Picked up a friend for lunch. She asked if I was up for A Drive, which of course I was, so we went to a fabulous Thai restaurant in White Bear Lake, MN, 53.5 miles from my house. Then we went across the street to a yarn shop where I indulged in a little retail therapy (above) . As soon as I find my camera (damn! I hate losing things in my house and it happens all the time) I will share my indulgences in their true colors, which are not exactly as pictured above, and their intended uses.
* This is not unusual when one lives in the sticks.
I decided earlier this year that I wanted to meet a couple imaginary friends. I have been reading each of their blogs -- two bloggers, one blog each -- for several years, and they have been reading and commenting here likewise. Time for a FtF.
First was Jocelyn, who lives in Duluth with her husband and two kids. We sat on their deck in various combinations, drank lattes, ate homemade chocolate-chip scones, exchanged life stories, drank horchatas that her husband had made (ours were cinnamon), and listened with great interest to her son and his cousin as they described their planned Halloween costumes (Link and Skull Kid from the Zelda series of video games and anime).
Jocelyn absorbing the intricacies of Zelda.
Elijah and Paco are experts in the subject. While they were enlightening us in the details of the characters, small clay figures of Link and his various accoutrements were baking in the oven.
It was a totally delightful visit. If I were a better blogger I would have photos of her yard (flowers everywhere!) and the tray of horchata drinks (refreshing and delicious!) and her husband (a cutie!) and their wall of board games (family fun!). But I am not so you must use your imagination.
A farewell selfie. Thanks for sharing your delightful self and your family with me, Jocelyn!
* * * * *
At the end of the afternoon I was off down the highway to Ashland, where I stayed overnight and anticipated my visit the next day with k.
My one-star motel had not been updated significantly since the 1950s; however...
...the view from the door of my room was fabulous.
The next morning I drove a few miles north to Coco's in Washburn, a village on the shore of Chequamegon Bay, where we had agreed to meet for breakfast. I was struck by a tragic case of camnesia, so there are no photos of k or her pancakes (or was it French toast?) or my bacon/asparagus/basil frittata. Suffice to say, all were most excellent.
Typical yarn store display in The Great White North.
I came away with a skein of Trekking in the artfully named colorway 552.
K, on the other hand, was finding skein after skein of fingering weight merino that captured her heart. She kept bringing them over to me, fondling them and saying, Look at this! Look at this! She finally settled on a skein of Colinette Jitterbug in a mysterious and lovely mix of browns and blacks and charcoals. It may have been this one, but the Rav photos do not do justice to its dark wonder.
We parted and I began the longish trek home. I kept thinking about that skein of Jitterbug that K had bought... and coveting it. Why didn't I look for something more intriguing? Why had I settled for the Trekking? Sure, it was nice, but nowhere near as stunning as that Jitterbug.
Then, as I drove through Spooner, what should catch my eye but... a yarn store!
Not just a yarn shop, but a book and yarn shop! O, frabjous day!
I pretty much ignored the bookstore part of the shop, since I get plenty of reading material through my local library, but the yarn! The yarn!
So. We are on a graduation road trip, which happened to pass by Kalamazoo. You remember Kalamazoo, right? Home of The Fabulous Kym?!?!
I spent Saturday with Kym -- yummy lunch at a fabulous place whose name escapes me at the moment, a tour of the downtown, a tour of her garden, and knitting all afternoon at her house. We had a great time (naturally). I got to meet her husband, Tom, and her dogs, Jenny and JoJo. (Is it weird of me that I found meeting the dogs to be as much fun as meeting Tom? I'm just a sucker for furry buddies.)
We got 10.5" (26.5cm) of snow last night and today. (Bah, humbug.) Two of my knitterly friends and I were going to meet a fourth knitterly friend to visit a yarn store, have lunch, and have friend #4 teach us how to make a linen stitch scarf. It would have been a 46 mile trip, one way. K, who would have driven, emailed yesterday that her Jeep could make it through anything and that she was not afraid to drive. (I replied that she was one badass mofo. She agreed.)
