Late Saturday afternoon I discovered that there's an actual, local yarn shop in Lancaster. It's really new, not even a month old. I went by on Sunday (it was closed, of course) and peered in the windows; they had Sirdar and Noro patterns in their display, which was a good sign. Then I actually went by on Monday, after finishing for the day at my mom’s house and dropping fourteen boxes of stuff off at the thrift store she volunteered at. We're getting close to being done clearing out the house, which is fortunate because I sold the house last week (before we listed it or otherwise put it on the market; this is the second house I've done that with). The buyers are taking some of the furniture and may buy even more.
It was even better than I thought it might be. Misti Baby Alpaca, Blue Heron rayon, Rio De La Plata kettle-dyed merino, Noro, Cascade, Sirdar, Gedifra, and so on. Not a lot of the really high-end stuff, but this is Lancaster and, as the owners said, expensive yarn is not what anyone would expect to move well. They can special-order, of course. They had every Clover bamboo needle made and some lovely wooden needles.
I didn’t buy a single thing. I was mightily tempted, but I just couldn’t decide on anything. Too much choice, I guess. I think I’m going to get a couple of skeins of purple Baby Alpaca for a scarf for my sister-in-law. Just touching that yarn made me long to own it, I tell you. I can hardly bear to send the baby alpaca scarves on to their owners, I love it so much.
My good friend Pat’s daughter, in South Dakota, is going to have a baby in the spring and I got four skeins (a mile of yarn) of Knit Picks white fingering-weight merino wool to knit a lace christening shawl (traditionally this gets used for the christening and then gets put away until the kid’s wedding, when the bride wears it). Right now I’m knitting a Forest Canopy lace shawl in lace-weight alpaca and silk yarn, on US 5 needles. Lovely, but slow, slow, slow. I'll be so glad to be knitting fingering weight on US 7s or so.
Speaking of Knit Picks and needles, their new wooden needles are really nifty. They're laminated from layers of dyed birch and then turned; this is a very common way to make fancy pens and other doodads. These needles have the same sharp tip and long taper that the metal ones do. They're quite reasonably priced, just a bit more than the metal version, and I've got the interchangeable points sitting in my shopping cart, but I can't quite bring myself to order them yet. You know, Knit Picks may have very reasonable prices for their yarns, but they sure seem to get a lot of money from me. I'm such a sucker for pretty bright-colored yarn and accessories.
Part of the reason I'm hesitating on the needle order is that I just got a Cuisinart panini and sandwich grill. Cooks Illustrated rated this as the best panini grill a couple of years ago. I got it from Amazon and I just love it. I haven't made anything much more exciting than ham and cheese sandwiches but I have great plans. Let me share one of my few household hints, which I rarely do. When you make a grilled cheese sandwich, put a very thin layer of French's bright yellow mustard on one of the slices of bread. This should be as thin a layer as you can manage. The sandwich won't taste mustardy, but it'll have a little extra tang that will really pick up the flavor.