Rhinebeck Bus Trip 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fiber People

Last night I visited the Woolwrights.  This is a group that does rug hooking.  I went there to share information with them about the bus trip to Rhinebeck.  I left thinking that fiber people are the best.  I learned so much about rug hooking and the Woolwrights were very patient with my questions. 

I have met such wonderful people while promoting the bus trip.  I'm so excited to have a trip with people from different groups!  Knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, rug hookers!  Old friends, family, new friends, people I haven't met yet!

As many of you know, I'm an introvert.  So, small talk and being around a lot of people drains me of energy.  But I LOVE talking to fiber people!  These are my people.  I love talking about their craft and learning new things.  It's been my experience that fiber people are always willing to help someone - especially if it means bringing a beginner into their craft. Some would call this enabling - I call it helping.

One of the best parts about attending a sheep & wool festival is being around my people.  Being around others who love fiber.  People who walk around doing things with that fiber as if it's the norm, because, for us, it is.  It's also exciting to see "famous" fiber people - the people who design patterns and write books, or who have a famous blog.

I can't wait for October!  Also, we now have 1/4 of the bus filled!

MAKE it a great day!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Solstice Weekend

Happy Summer!  Here, so far, we've had mild weather (aka low humidity).  I'm loving it.  I hope it continues.

This past weekend was fairly busy.  Friday night was a graduation/birthday party for my cousin's oldest daughter.  Elisabeth graduated from high school this year and will be attending Messiah College in the fall. 

In real life, Elisabeth is not blurry (she was also eating in this picture - I was trying for un-posed pictures).
I knit the Irene Adler shawl as her graduation gift.  A shawl is like a hug, right?  And I'm sure there will be times in college that she'll need a hug.  Or, maybe she'll just need a beautiful accessory to wear with a dress, or something to keep her warm on cool nights or in air conditioning.  Or, a pillow/blanket/wrap to use while traveling.
I finished Irene Adler 6/15/14, but couldn't share the pictures until I had given it to Elisabeth.  So, here is Irene Adler:
Blocking.  I blocked it outside and the sun was HOT that day.  The shawl was almost dry by the time I finished pinning it.  It was a little bigger than the pattern called for (I'm not big on swatching for shawls when I know that I have plenty of yarn & the yarn I was using has 950 yd/skein).
I ended up knitting the medium size.  It was Sunday, I knew that the upcoming week wouldn't allow much knitting time, and the party was the following Friday.  So I decided to stop with "medium".    It's still a good-sized shawl, it just doesn't have the extra fanciness at the edge.
I used Tosh Lace yarn in the Spectrum colorway.  This colorway has blues, purples, greens and some deep red.  It is beautiful!  The yarn is soft, and light, and warm.  I knit with size US 5 needles.
The pattern is well-written, and comes with both chart and written instructions.  I really enjoyed knitting this shawl.  It was a challenge for me (I had to make sure my mind didn't wander, and I couldn't knit this while interacting with people).
Here's a close-up:
Better lighting, you can see the yarn colors better.  Ignore the glare from my desk.
My cousin, Lori (Elisabeth's mom), agreed to model the shawl for me.  Elisabeth was in the pool with her friends.
Irene Adler makes you so happy that you have to dance around...
The weather Friday was beautiful.  Lori always has yummy food at parties she throws.  She even had vegetarian sloppy joe's for me (& her brother-in-law).  Elisabeth is smart and works hard and is such a wonderful young woman.  I can't wait to see what's next for her.
Saturday was a laid-back day, spent knitting and reading.  This came in the mail:
This is my June Yarnbox shipment.  It is 3 (!) skeins of Artyarns yarns.  The small skein on top is silk with sequins and glass beads.  It is beautiful!  The other two skeins are superwash merino.
I've been wanting to try the linen stitch.  Also, I've been reading past posts from Kirsten's blog.  I love her designs and her use of color.  When I saw these two skeins of yarn from Artyarns, I knew that they would become a linen stitch scarf.  I think I will add a fringe to the scarf, too.  I love how the multi-colored yarn and the semi-solid yarn look when put together.  Also, I needed a project that I could knit while interacting with people.  My other project is the TTL Mystery Shawl, which is a (beautiful!) lace shawl.  I cannot knit lace and talk to people.
How did you spend your Summer Solstice?  Did you have some extra knitting time?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Movie Watching

