Friday, September 29, 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Most Excellent Video

A friend sent me this video on YouTube. Most of the time, I think these videos are silly. This one had me from the first minute.

So, I haven't been around much, here's how the end of the summer shaped up for me:

July 27: I go in for an outpatient procedure and end up spending the night in the hospital because of a drug-pushing nurse who couldn't leave well enough alone. Pain meds on a 24-hour empty stomach? Don't. Do. It.

August 3: Hub leaves for Alaska for what is to be a 4.5 week trip. He is going to fly-fishing guide school and has a chance to stay on afterwards and guide clients.

August 10: Jillian and I leave for Stitches Midwest

August 12: Little Big Man calls frantic because someone smashed into him at football practice and his knee is swollen to twice its normal size.

August 13: J and I leave Stitches to drive home for me to take care of Little Big Man

August 15: MR on LBM's knee.

August 18: Orthopod tells us that he completely tore his ACL, there's a small tear in his medial collateral ligament, and his lateral meniscus has a partial tear.

August 23: Lynne Vogel comes in for a fabulous knitting/spinning class. Totally. Amazing. (More on that later.)

August 29: Second orthopedic opinion on LBM's knee.

August 30: Meniscus surgery for LBM.

September 5: School starts for everyone (Sassy, Little Big Man, and me).

September 6: Hub calls from Alaska and casually mentions that the lodge where he's staying has another group of fishermen coming in and could he stay for another "week or so"? How many times can one say fuck in a 15 minute long conversation? As it turns out, plenty.

September 16: Hub calls from airport saying, "I'm here, come pick me up."

September 19: I leave for a business trip to (seriously) Milwaukee.

Please, "Jane!!!! Stop this crazy thing!!!"

Monday, July 31, 2006

What did I learn?

What color does this look like to you? It's supposed to be shades of purple. I think it looks "purple-like", but I hesitate to call it purple. Hub thinks I'm crazy, but I think it looks more blue. This was the last of the Chasing Rainbows hanks that I had. The other 4 hanks spun beautifully. This one seemed to have clumps of silk that made drafting difficult. There are sections of slubby gray-purple silk that have tightly twisted purple wool wrapped around them. Not my favorite skein, but useable.

I had 2 opportunities to dye while the TdF was going on. Jillian and I took a Friday and got busy in my back yard and then the next Saturday, I worked alone with the left over dye. I'll say that while it may be more peaceful dyeing alone, it's not much fun. There was no one at my house to ooh and ahh over my color choices. There was no one to take a turn at rinsing out the fiber and there was no one to share a latte with. I had a bump of natural colored Polworth/Silk mix that I split into 2 oz bundles. These are my 2 favorites from the 6 I dyed. This mixture took the the dye beautifully. One thing J and I learned is that fewer is better. We both liked the bits that we had used only 3 colors on. The top bump is turquoise, mallard green, and grasshopper. I poured the colors on and then "encouraged" them to blend together. I did the same on the bottom bump with turkey red, paprika, and grasshopper. There are some very cool bright green spots on this roving. I plan on taking these with me to spin on my downtime when we're at Stitches Midwest next week. Yes, it did sneak up on me thanks. At least I have some idea of what I'm packing, right?

Lastly, I am in love with cashmere and silk blends. This is some I bought on eBay last week. Isn't it luscious? I love the feel of this stuff in the ball like this, but what's amazing to me is how soft it is when it's spun. I haven't actually tried this, but have spun this blend before. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Tour de Fleece Fait Accompli!!

As Floyd persevered, so did I. My goal was to spin the equivalent of 1 oz of wool/silk fiber per day - 23 oz in total. While I didn't spin 1 oz every day, I did spin every day of the tour, including the rest days. Yesterday, I woke up knowing that I had roughly 2 oz left to spin to complete the race. I spun it, plied it and rushed to measure. The boys were already circling the Champs Elysees and my time was running short. Twenty-three oz translates to 1.44 pounds. This is what I got - see the little turquoise numbers on the right of the picture? It says 1.42. What??? Back to the wheel.

