Thursday, July 31, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Growing in up in Chicago, most families took vacations to the Wisconsin Dells when I was a kid. My dad died when I was very young and somehow we just never did get to the Dells although years later my mom and I talked alot about going just before she passed away. When I was a kid we occasionally went up to Lake Meta (now called Meta Lake) near Eagle River, where my great grandmother lived, but never to the Dells.
I finally got my chance to visit the Dells this weekend - the brother of a friend of mine has a farm that encompasses Louis' Bluff, and they were there for vacation and invited me up for a couple of days.
There is a big part of me that thinks I could very easily live in a small town - and then the other part of me usually smacks me awake - but I seriously could have laid in a supply of Cutter and just stayed there. There is a great peace and serenity along the water of the Wisconsin River, and Louis' Bluff is up at the North end of the Dells.
This is the real Wisconsin Dells - not the waterpark, tourist haven that it has become - you can almost imagine that you're all alone in the forest, and although I didn't see any, it's quite likely that deer and other wild animals would cross your path here. We had planned to hike up the Bluff, but poison ivy is rampant there - I mean everywhere, and there are no cut trails. I decided not to take the chance, particularly since my neighbor just had it from her yard, and a work colleague had it from petting a dog . . . I contented myself with rides around the property in the Gator. It's a pretty wild ride, but other than narrowly escaping contact with a tree once, it was really fun :-D
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Here's everyone at lunch - a fine-looking crew, don't you agree? :-) We did not eat healthily I'm afraid, but it was mostly because none of us noticed the one booth that actually had some healthy fare. We were bummed about that, but we all really did enjoy the Polish food and bratwursts we had :-D
The fair was set up differently this year. I have to say I enjoyed last year's setting better, and I think there were more vendors last year - but with the weather we had yesterday, many of the vendors were probably glad to be inside rather than outside in the tents. There were still some outside, though, and it was really a nice mix. Plus there were some different vendors this year, so that was pretty great, and really if you missed it this year, you might want to consider it for you calendar next year!
It was pretty humid, even inside, and I seemed to feel this more than my partners in crime, as evidenced by my sweaty looking hair and the fact that all my makeup is gone . . . here I am with Little Loopy, and there he is again with Sheri. Little Loopy asked me where Cedric was (you may recall that Cedric, my travel gnome, and Little Loopy got pretty friendly with each other during The Loopy Ewe's Spring Fling in April :-D ). Since Cedric generally only travels with me on overnight trips, he was at home - and let me tell you that he was royally irritated with me when he found out that Little Loopy was at the fair!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
It's raining today - so how great is it that the majority of the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair is inside this year? Really great!!
More later . . . !
Oh - and p.s., I have NO idea why the comments wouldn't come up on my last post - maybe something to do with the video? No clue.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Geez - is it the heat? Or is it that some people just cannot be bothered to have good manners anymore? You know, there's really just no excuse for bad manners, and I'm a little ashamed that I lost my cool enough to actually call that guy a jerk. For all I know he's got a miserable life. Still, my taxes help pay his federal salary - I don't deserve to be told "you clearly don't know what you're doing" because I pointed out that the automated machine gave me one rate of postage and refused to print a stamp while he gave me a different rate and his snotty attitude.
Oh well - so it goes. As my Iona sister, Tori is wont to say: "Next!"
It is finally summer in Chicagoland, and it was a hot one today - on my walk to the train today I was reminded that yes, I do have asthma. I'm fine, and I didn't need to use my inhaler, but I could feel my lungs complaining by the time I made it to the station.
Hot Town, Summer in the City - I'm going to have John Sebastian's voice in my head all night long now.
:-) Keep cool.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Here's a look at what's been going on this summer! Yes, my sock mojo is back! I attribute this to Knifty Red's Cable Lagoon socks. No, I haven't made them yet, but I want to, so these Yukon Leaves socks had to get finished. They are made with Yarn Love's Scarlet O'Hara, which is a bamboo blend, purchased at The Loopy Ewe. I learned that I don't care for bamboo as a fiber to knit with, which is probably why, subconsciously I never cast on for the Country Girl Socks in my DIY Sock Club. That yarn was Bamboolaine. I'm skipping that pattern and the Bamboolaine is going in my Trade/Sell stuff on Ravelry. These socks are a gift for one of my friends, and I have socks on the needles now for her husband - they have graciously invited me for a weekend in Wisconsin at the end of the month, and I thought socks would make a good hostess present :-) Once those are done, Cable Lagoon, here I come!
Next is a Diamond Beaded Bracelet that I made at the Lucy Neatby workshop I attended in June through the Windy City Knitting Guild. I like it alot and it looks good on my wrist! This bracelet was made with Perle Cotton #8 and green seed beads on 0000 needles. Yes, you read that correctly: 0000. And Hot Dog! thanks to my SnB buddy B, I actually had a set of 0000 Addi Turbo double points! I got them in the Holiday gift exchange at SnB. I was happy to not have get them special for the workshop.