Today's Ten on Tuesday topic is 10 Movies You Can Watch Over and Over Again and Never Tire Of.  I do this a lot, so I'm going to have a hard time sticking to only ten.  And I'm not going to include movies that I watched over and over when my daughter was young, such as Blue's Big Musical.

1.  The Sound of Music.  It's a musical, a love story, and a good vs. evil story.  What's not to like?
2.  The Wizard of Oz.  This one also has music, good vs. evil and fantasy.
3.  Grease.  I was in 2nd grade when this movie came out.  I was already an Olivia Newton John fan, so my mom took me to the theater to see this movie.  This had to have been one of the first movies I saw in a theater (if not the first).  I have seen it many, many, many times since then.  I owned the album (2-record set), I had the bubblegum cards, and I have owned this movie in various forms (VHS, dvd, special edition dvd, etc.).
4.  Wayne's World.  This movie cracks me up.  I work in an emotionally draining field, so I love movies that make me laugh.
5.  Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  I have seen this movie many, many times.
6.  Sixteen Candles.  I'm a child of the 80's, although, I don't think I saw any of the "80's" movies during the 80's.  My favorite part is when Jake Ryan is waiting outside the church, by his car for Sam.  I also like other Molly Ringwald movies: The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink.
7.  Legally Blond.  I like Reese Witherspoon, and her character, Elle.  I also like Sweet Home Alabama (another Reese Witherspoon movie).
8.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  And The Hobbit.  These are good knitting movies for me.  Also, I have a crush on Aragorn.
9.  Drew Barrymore movies: 50 First Dates, Never Been Kissed, The Wedding Singer...I can't think of others, but I'm sure there are others.  Drew and Adam Sandler?  I love them together!
10.  Miss Congeniality.  Love Sandra Bullock.

Here are some others I've watched many times:  SWAT, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, other Kate Hudson & Matthew McConaughey movies, The Hangover, Thor, The Hunger Games, Hitch, the Harry Potter movies.

What are some movies that you never tire of?

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Weekend

This past weekend was...too short.  It was a good weekend, but I think there should have been at least one more day to it.

Mainly, I knit.  I was on a deadline to finish the Irene Adler shawl.  I did finish it - Sunday morning (yay!!).  I decided to make the medium size since I wouldn't have a lot of knitting time this coming week.  I soaked and blocked it Sunday afternoon.  It is beautiful!  I think it may be the most beautiful thing I've knit.  I'll post pictures later this week.

As soon as Irene Adler was blocking, I cast on for the Mystery Shawl.  Clue #3 came out this weekend, so I'm a little behind.  The yarn I'm using is a Pebble Sock gradient kit from Black Trillium Fibres.  This yarn is so soft and squishy.  I love it.  And, after knitting the 2 million Irene Adler stitches in lace weight yarn, the Pebble Sock yarn & the Mystery Shawl pattern seem like a piece of cake.  I hope to be well into Clue #2 tonight.  The only reason I haven't been working on the Mystery Shawl all day is that I had to go to work.

So, I knit and I talked to a few people about the Rhinebeck bus trip. 

What was your weekend like?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Knitter's Ego

Most of the time, I consider myself to be a good knitter.  When I first started knitting, I had no idea that some techniques were "hard" or that a beginner "couldn't" do them, so I just did them.  I've never really felt as if there's something in knitting that I cannot do.

