. Red, White & Blue

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Red, White & Blue

Category: Summer

My holiday weekend was red, white and blue, but not necessarily in the traditional patriotic sense. Three day weekends can feel like the greatest luxury — I had time to get things done around the house, but also time to relax and enjoy the beauty of Midcoast Maine. I’m about ready to suggest that all weekends be three days long!

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Photo by Brooks Winner

I’m pleased to be able to say that the “red” of my weekend was not a lobster-like sunburn, but was instead a wonderful strawberry picking adventure. We picked over 20 pounds of organic strawberries at Sheepscot General Store, on a perfect, breezy day. I definitely see a strawberry-rhubarb-blueberry pie in my future, but at the time, I had a terrible craving for strawberry shortcake, so we stopped at Beth’s Farm Market in Warren. No one does strawberry shortcake like the people at Beth’s! We’ll be spending the rest of the week processing the strawberries and freezing them for a delicious burst of summer flavor in February.

The “white” of my weekend was the pasty whiteness of my legs, as I wore shorts for the first time this summer. Boy howdy, am I white. (No, I’m not going to post a photo to prove it.) I think I might glow in the dark. But I believe in sunscreen (70 SPF? Bring it on), and managed to maintain my ghostly appearance despite the truly marvelous summer sunshine. I also swam at my favorite swimming hole, and spent time reading outdoors. It really was “the way life should be”.

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Photo by Benggriff from Wikimedia Commons

The “blue” part was the blue of Rockport Harbor, the blue of the sky, and the blue of the sea glass I found. Dear friends from high school invited us to join them on a little private beach on the harbor, and we caught up, beach combed, and ate freshly picked strawberries while we watched the waves crash on the rocks. What a beautiful state Maine is!

The last part of my weekend was red, white & blue and knitted all over: I’m repairing an old, beloved sweater for Brooks’ dad. The sweater really is red, white & blue, but fortunately for me, none of the colorwork needs replacing. Instead, I’m fixing the collar and cuffs, which are showing the wear and tear of many winters of use. I meant to have a photo to show all of you, but I left home without it this morning. All of the sunshine this weekend must have melted my brain!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and that you’re feeling refreshed and ready to embrace this week! Thanks also to those who commented on last week’s post about knitting in public — I really enjoy hearing your perspectives!

Summer is Coming

Category: Summer

Waiting for summer in Maine is a little like being perched at the top of a rollercoaster. Things hang in a momentary lull, but you can feel the energy building and building, and you know there’s no stopping once you tip over the edge. Here at the shop, there are a few signs that tell me summer is allllllllmost upon us — and I have to say, I can’t wait.

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The yarn starts arriving for our birthday party. This year we’re turning four, and we’ll be celebrating on June 18th and 19th. That Saturday happens to also be the Solstice Celebration on Main St in Rockland, so it’ll be a fun weekend! We’ll have cake, door prizes, and mystery yarn goody bags for everyone. Our beloved yarn companies provide us with skeins for you, and the arrival of the boxes always lets me know that summer is just ahead. (This year we’re particularly grateful to Universal Yarn, Cascade Yarns, Plymouth Yarn, and Brown Sheep for some truly lovely items.)

 

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The yarn arrives for the J&E Riggin knitting cruise goody bags. Mim is teaching on the schooner J&E Riggin from June 8-11th, and this year they’ll be featuring a shearing demo with Dyan Redick at Bittersweet Heritage Farm (you know, the place with the adorable lamb from my recent post) and a hand spinning demo with Heather Kinne of Highland Handmades (more of Heather’s yarn & roving will arrive at the shop in two weeks!). The yarn this year was donated by Euro Yarns, and it is stunning. There are still a couple of spaces left on the boat, and more info here: http://www.mainewindjammer.com/maine-knitting-cruises. Nothing says summer quite like sailing on the coast of Maine.

IMG_5261And finally, the air conditioning comes on. I’m always chilly, so for me, air conditioning means summer scarves, shawls, and light cardigans. It’s the perfect time of year for those lightweight hand knits. As soon as I hear our old system roar to life for the first time, I reach for items like the Garter Trap, or our Featherweight Cardigan. It tells me that those sweltering summer days are right around the corner, and that it’ll be time for the Maine’s Fastest Knitter Race before we know it. Ready, set, summer!

 

Jennifer’s To-Knit List, Part 1 (The Tip of The Iceberg)

Category: Summer

Last week I mentioned that I have a lengthy To-Knit list (I also have a lengthy To-Do list, but the knit one is much more fun). In fact, I suspect that there are more items on my list than I could ever possibly knit, even if I maximized my knitting time by quitting my job, taking all of my nutrition through an IV drip, and never doing dishes or cleaning the house ever again.

Since that sounds somewhat unhealthy (hello, carpal tunnel), today I’ll just share with you my current top three To-Knit projects:

Photo by Purl Soho

Photo by Purl Soho

#3. Cap Sleeve Lattice Top by Purl Soho

This has been on my list for a while, and I’m torn about which yarn to choose. Allison, who used to work here, made a gorgeous version using Firefly by Classic Elite Yarns, but I’ve also seen a beautiful one done in Chickadee by Quince & Co. I keep wandering back and forth between these yarns in the shop. Do I want breezy linen and viscose, or soft and cozy wool? Either way, this top is perfect for warm weather, and would be easy to extend for my long torso.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Berroco, Inc.

Photo by Berroco, Inc.

#2. Odele by Amy Christoffers

I’m a t-shirt girl at heart, but I sometimes long for a little more glamour and sophistication. Odele is my answer. Knit in Mykonos from Berroco, it’s going to be slinky but wearable, and the subtle sheen will make a nice change from my usual cotton tees. I even have a great statement necklace I got for Christmas that will pair perfectly with it. When I think about this pattern, I keep picturing myself sipping a cocktail on a deck overlooking the ocean at sunset. It will be mine. Someday.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Carrie Bostick Hoge

Photo by Carrie Bostick Hoge

#1. Saco Stripes by Pam Allen

Dear Pam, please stop coming up with so many lovely patterns. Well, no. Please don’t ever stop. But really, what’s a girl to do? This simple top caught my eye last spring, and has been calling to me ever since. Made with Quince & Co. Sparrow yarn (100% organic linen), the only question here is which colors to choose. I love the classic nautical look of the photo, but wouldn’t it also be fun in a dark pink with burgundy stripes, or teal with navy stripes?

What’s at the top of your To-Knit list?