I'm back. Dolores has taken Harry and the sock yarn to Shedd Aquarium for the day (good thing they're superwash), so I have the computer to myself for a little while.
It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Me!
As noted in my last entry, mom and pop live in the midst of farm fields. What I forgot to mention was that they also live on on air field. Running behind the house is the grass runway for a small airport, which over the weekend hosted its annual fly-in and barbecue. This meant that on Saturday and Sunday, this sort of thing kept landing in the back yard.
Pop has been a pilot for years but only recently acquired his own plane. Where most people have a tool shed, my parents now have a hangar.
I'm not much of a flyer but I couldn't resist a quick trip. It's easy to feel secure with my father at the controls.
I sat in the back seat and took pictures.
It was a good day to fly. Indiana looks tidy from the air. Tidy and flat.
My buddy Tom,* who's something of an aviation nut, came in from Chicago to visit. Dad let him steer for a bit.
We did not plummet to earth. Way to go, Tom!
Meanwhile, the return of fall weather put my mother in the mood to pick up her knitting again. She suggested we visit a local yarn shop or two. Based on your recommendations we searched out Stitches and Scones in Westfield.
We were there for about two hours. It wasn't nearly long enough.
I kept having the uncanny feeling that we weren't in a real yarn shop, we were in some Hollywood set designer's idea of what a yarn shop ought to be: warm wood floors, honey-colored sunlight streaming in through the windows, a commodious work table and a huge central fireplace with roving hung above and spinning wheels crowding the hearth.
All around is the largest selection of yarns I've yet to see under one roof, with the exception mammoth Halcyon Yarns in Bath, Maine. The owner, Molli, has set out a range of the beautiful, the useful, and the fascinating in every price point from Plymouth and Cascade 220 to Tilli Tomas. And there's spinning stuff (wheels and roving), some weaving stuff, and a very broad book selection including (I noted with pleasure) titles from Schoolhouse Press and other, smaller publishers that don't always show up in local stores.
Mom and I were greeted cordially and I was immensely pleased that nobody assumed I was just there to hold her purse. Every member of the staff was courteous and enthusiastic. They even pulled out the Piecework trunk show (which had been packed for its next stop) so I could take a quick look at it. (And if it's coming to your town, it's definitely worth a look.)
Even though it was Monday, things were buzzing and the customers who were knitting at the work table were as friendly as the staff. Notices are everywhere about classes and groups hosted by the shop. The atmosphere is what you dream about in a yarn store. It's not just a place to shop, it's also a place to gather and learn. They're up for an award from theindychannel.com and I'm not surprised.
Prices are absolutely fair (suggested retail) and the clearance section was a treasure hunt. I don't want to start a stampede but there was a pile of deeply discounted Italian-made yarn, the name of which rhymes with "Marabella." (After we left, it was a somewhat smaller pile.) The shop has a frequent shopper discount program in which a handsome knitting bag serves as your membership card.
If you're in the area or even just passing through, the place is worth a stop. I can't wait to go back.
Tomorrow, a knitting report and 1,000 Knitters news. Right now I have to ooze over to the gym to eradicate seven days of Hoosier cuisine.
*Tom is the kind of guy who, when on vacation in Alaska, hunts down the yarn store in Ketchikan and upon finding it closed takes a photograph of the display window so you'll know he tried. Then he hunts down another shop and brings you back a copy of Arctic Lace because he doesn't knit but knows you love lace knitting. What do we think of Tom, everybody? Hmm?