I promise different
subject material from the Scotland trip as time progresses, but I do want to get these skulls
out of my system - they've been burning a hole in my blog post idea list since I saw them last week while
The skull installments continue.
While I have a professional interest in skulls, I have to credit both Amy & Adrian in the fiber world,
and my DIL, Karen, for raising my creative interest in skulls. These ones from Orkney struck me
As some of you know, I just returned from a trip to Scotland this week. I went as a chaperon with my two youngest kids, on a high school trip to see some of the Neolithic, Iron & Bronze Age treasures of Scotland. While we were traipsing through cairns, brochs, castles and standing stone circles, we also saw the Magnus Cathedral, in Kirkwall, Orkney Scotland. In that ancient cathedral, there were wonderful old tombstones that had been mounted on the walls.
Most of those had great skull and crossbones on them, which brought to mind the wonderful
and creative Amy Boogie (King). Here's for you, Amy, with more installments
Unique One is in yet another Maine coastal town near me, Camden. Larger than Belfast, Camden actually boasts two needlework shops, but Unique One is clearly the knitting one, and the other shop clearly a needle and thread sort.
Unique One has two components. The front of the shop is sweaters, some commercially made, and others custom machine knits in Maine and nautical themes. Going past the register to the back, one finds a little treasure of a yarn shop stuffed with wonderful fibers like Schafer & Colinette,
among others. While tiny in square footage, the yarn shop has finds around every turn, tucked in every nook, ready to greet the attentive fiber enthusiast. This is where I found my lighted needles, and scored some lupine seeds. The lupines took about three years to make their appearance, but they are thriving on my hillside and spreading to cover the slope
every spring. (Pictures this year, I hope).
New England I suspect has more yarn shops per capita than any other area of the country, and each one has a different character, or flavor. What flavor of yarn shop do YOU have - share it with us! (Just send me an E-mail and I'll post the link to yours in my sidebar under Flavors of Yarn Shops). It'll be great to see what all is out there. No deadlines. No limits. No contests.
Hello. My name is Dianna, and I am a fiberaholic. I am a Spunky Junky.
Of course, no discussion or collage of Maine yarn shops would be complete without a jaunt to Spunky Eclectic in Lisbon, Maine. Just a short distance from the world famous Moxie Museum, Spunky Eclectic is now housed in the "L" of Amy's parent's home. This area once housed Amy's
Gram's pottery business, King's Pottery, founded over 50 years ago. (The pottery business is now on its third generation of King's as potters.) Now that a large part of the materials once stored for the pottery business are gone, Spunky Eclectic found a place to move in which was fiber friendly and Boogie Baby and her big sister, friendly.
Now I ask you, where have any of you seen a fiber shop that has this many spindles sitting there begging to be twirled and whirled?
And the help, shown here in a custom blue leopard tunic, is brimming with spindle help, and first hand experience with treadling the wheels. And, if one is on really, really good behavior, Spunky Eclectic is known to be a hangout for Sparrow and there have been sightings there....
In honor of the trip to Scotland with my youngest two, I commissioned travel journals from the creative Holly Klump . She recycles paper from various sources for her handbound books. The ones I requested have recycled computer printer paper - the old fashioned, lined sort, grided paper and blank paper, along with travel-themed maps, books, etc papers. These are what Holly calls "tattoo" journals, with a wonderful little "tattoo" on the front cover. In honor of our trip to Scotland, my DS (Kille's brother gamma)'s journal has a "Nessie" on his. Mine is purple of course - it has been my theme color for at least 17 years now. These would make great spinning or knitting journals for fiber enthusiasts.
I also found this painting on a flour sack from a Ghanese artist
for whom Holly is helping market work. I am fortunate enough to work with some very talented and creative people. One of them is a recovery room nurse who paints. She has painted ceiling tiles above the pre-anesthesia spots patients stay in while waiting surgery. She frames artwork for people using frames she finds at second hand and antique shops. So, Paula framed this piece for me, and the cubist piece of Kille's brother alpha. She does a very nice job.
I happened on to Holly's site seeking a journal for my eldest son (Kille's brother alpha) to keep records of his beer brewing efforts. He is legal (25), and I gifted him brewing equipment for Christmas last year. His tatto is a beer stein....
Heavenly Socks is in a coastal Maine town near my home.
It is virtually a one woman operation - every time I've been in, the owner, Helen, is the one staffing the shop with her engaging personality and contagious smile. Helen's location is in the basement of a vintage Maine
building in "downtown" Belfast (all two blocks of it). It is a couple of blocks from the pier, complete with the Belfast Bears in the past. In warmer weather, the front door is open and hanks of yarn are hanging to greet customers in the entryway.
She has black and white tile flooring, probably original rock foundation showing, even the pipes running overhead
are visible. All of this contributes to the character of the shop - New England, and Maine are great that way.
Even Helen's website is unique - links to other business in Belfast, links to regional bloggers, etc. She is incredibly supportive of her fellow Belfast business people.
I personally think New England shops are the best - what flavor is your yarn shop?
I visited Amy of Spunky Eclectic Monday. As I had no job obligations, a road trip south to see the new Spunky Junky Shop was in order. Amy recently moved her shop next door, to the facility which used to house the 50+ year old King's Pottery business started
by her Gram. While there, Amy skillfully enabled me to make a decision to acquire an accessory for my Louet wheel - a laceweight flyer and three fat core bobbins. I know I could learn to make laceweight without the toys, but boy do the accessories make doing so way faster and more fun!
Shown are the single and the single plied back on itself with a dime for size reference.... I've decided I have learned a few things at least about fiber and spinning in the past 21 months! (BTW, the red line on the right 1/4 of the bobbin is my leader, not part of the roving I am spinning here).
I read somewhere a long time ago, probably when I had my first newborn, that Mother Nature makes baby faces different from adult faces to help with the mother-infant bonding and to help us fall in
love with our newborns. I can't find it right now on the Internet, but I know these puppies have shorter and fatter snouts than they will in a very short few weeks. Right now, their ears are tiny, and sort of
stand up. Shortly, they will be flopped over until they develop enough cartilage to be able to hold their ears upright, as Shepherds do. They are already getting their markings showing much more prominently than the day they were born. The lighter grayish areas in these puppies will turn red, as in their father, Ridge. Aren't they cute?