Saturday my knitting group decided to go on a little road trip to a nearby LYS. I had never been to it before, as it is a bit out of the way, and my errands and things never take me in that direction. The shop was very nice; it had lots of Cascade 220 (I think they had every color hanging around the perimeter of the shop), Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, and Debbie Bliss, as well as some pure alpaca laceweight and a bunch of nice sock yarns - Wildefoote, Regia. Not too many independent handdyers, such as Cherry Tree Hill, but the shop girl did say they were going to start carrying Lorna's Laces soon. Yay! And the much-anticipated Addi Lace needles were on order (not expected until March - but that is very soon!).
I of course am on a yarn diet, but that does not mean I couldn't get some new patterns. They had this book and once I started looking through it, I couldn't put it down! I want to make all of them! And when I took it home and took a closer look, I had a delightful surprise! At the back of the book, there is a section of instructions, including cast-ons for lace, increases and decreases for lace, everything with an emphasis on lace. Then a section on how to read charts, followed by how to design lace! This is truly a great resource to have.
Our knitting group still met as usual - we had just enough time after the road trip to have a quick lunch and reconvene. As I left, the mail had my much-anticipated Rowan 41! I still haven't had a chance to really savor this beautiful book. I love the large format, and how the photo says who the designer is, and has a reference to the pattern instructions. There are so many things in there that I want to knit - it is truly a beautiful collection. So that's what the fuss is all about.
Also, I stopped by the library where I had ordered two books by Alice Starmore. They had Alice Starmore's Book on Fair Isle Knitting and The Children's Collection. Wow, some of those Aran designs for children are gorgeous - I kept thinking there must be a way to make them for me! And I loved the elephant sweater! The Fair Isle knitting book seems to have lots of information on the history of Fair Isle, as well as how to make your own design, in addition to some very beautiful patterns.
As for knitting, I swatched a bit with some Rowan Drape one of my knitting friends pushed on me - she didn't like it. It is a bit splitty, but I think I can make a nice T-shirt style sweater for it. And I did a couple of rows on the neglected Pea Pod sweater. Luckily it's turning out big, so I still have a little time to finish it, even though the twins have been out for weeks now.
Lots of reading to do!