Archive for the ‘What I love’ Category

Plodding along   49 comments

I haven’t posted in a while, because it feels like there is nothing new to share.  Work is plodding along, tax season started Monday, so I have to get in the groove of that, but it isn’t what I would call noteworthy.  🙂

A and I have been spending our weekends quietly – Saturday we do chores and errands and I go to Purple Fleece for knitting group, and she either does something with her sister or the cats, or works on organizing the big closet.

Sundays we putter together.  This Sunday we watched the kitten bowl.  Cute but too long.  She fixed snacks for the big game, which we don’t watch, but do have a bet on.  We tape it, speed through the game, watch the ads (LOVED the Giants ad spoofing Dirty Dancing!) and eat snacks.  We go to bed before the half time show.

I had the Patriots, A had the Eagles.  We are both very happy that they won, because I do love an underdog.  🙂 Even if their win means I lose a bet or two!

Knitting and spinning updates:

Still working on

the socks

the Hitofude

the Durrow

the scrap blanket

the blue spin

As you see, they are all slowly growing but look the same.  Nothing exciting!  The spin should get done this weekend.  I hoped to finish it sooner, but I got caught up crocheting (it’s hard to stop doing that) and so it is a little behind.

Durrow is very well designed and well written, but so intricate that I am amazed that anyone ever thought it could be done.  I am near the end of the first square, and it is slow going now.  There are four sides to the squares, and right now I have to alternate between two charts to complete a row.  IE chart one for one side, chart two for the next side, chart one for the third side, chart two for the fourth side.  SO MUCH CONCENTRATION NEEDED.  But it is so worth it, and it isn’t HARD, it’s just slow going and not TV knitting.  🙂

Hitofude is easy knitting, but long rows, so I can’t pick it up and drop it easily.  This is why the crocheting has gotten so much love!

And that is all I have! Getting ready for another snowstorm immediately followed by a couple of tax days. Sunday will be LOW KEY!

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In Theory   35 comments

Hi everyone!  Sorry to be so silent lately, but it is that time of year when I feel like I disappear – tax season!  We are in training mode this month.  Last week we had our big regional training.   In theory, after 11 years of this, some of it should get easier.  But it doesn’t seem to, and I quake at the thought of all there will be to learn and teach next year. But that is next year, not to be worried about until the fall.  Glad I am not a programmer for the tax software companies!

Normally during tax training, I get to do lots of knitting.  Before I was tapped to do some teaching, I could count on getting a hat (or more) done each day.  Now that I am responsible for the afternoon sessions, I don’t get as much done on my knitting, lol.  this year I got this much done:

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This is my NOVEMBER sock, and the toe had already been completed before Monday.  In fact, I think I had done a couple of repeats of the pattern on the foot.    Sigh.  At least I got something done.  🙂

This year was also different because I had more new volunteers in the group, so I had less time to work on my own tax training (working problems, taking the test) than usual, which meant more time at home in the evenings working on things like that.

But I still found time for some spinning, and I did it – I finished the big spin I started back in July!

I now have MORE than enough to do a sweater in this lovely stuff (2590 yards, to be exact):

You have seen it before, of course, but perhaps you don’t remember.  Here are some close ups for you.  😉

I enjoyed finishing that so much that I immediately dug about in my stash to see what was next.  I needed to spin something light and easy and DIFFERENT COLORS.  It is hard to keep spinning and spinning and having it always look the same. You start to feel like you will never finish.

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This is next.  It is superwash merino, dyed by Fiber Optic Yarn.   I got it last September at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, when I remember making a conscious effort to get some different colors.  I am so glad I did, as I need a break from my favorite deep blues, purples, greens, and pink.  This has enough blue in it that I can live with the colors I don’t care for as much (that would be you, orange.)

