Tuesday, April 27, 2010

An exercise in stepping out of the box

Well I thought it would be good for me to try something new. I decided to go tour the countryside as part of a farm and fiber tour.

First mistake: I went by myself. Now you know I'm not social, why did I think that going to multiple mini social events would help me?

Second mistake: I did not print of directions, the GPS will get me there. Why would I think that when it has failed me in the past in this general area?

First non-mistake: I took snacks. Man, can you imagine how irritable I would have been without food? Not a pretty sight. SHEEP where are the SHEEP?

So one of the first problems was my GPS did not recognize my first and second starting point addresses. I figured that if I go on the right road I could find the place but I did not reckon on the GPS dropping me off in the 5000 area of addresses when I was looking for 1930 Such-and-such Rd.

So I decide to skip that one and continue on to another one that I can get the GPS to find. So after another half hour of driving, I arrive at a farm that has 3 sheep and a goat. Sounds like the punch line to a joke. Now I am not saying that they should not have been included in the tour, I am saying it was highly disappointing after driving around for and hour and a half.

I decided to give it one more try at least but I can tell you that my heart was not in it anymore. The second farm I would call a farm. They had 10-20 alpacas and around 10 bunnies. They even had yarn to buy. Unfortunately they also had a kid messing around in the yarn room and I was afraid someone would come in and assume he was mine and make me pay for something. He was not doing damage but I thought I saw the damage potential gleam in his eye.

So I packed it in and drove home. Sad but true. Sometimes I wonder if I am really my father's child. That man can talk to anyone about anything. I used to be so embarrassed by it, now I recognize that as my anti-social side poking out. Turns out my mother is an extrovert too. Man what kind of super strong recessive genes do I have that could overcome that combination. Maybe I have a recessive turtle gene that I can blame. Now how cool would that be a shell that you could just sink into at any time. I bet I could even store some yarn in there.

Nice scenery, but ultimately pointless driving makes me batty. Read frustrated and irritated with myself. I am much more of a destination person. When you remove a destination or keep changing my destination I get frustrated.

So I am happily back in my box now. Don't judge me too harshly, I am what I am.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tea Trip

Hubby and I decided to be spontaneous this weekend and take a road trip to our favorite tea shop, Harney and Sons Tea. It is not a long trip but it is more than a stone's throw away.

I discovered their tea over the internet and asked for some Queen Catherine for Christmas one year. Description from their website follows: We created this blend of three Chinese black teas in honor of Queen Catherine, who introduced her love of tea to the British. We are privledged to have this tea featured in the Museum of Tea in Hangzhou, China. Harney & Sons is the only Western tea company to receive this honor.

I had just seen a movie about Charles II of England, who's wife is the Queen Catherine the tea is named after. I liked the movie and wanted to try the tea. She seemed such a strong woman in the movie. Yes I know that Hollywood does not tell tales correctly but I really liked her character. The odd thing is that Charles II must have liked her character too since he did not divorce her when she could not produce an heir for him. He even defended her when he felt she had not been properly respected by his mistresses. Now if that is not a manly man I don't know what is. (sarcasm intended) I guess even he respected her loyalty. (no sarcasm intended)

So anyways we were off to the tea shop. I love road trips with D. I think that was when I really knew that our marriage would work, on the trip from SD to Florida. At one point when I was singing along with the radio I knew he loved me enough to tolerate my quirks.

So we pull into the tea shop and I pull out my bag of tea tins all 20 of them. We had been commissioned to pick up a pound bag of Lapsang Souchong for a friend too. So we ask if they have the pound bags there, Yes. Two pounds please and could you fill all these tins too? Turns out they were out of Lappy (that is what we call it at my house). Can you believe it? We did manage to get the last 4 ounces. I bet it will taste great too.

We had to stop for gas on our way back and that romantic of mine bought me a vanilla shake too. What a Man!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A good weekend

Well we're back in our comfort zone. We really needed this on Saturday morning. Tea and scones really feels like home to us. Plus when you're sick you need all the help you can get.

I managed to bake some bread to go with my chicken vegetable soup too. I still need to learn how to let bread cool before we cut it. It is supposed to improve the taste and texture but all be darned if I can hold off long enough to see.

I finished my first Yarnkettle sock club winter selection.

It is a wee bit difficult to take pictures with the grass being wet. These are the Retro Rib socks from Favorite Socks. I made them with Paton's Kroy sock yarn and 2.25 mm needles. The color is Glencheck, I think. I really like how this yarn feels knit up. It is rustic with out feeling harsh.