I figured that there wasn't enough time to spin and ply, so I had to come up with a compromise. I thought I could spin the rest of the weight I needed, but I'd have to leave it on the bobbin to count it as yarn. Not wanting to throw off the count, my tare weight changed a little.

I went back to the wheel, determined to make up the lost weight and complete the race with the maillot jaune. I actually have gotten fairly good at spinning while not watching my hands during this counter-clockwise tour around France, but at the end of the race with the sprinters rushing to the front of the peleton and my boys from Discovery, George and Eki, attempting the stage win, I had to stop spinning and just watch. When the action was over and Floyd had finally won, it was time for the moment of truth. Success!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

1. What are your top three favorite colors?

Orange, green, blue

2. What crafts do you really enjoy?

Knitting, spinning (both wheel and spindle), dyeing, scrapbooking

3. What products do you really covet?

an upgrade on my drum carder, Bosworth spindles, cashmere and silk fiber

4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things?

Reading, Tour de France

5. Is there anything you collect?

Besides fiber and yarn? No.

6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol?


7.What are your favorite�

patchouli, vanilla, orange (nothing flower-y)

�types of music and/or bands?
Dave Matthews Band, Indigo Girls, Black Eyed Peas, Patsy Cline, Maria Callas, Pink, Will Smith, Queen Latifah, Bare Naked Ladies, Johnny Cash (almost everything)

Sara Paretsky, Patricia Cornwell, Anthony Bourdain, Gregory Maguire, John Irving, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver

sheep, alpacas, musk ox

�places to shop?
a good yarn shop, SOAR market, Target


�yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies?
online, locally owned, Michaels, JoAnne's

�candies or goodies?
Scharfenberger chocolate, caramels, orange slices, peppermint

8. Do you have any wish lists?

9. Are you allergic to anything?
latex, bananas, kiwi

10. Do you have any pets? What are they?
2 dogs and a cat (not really mine, but they live in my house)

11. Please include anything else you would like your secret pal to know about you- anything that would be helpful in finding you little gifts that you will really enjoy.

I can't think of anything. I recently have been dyeing fiber and now have the black fingernails to go with it. I can't find anything to get rid of the dye (even nail brushes). Since I can't wear latex, all the kitchen gloves are out.

I don't like cartoon-y things. My favorite scrapbook papers are from Close to My Heart or Basic Grey.

I blew out 3 hand-knit socks this winter and haven't the heart to replace my stash. Since the winters here are cold, I need to get busy and make some socks for myself.

Thanks Secret Color Pal!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


After cracking in yesterday's stage, losing a little more than 10 minutes and all hope for a podium finish in Paris(and breaking my heart into more pieces than an impressionist's dropped vase) Floyd took the stage win today and came out in 3rd place. Hub had to call me at work to tell me the news. Unbelievable!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I rarely do these quiz thingies, but this one makes sense to me (okay, except for the kind and merciful).

You scored as Judge. You are a Judge Empath, one who is a "truthsayer". You can tell truth from lies, good from evil. You do not tolerate wrong doing. You are a defender of the good and the innocent. You are kind and merciful but do not play foolish games. (from "The Book of Storms" by Jad Alexander at





Fallen Angel












What Kind of Empath Are You?
created with

And a shout-out to Emma: Girlfriend, if you want to be thought of as a pain in the ass around here, you're going to have to work a little harder!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Lush Summer

With the wet spring we've had, everything is taller, greener, and fuller. These are some tiger lillies that I moved ages ago and every year they fill in with more and more flowers. I love coming up my driveway at the end of the day - all that orange and green. It's gorgeous!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Mmmm, raspberries!

When we moved into our house 14 years ago there were lots of plants that we either didn't know were there or knew they were there, but didn't know what they were. At the end of our driveway was an old wooden fence with a bunch of spiked vines all twisted around it. Hub hated the way it looked and pulled it out, vines, fence, and all. Turns out they were raspberry plants. Fortunately, he didn't get them all and every year we have a couple handfuls of raspberries. This year, it's a bumper crop. Sassy and I went down this morning and filled this container with the luscious little things and gorged ourselves on the way into work/field hockey camp.