I divided the braid into three chunks, totally unscientifically, no weighing involved.  I just folded it into thirds and pulled it apart.  I then left one third as is, and divided another third in half the long way.  Also unscientifically, just started pulling and let it go how it wanted to.  Which was pretty evenly, actually.  The third section, I divided in half, and then each piece in half again.  So it is a fractal spin, but I didn’t worry too much about dividing things perfectly.  I am going to spin the divided pieces end to end, and see how the colors come together when plyed in a traditional three ply.

I started with the four section third, and I am surprised at how it is spinning up.  Much more green than I expected.  And more light, as all the white spaces are pulled into the colors.  But I love how the colors come together as I draft, making a marled singles.  It should be very interesting when it is all done.

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Yesterday was stormy and nasty, so Whorls and Purls annual non-holiday party got shifted to today.  That meant that A and I were home together on a Saturday which rarely happens.  We puttered about, put more Christmas away. There is always something lingering after you think you got it all. In our case, it was the tree.  🙂  It just had it’s lights on, because we never did finish decorating it, and we were both sad to see it go, but it was time.  So we got rid of that, and cleaned up the ensuing mess.  A tossed it over the bank near the bird feeders, so the birds will have some cover while feeding.  In the spring, I will cart it farther into the woods.

I did some cleaning and puttering in the craft room, putting away Christmas card mess, etc. I did get to do some knitting eventually, and my hitofude sweater appreciated the time.

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I do like this yarn and pattern, and so far it is pretty easy. I am making this from yarn I also got in Wisconsin (see, I am being good using up what I got last summer!) and alternating skeins as the dye lots are off the tiniest bit.  It is working well, and I think I will get a lot of wear out of this lightweight sweater.

I haven’t gotten to knit on the Durrow, but I plan to this weekend.  After all, there is a whole extra day, right? In theory, I should be able to get a lot done tomorrow!

The other big exciting thing that happened this week is that A and I decided that it is feasible financially for me to go to Knit Maine 2018 in September.  I had been half planning a trip back to Wisconsin sometime in September, but some of the people I would see there are coming to Maine instead!  I was very excited about that, though I will miss the ones who don’t come.  So instead of driving for days, I will be the hostess at the end of the summer.  I hope we have beautiful weather, so that they can see and enjoy some of what Maine has to offer after Labor Day. In theory, it should still be summery.

In theory.

 

 

Fiber plans for 2018   32 comments

So many things to jump on board with at this time of year, and they all seem interesting. There’s 9 in 2018, and spin 15 minutes a day and all sorts of fun things to build community and skills and productivity.

It’s almost overwhelming, all the things that sound interesting and fun. But if I try them all it will become definitely overwhelming and a chore.

So, here’s what I plan to do this year, only joining what I have already committed to, unless something comes along that perfectly hits what I am already planning.:

  • Knit Hitofude as part of a KAL we are doing with the Friends of Knitting Sarah. It starts today and I am ready to roll! I am using some yarn I got in Wisconsin.
  • Knit Dhurrow, a challenging shawl project, in yarn Debbie at the Purple Fleece dyed just for me.
  • Finish the big purple spin and knit a sweater from it. I am thinking something simple in design as the yarn is busy.
  • Knit ornaments and hats throughout the year so that getting ready for that one craft fair isn’t so crazy. And to help keep the community caring pile of hats in Stockton Springs busy and active.
  • Knit a shawl using the lovely black and gray yarn from Wisconsin
  • Knit a sock a month ON AVERAGE. I almost did that this year and the speed was about right. I have enough sock yarn in stash to do this.
  • Knit something using my October challenge yarn to finish out the “makers gonna make” challenge at the Purple Fleece, I know what it will be, but it is a secret until reveal day, in April or May.
  • Work on a plan for the lovely Shetland lace-weight yarn Mom brought me from her trip this fall.
  • Keep spinning! I have a small mountain of fiber from which to choose, and a year of roving of the month coming my way!

It seems I have plenty to do without joining in much. And I also seem to have most of the yarn I need to do it. The only yarn I would need to buy for this plan might be more basic white for the ornaments. All else is in house already.

