Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I'm still at work, but I hated to mess up my streak for the month by failing to post on the last day, so I took a picture of this picture I have in my office of Rob & the kids.  This was taken in my grandparents' front yard Thanksgiving of 1998.  Carey was 10 and Logan was 7.

The thing I remember most about this Thanksgiving is that Rob fried the turkey but my grandmother refused to eat any of it because she was convinced that there was no way the turkey was cooked after only 45 minutes in the fryer.  Fortunately, my mother had the foresight to bake a small turkey breast in the oven, so MaMaw had turkey too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Odds and Ends

I don't really have a single topic for today's post, more like a loosely strung together stream of thoughts, so here goes...

  • Am I the only one that thinks spell check and auto correct is leading to a generation of people who don't know how to spell, don't know the difference between similar words, and don't know how to use proper grammar?  Not that I'm perfect by any means, and we all make mistakes sometimes, such as my frequent typing of "form" when I mean "from", but does no one proofread anything anymore?  
    • Today's acquaintance on Facebook posted a "sneak peak" at something.  WTF? Did a mountain sneak up on us somehow?  Did it spring up out of the earth like a science fiction movie?  And what makes it even worse is that the person who posted this is a teacher.
  • I know that my sense of direction is much better than average, but do people really drive the same route day in and day out and not know what the highway exit numbers are and what the signs say?  I was in an informal meeting not so long ago when someone was surprised that I could tell you not only every exit number I pass in my daily commute, but what the sign at the exit says as well.  Am I the oddball?  On the other hand, if I know how to get somewhere I can't always tell you the names of any minor streets you might have to take to get there, I just know how to go, but I do know all the major roads.
  • And lastly, does anyone find this sign as humorous as I do? I don't think the guy at the register thought it was funny when I asked him how the chocolate could be hot if it was frozen.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tour de Fleece Recap

The Tour de France ended Sunday, and along with it the Tour de Fleece I told you about a few weeks ago.

This was my first year participating, and I think I can say it was a success.  I met my primary goal of spinning at least 10 minutes every day, even the weekend we had house guests.  Most days I spun for closer to an hour.

The result?  I've spun about 11 ounces of the polwarth/silk blend into singles.  I also spun the fulled single I posted about previously.

I plied a little last night just to see how it's turning out in the final product.  After the class I took Saturday, I decided I needed to see what I was actually producing before I get too much spun and it's not what I want.  I like the one I plied last night, but we'll see what it actually does when I wash it, it could plump up quite a bit and become a little heavier than I really would like.

I definitely think the daily spinning has improved my spinning a great deal.  I probably won't continue to spin every single day, but I do want to try to spin at least 3-4 days a week.  I'm going to be trying to tackle some non-fiber goals in August, so I while I want to keep spinning consistently, I'll step back a bit to allow more time for some other activities.

All in all, I enjoyed Tour de Fleece and knowing that I was part of a larger group also trying to achieve their own spinning goals.  I didn't participate in the Ravelry groups as much as I probably should have, but maybe next year.  Because I will definitely try to spin again in next year's Tour.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Going Overboard for a Minnow

As previously mentioned here, my sister is pregnant, and her due date is in less than a week.  They know they're having a boy, but since they're not telling anyone his name until he's here, he has affectionately (and possibly irrevocably) become known as "Minnow".

Most knitters like to knit a little something for a new baby in the family, I may have possibly gone a little overboard in that department.

First, the knitted items I've already given them when I was out there in May...
A puppy woobie

Bib with adorable frog button (sorry for the upside down pic)

Burp cloth

 But that's not all.  I have a stack of other knits I've since finished that I plan on sending just as soon as he's born.  None of these are intended to be a surprise, but Julie if you're reading, don't go any further if you want them to be!