They were so good, it makes the 73 mosquito bites I've been scratching all day worth it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Spectator on the Course!!

I sat down on Saturday ready for the Prologue of the Tour and had my wheel and roving in place for a quick breakaway when the race started. Then chaos busted loose. I was blithely preparing my roving and had quite a large pile of fluff on the floor next to my chair. The next thing I knew, Hub was mildly announcing that someone was making off with my pile of fluff in her pointy toothed mouth. I started screaming at the thief and she took off running ... with the fluff in her mouth. Hub chased her down and brought it back, "Um is that technical difficulties? No, it's a spectator on the course." And then proceeded to laugh himself sick. Who me?

I set a goal for myself of spinning 1 ounce per day of silk/wool blend. What I've been spinning so far is 50/50 merino and bombyx. It is so gorgeous that I may have just ordered more on line, despite my fiber spending moratorium. I have to have enough to last for the whole tour don't I? These are the skeins from a 2 ounce bundle of Chasing Rainbows. The lighter is brick and the greener one is forest. I'm pretty consistent with 50 yards in each skein. I think they'll be lovely accents for something. Maybe I'll just put them up for sale in the guild Fleece Fair in September. Any suggestions?

Since I only have one more bundle of it left, I decided to spin that little purple bump. Turns out that it's short staple wool carded with multi-colored silk noil. It's an interesting yarn, but not what I like to spin. I really prefer smooth yarn and with all the short bits in the roving, it's very bumpy and uneven. Someone will love it, I'm sure. It will definitely be going to the Fleece Fair.

Tonight, I'm hoping to finish up the purple bump and move back to the blue Chasing Rainbows that I have. I have been meeting my goal of 1 ounce/night. Five down, 18 to go!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Almost Here!!

Here's the route for the race this year. I hope everyone is as excited as I am about the whole thing!

Seems to me with all the fur flying, we're going to have one heck of a race. Wide open friends, wide open!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Language Weirdness

I made it to the Ann Arbor Knit-In on Tuesday night and think I remember it snowing the last time I was there. Time is flying so fast now, I'll be moving at light speed when I'm 80. Lynne mentioned that she was garage saling over the weekend and saw, "One of those long, tube instruments from Australia."

Everyone else said, "Didgeridoo?" Which is this:

I said, "Billabong?" Immediately after I said it, I thought, "WTF is a billabong?"

Then Lynne turned to me and said, "What IS a billabong?"

Being in polite company, I said, "Um, I'm not really sure."

Now I know.

What I really want to know is this:
1. Do they really speak English in Australia?

2. What causes those weird connections in your brain to mis-fire and supply a completely wrong word to your tongue that you immediately have to spit out and .5 seconds later wonder if that really was your voice you heard?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


"Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to reduce inequities and improve lives around the world"

First, I can't imagine having that much money to be able to give away. I applaud Warren Buffet for giving his fortune to the Gates Foundation and trusting them to spend it to benefit the greatest number of people.

I wonder if the Gates Foundation is taking applications. How great would it be to be involved with giving away the largest philanthropic donation ever??

Monday, June 26, 2006

Monday, Monday

This is the shelving unit in my studio* that mostly holds fiber. The ceiling in this room is 20 feet. (I think - I just kept buying those plastic shelving units until it couldn't go any higher.) It was a little overwhelming to try and find anything in all those boxes, but I persevered. Sassy helped me by holding boxes and filtering through some of them on her own. "Wow," she said, "this is a lot of stuff. How are you ever going to ..."

I stopped her right there. No need to head down that road.

*It's actually a corner of our garage that Hub insulated, dry walled, and painted in order to house his own hobby paraphernalia. He graciously gave me half of the room for my own hobby storage when I threatened to take over the dining room.