Can I really knit from stash all year and not buy more yarn? Highly unlikely, but I can try!

Holiday wrap up   35 comments

Well, that was fun!

I haven’t written a post about Christmas yet, because I was SO tired after the crazy lead up to it, and then the big day,  I took a few days to rest and relax and digest.

I managed to get all the knitting done, and lots of cards (but not all – I have a half dozen or so still to send out, just waiting for the glitter to dry).

We got all the presents wrapped and delivered.  It was the delivery bit that was more complicated than expected!

But before we get to that…

 

I have been on vacation since last Wednesday at close of day.  Thank goodness – I don’t know how I would have found the time to work!

Thursday I drove down t Boston to meet up with a Raveler friend from the Knitting Sarah group.  Bonnie had been hoping to go to our in person gathering in September, but for a variety of reasons, was not able to make it.  However!  She had a long vacation planned to visit her sister in the Boston area.  When I heard that, I thought “I can go to Boston…” so I asked her how she felt about it, and she was willing.  So nice and early Thursday I hopped in my trusty Prius and headed south.  I got to her sister’s house easily, and immediately felt at home, like I was visiting an old friend.  Which of course, I was, right?  We chatted a bit and she showed me IN PERSON the things she was working on – how nice to really see and touch, not wonder if the monitor was showing the right colors.  🙂 Then we went off to a yarn store in Natick, the Iron Horse.  It is a small shop, but had a nice selection of yarns and needles and the like.  I was trying VERY hard to be good, but did have to buy a braid of malabrigo nube that had my name on it.  they had lots of other yarn I could easily have walked out with if I weren’t trying so hard to not spend money.  Why is money always an issue?

When we finished there, we asked some of the ladies about where they recommended for lunch.  They pointed us across the street to a very nice sandwich place.  We sat and ate lunch and chatted and chatted for what seemed like 2 minutes but of course was much longer.  Then I dropped her back at her sisters and headed north again.  With the he exception of some traffic going northbound, it was a painless road trip, and a whole lot of fun in between long bouts of driving.  I made it there and back in 13 hours!

Friday began the Christmas prep in earnest cards going out late, packages being mailed late, knitting happening at a furious pace. And a trip to Bangor to get the cars serviced, which included a meal at Ruby Tuesday while we waited for them.

The weather was lousy, rainy, and snowy, and icy, but I skated over to Whorls and Purls on Saturday afternoon.  I was going to be knitting, I might as well be with fellow knitters, right?  One other hardy soul showed up, so the three of us (Deb just has to slide across her yard to open up) had a nice visit and more knitting on the dreaded legwarmers happened.

Sunday I had planned to stay inside and just knit like a fiend, but sister-in-law L called up and invited us over to see her and her “boys” who were home for the holidays.  D from Denver and Z and his wife, EY, from Copenhagen.  We could NOT miss this, so I brought my knitting along,  and A brought a big selection of cookies she has been stockpiling for them, and off we went.  We had such a nice visit – ate a great lunch, played many hands of Rummikube and caught up on what everyone is up to.  And I knit.  those leg warmers passed ten inches!