Lightweight Stroller Blanket
More Washcloths
Baby Sleep Sack with Hat
Baby sized "Old Man" sweater
 It's sort of odd in a way.  I knit a couple of blankets for my granddaughter, and I knit a christening blanket for my youngest niece (I wasn't really a knitter when the two older nieces were born), but for some reason the urge to do baby knits really came over me this time, and this was the result.  I'm sure it will taper off & I will go back to selfish knitting soon, but in the meantime it was fun to do some quick smaller projects that didn't take as long.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lazy Post

I don't have much to say today.  I haven't been feeling well most of the day and I'm just too lazy to write anything that requires a lot of thought.

This week at work could go one of two ways, either crazy busy, or not much to do.  Rumor has it that they've agreed on the big points of a state budget and plan to get done completely this week.  We'll see if it actually happens.

So only 4 more days in the month. 4 more days to say I completed NaBloPoMo successfully.  I plan to do it, and hopefully with posts better than this one, but if I don't show up one or more days, work will be the reason why.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Spinning With a Purpose

Today I took a class on spinning with a purpose with my three best fiber friends, Michiele, Roxie & Peggy.  Nancy Shroyer, who is the owner of Nancy's Knit Knacks and also teaches workshops across the country, lives near us and was kind enough to let us come to her home for a private class with the four of us.
Thus far in my spinning, I've been spinning with a vague idea of how many plies I wanted to do, and sort of how thin or thick I wanted the yarn to be.  Then , when the yarn is finished, I figure out what to do with it.  Today I learned more about how to plan ahead to get the yarn I want.  In other words if I know I want to knit socks, how to plan and spin so that I actually end up spinning sock yarn.

And for one of my biggest much yarn do I need to spin (or even buy for that matter) for a project...Nancy has an awesome, although mathematical, way to figure that out if you're willing a swatch  (yeah, I rarely do those, but maybe I'll change my mind for some projects).

We talked about different spinning techniques and what type of yarn they produce and what types of yarn are good for different types of projects.  I even managed to spin a decent woolen yarn! (Which probably means nothing to you if you're not a spinner, but trust me, I was VERY happy)
See my pretty, fluffy, woolen spun yarn?
I feel like I learned a lot of things I needed to know in order to take the next steps in improving my spinning. And as is usual when the four of us are together, we had a great time, with lots of talking and laughing in the midst of all the learning. 

Many thanks to Nancy for a great day and also to her canine helpers Ripley and Clay for my doggie fix for the week.
Aren't they cute?

Friday, July 25, 2014

I'm Married to Robin Hood

I was going to give you another FO Friday, but then, while practicing his bow shooting in the back yard this evening, my husband did this...

Can you see it?  Can you tell?  See how much further that one arrow is sticking out than the others?  Yep, he did.....
He shot one arrow straight into the middle of another. 

Pretty awesome huh?  Of course it would be even more impressive if he'd actually been trying to do it, but shhhhh we won't tell him that.  We'll just stick with awesome, and kinda' cool too.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mater Sammich

One of the interesting things about working at the NCGA is that there's always some group or organization touting their cause, and sometimes that cause is delicious.  Today was tomato day.

Just about every variety of slicing tomato, roma tomato and cherry tomato you can think of was available for tasting. 
But more importantly, they had everything you need to make a mater sammich (tomato sandwich for you yankees).
Here in the south we're particular about the ingredients for our mater sammiches.  Preferences may vary slightly, but we all have our definite opinions on how they are best prepared, right down to the particular brand of mayonnaise that's used (if you look closely at the picture above you'll see there are at least 3 different brands on the table, that's completely intentional I assure you). 

Here's my "recipe":
  • White bread (I eat wheat bread usually, and it will do if that's all you have, but it's really better with white)
  • A thin layer of Duke's mayonnaise on both slices (mater sammiches are one of the few things I actually eat mayonnaise on, but it has to be Duke's)
  • Two thick slices of room temperature tomato
  • Copious amounts of black pepper
That's all you need for a true taste of summer in the south, at least until the Silver Queen corn ripens later in August, and then you've never tasted anything better than corn and tomatoes.

Oh, and guess what I had for lunch?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

For Love of a Sock

My socks, thankfully not lost

There's almost nothing the fiber community won't do to help another knitter, crocheter, spinner, etc. out, so long as it's legal I suppose.