Here's the fiber that made the cut. The giant white skein is from Widdershin Woolworks. I'm quite certain I bought it at Maryland way back in 2000. Ms. Widdershin does not have an online presence, she only goes to a few shows a year and apparently Maryland is not one of them anymore. If you see her at a show, buy. It's dreamy, soft fiber and I wish I had more than 2 oz. I came across an alpaca/silk blend of hers in the box with this skein and I tucked it carefully back to work on later.

The Chasing Rainbows skeins are the blue, green, and terra cotta bundles. Now that I see them in a photo instead of in the fiber, I'm thinking I should have taken a picture with them laid out so you could see the amazing variation in colors. The terra cotta looks one-toned and it's definitely not. There's green and red and yellow all mixed in - much lovlier than it appears.

The purple bump is from Ozark Carding. On closer inspection, this bump is mostly wool with silk noils thrown in. I may bump this off the Tour list and pick up some merino/silk that I dyed in my Lynne Vogel workshop last summer. I just need to find it now. (see above photo of the shelving unit)

In related news, I had sandals and beer with Jillian on Friday and we agreed to a dye date within the next couple of weeks. I have all the bottles saved up to mix the dye, now I just need to do it. Maybe if I finish spinning the Widdershin blend first, that will be the first in the dye pot. I also have a giant bump of pure merino roving that needs to be jazzed up - all the possibilities there!

Puppy P*or*n:
This is the sandbox that Hub made for our offspring many years ago. You can see from all the weeds that it doesn't get much action. My niece Stella has come over in the past and upon seeing all the weeds, will go to other spots in our yard, pull up weeds, and "plant" them in the "box garden." Anyway, the pup likes to dig there. She found this small bit of plastic in her manic digging and after growling at it, picked it up and shook her head to kill it. Then she tossed it aside and went back to digging. She's a little too cute for her own good.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Can You Stand It??

All that is cuteness in a small puppy. It's difficult to take a picture of her because she's moving all the time ... until she stops, drops, and snores - a bit like a 3-year-old. We've all been sleepless for the last 3-4 nights. Moving her cage into Little Big Man's room seemed to help, she just wants to be able to lift up her head and see a body near her. Ready for the name? Dolly Varden.

My naming rule for pets is that it has to come from a book. We have Maisie from Horton Hatches the Egg, and Sophie, from Sophie's Choice - yeah, I didn't tell the 8-year-old who Sophie was, she just liked the name. Anyway, Dolly Varden was a character in a Charles Dickens novel called Barnaby Rudge - it's also the name of a type of Alaskan salmon. Hub likes the way we managed to combine a few of our hobbies into a small dog.

Tour de Fleece
I've been thinking about what to spin during the tour. It hit me that I should pick a fiber blend and see what I have in the stash. I picked 50/50 wool/silk blend - how much could there be? As it turns out LOTS. So I decided on merino/silk and came out with 3 two oz dyed bundles from Chasing Rainbows, a 2 oz skein of white from Widdershin Woolworks, and a 1.8 bundle from Ozark Carding Mill. I'm still searching to see if there's anymore of this blend in my stash. If there is, I'll have to narrow the search parameters yet again.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


She has read my mind I tell you! I've joined Le Tour de Fleece and couldn't be more excited about it. I just have to come up with my challenge to complete during the race and I'll be off and ... biking.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Not a Puppy

She's a Brittany Spaniel and she's 7 weeks old tomorrow. We're picking her up from the breeder on Sunday. Sassy is almost jumping out of her skin ready to smother this not a pup with smooches.

This is a full grown Brittany from Wikipedia. They're very good tempered, extremely smart dogs. They also tend to be willful. Our 8-year-old Brittany will take it into her head that if she's more than 25-feet away from you, she doesn't have to listen to you calling her. She frequently disappears into the fields around our house. Then she'll come back hanging her head and looking pathetic. Funny dogs.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Proof of Life

Jillian twisted my arm and forced me to sign up for Stitches Midwest. One of the classes I'm taking is Lining a la Chanel with Jean Frost. Is Trip-Trap a jacket? Maybe. I think it will do. Here's the back. I love the purple scheme of the yarn, but I was worried about the turquoise and gold that line the blocks. They look smashing together. If I ever see her, I'm going to kiss Vivian Hoxbro on the mouth. It's a gorgeous design and lots of fun to knit.