Old Man Winter wasn’t through with us yet – as predicted, we got a lovely nor’easter on Christmas Day.  A knew there was no point in suggesting we stay home.  Christmas means mom’s house, come hell, high water, or big snow storm.  We got up earlier than we would have preferred, opened our presents to each other, and hit the road.  It was snowing, but hadn’t been for long, so we had no trouble getting there.  My sister had come over the night before, as she has a longer trip.  Apparently, she left a note for Santa, and he was able to find niece E at Gram’s house instead of at home. Brother C and his girl D arrived late morning, but Brother N and his family opted to stay home.  We missed them, but having five fewer people meant there was much less chaos and more capacity for meaningful conversation.  Mom made a delicious meal, and we all got presents galore.  (Mom dragged yarn and a book all the way home from Scotland for me!  Wow!)  We had a fun time with the Yankee Swap – A wound up with a submersion blender, and I got a set of 8 antique blue glasses. I kept knitting on those legwarmers, and around 2, I was able to cast them off and hand them over to the eagerly waiting niece.  No photos of them, I am sorry, but trust me they were long, sparkly, and brightly colored. It was a lovely day all around, and for the most part we ignored the weather happening outside.  But by 3 A was getting antsy to head for home while there was a little daylight.  We shoveled off the car, thinking it wasn’t much snow – maybe three or four inches, and headed up and around Penobscot Bay.  A couple of hours of slow driving later, we drove up our lane, to discover that our driveway was not yet plowed.  A put that Prius into low gear and blasted up the rise into the snow covered driveway.  She made it about halfway, before the Prius informed us she is not a snow plow.  We gave it a couple of tries, but no good, so we walked the last hundred feet up to the house.  And that is when we discovered that we got a whole lot more snow than Mom did.  No wonder the Prius couldn’t plow through it.  It was a good 8 or 10 inches deep!

We made it home safely and were glad to get into our warm home and play with our cats.  🙂

The next day, with the help of our great plow guy, we were able to get the car free and the driveway cleared.

Off we went to Ellsworth to the bank and out for a pizza “lupper” before stopping into exchange presents with some neighbors on the way back home.

Wednesday was the first day in a week that I did not budge from the house.  It was a good choice, because it was the first day of several below zero days!  A good one to sit before the fire and knit and plan knitting!  I swatched some of my Wisconsin yarn for a sweater – hitofude – that I will cast on 1/1/18 for a Knitting Sarah KAL.  Thrilled to find that the yarn works fine for it, as long as I do my usual, down one needle size.  I also worked on the test knit hat I am still working on.  I think I have found a needle size that will work just fine with that.  Hope so!  I don’t really want to knit it again.

I knit up the last ornament of 2017 for my Yankee Swap with A’s family, sometime this weekend.  I think I cleared the decks enough that I can spin!!

Today I also did not budge, but I was more of a puttering person today than a sit in front of the fire and knit person.  Tomorrow I might be warm and rested enough to actually go outside.  The temps will still be below zero, but the wind is supposed to abate, so it might not feel like a suicide mission to go out to the car.  🙂

 

So how was your week?

Yum   16 comments

Look what A made us for breakfast today!

Chocolate cinnamon buns.

Old family recipe.

Worth the effort!

Posted December 3, 2017 by salpal1 in how it came out, What I love

Tagged with ,

One week later   2 comments

This post is old, but I found it in my drafts – didn’t get to post it on time – but it has some PHOTOS in it – always a good thing, right? So, sorry for the stale news, but the cat is cute.  🙂

 

I have been home a week now, and back at work four days.  In some ways, the vacation seems like a distant dream, yet in others, I can tell I am more relaxed, more efficient.  In other words, I got a good break and am fully rested!

I spent the first day home doing laundry and just relishing not being in the car.  Oh, and cleaning out said car.  Friday I did normal weekend chores – post office, groceries, etc.  Then A and I had the weekend to relax and spend time together, doing important meaningful things.  Like starting to load the 5 tons of pellets she ordered while I was gone!  We got one ton into the cellar and stacked, and will try to get two more tons loaded in this weekend.  I think if we do half a ton a day from now to Sunday, it is manageable. that leaves us two tons for next weekend.

