Monday, April 16, 2007

Day Out

After spending entirely too much time indoors reading the copy edits of my book, Son and I decided to spend Friday exploring downtown Silver Spring. We hopped on the bus and headed the hilly mile to this revitalized area. Although the neighborhood is now dotted with the same chains you see everywhere else, there is also a strong showing from independent businesses. It is also frequented by a much more diverse crowd than you find in many areas that look like Silver Spring is beginning to look.

First stop: Borders bookstore. We loaded up our arms with books to read in the cafe then headed in for some milk (organic!) for my son and coffee for me. In a big display at the front, the cafe is advertising that they are giving away used coffee grounds for customers to use in their gardens. While I knew you could request used grounds from any cafe and be likely to go home with some, I'm thrilled to see this effort at increasing the level of composting going on in the area.

Next: lunch at one of our favorite places to get Pho. After loading my soup with lime, bean sprouts, chili paste, and that green herb (not the basil but the other one?), I happily indulged my serious craving for spicy food.

As he usually does, Son commented on the number of young amputees in the area. Walter Reed is right near by and many wounded soldiers--those with brain injuries and those with amputations, etc.-- recovering there come to downtown Silver Spring for entertainment as well as therapy. The costs of this war always seem so high and so immediate when watching these young men and women try to adjust to their new bodies and minds. I wonder if the rest of the country were to have such an intense view of the suffering how we could do anything but riot in the streets until this has stopped. But then I realize that I am one of those incredibly privileged people who lives divorced from reality to some extent in my little ivory tower. I have not had a child or a parent or a spouse go to Iraq. I have not even had a neighbor or friend go....

After lunch, we walked over to our local library and loaded up our bags with books of all sorts. Lots of reviews coming soon.

* * *

In the evening, we convinced David to go with us to Franklin's for dinner. The relatively new knitting store A Tangled Skein is right across the street. I was thinking the store was not going to be on our destination list for the evening. Although it is open until 7pm on Friday evenings, it was about 6:45 when we arrived in the area--and we were all starving.

After our meal, we played around in Franklin's general store until Son glanced through the window and noted that the lights were still on at the yarn store, and that people were moving around in there. "Maybe doing an inventory?" I thought--but realized after a second that tax day has nothing to do with doing inventory.

So we popped over--and they were hosting a Friday the 13th knit-in! Tables were spread with wine, cheese and crackers, and desserts. Chairs were full of knitters from the area, many of whom were old friends (with and without blogs) but also some new funny talented acquaintances.

Luckily, all three of us had brought knitting for the restaurant--but since we were't expecting the knit-in, we barely had enough for a couple of hours of knitting. I had Seraphim (scroll down for the picture) with me--and ended the evening with less than a row's worth of yarn left.

But running out of yarn in a yarn shop is not the worst thing in the world--especially when there is a 20% discount in effect for the evening. I came away with a gorgeous skein of Claudia's Hand Painted laceweight silk in the very subtle and full of depth colorway "Ink." My cowriter had asked me the day before what I was going to wear when we were crowned co-queens for writing our book. I stalled: what WOULD I wear? (Notice that I did not question the fact that we would be queens.) Well, an Ink-colored lace shawl sounds just perfect--maybe another Diamond Fantasy or perhaps a Hanging Garden stole. Can you tell I am a bit enamored with Sivia Harding at the moment?

Mouse wrote in the comments that she is often not crazy about color-variegated lace--and I very much agree. Diamond Fantasy seems to be one of those patterns that really takes well to the color differences. Any other shawl ideas for a lightly variegated yarn?

12 comments:

Mouse said...

The soup sounds (and looks.. I checked it out on Wikipedia)awesome! I love spicy food.. especially soups.

Karida said...

your shawls are gorgeous! I'm in love with lace right now too. And it was great to meet you and the family on Friday night too!

Penny L. Richards said...

You'll wear a tiara, of course! The shawl would be nice too.

And now I'm going to have to find me some pho for lunch... there's a place just beyond my walking range, hm...

christine (threedogknits) said...

What a wonderful day for you and your son! Now I want Pho, too. I lived in Greenbelt a few summers ago and almost every Friday I would stop by Mandalay (when it was in College Park) on my way home from work. I heard it moved to Silver Spring. Hearing about a day spent in Silver Spring makes me think of Mandalay and now I want to eat there again!

Libby said...

It was great to meet you too! Friday night was about the most fun you can have in a yarn store.

Sheepish Annie said...

What a wonderful day! I'm so envious of people who have good yarn shops nearby. I have yet to recover from the closing of my LYS. And now I'm all excited to think that you are going to be knitting a new shawl!!!!

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

That was a great time! The herb is cilantro, by the way ;-)

Liz K. said...

I would consider maybe the Forest Canopy Shawl (from Susan at I'm Knitting as Fast As I Can). I made it in a very slightly variegated black and brown colorway of Schaefer Anne, and its gorgeous!

Birdsong said...

A queen in an inky-colored shawl is truly a delightful vision of you... have you seen Susan Lawrence's new spring shawl pattern (she is the Forest Canopy goddess)? It sounds like a delightful day!

Helen said...

I found flower basket to be marvelous for variegated lace yarn.
Of course, that may be because I made mine in a variegated yarn and want to believe it's gorgeous :-)

Anonymous said...

I love Pho. One of the things, I miss about California.

Wanda

Lolly said...

Hannah, I was really touched by your post. My brother-in-law is in Iraq now, and while I love him and believe in him, I am bitterly opposed to this war. I was at Walter Reed last summer for a conference and saw many of the amputees, wheelchair-bound patients, etc. It was very interesting. Honestly, I wish they were more public. Maybe I don't get down to Silver Spring enough...

Thanks also for the tip on the pho. I would love to try it.

It amazes me that we live so close and still haven't met...

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