Yesterday I watched Skyfall on Netflix and cast on 600 stitches for the scarf (I decided I wanted the long skinny version). Skyfall = 2 hr, 23 min = exactly the right amount of time to cast on 600 stitches. Win!
But this morning reality dawned and we realized that the two of who were going to park and meet her would end up having our cars blocked in when the snowplows went by.
But we will reschedule this little outing for later in the month. Maybe winter and blizzards will be over by then.
Not everyone is disappointed with the weather.
Younger Son and most of his company are leaving tomorrow for the NAB convention in Las Vegas, so Ser Percival The Energetic is staying with us. As you can see, he is tremendously despondent at being separated from his Poppa. Misha tries in vain to cheer him up, but he is inconsolable.
He cried piteously for the first hour or so after YS left last Sunday, but he has bonded to us now. He snuggles up in the bed at night and follows me around during the day. In the evening he attempts to slime up onto my lap. Sometimes I let him do it, the 65-pound lapdog.
That is what is happened in the far western part of the county.
In the East and South and Midwest, the complete opposite is true. Cold, more cold, and still colder cold; snow, more snow, and then a little more.
I read somewhere recently that one is not supposed to blog about the weather.
* * * * *
Yesterday was the strip-quilting fundraiser for our new library. There were six of us participating, two teams of three. The instructor gave each team a pile of fabric strips, each individual strip 40" long and 2-1/2" wide, and all sewed together into a l-o-n-g strip.
The first person in the team took the two ends of the 1600" strip and started sewing them together along the long edge.
The helpful instructor was helpful.
There were quilts on display.
At the end of an hour, my team had created this.
Half an hour later, the other team -- which did not have the benefit of Super Jennie, who had made strip quilts before and ran that sewing machine at blinding speed -- produced this.
Thanks to y'all -- and a few others subjected to relentless arm-twisting and unmitigated begging -- I raised over $300 for the library.
The stelae in the exhibit were casts of the originals. The Maya kings loved to raise stelae with pictographs and stuff.
Younger Son's comment when I showed him this photo: "Really? The Maya had projectors?"
Elder Son said he often saw women dressed in similar garments.
Yarn! Must photograph the yarn!
This hand-brocaded fabric was lovely, but my photos suck. No flash photography allowed.
A few things I learned about the Maya:
They had a base-20 numbering system. Andrew pointed out that they didn't wear shoes, so base-20 instead of base-10 makes sense.
The civilization comprised isolated city-states. There were no navigable rivers and settlements were separated by steep mountains, so each was isolated.
The carved stelae commemorate battles and various kings' conquests of other city-states, but no written record remains of day-to-day life.
The paucity of written records is due to the first Christian missionary to minister to the Maya. He burned all but four of their books because, clearly, they were the devil's work.
The Maya civilization appears to have crumbled because of severe drought and overpopulation, exacerbated by their deforestation of the hillsides to grow corn to feed that population.
They could only store one season's worth of corn because of the damp climate during half the year, hence, loss of one year's crop was devastating. Continued losses = time to leave their great cities and go somewhere else where there was rain.
Learning the history of the Maya is important to the indigenous people of the region because until now, they had no history. History, as taught in the schools, started with the Spanish conquest of Central and South America. Before that, there was nothing of importance.
As interesting as the history was, the part of the exhibit that attracted my attention was the textile section.
We ate dinner at Cossetta's in St Paul, then I went to knit with my buddies at Starbuck's on Grand while ES went to find a bookstore.
The youngest member of the knitting group.
* * * * *
This week's adventure occurred on Wednesday, when Smokey and I drove into Minneapolis to attend the grand opening open house at Younger Son's new employer.
There was yummy food and an open bar and did I mention the cherry cheesecake?
This is one of their server racks. I think. Okay, I have no idea what this is.