Next up is the Lucy Bag! I was looking for ways to use up some Cascade 220 that I bought on a whim for sweater and then thought better of it . . . this took 2 skeins (I cut the long strap a couple rows short) and it knit up very quickly. It also felted very well with only two times through the washer, and did not release tons of lint/fuzz into the pillowcase. This is likely destined to be a holiday present ;-)
I thought it might be interesting to see a project from start to finish. I started with roving from JWrayco in the Thai Lantern colorway, about 7 or 8 ounces of it. I spun it up into what I had planned to be worsted weight, but what came out more like bulky weight. I made a modified Irish Hiking Scarf (shown blocking in the photo), and with the leftovers, I made thumbless Fetching mitts (which are quite dark because they are wet still). The color on the scarf is quite true. The scarf was done on size 10 needles to get a fabric with some drape, and the mitts were done on 6's to make them quite dense. I like both the finished results!
Last but certainly not least - I don't think I posted about this before, but if I did, please forgive me. This is a scarf that I wove for my friend, Linda's (the Chicken Lady!) birthday. I made this on my rectangular continuous strand loom. Black yarn is worsted weight Lamb's Pride variegated, and the stripe is something that Judith McKenzie McCuin calls "Wolf Yarn." It's a mohair boucle that I made in class with her earlier this year at the Missouri Fiber Retreat in Jefferson City, Missouri. It is edged in single crochet because the rectangles are woven on the bias and it helps keep them a little more stable. I enjoyed this project - and Linda seems to like it :-)
I think that about catches me up. I'm looking forward to next weekend and Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair. I highly recommend this fair, and if you're anywhere within a couplethree hours of Crystal Lake, Illinois next weekend it's well worth the drive and I really encourage you to attend on one of the days. As I've mentioned before, we really don't have a lot of fiber events in Illinois, so show your support, people!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I love this fiber, and it's a new project for me - to be spinning something with silk in it. I'm using the largest whorl on my fast flyer, and it's getting enough twist to hold the silk together - pretty easy though, for it to fly apart if I'm not paying good attention at the wheel.
I haven't talked about the Iona Sweater recently - that project has been sort of on the back burner while I got to be a better spinner but it's actually how this entire spinning adventure got started. And now, I'm feeling like I'm ready to spin what's going to be 3+ pounds of finished wool. With PatsyZ's help I found a fleece from Moon Shadow Farm - a beautiful while Corriedale - that I will pick up at the Michigan Fiber Festival next month and the Iona wool will be blended with the fleece and processed by Ohio Valley Natural Fibers. And then, this fall, I will start spinning. And spinning ;-D
I've been spinning for just over a year now, and having things fall into place to actually make this sweater is really exciting to me. I picked up a great new book with some late birthday money from my Iona sister, Tori. It's called A Fine Fleece. It's chock full of Arans, shown in both commercial yarn and handspun. It's perfect for me, and I could (and probably will) happily make pretty much every single pattern in there. Don't you love it when you find a book like that? :-) The pattern I thought would become the Iona Sweater, won't, because I found another this past weekend in that book! I switched from a pullover (Celtic Dreams) to a cardigan (October Frost). Celtic Dreams will still get made, just not likely out of handspun.
It's going to be an exciting ride :-)
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Took a ride up to the Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin yesterday, which was the first day of the fair. Always a lot of fun, and we got free tickets at Borders. Even better! I got a beautiful henna tattoo from an Indian woman - she remembered me and our conversation about Bollywood from last year! I think she gave me an especially beautiful tattoo because I know who Shah Rukh Khan is and love Adnan Sami's music :-) I love getting a henna tattoo - it will last about 2 weeks.
Today will be spent relaxing and doing some knitting - and some teaching. My friend want's to learn to make the Montego Bay Scarf! I finished my first one awhile ago - here it is. Made with the yarn actually called for, Handmaiden Sea Silk. I loved working with it and will make another one to wear in the fall. This green one is the Spring colorway. Fall's scarf is the Paris colorway. Both purchased at The Loopy Ewe while I was there for Spring Fling. The fringe really makes this scarf. I'm not usually a fringe person, but braiding it really was the finishing touch.
Now that I figured out how to actually get photos uploaded again, I will post a few more finished objects shortly. I finally finished the second pair of Yukon Leaves socks - they languished since early May. I was right - Knifty Red's Cable Lagoon socks have started my sock mojo up again. They are not yet on the needles because I have one pair ahead of them, but I'm so anxious to knit them that I'm blasting through a simple pair of men's socks made with my favorite Opal self-striping yarn. Stay tuned, film at 11 :-D
Happy Fourth of July!