One of my most recent purchases so intrigued me that it was cast on the next day. How is that for stash management? I will post details when I finish them. Not my normal colors but it called to me.

I found Ann Budd's blog (which is great) this weekend along with her new free sock pattern "Celebrate Spring Socks". I immediately paired it in my head with some yarn I bought 2 years ago at Rhinebeck (NY Sheep and Wool Festival). So here is the next installment of the Yarnkettle sock club. The yarn is from Ellen's Half Pint Farm, 50% Merino and 50% Tencel.

So since I promised myself that I would not have more than 20 pairs of socks worth of yarn in the stash, and I just cast on another pair that means I can go looking for more right? What do you mean I should finish a sweater first? That was never part of the bargain!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Remembrance of a day

I've not been to many funerals. I don't like death and all that accompanies it. I must say that this last one was one of the most peaceful I've been to. I guess death is not so much feared when it will bring relief to suffering. It was also one of those times when everyone in the room knew where she had gone. D and I were joking that she worked so hard here on Earth that Jesus would give her the first week off in Heaven.

My Mother in Law has MS and needs a chair to get around now. So I try to be extra helpful when I am in their house. That plan failed this time because I came down with a bad cold. In the middle of the night when all your crazy thoughts attack you, I thought maybe I have strep throat and now we flew all this way and will still not be able to attend, and now I've just gotten everyone else sick too. It did help me out in one way though. I really did have a reason to be sniffling so much.

I am a crier, it is what I do. Death and funerals seem especially bad for me. I was worried because D's family is so stoic that I would embarrass them with all my blubbering. I held out strong pretty well till we got to singing "How Great Thou Art". I love that song! The line "Then sings my soul" rings directly to me.

It was pretty cool to see a whole row of Red Hat ladies all lined up paying their respects. They were a sight to see. The family chose to display the red hat I had made for her.

So I think we had a classy send off for a classy lady.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


We had to make a quick trip back to SD for a family funeral. Service was lovely. But I was the first one to come down with a cold and I being the unselfish person that I am, gave it to D.

We have been slow to recover but we are slowly getting there. So that is my excuse for the blog languishing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Organized randomness?

I made bread this weekend but it was consumed before I could get a picture. Hungry cyclists will do that to a loaf. I lost half of my muffins the same way. They seemed to go over well.

I made an onion bread that was quite tasty. Not what I would like for breakfast but I bet it would go great with chili. I've still not tried the no knead bread. Let's say I'm still doing research, yeah research, that sounds so much better than not getting around to it. I did not know if the 16-18 hours thing is a hard and fast rule, I did not want to be up baking bread at midnight. My luck I'd fall asleep and wake up to smoke in the kitchen. Smoke not my favorite bread flavoring.

We had a new/old yarn shop open in the area so my friend and I made a Saturday of it and had lunch and checked out the yarny goodness. We went to an Irish pub and had pub food. Bangers and Mash!

I've always wanted to try it and I did not get a chance while we were in England. Good golly that meal was good! I told D we have to try it again soon. They had fish and chips too but it was made of Haddock and I am not a big fan of that fish, but I will have to try it.

I was able to take a picture of this yarn before I wound it into a cake. I so want to try it out but I need to get a bit more done on D's Peruvia sweater.

Oh and the following pictures are an example of what happens when you leave the Hubby and cats home alone with nothing to do.

Jack says "Dad said he wanted a close up, Mom."

Cat butt who takes pictures of cat butt? The person just odd enough to marry the person who would post those pictures on their blog.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Since the weather is so nice, I have pictures. The grass is getting greener and D is out on his bike as we speak. Well it is more as I type since I have no idea when you will read this and I doubt he will still be out on his bike then. Least I hope he is not.

Look new yarn! This is the Malabrigo worsted yarn I mentioned the other day. I'm planning to make Tang by Wendy Bernard. I was reading over the pattern last night and I have no idea how this is going to work. It is a very different construction than I'm used to but people seem to love it.

I'll be honest patterns rarely make sense when I read through them. It is only when I have sticks and string in hand that I can figure it out. I told you I am a visual person.

D's sweater is moving right along. It should be done just in time for spring. Ah well there is always next winter. It is made out of Berroco Peruvia, 100% Peruvian Highland Wool, color 7183.

That would my lovely knit fabric right there. Kinda cool Huh?

We went out the other night and I went to a wine bar for the first time in my life. As we were sitting there enjoying our wine I had the strongest urge to pull out my knitting. I resisted but I think D would have enjoyed it if I did.