Saturday, March 28, 2015

Texas Two-Step

After finishing my pillow, I found myself this week in a bit of a lull between projects. For the next pillow, I had the yarn but not the pattern. It's coming, but I'm at the mercy of the Interlibrary Loan system. For a runner I'd like to make, I have the pattern but haven't settled on the yarn. So I decided to fall back on my favorite thing to knit. Socks. I'm not a big yarn hoarder, but I always try to have some sock yarn around.

I decided to return to one of my Charlene Schurch books, More Sensational Knitted Socks for inspiration. There are several stranded patterns in this book that I haven't tried. And with good reason. They take twice the yarn and are thus twice as warm as normal handknit socks. Not exactly necessary in Texas. But some of the patterns intrigued me, and I had just purchased two skeins of yarn that would work well together.

The pattern is called Moorish Stripe. I like the little one-stitch lice pattern interspersed with the geometric stripes. On the foot, a much jazzier stripe that is a variation ofthe one on the cuff runs around the sole and instep -- pictures to follow when I get there. The tan color contrasts pretty well with the dark navy, but I think the effect might pop more if the contrast color were a variegated or semi-solid yarn. This is looking a little flat to me. I still like it, but if I do more of these stranded patterns I'll try to remember that.

I bought this yarn last week while I was on spring break. I met my childhood piano teacher and longtime friend Leah for lunch in La Grange. Non-Texans probably know La Grange from its most infamous business, but it's a great Texas small town with lots of little cafes and shops. One of its big draws is The Quilted Skein, just a block off the Fayette County courthouse square. It's right next to the Texas Quilt Museum, which unfortunately, was closed.

The Quilted Skein, which is dedicated almost equally between yarn and quilt fabrics, is one of the most beautiful yarn shops I've ever visited. Everything is new shiny wood, and the ceilings go up forever. The selection is really wide, with lots of yarns I'd never heard of. The back of the shop has large windows that overlook an intimate garden space. The staff were very friendly, too. I didn't get to meet the owner, Stephen, when I was there, but hope to get to on future trips. Because there will be many more trips down there, I'm sure.

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