I've also been spinning. I think I bought this roving at Threadbear. (I'm in my blue phase.) It's lovely stuff, beautifully prepared - my own prep consists of fluffing it up a bit and I'm spinning away.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of leaving the ball of roving on the couch. Apparently the cat decided that it was a nice napping spot. Here's what she did to it. It better be salvageable, or I'll be making me a cat-pelt pillow very soon.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Who can resist?

When Hub started talking about getting a puppy, I knew I was done for. I knew that I would lose any argument about why we don't need to bring another living thing into our house. So, I just gave up and referred to the upcoming blessed event as "Not a puppy." As in, "When can we go look at not a puppy?" Or, "We're not getting a puppy, but are you thinking of names?" We went yesterday to look at them.

Does he look over the moon or what?

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Yes, it's yarn

This is the yarn I've managed to spin in stolen moments at lunch. It's the cashmere/silk blend I bought in Maryland and spun on my gorgeous Grafton Fibership. One cop, Andean plied created approximately 6 yarns of yarn. The picture is weird (strange camera), but it's quite fine and a few slubs of silk really give it some great character. Aside from the silk sticking to my hands, it was fun to spin - and there's lots more in the bag!

I hung it up on the bulletin board over my desk to see if there would be a reaction. {crickets} Because I'm not the sort to sit by and let lovely yarn be ignored, I mentioned it to anyone who happened by my office. Lots of "wow" and "it's so soft!" Then, of course, I had to haul out the spindle and show them how it's done. Lots of fun.

In other news, I finished reading Angels and Demons last night. It's by Dan Brown (of The Da Vinci Code fame) and it was good! I'm usually a little leary about reading anything my sister or my mom recommend to me. It's not that they read bad stuff, it's just that our tastes don't always mesh. A quick read, lots of action and enough of a mystery to keep me reading to the last page (and keep me awake late into the night). I've been neglecting the reading lately - mostly because I can't read and knit at the same time. I think it's time for some more books on tape. Suggestions?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Favorite Blogs

Because I'm still overwhelmed at trying to fit back into my life, you get a lame post about my favorite blogs. Each of these people inspires me to be more creative and more accepting of my own creations. Here are my favorites:

I'm lucky enough not only to be able to read about her knitting and spinning, but to actually witness it in person - Knittingfrau inspires me most. She's always supportive and suggests additions or subtractions or substitutions.

It's been some time, but Curlypurl is back. I've always loved reading her creation stories interspersed with her family stories. She tells great tales about creating and the eventual mishaps that happen along the way.

Lately, I've been obsessively reading Franklin's tales of Dolores and laughing out loud at my desk. If you haven't seen his blog - really, go take a look.

You're going to have to trust that I'm knitting and spinning - really I am. I'll have pictures next week, maybe.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Um, that's mine ...

Hub is getting ready to make his annual fishing pilgrimmage to Alaska, so he's tying flies. I came home to this the other day. See those beauties in the lower right corner? He happened across some roving I've been spinning from Hand Painted Yarn. The balls of yarn you see in the photo? Mine too. Every now and again he'll ask, "do you have {fill in a color here} yarn? I scoff, "Of course, what do you want?" Then we walk back to the yarn stash and he feels up whatever color he wants and makes a choice.

On this particular day, he snatched the roving from its place near my wheel. "I hope you don't mind," he explained, "it's a great blend of colors and it really does look like salmon eggs, doesn't it? This is him in action. Apparently, he's unfamiliar with the click of a camera lens and couldn't stand being still for one more second. And before you can say it Jillian, I don't wonder where Little Big Man gets his metrosexuality from anymore.