And then lace knitting happens.  I enjoy knitting lace.  It's beautiful, and it's interesting.  But there are always some rows I mess up, have to rip out & re-do.  Always.  I'll knit and knit and the project will be going smoothly and then a "problem" row happens.  I don't know if I get cocky, or if I'm just unable to read properly when I get to certain rows, or if I suddenly forget how to count, but there are always several rows that I mess up.  And they frustrate me.

I think the mistakes happen when I allow my mind to think about other things while I'm knitting (like I can do with most projects).  I really need to be in a room by myself, and to keep my mind focused on the pattern when I'm knitting lace.

The lace shawl, Irene Adler, will soon be finished (I don't have any current pictures - it kind of looks like a blob).  I "only" have about 40 more rows (300+ stitches each row) to knit.  I need to have it finished by the 18th or the 19th so that I can soak & block it.  It needs to be totally finished by the 20th.  Plenty of time, right?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It's Tuesday, But I Don't Have 10...

Today's Ten on Tuesday topic is: 10 Favorite Summer Beverages

Well, I'm a pretty boring person.  I mainly drink water.  I love Dr. Pepper, so I "allow" myself to have one (or two) Dr. Peppers a day.  When it's really hot out and/or I'm really hot, Dr. Pepper just doesn't do it, so I stick to water (with lots of ice).  I used to drink a lot more sweet drinks (and not much plain water), but over the past few years, I've been making myself drink more water & now I do it without thinking about it.  When it's really hot out, I'll also drink coconut water (to help to replenish electrolytes).

Over the weekend, I decided to organize a bus trip to Rhinebeck in October.  I requested quotes from several local tour bus companies and one of them got back to me first thing Monday morning.  My contact person, Tim, sent me the quote yesterday and I accepted it today.  Within minutes of our phone conversation this morning, he sent me a confirmation email of my acceptance, along with the supporting documents.  The main reason I accepted this company's offer (without seeing any quotes from the other companies) is because of Tim's quick response time.  I appreciate good customer service.  He also answered all of my questions (this is my first time organizing a bus trip).

I am SO excited about this trip!!!  I'm a little nervous, because I need to find 38 other people who want to take this trip, but I'm going with the "if you build it, they will come" philosophy.  Go big or go home, right?? 

Having said that, if you're in the Lancaster, PA area, and are interested in the trip, you'll find the details on the "Rhinebeck Bus Trip - 2014" page on this blog (the cost is cheaper the earlier you register for the trip).  Oh!  That's the other new thing I did!  I added a page to my blog AND I added a "buy now" Paypal button.  I feel so technically savvy. 

A bus trip - with my people!  Going to the Mecca for my people, the NY State Sheep & Wool Festival!  If I read the info right, each of us can have 50lb of "luggage".  That, my friends, is a lot of yarn/fiber per person!

So....what are you looking forward to and/or what are your favorite summer beverages?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Chemo Hats, Quinoa Salad and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Last night was knit night with a group at the church that one of my Mom's cousins attends.  This group, KFC (Knitting For Cancer), knits prayer shawls for people with cancer.

There was a guest speaker - Danielle, from Bo Peep's Bonnets.  Bo Peep's Bonnets gives knit hats to women who are undergoing chemotherapy.  She also has an Etsy shop (sorry, I don't have the shop link), where she sells hand-knit items.  I believe she also sells some of her patterns.  Danielle brought along kits to make one of the chemo hats.  Here's the hat I finished:

It's an easy knit.  The swirl pattern keeps it interesting.  The yarn is...well, I can't seem to find the ball band.  The pattern calls for Hometown USA yarn, so maybe that's what this yarn is.  Anyway, it's a super bulky yarn, knit on US 13 needles.  

Most of the women in the knitting group are new knitters.  There were a few who learned to purl last night.  So, they learned some new skills last night (knitting in the round, increasing, decreasing, purling). 