I went to Whorls and Purls on Saturday.  Though I only missed one week, it felt like eons since I had seen the ladies!  So much to share.  🙂

This week at work has been pretty crazy – we are merging, effective 10/1, and so have to get all the marketing and different pieces ready.  That’s my job.  So I came back to press conferences and sign measuring, etc.  And some of that meant that there were long meetings and car rides to Washington County.  Which meant knitting happened!  I actually ran out of mobile knitting at one point, can you believe it?  I wasn’t thinking about how long things would take, or I would have brought along one of the shawls I am working on.  They both are straightforward enough to be mobile knitting if I am sure I will have time to finish a row.  Oh well.  I did get these done:

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The hat still needs a pompom, which will have both the blue lining yarn and the handspun main color in it.  The necklace and hat are for the craft fair in November.  The sock is the September sock, so it’s mate has to wait ten days or so to join the knitting lineup.  I started another necklace, different pattern, but with the same yarn and black beads.  It always amazes me how different they can look with a simple change. Also, please note, that necklace is WAY more sparkly than is showing, it has loads of Swarovski crystal in it.

Now all I have on my needles are the two shawls – the chain mail from my beaded handspun, and the rainbow warrior with the Wisconsin yarn.  Chainmail was giving me fits because I could not wrap my head around the pattern, but I finally figured out what I wasn’t getting.  This is such a simple pattern, but I couldn’t “see” it.  Now I can and it should fly along. There were four stitches that were interfering with my vision, once I realized that, I now know I can easily memorize the pattern and I should be good to go. Rainbow Warrior is moving along, I am on the 6th section still, but expect to make headway this weekend. the ladies are starting to finish, I don’t want to be left in the dust! The pattern still annoys me that the line numbering is so far off from the stitch count chart, but I am to the point where I only need that once per section, so I will live. And there are only 8 sections, so I am getting close!

The cats have adjusted to me being home.  Allie was SO happy to see me, she followed me everywhere all weekend. Here we are doing some porch knitting.  🙂

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Zumba is glad I am back but clearly didn’t miss me.  She slept on the bed, I guess, because she gets annoyed with me for expecting her to move over and let me in at night. But I insist.  As I say to A “She’s a cat, I am human, and I pay half the mortgage. She either has to get a job or move over.”  🙂

This weekend we have no big plans – moving those pellets, getting haircuts, I’ll go to Whorls and Purls.  And it is supposed to be HOT on Sunday, so I might do a little gardening and then hop in the pool.  We MUST be near the end of that season. I don’t think I have swum later than this since I moved to Maine. But I am going to revel in that 80 degrees they predict for Sunday.

This is Common Ground Fair weekend, and for the first time in a long time, I am not going.  A few reasons – one is that I have no money, having just had my big trip.  Another is that I also just had a lot of time off, so asking for  Friday off didn’t seem the right thing to do.  And I refuse to go to the fair on Saturday.  I could go on Sunday, but it is supposed to be hot, and everything will be really picked over and I still have no money… so I will stay home.  But if you are around here, you should go, it is an amazing fair. And it has the BEST food and great fiber and so many other things!

I can’t believe September is nearing an end and fall arrived today. Sigh.  I do like fall but not what looms after it.  I will try not to think about that while swimming in my pool this one last time.  Maybe. Maybe it will stay warm for a few more weeks…

How I spent my summer vacation   24 comments

You had better get yourself a cup of coffee and settle in.  It’s going to be a long post.

On Labor Day, Mom and set out on our big adventure, driving to Wisconsin to meet a group of Ravelry friends and enjoy a weekend full of giggles and yarn and fiber games.  But before that could happen, we had a long drive.  We went a northern route to avoid holiday weekend traffic (which is killer on the one highway out of Maine) and later, Chicago.  I don’t love driving in strange cities.

We planned two long days of driving: the first to Kingston, Ontario, Canada; the second to Muskegon, Michigan, USA.

Everything went as planned, though the long days were made longer by lots of construction, beginning in Montreal and ending somewhere west of Toronto.  We stayed in a decent enough hotel in Kingston, and got a good tip from the desk clerk about the 407 – a toll road that goes around Toronto.  He said it would be empty and darned but he was right!  It was a welcome relief from solid slow traffic with loads of big rig trucks.  The truckers were all good drivers, but it is still not the most relaxing driving.

