Deep Space Knit

Yarn arts (knit and crochet) balled up with a heady dose of geekdom. Raise your pan-galactic-gargle-blaster and cheer!

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Location: Vermont, United States

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Road Trip!

There are very few things on Earth that would possess me to get my butt out of bed at 8am on a Saturday.  They must be Earth shattering (like a fire... in my bed) or tantalizing (like a sci fi convention).  Or maybe they just have the right words in them.

This one started with "Road Trip" continued with "through lovely rural New Hampshire" and ended with "woolen mill".  Somewhere between the beginning and the end the magical word "yarn" came up.

That's the point where my mind did a complete 180 degree turn and I went 'bwuh-huh?'  That word required more explanation.  

     "Oh, it's the Harrisville Woolen Mill" the lady organizing it said.  "They spin their own yarn and they are having a sale."  Uh huh. yeah.  Now I'm listening.  "It's in their old mill building where they have knitting and weaving and spinning classes, and their studio had hanks of their yarn, plus cones and wool by the pound and..." She said alot more, about how they carried Vivian Hoxbro kits and did things with her shadow knitting, but at that point I had really tuned out, and I was already planning on how in the world could I get the day off from work.

It ended up being just as easy as saying "I'm taking Saturday off."  With phase one accomplished, he meticulously planned phase two: get up in time for the road trip.  I am pleased to say phase 2 went off without a snag, so let's just skip directly to the part everyone likes, right?  Pictures and yarn!

The drive was wonderful.  What looked like it was going to be a foggy, rainy day, broke into a fully day of warm spring sunshine.  It was, in a word, radiant.  The trip was smooth: drive on the highway south to Keene, and then on back highways past little towns until you get to Harrisville.  Harrisville was one a small rural settlement in the middle of nowhere that was built around a mill in the late 1700's.  Over 200 years later and it is... a small rural settlement in the middle of nowhere built around a mill.  It is gorgeous.  I would move there in a heartbeat.  If I had a job, that is.

This is basically the downtown.  The white building the the general store, which is alive and thriving, and sells, well, everything you might need.  It's pretty much one of the only stores around, so unless you're taking a trip to one of the larger cities, people shop here for their day to day needs.  On the far left you can see a large brick building - old dormitories for the mill workers, they now serve as dormitories for people who take classes and seminars though the millworks spinning, knitting and weaving programs.  I would love to take a class like that someday.

The studio is in the old mill building, which is built directly over the river (which provided the mill power).  You can hear the rush of the water in the building.  People always mention it, and some tourists ask if that's "the air conditioning going off?"  After you get used to it, it is wonderfully comforting.  (yup, here's a picture of the water, running under the mill buildings!)

And then there is the yarn.  I suppose by some yarn store standards there isn't alot of yarn, because they only sell a few things that aren't their own yarn.  But that's OK.  Their yarn is pretty breathtaking.  That, and they helpfully offer to get any quantity you desire if there isn't enough on the shelves.  I found plenty on the shelves.  This is their New England Shetland - enough of it to die and go to Fair Isle heaven.

(And if you're asking what's so cool about this yarn, what do they make with it, well, here's one of the patterns I have seen recently made with Harrisville New England Shetland.  Drool!)

So then comes the question... did you buy anything?

I, being of extreme self control did not... aw, hell.  It was on sale.  I sure as hell bought yarn!  I did get out of there with under $100 of yarn (a feat most others could not claim) but I bought yarn for that vest above, as well as two more skeins of wool and flax, to beef up the two I already had (which will become a vest!  A lovely vest!) and a skein of silk and wool for my yarn swap partner through ravelry.  

Did I mention I'm going to make that vest up there?  The Eunny Jang Ivy League vest?  I want to run around in circles and squee!  But that would probably make my roommates try to commit me, so I'll settle for lounging in the sun.

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Blogger Kath said...

Oh now that's my idea of a near-perfect Saturday. What a great place!

And yes, that vest is bee-yoo-tee-full. Roommates be damned - they are ignorant of the truly important matters. Squuueeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!

8:40 PM  
Blogger Phro5gg said...

I am wiping saliva off my keyboard. Wow. Now I want to do a road trip to New England. I am impressed that you managed to get ourt of there under $100. I would have been driving home a U-Haul.

9:36 PM  
Blogger amy said...

Are you coming to uvS&B this Thursday? I want to hear about the mill- it's on my Yarn Field Trip list.

5:13 AM  
Blogger CryssyeR said...

Ok, fess up. Isn't that the town where they filmed Betelguise? I am pretty sure I remember that bridge from the movie.

I have been stalking your blog for some time now, and I have to say, you did amazingly well in the self control depeartment. I am still envious of the yarn. Wonder how long it would take to drive from DE to NH to the mill? Hmmmmmm.....

1:30 PM  
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