On another note, I finished something. This is Sassy modeling a scarf made from Great Adirondack Texas Bighorn yarn. It's 60% mohair and 40% wool and lusciously soft. The best part is that it comes in a 325 yard skein! I don't remember how much it cost (and can't find a price online anywhere) but I assure you, it's a great value. I knit on this thing for months and never once had to splice it. Plus, the colors are amazing. If you find it, buy it!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Lunchtime Spinning

What's this? Why it's my fiber stash at work. I got tired of hearing about how people spin on their downtime or their lunch hours and I wanted some of that. After Jillian picked what she wanted from the booty, this lovely Grafton Fibership was officially mine. The fiber is some yummy cashmere and silk that I picked up from Liberty Ridge. It's absolutely dreamy to spin.

Here's a close up of the spindle whorl. Isn't it gorgeous? Sorry about the flash - the spindle is so shiny, there's no way to take a photo without it being overexposed. The photo is pretty true to color - it really is almost pink.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Maryland Photo Essay

The first time I went to Maryland in 1999, everyone said, "Get in line for a t-shirt before you do anything else. Nancy and I got to the fairgrounds at a little after 8:00 am (offically the place opens at 9:00). We got a great parking space and moseyed on in. These are the people who lined up behind us - the line in front of us is just about as long. They aren't kidding - get in line for a t-shirt first thing!

I will show a picture of all the stuff I bought, but I wanted to let Jillian see it first. That way, she gets the thrill of the market. I do have other pictures for you though.

The parking lot is actually a farmer's field. We saw him cutting the last of his hay on Friday in order to get out of the way of all the cars. It looks impossibly big and I thought, "please, do we really need this much space?" Yes, yes we do. This was the parking lot when Nancy and I went to drop stuff at the car at approximately noon. There were still cars streaming in at that point.

My skills as an enabler are world renown. I can talk almost anyone into buying just about anything. When my friend Lynne was wavering about buying a Journey Wheel, I told her how wonderful they are to travel with, how easy they are to spin on, and how beautiful they are (she didn't need me to tell her that - she'd already seen them). She went to the Bosworths' booth and sat to spin and she really fell in love. She called me on my cell phone about an hour later and said, "Do you want to see it?" Here she is all loaded up to walk back to her car. That giant bump of fiber is for her Hands on Color Workshop at the Taos Wool Festival this October. If you're going to be in the area, I'd suggest you take her class. She's an amazing teacher. I'd be going if it weren't for this cursed graduate school!

These lovely women are Lynne, Dynese, and Ann. They also drove out to experience Maryland and doesn't it look like they had a good time? They had so much stuff in their car that they couldn't see out of the back window (that's stuff they bought - not their clothes and things they brought with them!). They asked Nancy and me to take some of their stuff back - they only gave us fleece. I don't think they trusted us with their combed fiber.

We drove past this sign for 3 days before I asked Nancy to stop so I could take a picture. Do the people of Maryland know how to name their roads or what? Right after I got out of the car, I heard giant "woofs" from across the road. There were 2 huge dogs eyeing me, so I snapped the picture quick and got back in the car.

Last, but certainly not least - here's the gem I brought home yesterday. This is my Sassy this morning giving it a go. I left the room to get the camera and I could hear the wheel going faster and faster. I said, "Hey! Slow it down in there!" She laughed and said, "Sorry, I just wanted to see how fast it would go." Fast, it goes very fast.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Cross Your Fingers

On Saturday at the Sheep and Wool Festival, I saw this:

This, my friends, is a 30" Schacht-Reeves double treadle, cherry wheel. It is beyond gorgeous. It is also approximately $1,500. While fondling this lovely wheel, a woman who worked in the booth said, "I need to get rid of that wheel. Make me an offer." I told her I'd think about it. What sort of offer do you make on a $1,500 wheel? Nancy and I discussed it on Saturday night and I decided to offer her $800 for it on Sunday. All she could do was say no, right?

