I'm back from the Motherland. Y'all will be happy to know that I managed to fly to Minnesota and back without any serious situations regarding my viola. It made it on the plane on both legs of the trip, though just barely on the way home. We're here now, so it's not really a story worth going into. On my flight today there was a six-year-old girl sitting across the aisle from me who was very interested in my knitting. After asking me several questions about what I was knitting (I was working on a pair of fuzzy feet and explaining felting to the child didn't go very well), she changed the subject entirely and showed me how she could sign all of the colors of the rainbow in sign language. After that she lost interest in me and went back to her coloring.
While in Minnesota, I visited two yarn shops. The first, my favorite in the Twin Cities, was Needlework Unlimited. The last time I visited Needlework, I only had a few minutes to spend there. This time I had all afternoon, so I wandered around for a good hour or so looking at books, touching the yarn, and listening in on a knitting class being taught in a Minnesota accent. I ended up showing restraint and this is all I bought...that's three skeins of Noro Kureyon for mittens for me and some other stuff for gifts that I won't mention right now. On Wednesday night I won yarn on EBay for the second time. I guess I didn't really win it, but when a gal is the winning bidder on 10 skeins of Noro Silk Garden with the low low bid of $41, it feels more like winning than buying. With all of that Silk Garden in my possession, the Clapotis just might rise from the dead.
The second yarn shop was one I happened upon by accident. It's funny how that happens. On Saturday night, the fam headed out to "Dabe's" (Famous Dave's), my nephew's favorite restaurant, and there was a bit of a wait. On the way in from the parking lot, I thought I saw some yarn in the shop next to Dabe's. Sure enough, there was yarn and a lot of it. I was shocked. I'd stumbled upon a really good yarn store in Baxter, Minnesota, population 5555. No kidding. If you ever find yourself in the area, stop in and check out Among the Pines. It's right next to Famous Dave's on Highway 371. I bought some fancy mohair there and I'm making the mohair scarf from Scarf Style. I didn't actually buy the book so I don't remember the name of the pattern. I just flipped through the book in Barnes and Noble on Wednesday afternoon and covertly wrote out the four line pattern on the back of my boarding pass. I'm probably not supposed to do that, but this mohair number was one of two scarves in the book that I might actually be inclined to knit. I did finally buy Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns which I've been meaning to get for a long time now.
All of this yarn shopping was great, but I think the very best thing about my Thanksgiving yarn shopping was that I inadvertently got one of the yarn gals at Among the Pines to exclaim "Oh for fun!". For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Minnesota vernacular, "Oh for fun!" means exactly what it sounds like. In other words, "That sounds like a rockin good time!" When I told the yarn ladies that I'd be back in the area in a month with some knitting friends for New Year's Eve, one of them said "Oh for fun!" which was exactly what I was thinking.