Border crossings were easy going in and out of Canada, the US Border guy was quite funny, thought we were crazy to drive to Wisconsin for a vacation. Maybe we were, but we weren’t turning back!

I haven’t been to Ontario since I was nine or ten, and I have never been to Quebec or Michigan, so even though we weren’t stopping anyplace except to sleep, it was interesting to see the countryside as we cruised through.  The rolling hills of rural Quebec are beautiful.  Ontario is much flatter, but still very pretty.  Michigan was so flat and green!  We laughed when we saw a sign for a ski resort off an exit.  There was not a mountain or hill in sight.  I wonder how far it was to that resort?

We crossed Michigan through Flint, Lansing, and Grand Rapids, and went north a bit to Muskegon.  We spent the night there, and got our first extra pleasant surprise.  We had a reservation for a room with two beds, nothing special.  But when we checked in they offered us an upgrade to a suite and we grabbed it.  It was a very nice room, with loads of space, big windows that open, a balcony, table and chairs, comfortable chairs and the required two beds. We joked that it was too bad we were only there one night.

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We had a great view over the marina to the harbor.

The next morning we got to sleep in a bit and have a nice breakfast, then went off to catch the ferry across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee.

It felt really good to be traveling and not driving, I have to say.  They warned us it would be a rough crossing, but to us it didn’t seem like anything much, just a bit of roll under foot. We were traveling in the business cabin, which meant that we got some free coffee while knitting in our comfortable chairs, and so we passed a pleasant morning getting to Milwaukee.

Once in Milwaukee, we were able to navigate our way through MORE construction to an old friend’s house.  She lived in Maine about 15 years ago, and Mom and I had lost track of her.  But when we knew we were going to be in Wisconsin, we used the power of the internet to find her and arranged to have lunch with her. It was so great to see her, and meet the special person in her life, see her home and do lots of catching up.

We left there in the afternoon, in time to find our way through the construction to the airport to meet the first of the Ravelry friends, Kendra from Houston.

So many people thought we were crazy to plan this big trip to spend time with people we had never met.  But we have all been chatting and sharing for years, and I knew we would be fine.  More than fine, that we would have a blast.

At the airport, Kendra found us easily, even having no idea what we looked like! Something about two ladies in matching gray fleece standing around the empty baggage carousel?

Our next adventure was about to begin.  All that construction?  Well, after two days of successfully navigating it, our brains and the GPS finally failed.  They moved a highway entrance from the left to the right and we completely missed it.  Got off the road, found the next entrance – it was closed due to the construction.  But we had Mom and a paper map, and we eventually found our way back to the highway in the correct direction, and were on our way again.

We got to our Airbnb in Hustisford without further delay.  It is a sweet little house right on the lake, and right next door to a pub/restaurant.  An amazingly quiet one with good food!

It is owned by two brothers who have recently remodeled the whole thing, and done a great job.  We did notice a few things that were missed, like bedside table and lamps, and we needed groceries, so after a delicious meal at the pub, we headed to Wal*Mart.  There we picked up groceries for the weekend and grabbed a couple of lamps so that Mom and I could read before sleep and not have to use the overhead light.  🙂 And for those of you who know me, I know you just passed out on learning where we shopped.  If we had known where there were any other stores, I would have pushed to go there.  But looking for groceries at ten o’clock at night in rural America means that you go to Wal*Mart, right? So we did, and got everything we needed.

Thursday was the first day of festivities.  We headed off to Beaver Dam, where we were to meet up with Deb and her knitting group, visit the local yarn store, then connect with Knitting Sarah for a tour of Nancy’s Notions before heading back to Deb’s for dinner.

We texted Deb as we got close and she agreed to meet us for lunch at a local restaurant.  While we were trying to follow the GPS directions to get there, I noticed a car behind me, following pretty closely.  Soon it was flashing its lights and blowing the horn.  I pulled over to let this impatient person go past.  Instead, the car pulled up beside us and the driver was waving madly at us.  It was Deb!  So, we followed her to the restaurant.  Meeting with her was just like meeting Kendra the night before – instant best friends.  Before too long, another woman joined us.  Sue is in Deb’s knitting group, and also the Ravelry friend of Knitting Sarah Group where we all hang out.  Another old friend we have known for years, not minutes!

