Friday, May 16, 2008

My Mother's Day with Chatty Kathy

Who is Chatty Kathy, you might ask? That's my nick name for my mom for obvious reasons. BTW, Mom told me if I take a picture of her, let alone put on my blog, she will kill me. "You know the rule Jennifer! No pictures!" She doesn't think she takes good pictures so I obviously respect her rule.

Every year, I take my mom to Rice's Flea Market on Saturday of Mother's Day weekend. It's only open on Saturdays and Tuesdays. Rice's is about an hour outside of Philly, just down the road from Peddler's Village. And every year, without fail my mom and I seem to go a different route, and sometimes get a little lost. "Oh this looks it doesn't." Then we figure out that we are going the right way, and we laugh. My mom and I are always laughing about something. And whenever we go somewhere, it's always an adventure.

There are several barns on the property, with lots of stuff (aka junk) in them. My mom loves looking at stuff.

These flowers are made of clay. I kid you not. This woman had talent!

Delicious and cheap fruit!

The weather was not very promising Saturday morning, so there weren't as many vendors as usual. That didn't stop us from finding bargains though. Where else can you get a Dolce and Gabbana bag for $27??? Not authentic mind you, but why spend lots of money on a designer bag when you can spend that money on yarn instead? We also bought some cookies, some plants (for mom; I kill plants), my mom got a handbag, hair styling products, hair clippies. Basically a bunch of stuff. I am always on the look out for knitting paraphernalia, but I really don't think that is the type of place to find any. Next time we decide to go to Rice's we are going to take a Tuesday off from work and go. Everyone there was saying it was so much better on Tuesdays. Even my girlfriend Tara, who is not a flea market type person, said Tuesdays were awesome.

Beautiful flowers ready to bought and replanted!

While driving to Rice's the roads are rural. The houses are nice and big, and it's kind of woodsy. Well, on the way we saw this house, and thank god no one was behind me because I basically came to a complete stop. This house was built and situated in way to make one come to a complete stop. On the way back, we pulled into the drive way to get a better look:

We could not believe our eyes. This is not a typical house for this area. It put us in mind of a castle, yet French chateau possibly? My mom said, "Oh my God! It has chimney pots!" We busted out laughing. We can't imagine who lives there, or how one could keep it clean without several maids/servants. I'm sure the people across the road must be real happy with this traffic stopper.

Afterwards we went to lunch and just chatted. We did have a lovely time.

The rest of my week kind of stunk. I have had a sinus thing since last Thursday, and actually called out of work two days. So sick I couldn't even knit! Now I just have cough that won't go away. I call it my kennel cough, because if you ever had a dog who had that, that's pretty much what I sound like. My Flyers, although they won yesterday on my birthday, are down 3 games to 1. It's not looking good. But then again, I didn't think they were going to make it into playoffs to begin with. I really have no business to complain. But as a die hard, this is what I do.
Oh and I had to frog my Citrus Yoke Pullover. Now I read the pattern directions and notes several times, but I just assumed it would work correctly. How was I supposed to know I had to keep track of what stitches were increases so I could purl them the next round? Can't the pattern creator tell me to use markers? I searched the pattern on Ravelry and realized that if I kept going with what I was doing....well one of these things won't look like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong! So I frogged. Oh well! I wasn't that far along anyway.

Until next time, take care and have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Drum Roll Please....

And now, my very modest Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival purchases.

The t-shirts. See one you like KnittingNovice?

And of course, Tess' sock yarn. I also bought Tess' at Stitches. One can never have too much Tess' yarn. Her booth is like a magnet. Or maybe, more like a flower garden to the honeybees. So many colors, so pretty!!

And a sentimental purchase. Brooklyn Handspun sock yarn for DD#2. She will be leaving New York in June and relocating to Philly. So this is in memory of all the great times we had the three years she was there. We did it all. Well, almost all. Broadway, Canal Street, the Seaport, Ellis Island, the Cloisters, Central Park, Rockefeller Center...well, you get the idea. And yet, one of the most memorable of all, was the beautiful, breezy, summer day we decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan into Brooklyn and ate the best pizza ever!!

So there you have it. Sock yarn. I told you they were modest purchases.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Maryland Sheep and Wool - the abbreviated version

Is it possible to fondle too much yarn?? If you can even imagine such a possiblity, I came dangerously close Sunday at Maryland Sheep and Wool. It was my first trip to the fiber festival. And it was overwhelming. Stitches East on steroids.

I took a bus trip with the Bucks County Guild of Crocheters and Knitters and was lucky to have a MDSW veteran, Maggie, as my guide. After a lovely road trip that included sock knitting and chatting, we rolled into the parking area about 11 o'clock. And from the moment we left the bus, we were on a mission.