We also had food!  We had a veggie pizza, cookies, little cream puffs (!!), fruit, and I took a quinoa salad with lemon-tahini dressing and roasted sweet potatoes.  It was all very yummy.  The quinoa salad was a throw-together kind of dish for me.  It was good, so I'll definitely be making it again.  The sweet potatoes were SO amazing!  They may be my new favorite.  The lemon tahini sauce was from Oh She Glows.  It may have been from her cookbook. If you don't have it, get it - there are a ton of great recipes in it.   She makes dishes that are simple and use basic ingredients (well, basic for a vegetarian or vegan; some may be a little strange if you're a meat eater) and taste really good.  The link is to her website. 

Sadly, I did not get any knitting done on Irene Adler last night.  That means that I will have to do a lot of knitting this weekend, in order to keep to my schedule (I have 12-13 days to finish it).

That's all I have for today.  The weather here has been beautiful (it reminds me of San Diego weather) and it's (finally) Friday!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Looking Forward

I am so excited today (in my low key, Introvert way).

My Mom recently discovered that one of her cousins is a knitter.  This cousin is part of a knitting group that meets twice a month.  Tonight is one of the meeting nights, so my Mom & I are going.  They have food at this knit group, so I made a quinoa vegetable "salad" with a lemon tahini dressing to take.  As a vegetarian in a meat eating county, it's always good to take a dish that will fill you up, and will provide you with adequate nutrition (in case there's nothing else at the event that you'll eat).  I've been to too many events where I end up eating potato chips, cookies, and maybe a cheese sandwich (American cheese on a roll or bread).  Don't get me wrong, I love potato chips and cookies (and sometimes American cheese sandwiches), but, nutritionally, they aren't the best. 

The past few months, I've been more intentional about eating well - eating food that packs a lot of nutrition & that has simple ingredients.  I feel much better when I do this (go figure!).  When I am eating well, I don't crave junk.  I have even found myself not interested in processed food lately.  Some of the food related things that I read (on facebook, or on the internet in general) talk about "recipes" using processed food and I find myself wondering "why?"  Why use that store-bought salad dressing (that contains ingredients you can't pronounce) when dressing is so simple to make?  Throw a few ingredients in the blender & you have an amazing tasting dressing.  So many processed foods are marketed as being time-savers, when, in reality, preparing real food does not take that much more time.  Take guacamole.  I've bought guacamole that was so-so.  But the guacamole I make?  It tastes amazing!  And it's not much harder to make it than it is to open that package of prepared guacamole.

The other thing I'm excited about/looking forward to has to do with eating better.  It's the CSA I signed up for.  Spring here had a slow start, so the first CSA pick up is next Thursday (instead of today).  I am SO ready for it!  I'm excited about having fresh vegetables.  I'm excited about trying new veggies & about learning different ways to prepare them.  I'm excited about having a healthy lunch every day.  Also, the CSA is already paid for, so I don't have to budget for it every pay.  I just show up at the farm each week and pick up my share of produce.

I'm also excited about finishing the Irene Adler shawl.  No, it's not done yet, but I'm getting closer.  It is SO beautiful!  I can't wait to take a picture of the blocked shawl.  I'm going to take it along to knit-night tonight.  Hopefully I will be able to get some knitting done.  I have doubts about my ability to knit a lace shawl while interacting with people.  But I have a schedule to keep, so I need to meet my stitch quota for today!

What are you looking forward to today (or this week, or this month)?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ten on Tuesday - the Concert Edition

Today's Ten on Tuesday topic is: 10 Bands or Individuals You Have Seen in Concert.  I really haven't been to a lot of concerts in my lifetime.  I went to more when I lived in San Diego than I do now that I live in PA.  To attend a concert here, I'd have to drive to Philly or to Hershey or Baltimore.  It's rare that I want to see someone bad enough to do that. 

I was thinking about the people I saw in concert & I realized that I attended quite a few because someone else wanted to see them.  I know I'm forgetting some (because they weren't concerts I wanted to see).  When I was in junior high & the first year of high school, my family had a membership to the San Diego Zoo (which included the Wild Animal Park).  The Zoo & the Wild Animal Park often offered concerts & we would go see them.