This may look like an ordinary tile floor, but It Is Special. It is an anti-static floor -- who knew? -- and the chair has special metal wheels to prevent static buildup and has a couple copper grounding straps besides. Apparently, static is a bigger no-no around electronics than I thought.
* * * * *
But we are not done yet. We left the open house to go to a concert at the Cedar Cultural Center.
The venue was only a couple doors down the street -- literally, two doors away -- from the storefront/apartment building that blew up on New Year's Day.
All that remained was a pile of rubble and a lot of ice.
The concert was delightful. We heard Zoe Keating, who has been one of my favorite artists for several years since I first heard her music on Radio Lab. I encourage you to click on the player at the link and listen to her latest album.
Once again, no flash photography, so sucky photo.
* Or, as he puts it, hea was a Volunteer Teacher In The Zapatista Army Of Liberation.
Awhile back I offered to knit a hat and/or scarf and/or mittens for Elder Son's friend Alí. When he was here in August he complained of being cold, so a hand-knit seemed in order. Last week he sent me a photo of what he would like.
I immediately emailed him back and asked for a pattern or a link to one. But the more I looked at the hat, the more convinced I became that I could replicate it. Cables are easy to read, right? He had said he wanted one along the lines of this one, but not necessarily an exact replica so I had some leeway.
I consulted Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries for the main cable and found this one, which is very similar but without the stretched-out bits.
The rope cables on either side of the horizontal panel would be easy, so I was ready. I went stash-digging for some dark blue superwash worsted, cast on 42 st (three reverse stockinette, four for the first rope cable, 28 for the main cable, four for the second rope cable, and three for more reverse stockinette), and began.
After a few rows I thought to search Ravelry for "hat horizontal cable" and found this worsted-weight one which has that same Barbara Walker Saxon Braid.
Notice how tall the cable panel is and the resultant lack of space for the rope cables and the ribbing at the bottom. This one is on a kid's head rather than an adult's but still. I held up the panel I was knitting and found it reached from my nose nearly to the top of my head. I hadn't gotten far enough for the cables to pull in as much as they would eventually, but I was pretty sure it wasn't gonna work.
Rippit. More stash diving.
I cast on again with some Trekking Natura fingering weight sock yarn in a darkish gray-blue, but after about three rows I got discouraged -- too difficult to see what I was doing, plus it seemed that the yarn was too fine and would not give the cables the floofiness that translates to warmth.
It didn't take much of a swatch to convince me I didn't want to knit anything this complicated on such small needles in such a dark color.
Rippit. More stash diving.
Next up were the leftovers from a toque I made for Smokey last winter. (An exhaustive search of Ravelry and the blog revealed that I never documented the hat. Which is really a shame because now he doesn't know where it is. Crap.) I had dyed some light blue Rowan 4-ply fingering weight wool with Rit in a denim colorway, which turned out beautifully -- lots of subtle variegation in the dyed yarn. This fingering weight was woolen spun rather than worsted, so it had more loft --> better cables, I hoped.
This one looks good. The reason I stopped in the middle of a row is because I screwed up the cable pattern and it is in time out right now while it thinks over what it has done. There is also the possiblity that my 316 yards of this yarn may not be enough.
Last weekend I journeyed to northern Minnesota to see my BFF from high school. You have met her herebefore.
Perhaps this will do for the modeled shot of my Tappan Zee, too. Raveled here.
Kathy is a wild animal lover. Photo is Lucy, the deer she tamed.
She told me about the 4-yo mayor of Dorset, Bobby Tufts, whose storywentviral. Here is the original video, where the Twin Cities CBS affiliate sent one of its anchors and the weatherman to Dorset for the fishing season opener last May. Scroll down to the second video. Smokey and I happened to see that original video on the WCCO-TV news.
