A New Project for the New Year

I knew this trip to Jackson, New Hampshire was going to be a success when, even before arriving at our destination, my boyfriend and I happened upon two wonderful crafting stores (I’ll admit he was less thrilled by this fortunate occurrence than I). The first, Keepsake Quilting (KeepSakeQuilting.com) was vaguely familiar- I may have heard of it before. Still, unexpectedly stumbling upon a fabric store is like finding a little bit of home on the road.  I couldn’t resist buying some random swatches of fabrics, a few plaids, and a bag of strips, perhaps for that Log Cabin quilt I hope to make one day.

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Keepsake Quilting is a lovely little store, worth checking out… and especially because right next to it is Patternworks! Of course, like any respectable knitter, I’d heard of this delightful yarn shop but it hadn’t occured to me that I would be driving by it. Amazingly, I managed to practice major self-restraint and didn’t actually purchase anything, though I spent about half an hour wandering around and fondling the various yarns.

Perhaps I managed to resist buying more yarn since right before leaving on this skip trip I stopped by Wild and Woolly and bought a batch of Classic Elite’s 100% Alpaca yarn, Inca Alpaca. I should probably clarify my use of the term ‘ski’ trip which from my perspective means knitting by the fireplace in the ski lodge while my boyfriend skis. It’s a fabulous arrangement, actually. Everybody’s happy and I was able to complete this:

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Yes, it’s a Log Cabin patterned cardigan… or will be on day in the very far future. For now, it’s my Log Cabin fix. I like the idea of realizing a traditional quilting pattern in a different medium, but it requires some fairly tedious intarsia work so this may be one of those long-time companionship projects (speaking of which, entrelac scarf number four has certainly benefited from the three hour carride up here.) Still, this type of consuming and delicate work is perfect for passing time on these relaxing trips. Furthermore, one of my 2009 ‘resolutions’- really more of a resolve that I’ve been gradually coming to over the past few months- is greater patience and respect for the more time-consuming and precise aspects of both knitting and quilting, a bit more attention to detail.

Fear not, the abundant crafting output does not mean that I haven’t been getting out and enjoying the area. After a morning at the ski lodge, we spent the afternoon walking around a nearby town, Conway. To be honest, I had no idea that New Hampshire was so charming, so full of character. There are countless little boutiques, bars and unique cafes. Though dozens of hand-crafted trinkets caught my eye, I indulged in only one, a pair of mittens which I bought at Gifts of Life, a fair trade store (http://www.giftsoflife.org/). They’re absolutely wonderful mittens, warm and fleece-lined as well as completely in tune with my patchwork and mismatched aesthetic- they’re even made from recycled sweater bits.

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They were made by Ramona Bachman who lives in Maine, a brilliant idea that I greatly admire- and may very well emulate one day!

They say that the way you begin the New Year is indicative of how the rest of the year will evolve. I certainly hope so since it’s been a fun and craft-filled couple of days. Not to mention delicious food- I’ve decided that one Jackson restaurant will make it to the Patchwork Bulletin Board and so far the Inn at Thorn Hill, where we dined for New Year’s Eve, is the most likely candidate. However, there’s one more dinner to look forward to at Wentworth Inn tonight, and one more day of skiing and the car ride home tomorrow which roughly translates to… another blissful day of knitting.

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