Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

I alluded to a doll festival in my last post. These girls are Sasha dolls and since they are dressed in appropriate colors for the 4th of July I thought I'd begin this blog entry with their picture and wish you all a happy and fun-filled day of parades and picnics, topped off with music and fireworks this evening.

So back to my update: I spent a glorious three weeks in New England. I love our little place at Cape Cod except I never have enough time there to really enjoy it these days. It's an eight-hour drive from here, which would be great knitting time, if I wasn't the Self-Appointed Designated Driver for the Duration. That being the case, no knitting on the way up or back unless I get a few rows done on a sock when we stop for lunch. But I digress.

Once on the Cape for the first time in the season there is some dusting and cobweb removal to be done, some head shaking and hand wringing over what the winter has wrought in leaks and squirrel damage and then the real vacation begins. This year it began for me when I drove off from there to Portland, Maine, with my basket full of Sasha dolls for the Sasha Festival. Unless you are a play doll collector and have attended one of the functions, you can't imagine what it's like. Think Stitches on a much smaller scale, including Opening, Day, the Fashion Show and Banquet, Student Banquet and the Market.

Picture a bunch of adults carrying dolls and waxing poetic about face molds, brown or white stringing, Studio, Frido, Trendon and Gotz, and you get a vague picture of what it's all about. I mentioned before these are "play" dolls. They are dolls originally made and manufactured as toys for children to play with. There are adult collectors who "play" with these dolls. They have doll clothing stashes to rival any yarn stash you might have. The playing consists of dressing and posing the dolls for display--alone, in groups, in scenes and in doll houses. Many people design and sew wardrobes for them. There are many knitwear items and even books of patterns. There's a whole culture out there! Sasha dolls are just one brand. My collection started with American Girl dolls. I have many Robert Tonner, Helen Kish and Sylvia Natterer dolls as well.

So I spent a looong weekend in Portland, Maine hanging out with like-minded friends. Of course there was a yarn shop hop. Only the hop turned out to be just a small bounce. The three shops listed as being close to the hotel were not doable in the short amount of free time we had. Two of us did meander to the closest one, less than a block away. I won't mention the name of it because I do not have a rave review of the place. In fact it was quite disappointing, rather dull in appearance and low on inventory.

The Festival ended and it was back to the Cape for a final week. I stopped for a quick visit at my favorite yarn shop there, Adventures in Knitting, where it's bright and cheerful, has lots of inventory, and had expanded into another store! There are other yarn shops on the Cape that I really like, but had to save visits to those for the next trip: Ladybug and Blue Heron.

No beach time, no knitting time that trip. Maybe that's why I'm feeling out of sorts. In fact I'm wondering if I'm losing my knitting jones. Hmmmm, we must delve into this. Next time.

Bona Fide Knitter

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