Sunday catch-you-up post

Hello! I hope that everyone is having as gorgeous a day as we are – it’s one of those “nothing so rare as a day in June” days – light breeze, bright sunshine, not a cloud in the sky – no humidity to speak of – just perfect! Wish we could have more of these days!

So you know – I did get off the couch today. In fact, I have already gotten some noticeable work done outside! Sister-in-law L came over for a late breakfast this morning, and brought my early birthday cake, so we had a yummy breakfast followed by mocha cupcakes. Mmmmmm.

I worked out in the pool area today, and ya know, after a full three seasons of this endless toil, I came up with something that seems to make it go faster. Two vehicles. One is the old wheelbarrow with the completely flat tire. So flat that when I tried to blow it up, WATER came squirting out from many places. I guess we need a new tire. 🙂  The other is my old yellow wagon that we got when we cleared the land almost ten years ago. It isn’t perfect either, the handle is too short, meaning that it is awkward to tow, but it has 4 good tires and it has a dumping mechanism. So. Now I have a method that is not quite so slow and awkward. The wheelbarrow is parked in the pool area with the sieve on top. The little yellow wagon is parked next to it. I sieve the rocks out of the sand, the sand falls in and around the wheel barrow, and I shovel the remaining rocks into the wagon. When one or the other is full, I dump the little rocks from the sieve into the wagon, dump the sand in the pool area, haul the rocks over to the path I am making, dump them in the hole, dig out a new section, take that sand back to the pool area, and repeat (having figured out it is better not to make a pile that will later have to be moved to the path, just make the path now, stupid.) It is still slow and hot, and yes, it would be easier to buy a load of sand, but I am not giving up yet. 🙂 I try not to think about the fact that where the path is there are no rocks, because the pool was there the first year, and where the pool is going is where I put the rocks back then. Like I said, better not to make a pile to move later.

Anyway… L left, and A went off to play golf with Stepdad. I am taking a cooling off break with some iced tea, some knitting and my camera. And of course computer. 🙂

I need the camera because I had to take photos of what I am working on today, which is the Indian Feather shawl – only twelve more rows of lace to go – and then the body of it begins. See the tiny beads?  I really should use larger ones next time.

Indian-feathers-2-for-web          Indian-feathers-2-close-up-for-web

I also had to take photos of what I got yesterday at the fabulous Fiber Frolic! I had a really nice time, considering I went by myself with a limited amount of money to spend. I had a copy of the vendor list, so I had a plan, and for the most part it worked. Another $100 would have been welcome, but I will survive. 🙂  I wandered through all the vendor stalls, trying not to buy anything on my first pass. I almost made it, but then I saw this:

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Inspired by Monet’s lily pond paintings, which I love, and made by a company called “Two Gray Dogs,” how could I resist? You can’t see it in this photo very well, but there are tiny flecks of pink, just like water lily flowers. So pretty!  The two women were fun and lively, and I grabbed a card as well as this skein, I will be in touch with them again! They had so many pretty colors! I am a sucker for colors…

If you remember, Pine Star Studio was on my list, Linda has a wide array of nice colors, fun sock yarns, and other interesting things, as well as some of my favorite lace weight yarns. Here is where the budget interfered with my avaricious soul. I wanted some of everything. She has amazing cakes of yarn that are broad bands of different colors, I think they would make amazing shawls. She has amazing sock yarn, and she has lefty shawl kits – oh oh oh. But I stuck to my plan, and got this lace weight yarn – I have a plan for it with the silk garden Noro I won many moons ago from Claire over at Molly and Claire. I think if I hold it double, it will be close to the same weight. We will see.

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RIGHT NEXT TO HER was Hidden Brooks Fiber – the very nice lady named Carol makes the softest, most affordable angora blend yarns ever. There were several to tempt me, but not the blue I was looking for! So, I got a white one, and will dye it the right color. Again, an unlimited budget would have allowed me to clean her out of her white and gray and bring them home to dye myself. She is working on her website, and I can’t wait to see it up and running so I can order lots and lots of yarn from her. You know, when I win the lottery.

Hidden-Brook-for-web

A few booths down was my seriously most exiting find of the day. A woman I worked with many years ago as she started her business, and whom I had lost track of. Not for lack of trying, though, I love Judith’s glass buttons, and wanted more. Mostly so I could stop hoarding the few I have left! Anyway, I had tried to find her on the internet, etc. with no luck. So when I spotted a big booth with her name above it, I was thrilled. She was mostly selling her beautiful hooked wall hangings, but in the corner were her wonderful buttons, just as I remembered them. Hers are different from any I have seen (mind you, I don’t get out much!) and are perfect for the hats I can’t stop making. I limited myself to 3, but grabbed a card, so I won’t lose her again. Keep your eyes out for her – Judith Hotchkiss. Her buttons would make a plain stockinette cardigan sing.Judith's-buttons-for-web

Next up was a stroll toward lunch, and it brought me past a booth that just screamed with bright colors. I needed my sunglasses! I went in on a whim and found this yarn which I think will be socks for my littlest niece E who loves bright colors. It wasn’t until I got it home that I realized it has none of her favorite color, purple, but I think she won’t notice. 🙂  With a name like Mad Color, how can you go wrong?

mad-color-for-web

I saw so many other vendors that were selling things I would have loved to have – and there was a bead lady there who I have seen on Ravelry – she was selling beads in larger batches than I usually want, but I keep thinking about one particular set she had, so will likely be in touch to see how I can get them someday.

I also saw lots of old friends from the days when we ran our Incubator Without Walls program for small businesses – they all look so well established and professional now, it is fun to see them and think about where they were 5, 10, or 15 years ago. They have worked hard, and it shows. I wish I could have bought something from everyone.

I was going to hang about for the Ravelry hook-up at 2, but by the time I had lunch, I was beat and ready to go. Plus, at lunch I did my one extraverted thing, and channeled my dear old friend Kate (who made friends with everyone in a 30 foot radius always) and sat with strangers at lunch, and even spoke to them! It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. 🙂 I chose strangers who were sitting at a table in the shade. I ain’t no dummy. So if you are watching, Kate, you can be proud that you taught me it is OK to talk to strangers. In small batches.  In the shade.

After all of that shopping, and lunch, and the obligatory homemade ice cream on the way out (Stone Fox Creamery, Chocolate Salted Caramel, oh my) I left the Fiber Frolic with 17 dollars still in my pocket. That’s enough for another skein of Pine Star lace weight… or a couple more buttons… what was I thinking?

Time to go back outside and get some work done.