As promised, a picture of the half-completed shawl in action. (Pardon the quality - this is a carefully cropped close-up from a larger picture. The original wasn't aiming to be a FO picture. Also, it had my face in it.) In the picture it's still about thirty rows from completion. It's now only around ten rows from completion, which means an actual FO post will probably be next.
While I was in the Boston area, I stopped by my old LYS, Mind's Eye Yarns, twice. The first time I went with Kay (of last year's inter-state yarn trip), and it happened to be on the Saturday of the annual Red Line Yarn Crawl. So when I bought a skein of the owner's hand-dyed sock yarn, I got a 10% discount card for my next purchase. I didn't anticipate being in the area again before the card expired, so I took some time on Monday to drop by again while visiting with Shoshana. Shoshana is one of the few remaining friends from college I'm still in touch with, and the one who got me onto Ravelry and inspired me to start knitting more adventurous things. She also introduced me to Mind's Eye, so it was not very difficult to suggest that we hang out there.
While looking around for the perfect thing to use my discount on, my eye naturally fell on the cones of undyed yarn above the merchandise shelves. They weren't exactly for sale. I bought one anyway. I feel kind of bad about it - did my asking about it pressure the very nice employee to come up with a price on the spot? and should I not have asked about using the discount card on top of that? - but I don't think I was pushy or rude about it at all, and would easily have taken no for an answer. In any case, a pound of lovely laceweight for under $30 goes a long way towards making me feel better. (I did some research later and I'm pretty sure it's this yarn.)
(As a side note to anyone in the Boston area, Lucy, the owner of Mind's Eye Yarns, is looking to sell her store this month, for reasons more fully explained on the shop site linked above. If it isn't sold by the end of April, the store will probably close. This would be a very sad thing for everyone in the area who's enjoyed the hospitality and warmth of the store over the years, so do check it out.)
So on Friday I went to Down Cellar again while hanging out with Pickle. This place has pretty much turned into my LYS away from home, and I'm always pleasantly astonished when I walk in after several months and the employees still remember so much about me. Almost immediately I found something that tugged at my heartstrings.
Two skeins of Plymouth DyeForMe Suri Alpaca Merino Glow.
There were exactly two of them on the shelf, and I knew then that I had to have both or none at all. I tried to convince myself of the superiority of the "none at all" plan by walking around the rest of the store for distraction. Pickle posed a compelling argument for the "both" option, by slipping twenty bucks into my coat pocket. You can see what the result was.
(This was the second time in a week that he's reverse pickpocketed me without my noticing. Watch your pockets around him.)
Then yesterday, after coming back to Colorado, I met up with Shannon and Alexis for a yarn-dyeing day. I'd ordered a cone of sock yarn, and wound up full skeins for both of them and two little mini-skeins for me.
While I taught them to kettle-dye their skeins in the conventional way, I dyed my mini-skeins all twisted up into hanks. This resulted in an orangey-red dye on the outside of the hank, while the inside remained white. After they're dry, untwisted and wound up into cakes, you can see that the dye patterned up into extremely short color changes. Shannon dyed the bright blue skein in the photo, which is now sitting on my table in a beautiful, slightly variegated cake that I might be tempted to keep if I were of lesser moral fiber. Alexis produced a lovely skein that reminded me of peaches, golden-yellow in some areas and red-orange in others. She declined my ball-winding services, saying that she should learn how to wind yarn the hard way first. Good luck, Alexis. We've all been there, and I for one don't ever want to be there again, especially with 400 yards of sock yarn.