Giveaway Llama, Vermont Edition

As we travelled through lovely Vermont, I kept my eyes open for anything the Giveaway Llama might wish to share with you nice people upon our return.

The first day of our vacation, after a hearty organic home-cooked breakfast back at our bed & breakfast, we went on a series of adventures around the local area to see the sights and experience the delights of the Montpelier area.

I’m telling this out of order, but one of the places we found was a WONDERFUL local yarn shop, The Knitting Studio, right on State Street in the middle of Montpelier.

Leigh and Leslie showed me some local yarns and notions, and I was entranced by the community feel, the wide range of great yarns, and the huge table in the back of the shop for getting down to work with classes, knitting help, or laying out all the colours so you could really get a good look at them.

They maintain a wall of local yarns, either processed by local mills, or handmade by local fibre artists. I bought several of these handmade pewter buttons, poured into vintage molds by local gent Mike Barker of Barker Designs. (Most of these will end up in my handmade fascinators in the Etsy shop.)

With the Giveaway Llama whispering in my ear, I picked up a skein of hand-blended, hand-spun yarn made by a Vermont spinner named Deborah that is this week’s giveaway:

See the gorgeous greens/lavender blues/purples? It’s 2ply worsted weight (about that, anyway); 1.5 oz/70 yards. The fibre comes from a Romney sheep raised in nearby Moretown. And right on the label is a tiny swatch Deb knitted up so you can see how the yarn will work up.

This is a special skein you could use for fingerless mitts, or even a quick but luxurious hat. Or, pair it with some of your own great stash yarn to weave something marvelous out of it, make mitten cuffs with it…so many possibilities. It’s lovely and squooshy and soft…And it could be YOURS.

Standard giveaway rules apply as follows: Leave a comment on THIS ENTRY to be entered in to a random drawing for the yarn. I’ll close the comments Friday at midnight and announce the winner this Saturday just to start the weekend off right.

Downtown Montpelier

We loved this town. We wandered around, poking into the shops (most are locally owned, not a lot of big boxes here), ending up at Artisan’s Hand Craft Gallery, a shop showcasing the work of local potters, sculptures, woodworkers, jewelry makers, weavers, and so forth.

We spent a lot of time in there, marveling over the beauty of all the different sorts of handcrafts. My mother, who traveled a lot both as a child and as an adult, used to buy a piece of local art from everywhere she stopped, so that eventually, our home was an eclectic showcase of the best of the places we had been, full of stories of ordinary people she’d met in her travels. I’ve always loved that tradition, and so Nicholas and I bought two Vermont pieces.

Lovely photograph of a sparrow on wild flowers by local artist Tony Botelho.

Click to see the detail of this one: It’s a Vermont Wish Bowl, and the artist makes them in different sizes and woods and so each one is slightly different with a unique set of wish words.

Artist’s signature on base:

This one has a special place in our home now. Love it.

We ate at local yummerie The Skinny Pancake which makes delicious meals from the produce and bounty of local farms. Sooo wonderful.

We loved downtown Montpelier.

Downtown Peace Sculpture

We loved every minute of our stay there, and hope that all its residents are recovering from the damage of the recent storms. We were there for one of the Big Ones…but that story is for another day.

Let’s get some entries for the Giveaway Llama’s Random Drawing on Saturday! Leave a comment. Doesn’t have to be brilliant, but it does have to be on this entry.

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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51 Responses to Giveaway Llama, Vermont Edition

  1. AnneS says:

    Hey Sandi,
    Good to hear you and Sir Nicholas having such a great time on your vacation. For two workaholics, you two appear to relax quite well.
    Cheers to all and especially to the Giveaway Llama.


  2. Naomi says:

    Okay, you’ve convinced me. I need to go to Montpelier.


  3. I love the wish bowl and the dyed scarves, and it might be a struggle to keep Mary Simpson’s “Ode to my corn” out of my shopping cart.
    I’m so glad you had such a lovely time!


  4. diana says:

    I love Vermont and I love Montpelier. Glad you found that lovely yarn store.


  5. Christine R says:

    Lovely yarn – looking forward to hearing about the rest of your adventures!


  6. april says:

    you’re making me want to go!!!


