A little more on my recent trip back home to Minneapolis, this time from a knitter's perspective. I am a knitter after all.
First up, my knitting. I knew I'd have ample opportunity to knit on this trip. There was the airplane, the two and a half hour car rides, and quality time with my sister, who also knits. I brought all the ingredients for the Blue Sky Alpaca Fitted Tank. A fine choice since Blue Sky Alpacas also calls Minnesota home. I made respectable progress on the tank, finishing the front and a solid 4 inches of ribbing for the back.
I love this project, the pattern is simple without being tedious. And the Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton is quickly becoming a favorite yarn, it knits up fast, doesn't split, and is amazingly soft in the hand. Delicious.
A side note of irony - the this is really sort of stupid kind of irony - I was not allowed through security at the airport because the hair care products in my carry-on baggage were to large. I had to return to the check-in counter and check my carry-on. I was however allowed to cram my knitting into my purse and sit happily knitting on the aircraft with my pointy, metal knitting needles. hmmm...
I visited the MN Textile Center. Another amazing resource tucked away in Minneapolis. The gallery was a bit sparse. Although there were several pieces in the foyer by Sock Monkey artist Rebbecca Yaker. They involved sock monkeys, blenders, and meat grinders. Just exactly the sort of dark ironic humor I appreciate.
I made a few stash enhancements, although I was very disciplined, and didn't go over board, and only picked up things I couldn't get here in Texas. From the shop at the MN Textile Center I bought one beautiful, and hefty skein of hand-spun yarn by The Cat That Walks on Water. And I picked up a copy of Annie Modesitt's Romantic Hand Knits. A true celebration of style. It was reasoned that carrying books home on the airplane, since I had to my check bags anyway, was cheaper than the shipping charge from Amazon.
I only visited one yarn shop, the one that was my mainstay when I lived in Minneapolis. I was honestly a little disappointed. It's not that it's not a nice yarn store, it is, but it's not Hill Country Weavers. I have a new appreciation for how truly wonderful my LYS is. I told my sister, who has visited me here in Austin and therefore been to Hill Country Weavers, that I was sadly disappointed, and she confirmed I've been rightly spoiled by the inventory at Hill Country. Despite my disappointment, I didn't leave empty handed. I picked up almost 300 yds. of hand dyed soy silk by Two Sisters At Play, another MN vendor. It's gorgeous.
So with a restrained stash enhancement, a new book, a slightly more than half done sweater, and an appreciation for my LYS, I left Minneapolis. A pretty great place from a knitter's perspective.