Sometime Monday morning, a knitter found a single hand knit sock in the Oklahoma City airport.  Recognizing the sock for what it is, a little piece of wonderful, she immediately set out to find it's owner.  She posted on Ravelry and immediately fellow knitters started passing the information around the net through Facebook and other media.  Someone mentioned it to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka The Yarn Harlot) and she blogged about it too. (Go read her post and the rest of her blog, and buy her books too, she's hilarious)

The finder of the sock was traveling out of Oklahoma City, so she left it with someone at the airport to be placed in lost and found.  Now someone who lives in the area is trying to track the sock in the airport to rescue it so a picture of the actual sock can be taken in further effort to reunite it with its owner. 

It may all sound a little silly if you're not a knitter or you've never experienced the pleasure of wearing hand knit socks, but I assure you it's not.  Somewhere there is a knitter with only one hand knit sock and not enough yarn left to reknit the lost sock.  That knitter is frantically looking through all their belongings and calling wherever they last stayed to see if the sock was left behind.  And when that knitter finally realizes the sock is no where to be found, that knitter will be very, very, very sad.

Imagine you just went on your dream vacation and bought a really special memento of your trip and it's been lost.  Yes, it's just a thing, and technically in this day and age you could probably make a call or go online and order another one, but it's just not quite the same is it as the one you actually bought while you were at the location it came from.  That knitter can make another sock.  They might even have or be able to find enough of that same yarn to remake a sock just like the lost sock.  They will probably make many, many, more hand knit socks in their knitting life time, but they will always wonder what happened to that sock.

So far, it doesn't appear that the owner of the sock has been found, so if you happen to know a sock knitter who traveled through Oklahoma City this week you might want to be sure they've got all their socks!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Girls With Purls Anniversary

My knitting group, Girls with Purls, had its 7th anniversary dinner tonight.  I've been in the group about 4 years and we have a pretty good time.  It's also how I met Michiele and Roxie, so for that, even if there was nothing else, it's been a worthwhile experience.

We meet at a restaurant that one of our members has an "in" with and generally have a loud and rowdy time talking, eating, and playing a version of dirty Santa, except with yarn.  All in all it's generally a lot of fun.

As usual, work was fickle this afternoon and I thought I might not make it, but since by 6:00 the people I was waiting on still didn't know what they wanted me to do for tomorrow, I left work and went to the dinner.  (Of course now that I'm home I had to take care of what they finally decided they wanted prepared, but it beats sitting around work waiting).

I did take a few pictures, but they're all pretty much of people sitting and standing around tables talking and then things got fun and I got to talking and forgot to take any more pictures.  So I decided since you really couldn't see anything interesting in the pictures, I'd just leave them out.

Here, have a cute cat picture instead.....

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pencils, Paper, and Pens....Oh My!

These are mine!

I admit it.  I'm an office/school supply addict.  I am completely incapable of going into an actual office supply store and walking out with nothing, even if they don't have what I went in for, I have to buy something!

Tonight's downfall however was the result of a "quick" trip to Walmart on my way home.  I needed to pick up 2 things, but right as you walk in the supplies!

I can't be the only one whose favorite part of a new school year was getting all the new paper, notebooks, pens and pencils.  I just never outgrew it I guess.  When my kids were in school I loved going shopping for all the school supplies.  Now that my kids are grown, I don't have that excuse. 

But then it dawned on me....I have nieces...and two of them are in elementary school.  They're in year round school and they're getting ready to start their new school year so I got my sister-in-law to send me their school lists.  Then Walmart...I shopped!

Some pens, some pencils, folders & notebooks.  Index cards, glue sticks, crayons & dry erase markers.  A little of this, a little of that.  I had a blast.

Their lists are so long, I really didn't get that much in the grand scheme of things.  I left things like binders and pencil pouches for the girls to pick out.  Things that allow them to show their personality by picking a favorite color or print. 