The story went viral when Bobby was re-elected as mayor (first links in previous paragraph). And because Kathy owns the Dorset General Store as well as the restaurant, and because the store is the only business in the hamlet with the word "Dorset" in its name, its phone was the one that rang when the media called -- CBS, ABC, NBC, etc. Kathy was interviewed by the NY Times (sorry, article is behind their paywall), fielded a call from a London news crew, and her husband, who manages the store, took a call from a Japanese news crew. All in all, a lot of excitement for a village of 22 ("...or 28, if the minister and family are in town").
My initial impetus to go to northern MN was a Paula Poundstone concert in Grand Rapids. Smokey didn't want to take off work to go but suggested that I go and combine the concert with a side trip to Park Rapids. He's a genius, that one!
* Yes, I am a grammar nerd, perhaps even a grammar Nazi.
I don't want to hear any whining about the daylight savings time change. It's one hour, for crying out loud. It's not like you just flew from Minneapolis to Tokyo and have a fifteen hour time difference to adjust to. It's a one-hour lag, like flying from Minneapolis to Denver.
Get over it.
(Unless you have a really, really stubborn body clock that refuses to adjust easily. Then you have my sympathies.)
* * * * *
And now a little post-Halloween scaring (via the bloggess.com).
* * * * *
On Saturday I went to One DayUniversity at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The lectures I chose to attend were:
Iran, Israel, and Why The Mideast is Such a Mess. Charles Freilich / Harvard.
What Would the Founding Fathers Think of America Today? Wendy Schiller / Brown University.
How The Brain Works: Why We Do What We Do. Marvin Chun / Yale University.
What Can We Learn From The Ancient Philosophers? Laurence Cooper / Carleton Chris Something-or-other / New Orleans University. (Professor Cooper hurt his back last week and could not attend.)
It was fun and interesting and thought-provoking, so much so that I signed up for the next one in Minneapolis, in April. Younger Son is thinking about going with me.
Since I had to be in downtown Mpls at 9:30 am on Saturday, I drove in on Friday to stay overnight, run a few errands and, most importantly, see some of my favorite people* -- the Knit Night Orphans. It was delightful to knit with them again and chat. Don't know when I will be back to do it again but I am already looking forward to it.
A few sights seen along the way:
The post office in Lindstrom, MN, where I stopped to mail my mittens to Adrienne. Translation, anyone? I don't read or speak Swedish.
Yarn bombing observed along Minnehaha Parkway.
* * * * *
And now for something completely different: YS playing keep-away with Percy.
Thirty-nine seconds of doggie delight.
* Except for the person in the group who essentially accused an unspecified one of us of stealing two of her knitting books. That was... awkward. Especially when she commented that she had known most of us for over ten years. (Three of us are newcomers, thus apparently more deserving of suspicion. Er...)
The sooper sekrit knitting project has been mailed and received and worn. Time for the reveal!
Heather had surgery last month, and I decided that I would knit her a pair of felted clogs to wear during her recovery. I happened to have her mother's email address, so she and I collaborated on the size and colors.
Prefelting, surrounded by my size 8-1/2s:
As usual, I neglected to get an FO photo -- we were rushing to pack for the trip to the North Shore -- but Jean, Heather's mom, was kind enough to send me photos of the opening.
Chocolatesheep blogged that her household is off the innernetz for a few days because there are Major Problems with her connection. A technician will call on Tuesday to Fix It, whatever It is. This prompted me to do a speed test with my connection just out of curiosity.
Go check yours now and report back with the results and your approximate location:
I am curious to compare my rural results to yours, given that the site rates my speed as a D.
* * * * *
I am making chicken soup this afternoon and just did something incredibly clever. Instead of sautéing the vegetables in canola oil as I always have done, I sautéed them in the schmaltz that I skimmed off the chicken stock. We shall see what that does for the flavor.
