31 August 2011

More Lake Time

Ok....so I know it's hard to believe, but my second weekend adventure is....wait for it....more lake time.  This time Lake Charlevoix in northwest Michigan.  Yes...right into the woods and Lake Michigan.  I met my dear friend Colleen for a little R&R at her cottage.  Did I mention we'll be on the lake?  And of course, my knitting made the trip as well.

Of course, the moment I leave the city and start north, everything begins to change for me.  Once I make it to the thumb and through the construction (really....had to do this on my vacation), I hit the forest....the beautiful woods; two lanes of road moving through giant evergreens....ahhhhhhhh... 

Once I start to hit the northern towns, it's clear I'm "up north".  Although I was raised here and spent much time up north, I forgot how beautiful it is.  Michigan is a stunning state.  Everyone should come here at least once to experience the quaint towns, forests, dunes, lighthouses, cherries, blueberries, wine and the views....oh, the views; from the shore or the hills, daybreak or sunset...the views.  Ah...

The first day Colleen and I visited downtown Charlevoix.  It was misting a bit, but we're both pretty confident we won't melt, so we did a little shopping, a little looking and then a walk out to Lake Michigan.
 I did pick up some cherry preserves and vinaigrette....cause I'm all about the cherries...from American Spoon...yum.  Check out the site...all Michigan products and wonderful food combinations. 

Lovely afternoon with my friend.

I'm currently in the process of spinning up the border leicester/silk blend I purchased at the festival....2 lbs....what was I thinking...oh, yeah...wrap.  So far I have done well, although it doesn't look like I've made a dent.  I am enjoying spinning this fibre and a first on this type of wool for me.  So far, I have 658 yards....seriously...nice.  This wrap may grow into a sweater if the yardage continues to grow at this rate.

27 August 2011

Ah, Water

Ok....so our last day on Michigan's west coast was spent on the beach in Saugatuck, MI....
walking in the water,
watching the boats come in and out, people watching.....
and of course, reading. 
I have been reading two books by Catherine Friend; Hit by a Farm and Sheepish, which have me laughing and learning all the way.  What a ride.  I highly recommend both, but start with the first.  Basically the story of two women, fifty sheep and the adventures that ensue.  Great reads!!!

25 August 2011

More and More

Ok.....so here we are again, up for breakfast and out to the festival as it opens.  This time...there were many people, more vendors, more animals and a chance of rain.
So, the animals....we talked with many people and learned so much about sheep and goats and camels (again) and llamas and alpacas and rabbits.....we were just soaking up the animal info.  There was animal judging, which I know nothing about....."wow, they're so cute," is not a category.  "that one is huge."...not a category.  "those horns are really....." also not a category.....so, I stick to looking at the beautiful fleeces.
Jan and I both fell in love with an Icelandic sheep named Donna from Queso Cabeza Farm in Olivet, MI.  Jan made friendly with a Lincoln Longwool and for some reason, I was chatting up the angora goats. 
I was actually talking to a lot of the sheep too; making eye contact, complimenting their look....you know, the usual.

A great fun moment was the herding demonstration.  So much fun.  BFL vs border collie. 

We wondered through the vendors we had not yet seen awaiting Carol from Chicago.  We had a meet up in the festival.  Carol was coming for some Cormo fleece from Alice Field of Foxhill Farm, Lee, MA.  Well, we all got Cormo....lovely, soft Cormo. 
Then, it rained....yes at lunch time...it rained and rained and the wind blew and it rained some more.  But we were prepared with umbrellas and the sense to head for the pavilion before the downpour.  Now let me interject here that in the pavilion was the bluegrass band.  Makes sense with all the fibre and animals....however, those of you who really know me, know this type of music just hurts my ears......so soaking wet or bluegrass.....I listened to Carol, tuned out the bluegrass and stayed sort of dry.
So, we had been festivaling most of the second day and we were done....saw, touched, smelled everything wanted to, but there was a piece missing....we still needed to paw through our horde and play. 
We spent the evening spinning our wonderful new fibres, with a dinner break at Pereddies (Washington Square, Holland, MI).  Yum!  So I ask....could there be a better evening?

23 August 2011

In the Beginning

Ok...so when last you left your two heroines (it's my story and I'm making us heroines), we were headed for the north.  Finally I was off the highway and taking pictures of the wild dinosaurs.  This is something I've always wanted to do, but with Jan, I found the courage for this safari.  We had a smooth trip into Michigan and up to Holland.  Holland sits pretty much on Lake Michigan and not too far from the fibre fest....our purpose. 