When we got back to the booth on Sunday, it was gone. No big deal - it's huge and I wasn't sure where I'd put it anyway. Last night, my phone rang with Nancy shouting into it "Go read your e-mail!!" A local is moving to Europe next month and is getting rid of all his stuff. He's offering his 30" Schacht-Reeves single treadle wheel at an obscenely low price. I immediately called and made an appointment to look at it this afternoon. Anyone want to lay odds on how long it will take me to wrestle it into my car?

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Feet hurt. Back hurts. Best. Day. Ever.

Will provide pictures of the haul when we get it unpacked from the car.

spindles (5 - though not all for me)
Woolee Winder with 2 extra bobbins

...and more.

Must swallow pain killers and drink a gallon of water.

Friday, May 05, 2006

T minus 1 and counting

Today we took it easy and wandered around Maryland's antique shops. We stopped in a little town called Mt. Airy and while we didn't actually go into any antique shops, we did find this:

I spotted the sign from the road and screeched, "Yarn Shoooop." We made a bee-line for the parking lot. Inside was a tiny 2-room shop, but what this woman had in there!!

Of course I bought yarn - I dare you not to. I know, I made a point of saying, "I really don't need this, but...." So here's the rundown starting at the 9:00 position in the photo. This single ball of lushness is Knit One Crochet Two's Paintbox in the Thistle colorway. It's 100% wool. What you can't see in the photo is the incredibly subtle colors - it's sort of a periwinkle/lavender/sage green. Dahlia (yes, we're on a first name basis) assures me it is self striping in the most wonderful way. Two balls will make an adult sized hat. I just wanted to play with it, but Nancy bought 2 balls of a different colorway for the hat.

Next up (going clockwise) is Elsebeth Lavold's Chunky Al. It is 50% alpaca/50% wool. Long time readers know that I feel the love for Elsebeth's yarns. This is softer than soft with a light alpaca halo. These 4 balls will be a scarf - I'm thinking yellow cable up the middle surrounded by the sage. Fabulous!

At 3:00 is Louisa Harding's Sari Ribbon - 90% nylon/10% metallic (that's what the label says). It's a gorgeous 3/4 inch wide ribbon that doesn't feel like it will be too hard on the hands. J - you up for some of this?

The last of the batch is what I blogged about the other day. It's Nashua's Creative Focus Chunky. Isn't it the most lovely shade of blue? It's 75% wool/25% alpaca (notice a trend here?). Again, I'm going for a scarf - can't resist that softness against the neck. The shop is called Eleganza and is in Frederick, Maryland - just up the road from where we're staying. The owner was very friendly and gave us a tip on how to get into the Howard County Fairgrounds to avoid the traffic.

One more thing, please say hello to my newest friend, Lily June. She was born on Wednesday around 7:00 am. Isn't she gorgeous?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What did we see today?

Amazing things:

We started the day off at the Textile Museum. It's the most amazing place!! You can't take pictures of the textiles, so you'll have to take my word for it that it was way cool. If you haven't been - go.

Then we went over to the National Zoo. Here are my new friends, the baby turtles.

and their neighbors, the prairie dogs.

This young giraffe was desperately trying to reach the leaves on the tree above it. It wandered around and stretched its neck, then stuck out its incredibly long tongue - and the leaves were that far out of reach. Giraffe hell?

One of the crown jewels of the National Zoo - the mama panda. She was coming out to dine on bamboo for lunch. We could hear the crack of the bamboo stalks as she chomped into each one. Way cool. The baby was hanging out in the tree next to her, but declined to show his face.

What's this? The National Cathedral - and yes, Jillian, it is still standing even though we went in and had a tour. Even though I'm a heathen, it was an amazing, peaceful place. It's built in the style of a gothic cathedral (shape of a cross) and while it's officially the seat of the DC Episcopalian diocese, it's a non-denominational house of worship.

This is the largest of 4 rose windows in the cathedral (another cornerstone of the European gothic cathedral). I'm not sure if you can see it or not, but in the center is a 6' tall Jesus.

In the crypt, there is a small prayer room completely done in mosaics. This is the only one that was bright enough to photograph. They were so beautiful, that when we walked in, both of us caught our breath.