* * * * *
Both sons are here this weekend. The only time that has happened in the past six years or so is at holidays. Elder Son and a friend from grad school came last weekend after attending a wedding in the UP. They and Smokey then went camping on the North Shore for a few days. (This was the ten-day camping trip that Smokey and I were supposed to go on. It had been planned for at least six months. But his recovery from the kidney stone surgery delayed and shortened the vacation drastically, plus I had an important vote at the county board meeting on Tuesday night that I didn't want to miss. So I stayed home. All by myself, as long as you don't count the cats, books, wine, knitting, and NetFlix. It was sheer torture, believe me.) Andrew's friend, who came here from Somalia when he was 13, had never been camping in the woods and wanted to know what it was like. From all accounts he had a great time. Alí is a very friendly, outgoing sort. He says he learned to be that way when he was a beggar in Somalia because it helped him get more handouts.*
Younger Son is here finishing the dog run. Sadly for him, the outdoor temperature sucks. Don't believe this thermometer.
It lies. The real outdoor temp:
Poor Matthew. We set up a big fan to blow on him and moved the table with the umbrella so it would offer him a little shade. Right now he is skipping the hottest part of the day by making a supplies run -- in his air conditioned car -- to the Big Box Building Supply Store.
His and my car were sitting in the shade talking about the Old County (even though my car was actually made in Belgium).
* * * * *
Earlier this week I had to go out and about. After a little thought, I decided it would be prudent to take Smokey's car instead of mine because:
We haven't gotten the new plates from the dealer yet.
We haven't gotten the new insurance card from the insurance company yet.
I haven't replaced my driver's license, which I lost sometime in the past month, yet.
I figured that if I were stopped for the lack of plates, that error would be compounded exponentially by #2 and #3. The first thing I did on my errand run was to apply for a replacement license. At least I will be legal, even if the car isn't.
* If you ever doubt the value of education (and opportunity), think of Alí. He went from begging on the streets in Somalia to grad school at the University of Michigan and hopes to work at the CDC. What a guy.
Kym posted recently about August fun days. I thought that sounded like great idea -- some fun every day.
But the more I thought about what constituted my idea of fun, the more I realized that I already do that every day. The proof is that every one of these -- except the last one -- already had a category and photographs on the blog.
In the comments to my post yesterday, Lisa directed me to the Apple Help topic on how to move the iPhoto library to a different location. Duh. Why didn't I do a little internet research myself?
Upon further reflection, however, I decided that my whining had more to do with my confidence in my own abilities (or lack thereof) and fear of failure (mainly the latter). The same thing happened last year when I whined about how my Apple Magic Mouse was so unreliable. Erika pointed me toward a site that described how to use folded bits of aluminum foil and paper to make the battery connections more solid.
Now, in my own defense, I have no problem googling and YouTube-ing for help on a knitting problem*. I guess I have more confidence in my knitting abilities than my computer abilities. It helps that one can actually see one's knitting; computers are virtual -- everything happens behind the curtain.
Okay. Not lazy. Scared.
Will I use this new-found knowledge of myself to my advantage? Will I do a little research on my own next time?
A blogging friend who is also a composition instructor at a community college blogged the following about her latest class:
To get us going both with introductions and finding topics for the narrative, I asked them to post brainstorms of at least ten significant moments in their lives, moments that could potentially work as topics for their narratives at the same time they shared a bit of themselves with the class as a whole.
At the end of her blog post, which included ten of her own (hilarious and touching) significant moments, she asked her readers about their own micro-moments. Here is one of mine.
Well, there was the time when I hosted the post-party for everyone at my company after our annual Christmas party (~23 employees plus significant others; it was a holding company for other companies employing ~3,000 people; CEO was a prominent figure in Mpls business and society).
Which micro-moment to describe? The one where Smokey built a fire in the fireplace in preparation for everyone arriving… and forgot to open the flue? The house filled with smoke, we had to open all the windows (this was mid-December in Mpls), and so everyone had to enjoy our post-party in their coats in our tiny back den, the only room with a door to close it off from the rest of the smokey house.