And of course, I couldn't resist getting a few pens for myself.  I needed them...really...I promise.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Spinning My Wheels

I spent the afternoon in Chapel Hill with the Chapel Hill Spinners.  On the drive up, I had a plan.  That plan was to take lots of pictures of everyone spinning and all the lovely spinning wheels and spindles so I could share that with you here and fill up most of the page with pictures.

Yeah, well...I didn't take a single picture.  I got there and was having so much fun chatting and ooohing and aaahing over what everyone was doing that I just completely, and totally forgot until I was pulling out of the parking lot to head home.

There were a lot of lovely wheels and spindles and tons of gorgeous fiber being spun.  Maryann of Three Waters Farm also had some fabulous fiber for sale.

So even though my brilliant plan was a fail, you still get this post, just without all the pretty pictures.  But I did manage to get 2 oz. of my polwarth/silk spun and finished filling another bobbin, so you'll have to make do with a picture of that.
A little boring I know, but it will be fabulous when plied and dyed and knit into a sweater!
Anyway, if you're a spinner and live within a reasonable distance of Chapel Hill, come join us.  It's a friendly group of people of all kinds and very informal. If you're not a spinner, but would like to learn, Maryann does a free drop spindle lesson an hour before the meeting time every time we meet.  Meetings are once a month either on a Sunday afternoon or a Wednesday night and they're posted on the Facebook page linked above.  We're skipping August, so next meeting is September and the tentative date is September 17.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Full Day

You may remember that I told you about the fiber I dyed at Carolina Fiber Frolic, which didn't turn out at all like I'd planned, and how I used Michiele's drum carder to turn it into batts for spinning.

I spun that up this past week and I decided to try my hand at a fulled single ply yarn.  Fulling is pretty much like felting, you just don't do it as long or as hard so they yarn doesn't really felt, it just starts to.  The fulling of a single helps it stay together so that the fiber doesn't separate when you knit, crochet or weave with it.
This was the result.  I'm not in love with it in a lot of ways, but I'm not completely disappointed either.  I don't remember what kind of wool this was, but I have a suspicion that it was at least partially superwash something because it didn't full all that much.  It did a little, enough that I think the yarn will stay together and be usable, but this might not have been the best fiber to test my fulling skills.

There is definitely more twist in the singles than I should have for a fulled single, so I have a feeling the yarn will bias a lot if I try to knit with it.  I think I'm probably going to try weaving with it, if I can figure out what to combine it with to make something attractive.

After all that, I'm still most disappointed in the color.  It's all muted and muddy and while it is sort of pretty in a way, it's so far from what I was going for that I just look at it and go "meh".  I'm going to have to do some thinking to decide what might bring out more of the color in a weaving project.

In addition to getting the yarn washed this morning, I also washed all the baby gifts I've knit for my soon to be born nephew so that I can hopefully get those in the mail soon.  We went to a birthday party for one of Rob's coworker's 1 year old daughter for a couple of hours this afternoon and then went out to dinner before coming home.

So yes, it was a full day.  I know, I'm groaning too, but I couldn't resist

Friday, July 18, 2014

FO Friday

I've been trying to add more hand knit socks to my sock drawer and here's my latest pair.  I like the way the yarn striped around the foot, but I got some pooling on the legs because I had to increase the number of stitches to fit my calves. Just a plain vanilla sock with a 3/1 rib, but I used the Fish Lips Kiss Heel for the first time and I think I like it.  I've started a pair for Rob using the same method, so we'll see how it works for him, but I think it may become my "go to" heel for plain socks.

I used to think I'd never really be a sock knitter because I had the hardest time making a pair that fit.  But I seem to be getting better at it, and really, once you wear hand knit socks in the winter, you really won't want to wear anything else!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday

When my son was younger & visiting my parents one weekend, he apparently decided it would be cute to scan this picture of me and upload it to Facebook.

This is me in I believe 7th grade.  As you can see, even then I was not a fashion plate, although those glasses and that Izod shirt were IN when this picture was taken. 