Here's my list:

1.  Olivia Newton John.  This was my first concert.  It was the "Physical" tour, but I had been an ONJ fan for years before Physical came out.

2.  Timex Social Club.  They had one hit - "Rumors".  Then the group broke up and some of the group formed Club Nouveau.

3.  LL Cool J.  This was back in the day, when his first album was out and he was a skinny boy.  He only had one hit at the time I saw him in concert.

4.  Whodini.  This was when "Funky Beat" was out.

5.  Run DMC.  This concert was the Fresh Fest concert and #2-5 were all in the same concert.  Run DMC was the last group, and the most famous (at that time).

6.  The Jets.  I saw them in concert twice - in the same summer.  The first time was at the Del Mar Fair in San Diego.  The second, at Hershey Park, in Hershey, PA.  This was the summer that we moved from San Diego to Lancaster, PA.

7.  Jermaine Jackson.  This concert was also at the Del Mar Fair.  The same summer I saw the Jets there.  Jermaine had a hit that summer.

8.  Color Me Badd.  A friend of mine won tickets to this concert.  It was at the York Fair (York, PA).  I know they only had a few hits.  But I liked their songs. 

9.  Vanilla Ice.  This is a concert that I went to because a friend of mine asked me to go with her.  I'm not a big Vanilla Ice fan.

10.  Little Richard.  This is a concert I saw at the Wild Animal Park (San Diego) and was one I went to because my parents wanted to go to it.  We saw many other concerts at the Wild Animal Park, but I don't remember them.  We also saw the Fifth Dimension at the San Diego Zoo.

The concert I'd LOVE to see is Prince.  Prince is my all-time favorite artist.  If I had to pick just one artist to listen to for the rest of my life, it would be him.  He has SO many songs.  I know that most people know of "Purple Rain", but he has so many more, and is still making music.  And let's not even get into the hits he wrote that other people sang!

There's my list.  Who have you seen in concert?

Monday, June 2, 2014

It's June, and Time for a Mystery!

Happy June!  In 2 1/2 weeks, it'll be summer.  Yes.  I know that many people consider Memorial Day weekend to be the start of summer.  I don't.

My daughter has 3 1/2 days of school left.  The last day was supposed to be 5/30, but this past winter happened, and that's all we'll say about winter.  Because I'm OVER. THE. ICE!

So, I signed up for a Mystery Shawl.  I love mystery patterns!  This is where the pattern is sent to you in installments.  You are told what your gauge should be, and given a yarn suggestion, but you don't know what the end result looks like.  I enjoy the not knowing exactly what the end result will be.  Yeah, I live on the edge like that.

I ordered the yarn that the pattern designer used.  It's a gradient kit.  Is it just me?  I love gradient kits!  The colorway is called "Pine".

This yarn is so soft!  I can't wait to start the shawl!  Because I'm still working on the Irene Adler shawl (& because I have a deadline for that), I haven't even knit the swatch for the Mystery Shawl yet.  I looked at, and petted this yarn most of the weekend.  The yarn is from Black Trillium Fibres & is the Pebble Sock yarn.  I can tell that I will love working with this yarn.  The service was excellent - my yarn was shipped the same day I ordered it.  I only have two of the hanks wound into balls because I made myself leave that yarn alone and work on the Irene Adler shawl.  I am still loving Irene Adler, it's just that I kind of have ADD when it comes to knitting.

This past weekend, there was an almost one-year old, a two year-old, 2 three year-olds, and a four year-old at my house (not all at the same time).  Yes, 5 children from between Friday & Sunday.  We spent most of the weekend in the backyard, under the canopy.  The kids had a ball.  My daughter & I (well, mostly my daughter) are getting pretty good at wearing kids out in the backyard.  We keep them running.  And then they sleep really well for their parents.

Here are some pictures we took with one of the three year-olds.  These are CJ's first selfies (he had to "push" the button to take the pictures):

Some of the pictures were...interesting.
Some were so cute.
Some were silly.
It was a good weekend!
How was your weekend?