After lunch, we gathered at Deb’s, and then headed out to do some shopping.  Firefly Fibers was our first stop, and it was pretty darned wonderful. It is not a HUGE store, but a well stocked one.  I managed to get a few things there before we headed out to go to Nancy’s Notions. (And started knitting with the pink and blue before I could get a photo, sorry!  The pink is Madeline Tosh Light in a discontinued color; the blue-purple variegated is Malabrigo sock in the Anniversario colorway.  The pattern is Rainbow Warrior – more on that later!)

Aren’t they pretty?

I didn’t get photos nor buy anything at Nancy’s Notions, but I really enjoyed the tour with Sarah.  If you want to learn more about the business, do check it out online.  I get their catalogs, and they have EVERYTHING that a sewer or quilter needs. I was curious to see the quality – you know how it is with catalogs – everything looks good.  Turns out, it really is in this case.  Nice quality products and fabrics. If you sew, it is worth checking out.

That evening at Deb’s was SO MUCH FUN!  We sat around knitting and gabbing, we ate a delicious meal, did a yarn version of Yankee Swap, and it felt like Christmas with all the gifts that Sarah and Deb had put together for us.  Loads of goodies, some snacks, and some fiber treats.  Sarah gave me this fabulous fiber from Three Water Farms to thank me for helping out with the group this  spring while she packed up and moved.  And I don’t know if she or Deb put this beautiful project bag and stitch markers in the bag of goodies, but I love it!

This is the yarn that I wound up with after all the yarn swapping was done:

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Our friend Jude joined us at Deb’s, and so when the party was over, we were four at the house.

Friday morning we were off to breakfast in Johnson Creek on the way to Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival, the centerpiece of our gathering.

I took no photos that day. We did have quite a group of us there – I have lost count, but at least 5 or 6 of us in one group, and then others from Deb’s knitting group and friends of Sarah wandering in and out of the crowds. It was an amazing event.  Like Maine Fiber frolic on steroids.  Two HUGE barns filled with fiber related vendors.  I never even got to them all!  I DID, however, find a few things to buy.  🙂  I know you are surprised by this.

The yarn:  Sock yarn from Knit City, unmatched skeins meant to go together.  And an amazing find – these two skeins equal a sweater quantity of yarn, and were only 28 dollars apiece.  Kendra spotted them in the bargain bin by my feet while I was perusing the full priced beauties at eye level. So a sweater for $56.  Not bad! And it isn’t blue-green, it’s just blue.  🙂

The fiber: the braid is super wash merino from Fiber Optic.  I have seen their ads on Ravelry and never clicked through, because I was afraid of the damage to my bank account.  So I was pleased to see them at the festival, where I could drool in person.  I can’t remember the vendor where I got the ball of merino/silk.  I was so tired I couldn’t do the math, so went on the conservative side with 10 ounces.  I wish I had gotten more, it is lovely.

It was a long day, but so much fun, seeing what all the ladies bought and all that they resisted.

That night Deb joined us at the house, and so did Adina.  Adina is moving to Maine and has hosted a few Ravelry gatherings here, and has come to Whorls and Purls at the Purple Fleece when she is not home in Illinois.  It was great to connect with her and to have her join us for dinner and the night.

So we were six sitting about knitting and chatting Friday night.

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(Mom is sitting out of range, but trust me, she was working on her endless sweater. And do check out that sunset!) Kendra and Jude shared yarn they had brought for us, so there was even MORE yarn added to my stash!