  7. beckyinvt says:

    It’s so much fun to see other knitters enjoying VT! Glad you enjoyed Montpelier, it’s a lovely place!


  8. jennybookworm says:

    I love Vermont – if it was a Canadian province I would live there!! Burlington is one of my favourite little towns ever!


  9. Maud Steyaert says:

    Glad you enjoyed VT, Sandi!


  10. Becky Hornor says:

    Beautiful! I’m so glad you shared your visit with us!


  11. Arla Schmaltz says:

    From the first time I read your Interweave posts, I ‘fell in love” with the way you write!!! I so sorely miss you there, but am glad to have found you here!!! The way you write, I imagine, Is just the way you speak…
    I’m so happy to be able to read of the lovely eastern side of the continent…was a visitor to Ontario in 1969…hmmm…telling you how old I am…. so my memories are a wee bit foggy as to the gorgeous scenery and communities of the area…
    The yarn you have to offer sounds absolutely luscious…the colours are reminiscent of the flax fields that surrounded the farm I grew up on…an absolutely beautiful blue with the green undertones from the leaves and stalks of the plants…
    But I digress,
    Yours truly,


  12. Carole says:

    The wool is amazing, and those pewter buttons are AMAZING! I’m definitely looking online for Mr. Barker. It was wonderful taking this vacation vicariously through you, Sandi. Thanks!


  13. Megan says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to try llama yarn!


  14. Mary Glascock says:

    Love the skinny pancake in Burlington, didn’t know there was one in Montpelier as well. I’ve enjoyed reading about your trip to Vermont.


  15. Rebecca P says:

    So glad that you loved The Knitting Studio. My fiance and I make sure to stop in whenever we are in the Big City and not on business. They’re great there and always love to talk shop. It sounds like you had a great time at Bob and Lee’s place too~ What an amazing location up high with all the views! Montpelier is a great place and the smallest state capital in the United States – more like an urban village than a real city. Hope you had a good time at the MA sheep & wool as well!


  16. Alycia says:

    Hooray for the llama! What a pretty color!


  17. Holly says:

    Thank you for your blog and letting us (readers) share your vacation memories — >j<


  18. Lee says:

    Montpelier is lovely; we discovered a wonderful downtown restaurant where we had a lovely and elegant (but affordable) meal one evening. Sarducci’s – I still savor the memory of that meal! They too use local and organic produce and even have gluten-free offerings. Try it next time you’re there ~


  19. Marjorie Vig says:

    Loved the bowl, wish i had found that place when I was visiting . Marjorie


  20. Amber says:

    Ah, VT! I haven’t visited since I started knitting, and haven’t spent time in Montpilier. Sounds like a wonderful town.


  21. Meredith says:

    I had never heard of the Giveaway Llama. Where have I been? I am enjoying your New England trip, but probablly, almost certainly, not as much as you!


  22. Meg says:

    That wish bowl is enchanting! What a wonderful find for a beautiful tradition. I’m loving this vicarious vacation to a place where I long to go – thank you so much for sharing. The yarn is lovely, too, and I would love to have it, if the giveaway llama looks my way 😉


  23. InJuneau says:

    What a wonderful trip you two had! Makes me long for a real vacation that doesn’t involve family or the documentary. That may be many years in the future, however…

    Beautiful art and bowl too!


  24. Deb says:

    I have wanted to visit VT for some time. Maybe someday. Love the color of the yarn.
    Thanks for sharing your trip.


  25. Susan says:

    Don’t know which I like best: the yarn, the art or the bowl! The yarn is in my very favorite colors; the wall art is a brilliant idea; and the bowl is just lovely! I want to go to VT!


  26. Jennifer says:

    Last summer we drove through Vermont on the way to Boston (from Ottawa). Now I’m more convinced than ever that it warrants a trip all its own.


  27. Rachel says:

    That yarn is gorgeous! Glad you had a good trip!


  28. Teri says:

    Love the llama and the idea about collecting a little piece of local art where ever you go.


  29. Zardra says:

    It looks like you had lots of fun. 🙂


  30. btownknitter says:

    I love hearing about your trip. I think I’m traveling vicariously through you. With teenage daughters busy with many activities, we don’t have many opportunities to get away. I’m so glad you and Nicholas found time to spend time away together. That’s so important. And the yarn sounds nice too.