First the t-shirts. Getting some MDSW festival merchandise is a must. Fiber enthusiasts have shirts from each year they attended. Worn proudly like a badge of honor or your fiber credentials, if you will. And to get a t-shirt involves standing in line. We stood in line for about 10 minutes, in the midst of all the food concession stands. In those 10 minutes I went from "eat lamb, no way!" to "boy, that smells good!" to "I'm so eating whatever it is they are grilling!!"

Once the t-shirts were bought, we were off and running and even at the brisk pace that my festival mentor set, we didn't see it all. Impossible. And that was with no bathroom breaks and a lamb sausage sandwich in hand, as we went vendor to vendor. Yarn, roving, fleece, needles, more yarn, spindles, wheels, more yarn, looms, shawl pins, swifts, baskets, more roving, buttons, more yarn, more, more, more!!

And of course, a big draw to MDSW is the animals. We saw sheep, goats, alpacas, bunnies, and my favorite of the day .... a Llama named Quentin.

I thought he looked very regal and handsome. When he saw the pictures, my son, empathetic soul that he is, thought he looked embarrassed to have been shorn.

By 4:30 we were running for the bus. It's a good thing I didn't go with any grand stash aquisition plans. I bought 2 skeins of sock yarn, pictures to follow later. And a couple of bars of lovely smelling goat's milk soap and the requisite t-shirts.

Overwhelming! I'll do better next year. Put it on your calendars KnittingNovice and JennyGirl!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Take two aspirin and call me in the morning

I survived the Monday from HELL at work, only to endure an hour long train ride home that had me contemplating jumping off the moving train... or... using my dpn's to force all the rude, ignorant cell phone yakkers from the train instead. When I finally got home I was forced to stretch out on my sofa in the quiet of my living room for an hour, with a skein of Manos Silk Blend on my forehead. AHHH... sweet relief!! Thank you Rosie's!

Yes, jennygirl, my skein of Manos arrived today in the mail. A bright spot in the day. Now I can finish my Little Arrowhead Shawl.

And I'm sure by tomorrow or Wednesday I'll be sufficiently recovered to tell you all about my trip down to Maryland Sheep and Wool.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Socks make a come back

While Suzy is busy playing the day away at Maryland Sheep and Wool, I am busy at home, trying to take pictures correctly, and doing laundry. Why did I not go you ask? Well, I have a lot coming up on the next few weekends, so I figured I should sit this one out. Besides, the bus trip Suzy took, didn't work out for me. I would have to drive, 45 minutes to join the bus trip, and I just thought that was kind of silly. However, I have since made friends with some local gals so next year, I'll take the bus out of Rosie's. I wasn't up for taking the bus with a bunch of strangers this year.

So socks have made a come back on my knitting project list. There are a few factors for this. Suzy always has a sock WIP, so I have been feeling a little left out. At work, I have been catching up on Gnat's podcasts called BarknKnit. This is the name of her blog too. Anyway on one of them, she interviewed a fellow knitter and they were talking about socks, socks, and more socks. So, I was sitting there thinking, "Jenny Girl you gotta jump on the sock wagon." Not to mention that every time I check Bea's blog, she has like another pair done. The girl can knit! And to top it off the Yarn Harlot will be in Philly on May 18th. Obviously I'm going, but I have to bring a sock. I can't go empty handed. So this is what I have so far:

The yarn is the Seacoast handpainted yarn in the autumn colorway that I won in a contest on Tiennie's blog last year. I am doing the infamous monkey sock design from Cookie A. This is one repeat of the lace pattern, with the purls. Suzy did hers without the purls. I tried, but I just couldn't do it. Must follow pattern. Unfortunately, my pictures truly do not demonstrate the beauty of this yarn. The yarn is lovely to work with, and it is very colorful, bright and pretty. I just suck at taking pictures. I realized this from my last post.

First of all, thank God I'm not a surgeon, because apparently my hands shake. The pictures are not very focused. Secondly, I need a different place to take pictures, other than my kitchen table. Nice table, but it's getting old. My backyard is nothing but cement, so that won't work. And if I do it out front...well that just won't work anyway. First things first though, I guess I have to read the camera book, again. Figure out the lighting and how to focus better.

On another note, I bought more sock yarn. Suzy and I took a road trip to Sophie's Yarns and this little number just jumped into my hands. Beautifully soft and it's in different shades of purple. Remember...bad picture taker.

And finally, my boys have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. YEA! I am so pumped and excited! I can't believe they have made it this far. Go Flyers!