Monday, March 27, 2006

A nearly perfect day

What better way to spend a Saturday than acquiring yarn and books and hanging out with old friends? The only thing that could have made it better would have been having Taz there too, but one can't have everything, I suppose. I got up fairly early on Saturday and drove straight up I-91 to Northampton, home of everyone's favorite yarn store. After about an hour of wandering around the place with my jaw on the floor, I bought some yarn (yeah, like you really thought I could get out of there without spending any money), and met up with Mishmish and J for lunch. We all went to school together, and now that they live in Providence and not Oregon, we can actually get together fairly often. I always have a blast when I'm with them. Here they are on campus:

J and Mishmish perusing the Sophian

We had a yummy lunch of hot tea, miso soup, and sushi at Osaka and then hit a bunch of the shops downtown. Having already spent quite a bit on yarn, I didn't buy much, especially since I knew later there would be books. After all the downtown wandering, we headed up to campus with the intention of going to the campus store since I had promised Sami I would buy her license plate frames for her new car. Alas, since it was the Saturday after Spring Break, the whole building was closed, and there was no alum paraphernalia to be had. I did, however, get a picture of the crazy new building:

The (new for me) campus center. It may not match the rest of the
architecture on campus, but it has a working fireplace inside, and it's
still prettier than
certain houses I can think of.

After our trip to campus (which was not really much of a trip down memory lane, interestingly enough) we headed out to the Bookmill. I have mentioned this place before, and there's a reason. It is heaven. Used books, used music, a cafe, a restaurant, and even a small fiber shop, all in a rambly old former mill building next to (of course) a beautiful mill stream. I spent less than $40, and I got six books, three of which were hardcover and nearly new. I got some for Taz, and I got these ones for myself:

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros, Zorro by Isabel Allende, and Memorias
Postumas de Bras Cubas
by Machado de Asis.

It took superhuman strength to tear ourselves away from there, but eventually we did, laden with books and craving coffee. We went back to downtown Northampton* and had a lovely dinner at La Cazuela. Then I drove home, changed into my pj's, and fell asleep on Taz's shoulder. My dreams that night were of yarn. I swear it, I actually dreamed about all the wonderful yarn I bought:

Berroco Ultra Alpaca for knitting the VK Cardigan like the one that Lauren knit

A very nice lady at WEBS helped me calculate the necessary yardage for the substitution (the pattern actually calls for Alchemy Lone Star). I bought six skeins, but for some reason only five ended up in that photo. I think Ben had stolen one to wrestle with. Anyway, I was also thinking of others while I was there. My mom is retiring at the end of this week, and my hope is that she'll finally take the time to try sock knitting. Like the good daughter I am, I thought I ought to help her along:

Sock starter kit for Mom: Ann Norling pattern, bamboo dpns in US0
and US1, and Lorna's Laces.

Of course, once I saw the sock yarn, I couldn't leave without getting some for myself, too:

Sock goodies for me: Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush, two different
colorways of Artyarns Ultramerino, and two new sets of dpns.

At least one of those colorways will be used to knit myself a pair of socks for Jenn's (proposed) Spring KAL. I'm not sure which one seems more Spring-y. I am thinking the pink would look great in some sort of lace pattern. Not sure what kind of texture to use with the green. What do you think?


Lauren said...

Ooh, looks like you did very well at WEBS. Delia @ wineandneedles just finished the VK cardi too, with the front panels included.

Beth S. said...

We (Wellesley) have a bizarre new campus center too. I have mixed feelings about it. Everyone says it's wonderful inside, but the exterior looks like Starfleet Headquarters or something like that. It doesn't exactly blend in with the rest of the campus. (Maybe if they'd put it next to the science center...)

That's some excellent yarn you picked out, and you will LOVE the Nancy Bush book, I'm certain. :-)

Kat with a K said...

Sounds like a great day! I'll make it to WEBS one day...

Zarzuela said...

Nice day! I will go back to Webs before I leave CT! I'd go with something simple for your sock yarn. The varigation will obscure anything else. Jaywalker might be a good choice.

FemiKnitMafia said...

Whoah ... are you living my life? My typical Noho swing involves Webs, Smith, and the Bookmill. And I remember your girls Mishmish and J from Smith. If I remember correctly, J taught an HTML class that I took way back in 1997 (?). Even if that's incorrect, I certainly remember their faces. Whoah.

Stephanie said...

wow I am loving all that new yarn. You are a good daughter pushing I mean encouraging your mother into knitting :). If I gave it to my mom it would sit in a box until I decide to do it myself! Your girlfriend time sounds fun!

Jenn said...

Ooh I'm so jealous I didn't get to hang out with you! We really should plan these visits to Northampton better! :)
Can't wait to hear what you think of the ultra alpaca - it looks so nice! And you were lucky enough to get some Lorna's! They didn't have it out yet when I was there.
I'll post more details about the KAL tomorrow - glad to have you!

goodkarma said...

Wow, how much fun have you been having??? :) Enjoy!

mishmish said...

It was a nice day and we always love hanging out with you! we will be new haven on sunday. if you are arounnd (and not sick of our crazy ways) maybe we can do something before my event. the dinner has been moved to 8pm so there is tons of time. let me know...

femiknitmafia: that was J, my lovely wife, that taught the html class. she'll be all surprised that someone remembered ... cheers!

Cari said...

The Vintage Socks book is brilliant. I want to knit almost everything in it. Enjoy it!