  31. Wyldchai says:

    Vermont is gorgeous, and you got some wonderful pieces of art to commemorate your trip! It’s almost like being there when I read about your adventures.


  32. Rachel says:

    I’m in love with those dragonfly buttons!
    I too love Montpelier — I have a friend who lives in a small town nearby and for years there was a gathering of friends at her house, with trips into Montpelier. such a lovely town –thank you for the picture of the peace sculpture, it brought back memories


  33. Pat says:

    Hi Sandi,
    So glad that you enjoyed Vermont. Haven’t been there for many years but loved it. Your llama photo made my day. Think that I might have mentioned once or twice that I really LOVE llamas. Really enjoyed your post – both the narrative and your pictures.
    Take care!
    Pat aka westies


  34. Pat says:

    Hi Sandi,
    So glad that you enjoyed Vermont. Haven’t been there for many years but loved it. Your llama photo made my day. Think that I might have mentioned once or twice that I really LOVE llamas. Really enjoyed your post – both the narrative and your pictures of the buttons.
    Take care!
    Pat aka westies


  35. Sharon says:

    I love the buttons and the bowl and the photograph! I have a collection of pewter dragonfly pins, so some of those buttons would be perfect for a cardigan. Vermont looks like it would be a lovely place to visit.


  36. Andrea says:

    I’d love to win. thanks for the contest giveaway


  37. Melissa says:

    That’s a part of Vermont I have yet to visit.


  38. Lisa says:

    Can’t wait to see where you go next : )


  39. Dorothy says:

    I stopped in Montpelier last month on my drive through Vermont, just to visit the Knitting Studio. I really enjoyed the shop, and I really, really enjoyed walking around Montpelier! I only had about an hour and a half, but I loved all the cute little shops, and found a chocolatier who made Lavender Chamomile Chocolate truffles.



  40. molly says:

    hooray for montpelier! it is a wonderful thing when a town or small city can celebrate its uniqueness and glory in serving up locally raised foods, locally made art and locally produced fibre. so much better than just trying to be a carbon copy of ‘a big city’.
    i must join in the chorus of your readers who are vacationing vicariously through your posts! thank you so much for sharing with us.


  41. Pat says:

    Welcome back! The trip sounds wonderful. It has been sweltering so I am taking advantage of a conference in an airconditioned building doing some knitting. I am way behind in my unfinished works completion plans for summer, but enjoying what knitting I am doing.(Pick me, Pick me!)


  42. Linda says:

    You traveled through fiber arts heaven in Vermont! Did you get to Shelburne or Burlington? New Hampshire (Harrisville?) Hopefully you saved lots for a return trip! …and then there is Maine (Halcyon etc. etc.) I can’t wait to read more. My head is remembering, my heart is yearning … wool, cheddar, wool, bison burgers, chocolate, wool…..
    Linda T


  43. Jean says:

    The first time I saw a picture of you, I thought I was looking at myself! I know you were hoping for the weirdness of your day to end but this is a true story. Someday I’m going to send you a picture of myself. BTW, I love reading your blog and tweets, too!


  44. Sandy Strickland says:

    Sounds like a wonderful trip. I really love the Vermont wish bowl. They would make great wedding gifts. Do they have a website?


  45. Marielle says:

    Sounds like a lovely place! Pretty yarn too.


  46. Lori says:

    I’m glad you had a wonderful vacation. Your husband picked such a nice place to stay. I would love to win the yarn!


  47. The trip sounds like a lot of fun. I’v’e never been in that part of the country. I have also never used hand-spun yarn. I would love to try it!


  48. Julie says:

    Vermont is beautiful! I haven’t been there in many years but you make me want to go back! The homespun yarn is lovely!


  49. Judi A. says:

    Truly looks like a wonderful town to wander around in and explore all the little shops. Love the yarn shop – and the yarn for the giveaway! Pretty, pretty colors.


  50. Deborah Kahn says:

    Hey, that is my handspun yarn! So exciting to see it featured on your blog. And all the kind comments besides. Thanks so much. Deborah Kahn, Waitsfield, VT (Librarian in Warren, near Sugarbush). I’ve got some more local fiber on my carder and spinning wheel…


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