet.  Upon opening my linen closet, I don't know who was more frightened: me or the little brown guy.
In addition, there was a fine layer of dust on everything, the refrigerator smelled funky and as usual, the landscaper misses things here and there.  So the - ahem - vacation, was a marathon of trips to the supermarket for cleaning supplies and Home Depot to eradicate (sounds better than maim, kill, exterminate) my mice family.  For the squirrel and mice families I am trying something suggested by the Wildlife Center.  I bought ammonia and poured it into Ball canning jars and poked holes in the top.  I place one in the linen closet and one in the attic.  It would certainly send me running!
While in South Florida, lest you think I worked the entire time, I had a chance to see Bruce and Tony, old friends of mine who just opened the Aragon Inn and of course I made time for indulging my yarn addiction.
I did a little research before heading south both on the internet and using my handy "Knitters', Needlepointers', Crocheters', Weavers', & Spinners' Travel Guide 2007-2008".  I had carefully laid out a schedule of visits to four different LYS from Miami to Boca Raton.
Ah, the best laid plans...
The first (and last) shop I visited was Great Balls of Yarn,, located in Boca Raton.  I had such a great time and was so comfortable there that the idea of visiting the others flew out the window.  GBOY is one of five yarn shops by the same name located in West Palm Beach, Jensen Beach, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, and Delray Beach.  They bill themselves as the gourmet yarn shop of South Florida and I have to concur.  The yarns are yummy.  They arrange there yarn a little differently than I am accustomed, by color rather than type of yarn and it really gives the store great ambience.  Most admirably are the ladies working there, Eileen and Myra, specifically.  They could not have been more welcoming or more helpful.  It is a very creative team there.  There are plenty of items (fabulous!) that have been knit up and many of them the patterns are attributed to the store.  I found the Noro Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton book that has the Bettna sweater pattern and just had to pick up the yarn there as well!  Eileen took great pains to help me pick out the yarn and insure the right color lot.  Myra rescued my much maligned sock project (thank you Myra).  This is just the sock that won't get finished.  I was back again the next day picking up yarn and great buttons and books for a friend's birthday gift and while there Myra printed out an exhaustive class list for their shop.  I am a huge fan of Knit 'n Knibble in Tampa but now I think I've found a yarn home in South Florida.  
Back on the home front, I started the Bettna Sweater and have the lower back and left front finished, but also took on additional projects:  the Chanel sweater jacket (Knitter, 
Fall 2007 page 72) for which I'm taking a class at KNK.  In addition, there is the sock with no ending, and in between the trips to GBOY and KNK, I stopped by the Sip and Knit in Maitland, just to buy a magazine and came out with about ten magazines (an obsession only overshadowed by the yarn thing) and more yarn to make a fabulous Mobeus wrap!
What happens when your stash reaches a volume that exceeds your probable lifetime of knitting????
I'm really looking forward to a couple of future knitting events that my friend Mandy and I are attending.  The first is in March, a knitting retreat in Boone, NC put on by the Baskets of Yarn store in Charlotte, NC.  I'm excited that not only do we have a naturally spectacular area to visit, but I'll be learning cable work, socks from the toe up and a figure 8 shawl.  In addition, it's official!  We are going to Rhinebeck in October.  We've made our reservations and I could not be happier.
Now, I'm going to crawl back into bed and will try to nurse my cold...and maybe knit a stitch or two.

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