I actually remember the day this picture was taken because I totally forgot it was picture day.  Maybe that explains the red ribbon with the pink shirt?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On Putting Yourself Out There

This picture is of my friend and coworker Wendy crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon this year. Not only did she finish, but she beat her own personal marathon time record as well.

Wendy is an athlete.  She doesn't just run marathons, she has completed Ironman Triathlons as well. In other words, she swims 2.4 miles, bikes 112 miles, and THEN runs a marathon (26.2 miles).

I've always been in awe of Wendy and wondered how she managed to find the time for it all. I mean the training time alone must be hours every day, but she works the same crazy hours I work in the same stressful job, and on top of that she has two children still in elementary school.

I admire Wendy's dedication and commitment to her training. At times I think she's got to be a little bit of a freak for doing all that exercise, but maybe that's only because I can't seem to motivate myself to exercise at all. And except for an elevated Diet Coke consumption (but who can blame her), she's probably the healthiest eater I know.

Part of me has always looked at Wendy and thought "man, if I could only have everything so together".

But what I didn't know until recently is that Wendy's an alcoholic. We've worked together for 14 years, she's been in recovery for 4, but I only found out when Wendy started her blog, Active Recovery, in May and posted a link on Facebook for everyone on her friend list to see.

My initial reaction was shock. I mean how could I not have known or at least suspected right? Wrong, but that's not what I really want to talk about. What I realized after that was this was just another reason to admire her.

Not because she's an alcoholic, or even because she's an alcoholic in recovery, but because she's decided to put herself out there. Not only has she realized it's not shameful to admit you don't have or can't do it all, and it's o.k. to talk about it, but she's found the courage to admit it and talk about it with as many people as possible.

I struggle sometimes with what to say or post on this blog because I worry I might reveal too much or piss someone off. It's tempting to make your life sound idyllic when you have total control over what's being posted. It's also easy to tell someone else that their problems, issues, or weaknesses aren't shameful to talk about. But it's a lot harder to actually talk about when it's your own problems, issues, or weaknesses because in the back of your mind you're always wondering what others really think.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that although I've always wished I was a little more like Wendy in my eating and exercise habits (although you can probably forget the triathlon, and the marathon too), her bravery is what I really wish I could duplicate. Maybe someday.

Go read her blog, even if you've never had to deal with an addiction, it's an interesting and eye opening read.

*For those who might wonder, I did ask Wendy's permission to talk about her, but I didn't really tell her what I was going to say. And I totally stole the picture at the top of the page from her blog as well, hopefully she won't sue me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sad News in Sanford

The little town I live in lost a landmark this morning.

Fairview Dairy Bar is your traditional small town restaurant serving a little bit of everything.  It's been open for 60 years and it's our favorite place for breakfast on the weekends. It's where we go when we want a burger and fries, ice cream, or meat and vegetables.  All you can eat shrimp on Friday night is a favorite as well.

Around 3:30 this morning, it had a fire.  No word yet on what happened, although from the looks of it, I'm guessing it wasn't an accident.  Not that I know anything about fires mind you.  The SBI will be investigating, but I won't be surprised if they find out it was arson.

This is the second restaurant in town that we really liked that has had a fire.  It's kind of like how they always cancel the TV shows that we like the best.  Maybe we're a jinx?

Probably too early for the owners to know if they will rebuild or not, but I sure hope they do.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mindless Monday

No, this is not a new theme for Mondays, well I guess it could be, but it's more a comment on my lack of brain cells at the moment.  It's Monday.  It's the unpredictable time of my work year.  It has caused my brain to be a little scattered, and as a result, the only things I can think to write about today are posts that require more brain power than I currently possess.

So instead, you get this...

Nothing like a little mindless yarn winding when you don't have the concentration to do much else.

But y'all....I'm getting ready to knit with my OWN handspun for the first time EVER!....I think I just squealed a little.

Hopefully I'll have a little more for you tomorrow.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


My in-laws are gone.  My daughter, her fiance, and her friend are gone.  My husband has gone to bed.  It's 10:15 PM and except for the sound of the dryer my house is quiet.  Finally.

