Visiting our friends in York, ME has become a mid-July event where we combine great friends, ocean air, good food and knitting.
As a surprise, I brought my friend Amanda the set of Heirloom Lace Placemats. Unfortunately, I miscalculated my knitting time and was shy of finishing the last placemat. Despite my efforts to knit on the bus, I wasn’t able to finish in time. I still wrapped the blocked mats and plain black napkins as a house warming gift. To further complicate matters, I ran out of black yarn so that I had to rip back a few rows to make the mats match.
While the placemats make a decorative home-related gift, I found that knitting four of the same pattern got boring. I would suggest using related lace patterns in the same color yarn as a variation.
While the weather was uncooperative for a summer weekend at the beach, we used it as an excuse for heading up to Bath, ME to check out Halcyon Yarns. Halcyon Yarns is a great haven for fiber artists. It’s like a clean warehouse chock full of various fibers and related tools. The sales folks are really knowledgeable about the intricacies of knitting. Plus there’s a room filled with books like a small knitting library.
There’s so much wonderful yarn that it’s difficult to decide what to buy. I was swayed by a small producer named Swan’s Island which is a real location off the coast of Maine. My family stayed there for a summer when I was a child. I bought a skien of a blue-green sock yarn to make a shawl with. Additionally, I bought a couple of books on making gurnseys which were difficult to buy elsewhere. That too was a hard choice but the women who helped me tracked down the books that they thought were best including a small one from the UK.
Welcome to Halcyon Yarns - Bath, ME
Outside Halcyon Yarns
Knitted Garments on Show at Halcyon Yarns
Swan Island Organic Merino at Halcyon Yarns
Isles of yarn-eye candy
To my surprise, we made a stop on the way back at Tess Yarns. For anyone who hasn’t had the joy of experiencing the lush hand dyed colors, I strongly recommend a visit to the shop or a yarn festival. While the price of many of the types of yarns can be rather dear, there are some well priced yarns such as the merino superwash. My biggest challenge is finding enough yarn of the color I want. This trip I kept being attracted to by the same greens I bought at Halcyon.
Tess Designer Yarns -Portland, ME
Welcome to Tess Yarns-Weren't you here last summer?
Color, color & more color abound at Tess Yarns
In the end, I did something that I rarely do. I bought a single skein of a wonderful purple/magenta sock yarn for a small shawl. Despite searching the entire store, three wasn’t another skein to be had. In addition, I bought two other skeins of a blue for another shawl or short sleeve top. (I must confess that I have several other purchases from Tess lurking near the bottom of my stash waiting to be knitted.)
On the way back to York, we stopped for a wonderful lobster roll by the side of the highway out of Portland. It was a cute stand where we were the only patrons (which was no surprise since it was late by the time we finished shopping.)
Lobster Roll near the Portland Maine coast