Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Vacation Swag

I was able to pick up a few fun things while on vacation - sadly there was nary a single yarn shop on the entire Outer Banks that I could find. I had done some pre-vacation poking around online first to try and find the name/location/phone number of any LYS, but kept coming up empty. So once I was actually on-island I did the next best thing - I asked at my LCS (Local Coffee Shop.)

"Nope," they said. "Not a single one. You'll have to go off-island for something like that."

As off-island in this case meant a full hour & a half drive, I was quite unwilling to go through that just to potentially end up with some novelty yarn at the other end. So instead I contented myself with puttering around all of the beautiful places that we had already planned to go - and on the island of Ocracoke I hit the jackpot in a knitting-related way. (Note to any future vacationers - the island is a 45 minute ferry ride away - BRING KNITTING!)

View from the Ocracoke ferry. Happily, I had brought along my entire vacay knitting posse, so I had a plethora of projects to choose from during the watery wait! Plus, we saw dolphins.

In Ocracoke there are several little fun shops - if you want home-made fudge or hand-made candies there are several nice options (heh - ask my newly-gained 2 pounds how I know this!), but even better if you would like books or clothes there are two wonderful options. The first is called Books To Be Red/Red Drum Pottery an incredibly cool place that has just about everything you could ever want in there - fantastic wooden children's toys, fantastic books (local authors, Oprah authors, you name it!), wonderful cards, postcards, lotions, earrings, locally-made pottery, beautiful woven items like napkins and placemats, and just fun tchotchke items like what I found below.

Oops, that's right! I can't show you what I actually bought, because it is intended for someone who reads this blog, and I don't want to spoil the surprise.... And while I certainly did think about posting a picture of the actual swag behind a link or suchlike, I have to admit that I'm not 100% sure that I credit her with being able to resist the temptation & clicking on the link and peeking ahead of time.


But after she gets her package, I'll share the picture.

So what I show you instead is the package that I will mail out to her tomorrow. Aren't the labels FANTASTIC? They are courtesy of Elli at Elliphantom Knits and I just luuurrrve them. If you visit her blog you can download them yourself for free too! In fact I lurve them so much that I went ahead and used them also on my Book Mooch package - even though the book I'm mailing has not a single thing to do with knitting.

Address blocked to prevent the poor recipient from getting lots of unwelcome attention from a bunch of rabid knitters! I will have you know, though, that the above address is blocked with a new purchase from Books To Be Red - my new little nifty goes-everywhere-with-me notebook where I have everything important written down - how to kitchner, the corresponding inches for men and women's shoe sizes, a list of things to do ("send thank-you note for tomato knife"), and the contact number of the garage where my car is still being worked on. (Three weeks now, folks, three whole flippin' weeks. My advice to everyone out there? Call up your car insurance now and make sure that you have a rental car replacement in your policy. Costs almost nothing to add it in. The cost of a rental car for three weeks? Probably absolutely staggering. I have no clue as to the exact amount because I wasn't even willing to shell out close to that much cash, nor was I willing to risk partial reimbursement from my rental car company who is currently taking the other driver to court...)

Book Mooch, for those of you who do not know, is extremely cool. Pile up books you own but no longer wish to keep around, list them in Book Mooch & send them off to folks when asked. Earn points for doing so. You search the database for books that you want to own, and other folks will happily send them your way when you correspondingly ask. One book = one point. Build up points, use up points. Except for the cost of shipping (and if you use book rate, it's very cheap) it's all free. So far I've sent off a good half dozen or so and we've requested maybe 4 or 5 - and have been thrilled with both sides of the transaction. Laura of Fiber Dreams was the one who turned me on to this - a brilliant idea! When I came home from vacation I found that my most recent request - The God of Small Things - was there waiting for me. Oh, what a lovely occurrence! Brilliant book - brilliant system!

The other really cool shop on Ocracoke that I visited and scored some knitting 'stuff' was a hemp-clothing shop where I found (what else?) some hemp twine. I snatched up two balls of it (400 yards each) and have already started messing around with a design to knit myself a hemp version of a standard brown-paper bag. I know that there is a felted version of this on Knitty, but I don't want a felted version - nosiree - I want a hemp version that I can toss in the washer/dryer and know it won't shrink or get funky. I want something that gets softer and softer with use but won't ever ever EVER wear out. I wanted hemp, and hemp I got. Pictures will come soon after my knitting progress looks like more than a small tan twine rectangle.

No real other knitting news to report - one more embossed leaves sock to finish - size 11 women's, so no small task, that. 1/3 of a Screw-y II sock to finish for Peggers. (God,but size 13 feet are looooong!) Hours and hours and hours left of Seraphim to finish before the really pretty lace parts at the end kick in. Miles of stockingknit to accomplish on Belle before I get to join it back in the round for the other sleeve. (Think I'm exaggerating? Not quite - I have 10" of the back finished - I need only 20" more. U.G.H.) Lots and lots of knitting slogging here at Chez Pointysticks. I do think, however that excitement is on the horizon. Once my current socks are done I'm thinking long & hard about starting a pair of Chuck's Cabled Socks after seeing Mel's latest pair and developing some major knitted-object lust. And once my Belle shrug is finished I'm thinking that it's most certainly the time for me to finally (!) start on my Cable-Down Raglan that I have all that luscious alpaca stashed away for............

Ummmmmm............sooooooofffffffftttttttt. And waaaarrrrmmmmm!!!!!

My only other minorly exciting news to report is that I purchased a new chair for the Munchkin yesterday, as he's outgrown his current highchair and both Peggers and I have grown tired with the constant squirming and feet-on-the-table behavior that a too-small chair causes.

Ducks, meet the Stokke Tripp Trapp chair.

Funky, a bit expensive, European, and I think about to become one of our smarter child purchases ever.


diana said...

We love our tripp trapp! Best purchase evah!

mel said...

I love okracoke :) What a great vacation! And thanks for the blog love!!