And Mom’s stash looked like this – she only bought one skein, the rest were gifts!  She was overwhelmed.

mom's-yarn-for-web

While planning this event, someone, maybe Deb or Sue, came up with the idea that we should all cast on the same pattern.  Kendra found the pattern Rainbow Warrior shawl, and we all agreed it would be great.  Some folks cast on Thursday night, some Friday, and some both nights.  🙂 All the colors look so amazing, the finished shawls will be great fun.

Mom took this photo on Saturday, showing our progress.

rainbow-warriors

We were expecting one more visitor on Friday, but she wasn’t able to make it until after the festival on Saturday.

Saturday we had planned visiting several yarn stores in the Milwaukee area, but we were really fried, and had this beautiful spot, so we decided not to leave it.  I was glad as I felt exhausted, and we planned to leave Sunday morning, so a low key day felt really good.

We spent the day knitting, with Mom and me doing some intermittent packing as well.

There was porch knitting, for sure. And when it got too hot, we moved back to the living room, never stopping knitting, talking, and laughing.

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Saturday evening Teryn and her fiancee Peter finally found their way to us in time to show off her festival purchases, and join us for dinner at the pub next door. We had a fun time, and we are pretty sure Peter did not know what he had gotten into.  He also might have been worried that he was looking at what Teryn will be like in 40 years.  🙂

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Sunday came all too soon. Mom and I were up early, finished packing the car, stripped the beds, and said good bye.

We were sad to leave, but still had more vacation ahead.  First stop, Chicago.  I avoided it once, but we headed for it on purpose this time.  Mom has two old high school classmates who live there, and we were meeting them for lunch.  It was a pretty wonderful time.  These two people, and the wife of one of them, are amazing people with such interesting stories, I could have stayed listening all afternoon.  In fact, we did for a few hours before finally heading out to continue on our way.

I was disappointed at the amount of traffic on a Sunday, but knew it was better than a weekday.  We were heading east now, and had a day and a half to get to Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada.  We stopped driving at about 7, which got us to the Toledo area.  We were lucky that the first hotel we tried was neat, clean, had a room, and served us breakfast, too!

Monday morning we set a leisurely pace, but still made it to Niagara Falls by about 2 o’clock.  We decided to skip lunch until we got there, because I really needed to be done with driving.  So when we got to our hotel, we checked in to what turned out to be ANOTHER huge water view suite! (The mist to the right is spray from the Horseshoe falls.) This time it was two rooms, and we got to stay more than one night!

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We got some “lupper” (lunch-supper) and went for a walk down to the falls.  It was advertised as three blocks.  The last one was a huge long one down a steep hill, but we did survive that trip!

I had never seen the falls before, they are incredibly beautiful.

Tuesday we booked a tour that took us behind the falls, a boat ride into the mist, and to a few other attractions in the area. It was great to not have to drive or figure out where everything was.  After we got back from that, we took the advice of our breakfast waiter and headed down the river to Niagara on the Lake for supper, and a view of where the river meets the lake.  This was a beautiful area, quite different in nature from Niagara Falls.  Mom and I agreed that if we ever come again, we will make sure to allow more time to explore this town.

 

 

Our original plan had been to take two days to get home from here, but when we thought about it, we thought we could get up super early and make it in one day,  we knew if that really turned out to be dumb, we could always stop part way.  So 3 am found us in the car and heading back to USA and home. The trip was uneventful and long.  We toughed it out and after a breakfast stop, we only stopped for bathroom and refueling breaks.  We were at Mom’s house by 4:30 pm.  We were able to convince A that she wanted to bring Mom’s car over after work and drive me home in my car, so I was done driving when we pulled into Mom’s driveway.  More than 2500 miles! It was long and so much fun, I know I would do it again.  But maybe not for a while.

So, that’s what I did on my summer vacation.  I should have enough yarn to keep me busy for a few months.  🙂

Thought I would wrap up with a few sunsets we saw along the way.  And one dawn.

 

Edited to add – here’s a link to the knitting Sarah’s blog post about the weekend in case you want to read about it from a different perspective.

 

 

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