After checking in and unloading....might I add here that when Jan stepped from the car she was amazed and happy with the wonderful temperature outdoors.....
we decided to try a restaurant called Piper, mostly because I wouldn't shut up about eating by the water.  Good food, good martini, great view and great company. 

We arose for breakfast and made it to the festival just as it started on Friday morning. 
Festival Plan:
*Step 1 - find the bathrooms

Step 2 - find the fibre

Step 3 - find the animals

Step 4 - find the food
Step 5 - repeat from * until all pooped out

Weather was a little warm, a little stuffy in the barns, a little bitching from me.....but then there was the fibre, and the yarn, and the baskets, and the hook kits.  We were in heaven.  At this point, some of the vendors were not yet there and not many animals to peruse.  We decided we had to come back on Saturday to participate in the additional festivities. 

However, there was Harry....Harry the Camel....entertaining the Friday festival goers.
Not something I expected to see...but a wonderful treat.  We spent the day at the festival, dined on hot dogs and grilled cheese from the Otsego band boosters booth and finally found our way back to the hotel to unload and look for yet another restaurant on the lake. 
This time it was Boatworks....right on the water...lake perch, sunshine, boats, another martini...a relaxing evening.

18 August 2011

Better Than Before

Ok....so I have finished the cashmere electric blue scarf I finished once unhappily.  It's much better this time.  Still not what I would have wanted, but much improved for wearing.  While knitting this yarn has been a pleasure, not getting the result I was hoping for has been an unhappy ride.

On that note, I'm taking a ride.  Jan "Daily Fibers" Quarles and I are leaving on an adventure today.  We pack the car with clothes (because we have to), spinning wheels, fibre, knitting, reading material and snacks and we point north....yes north....hopefully away from this heat and to Michigan......the lake, the Michigan Fibre Festival and did I mention, the lake.  We are on an adventure.  Two gals, two wheels, two nooks and the need to adventure.  What will we find?  What will we see?  Join us on the road.

Today we make the first stop of our adventure....now let me add here that first we have to get out of Nashville during morning rush hour, which seems like some sort of an adventure on it's own, although not the pleasant type.  Is there such a thing as an unpleasant adventure?  Shouldn't they all be pleasant just by virtue of the word itself....that's the theory/story/idea/fairytale I'm sticking with.  Once we leave TN and KY we'll hit....the Mass Ave. Knit Shop in Indianapolis.  I love this shop because everyone is so friendly and they have a massive amount of yarn.  Looking forward to a stop at one of my Indianapolis regulars.

17 August 2011

Lickety Spin

Ok....so Saturday was the monthly meeting of the Nashville Spinsters....great group....join us if you have a free second Saturday.  I was able to finish two hanks.  I have no idea why this came so easily and quickly this week.  My feet were running a marathon on the Journey Wheel and my hands were just following along.  Perhaps it was because I was thinking of all the chores I had to complete this weekend, perhaps I was chatting fast therefore spinning fast....perhaps I just wasn't paying attention.
The more we chatting the faster I seemed to spin....it was a whirlwind of fibre flying.  I love this monthly opportunity to see all the wonderful and varied projects people are working on, meet new spinners, see new people learning to drop spin, have lunch and chat....catch up....

These are my Saturday projects.  The Red and Black mixture is a superwash BFL dyed by non-other than Jan of Daily Fibers.  Pleasure to spin and exciting to watch how it evolves into a hank of yarn completely different through each step.

The second is a lavender and sage merino silk blend.  It's soft and calming.  Great spin also from Jan.

15 August 2011

The Refrigerator

Ok...my mum and I got into a discussion about refrigerators last night…..this came about because Liana had asked me about my new frig and if I had named it. I believe she suggested a female name to which I immediately replied…."No way….if anything this is a male frig. With all the noises it makes, it's just like having an old man move in with you." Yes…the frig makes noises. It has a water system and any of you that have one know the pissing noise it makes….then the ice trays being filled, the cubes dropping….it hums and groans a little. I'm getting used to it…and I love it….but it's definitely male.

My mum's frig also has an ice maker, but because there is no water line where her frig lives, the ice maker is not connected and literally turned off. However, the frig still makes noises like it’s trying to fill the trays. Not sure why, it's like it's genetically predisposed to fill the trays...but I figure it's kind of like when you neuter an animal and it humps everything it sees. It doesn't know that nothing is connected.

12 August 2011

Quick Spin

Ok....so just a few shots of my recent spinning project.  This superfine merino was heavenly to spin and is still so amazingly soft to the touch.  The coloway is name Mire Poix, which is so appropriate to the beautiful veggie colors.Enjoy!