One disadvantage of having spent most of the last three years abroad is that I rarely have had the chance to get together with other knitwear designers. So when Connie Chang Chinchio mentioned that she was heading to the Northampton/Amherst, MA area to meet up with some other designers, I jumped at the chance to tag along! The timing was perfect: not only was my son's soccer team (which I am helping to coach) off for the weekend, and my husband available to hold down the fort in my absence, but the fall foliage was approaching its peak. (Cape Cod, where we now spend most of our time, is lovely in many ways, but it is definitely lacking in the fall color department).
I was able to find a room at the Allen House Inn in Amherst. This Inn deserves a photo for its exuberant decor; if William Morris and Liberty of London (and stuffed peacocks) are to your taste, you'll love this place! (I found the individual wallcoverings stunning, but the combination of all of them a bit much.)
After I checked in, Connie and fellow designers Gudrun Johnston andYsolda Teague came and picked me up, and we all went out for dinner at the Fresh Side Cafe-- a casual, BYOB Asian fusion restaurant in Amherst (my Pad Thai was great.) There was a lot of shoptalk, as you can imagine, but we covered a lot of other topics too, and I had a great time. The next morning, we met at the Black Sheep Deli in Amherst for beakfast, where I got the waitress to take a photo of the four of us.
Then we headed to WEBS-- of course I couldn't visit the Pioneer Valley without seeing the LYS version of my favorite online yarn store! It didn't disappoint-- I was so taken with the seemingly endless aisles of yarn that it took me a few moments to notice the Vogue Knitting Fall 2009 issue at the front desk, with a sample of my Vine & Leaf Beret right next to it! Connie then spotted a sample of her Henley Perfected, so we were both happy.
Ysolda was also taken by the yarn-- almost literally, as she sank into the aisle as if into quicksand...well, it does kind of look like that in the picture, doesn't it?!
On my way home, I passed through Belchertown, where I took this photo. I love fall in New England.