Don't get me wrong.  I enjoyed seeing everyone.  The bridal shower was fun.  Some friends came over and hung out on the back deck last night.  It was a people filled, social, weekend.  But I'm glad it's over.

It seems the older I get the more I crave quiet.  I enjoy socializing.  I like people and I like to be around them.  Entertaining is fun, when it's my choice.  Going out and doing things is fun.  But I need the quiet time to balance it all out.

I think it actually has more to do with sound than people.  I have the sound on my computer and phone (except for a call or text) turned off.  I play a few games on my phone or online, but I turn the sound off on those because I can't stand the dings and dongs and repetitive carnival songs that play over and over.

It's not all sound all the time though.  I listen to audio books in the car, and I enjoy watching a couple of hours of TV with my husband each night.  I listen to music sometimes and I've recently started listening to podcasts while I spin.  So it's not sound in general that bothers me, it's more the quantity of sound.

I sometimes reach a point in the day, usually in the evening, where I truly feel like I might scream if I have to hear another sound.  I've even tried Googling to see if there's some medical name for it.  Yes, seriously.  But there doesn't seem to be a name for it that I can find.  It's as if I have a physical capacity for only so much sound every day and then I can't take anymore.

I've always like a little quiet time to myself, so maybe I'm getting old.  Who knows, maybe I'm just getting weirder.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

84 Days & Counting

My daughter is getting married October 4th and today she had her first bridal shower hosted by my mother, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law.

Carey with the hostesses

Carey and the Jr. Hostesses, my two oldest nieces
Carey & me
There was food and fun, and of course lots of gifts.

My sister-in-law came up with lots of creative ideas, like this party favor of a mini bottle of shower gel with a tag that says "From my shower to yours".

The "traditional" ribbon hat was rather stunning don't you think?
Can you tell that her primary wedding color is purple? 

Many thanks to the hostesses, and to those friends and family that came to share in the festivities.  The count down has begun!

Friday, July 11, 2014

FO Friday

Our daughter & her fiance, and my in-laws are all here this weekend for a bridal shower tomorrow, so since I really haven't thought much about today's post I decided it would be a good time to implement "FO Friday".

FO (finished object) Friday will involve showing you objects I've recently (or maybe not so recently if I haven't actually shown it to you yet) finished, knitting, spinning, weaving, or whatever other craft I might use to create the object.

For my first FO Friday I will share the mistake riddled scarf that is the result of my weaving efforts I shared in this recent post.  There is definitely lots of room for improvement, but I learned a lot, including what things I need to learn how to do better.

I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to weave next, but it will have to wait until my craft room is not being used as the overflow guest room.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Sorry for the fuzzy picture this week.  The original is just as bad, so if you can't tell, that's me in the white skirt laying across the front.

The question is, can anyone tell where this picture was taken?  Anyone?  Bueller?

That my friends was taken in June 1984, 30 years ago in the 1200 court of the North Carolina Legislative Building the week I was a page for the North Carolina General Assembly.

For those that may not know, I have worked as an attorney for the General Assembly for over 18 years, so maybe you could call this a sign of things to come.

Still, it's a perfect example of why I love going back through old pictures.  I never thought at that time, that I would spend my career working there, but that's definitely the summer that I first became interested in government.  1984 was a busy summer for me.  After I was a House page for a week, I went to Rotary Youth Leadership at Guilford College for a week, and then went to Governor's School West for 8 weeks.  Governor's School was where I first found out about the North Carolina Student Legislature, which I was heavily involved in through the rest of high school and college, and the rest I guess is history. 

On a separate note, I'm also pleased to say that those programs that so shaped me that summer are still around  30 years later.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Friends & Fiber - Part 2

Although the fiber retreat was in Candor, just south of Asheville, we actually stayed in Burnsville, just north of Asheville because Roxie has a very kind friend Maryann that has a house there she lets us use on occasion.  Not having to pay for a hotel room really helps out and we REALLY appreciate her letting us stay (I don't think she even knows about this blog, so I'm not saying that just to suck up either).

