Quilt Gallery

Friday, February 17, 2017

Winter in Massachusetts

We had the best possible luck in weather last week for a trip to Massachusetts. Snow fell conveniently on days we were not traveling and skies were mostly clear on the days we spent outdoors. Visiting our daughter's school for parents' weekend, we enjoyed picture postcard scenes as we walked between classes.

The Nordic ski track at Mount Greylock High School was in nice shape for racing. First there was a 4x4K mixed skate relay.

 Followed by individual sprint races. Very exciting to watch!

After the races we stopped in Shelburne Falls, which is pretty no matter the weather. The Bridge of Flowers is pretty even without its flowers.

We popped in to Mocha Maya on colorful Bridge Street for coffee and hot chocolate.

With all this cold and snowy weather, Isabel has been appreciating her cosy bedding. The exploding star quilt (more about that here)  has a double batting, and the wooly throw is very heavy and warm.

I made the throw for her for Christmas, using yarn and the Stowe -Horsehoe Cable Blanket pattern (size medium) from the Third Piece. It was a pleasure to knit with such soft yarn and gratifying to have it work up so quickly, thanks, of course, to the extra large gauge.

Until next time I'll leave you with one more wintery scene. I have admired this barn for years and just couldn't resist taking a photo of it dressed in its winter finery.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My Local Yarn Shop: Hill Country Weavers

Austin has a reputation as a cool, trendsetting town. Think South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, barbecue, paddle boarding, Whole Foods, among many others. It certainly lives up to that reputation with respect to fiber. After all, the first two QuiltCons, quilt shows hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild, were held here, and Austin was an early outpost of yarn bombing. It is also home to Hill Country Weavers, a weaving and yarn shop that began long before knitting became a thing. Ever since receiving a HCW gift certificate as a birthday present over a decade ago, it has been my go-to shop for yarn and knitting supplies. I am happy to report that Hill Country Weavers is not only thriving, but has just moved into a new and brighter space and is better than ever.

They have a big room for classes, and lots of smaller spaces for customers to get comfortable. This table is great for sharing with friends or to spread out a new project.

On cold days, you can curl up by the fire with your knitting.

Hill Country Weavers specializes in artisan yarns so you'll find a wide selection of made in the USA yarns, specialty fiber yarns, and hand-painted and hand-dyed yarns, along with the many more familiar brands such as Rowan, Cascade, Manos del Uruguay, and Noro, to name only a few. It is truly a feast for the eyes and the fingers.

Making a choice from all the options is a challenge!

Here is my daughter Eva, my best yarn buddy, with her choices. Note her beautiful sweater, which she finished in two weeks while at home on her Christmas break from college.

Once you've made your purchase, the nice folks will wind the skeins into balls for you.

And here are my choices. I am going to swatch these in fair isle patterns to see which I like best before purchasing enough to make a sweater.

Happy, but tired and thirsty after examining so many yarns, we walked next door for a little refreshment. We went for coffee rather than beer.

And enjoyed it while sitting outside under the big oak trees.

Then it was off to the barn to see Eva's horse, who was recovering from surgery. January in Texas is perfect sweater weather.