Silk scarf dyed by Roxie
Roxie had a class Saturday morning to learn how to do another kind of dyeing, so we headed back down to the retreat for the morning.   The plan was to spend the morning at the retreat, have some lunch somewhere and then head back to the house to spend the afternoon crafting.  But the great thing about traveling with Michiele and Roxie is that plans can change and we all go with the flow.

The retreat was actually held at a middle school just up the road from the Friends & Fiberworks store, so after we left there we stopped by the actual store to browse around (and maybe make a couple of purchases).  While there we found out about yet another yarn shop just north of Asheville on our way back to Burnsville, so we had to stop there as well.  That store, The Knitting Diva, is relatively new, but it is an awesome store.  They dealt oh so well with our particular brand of crazy while we were there & we will definitely visit it again when we're back in the area.  I may have spent a little money in that one. (Have you been keeping count?  That's five yarns stores in the general Asheville area.)
Cute sheep outside Yummi Yarns

There's also a yarn shop in Burnsville called Yummi Yarns.  We had been there before, but they've moved to a new location since our last visit, so we had to check it out as well.  I did buy a skein of sock yarn there to make Rob another pair of socks.

By the time we got back to the house around dinner time, our massive crafting plans had dwindled a bit, but that doesn't mean we did nothing.  Michiele had brought her drum carder so I spent a little time turning some fiber I had dyed at Carolina Fiber Frolic, but wasn't really thrilled with into something that I may actually want to spin.
This, which was muddy and kind of compacted
Turned into these, which are light and airy and hopefully will be nice to spin
I also used the drum carder to blend two different colored fibers together into batts.
This became....
We took our time heading out Sunday.  We stopped by to see a former coworker of Roxie's who has recently moved to the area and then had a wonderful brunch at Kirkwood's Cafe before finally getting on the road.

Overall, a great time, and I can't wait to do it again!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Friends & Fiber - Part 1

I love the "epic" part

A couple of weekends ago I went to the mountains for the Friends & Fiberworks Summer Retreat with my friends Roxie and Michiele.  As usual when the 3 of us go somewhere, we had a great time, did a little shopping, and had a lot of laughs.

Friday afternoon Michiele & I took a class on Photographing Your Fiber with Franklin Habit.   This is the 2nd class I've taken with Franklin, and I just love him.  If we didn't both already have husbands I'd ask him to marry me.  But back to the class, although it doesn't show in any of the pictures in this post, I did learn a lot about how my little point and shoot camera works and tips for lighting, etc. that I can use even with my iphone.  Hopefully one of these days I'll sit down and go through my camera manual and really learn how to do something with all he taught us.

Miss Babs was also attending the retreat as a student and was in Franklin's class too.  She's a fiber celebrity in her own right because she dyes the most gorgeous yarn and fiber, so I had a double fan girl moment.

That's the only class I took, but there was a small market there, so I did a little shopping as well.  I bought my Cricket loom (the subject of yesterday's post) there as well as a little yarn and fiber.  But of course the shopping didn't end there.

We went into downtown Asheville where there are three shops that sell yarn, count them, three in one downtown!  Only one of them is exclusively a yarn shop, but the other two have more than just a small amount of yarn.  I managed to curb my spending and not buy anything at any of them except for a couple of pairs of needle tips I needed.
Check out the cute sock monkey ninjas!

And sock monkey pirates too!

The perfect accessory for UNC football games dontcha' think?  If I could find a pattern for this my entire family would get them for Christmas!
Also while we were downtown, Michiele proved that I am not the only person who has become obsessed with crafts.  When we were at the Carolina Fiber Frolic in March she learned how to eco-dye using plants and flowers.  As we were walking around she noticed some marigolds at the end of their life and couldn't resist deadheading them all so she could use them to dye.
I'm sure the Battery Park Apartments thanks her.
And all that was just Friday!  I'll tell you about the rest of the weekend tomorrow.