Or should I mention that I had made mulled wine (although I hadn’t counted on there being that many people) in an early version of an Air Pot… and it erupted with hot red wine all over the controller of the company?
Or should I talk about how I had made snackies of crackers and cheese and prosciutto-wrapped melon slices and arranged them with loving care on the dining room table… and while we were all in the back den, the cat sampled them and proceeded to hurl his guts out on the table from the richness of the fare? (And I wondered (me in the back den) why no one was partaking of my delicious snackies.)*
My life is long enough that I have a nice backlog of micro-moments. Great blog fodder.
* I forgot to say that I remained an employee at that company for seven more years, which is just another example of what wonderful (and forgiving) people they were.
My hip replacement surgery is scheduled for Monday, January 7. There may be a slight tremor in The Force that day, but fear not, my friends. Tis only the mightiness of my new hip.
I may have neglected to mention that this was on the horizon. Back in May when I saw the ortho PA and she recommended, among other things, going gluten-free, the x-ray showed my hip was bone on bone. No wonder it hurt. My surgery had to wait until Smokey was recovered from his back surgery, then until after the October 15 tax season, then for a new x-ray and a CAT scan, then for surgeon to get it scheduled.
I am looking forward to this big-time. Surgery does not scare me at all, even though it probably should; this will be my ninth (2 C-sections, 2 polinidal cysts, twice for the broken ankle, a few other things) so I know much of what to expect. The aftermath may be painful but the eventual ability to walk easily should be worth it.
* * * * *
That massive blizzard that hit the Midwest yesterday mostly missed us. We got less than 1/4" of snow but lots of wind and cold. Temp this morning was 6˚F; 18˚ now.
We are not plowed out yet from the last snow dump that occurred almost two weeks ago. Smokey managed to make one plowing pass from the house to the road before Da Yeep broke. And broke again. And possibly again. We can drive from the road to the garage and pole barn that are 75 feet uphill from the house but must walk the rest of the way. Yep, these northern winters do make one hardy.
Elder Son is supposed to be driving home from Ann Arbor yesterday and today. We have not heard anything from him. I hope he checked the weather before he left and waited a day. (He may be brillliant, but sometimes his common sense falters. Also, his phone appears to be off.) When he does get here I hope he does not attempt to drive down to the house. The two cars blocking the driveway may be enough of a hint.
* * * * *
I was reading blogs in my Google Reader this morning and saw this over at sneezingcow.com, Michael Perry's website:
Al is married to my good friend Colleen. That quote sounds just like him. Al, a retired English teacher, is also notable for having taught Neil Gaiman's son, Mike, at Menominie HS.
* * * * *
Our geothermal heat system has been giving us fits for several years. The major problem was that the installer's crew(s) knew not what they were doing back in the early aughts, not to mention that the unit we got seems to have been a lemon. After spending thousands (and thou$and$) of dollars having it fixed and replaced and fixed and fixed yet again, we hired a different contractor to replace it. He seems to have somehow missed that fact during the preliminary talks and bid that, while his unit needs 14 gallons/minute to work most efficiently and effectively, our well only produces 6 gallons/minute. So we will perhaps be relying on (expensive!) electric heat to supplement the geothermal. Rats.
* * * * *
On the (very slightly) bright side, the Christmas mittens for our teenage helper are turning out quite nicely. So nicely, in fact, that I am tempted to make a pair for myself in different colors.
I'd really like to to show how they look, but a few days ago my computer/iPhoto announced that it could not find my iPhoto library of several thousand photographs. I have searched the hard drive myself to no avail. My Mac Mini had been acting unreliably this fall, so about six weeks ago I hooked up a backup drive and turned on Time Machine to back up my hard drive. Great, I thought, I'll just do a restore. So far repeated Restores have not helped, nor have they actually restored anything. Neither the Apple site nor Google have been particularly helpful so far, either; their tips on fixing iPhoto don't work for my problem.
So you won't be seeing any photos here for awhile...
* * * * *
Have I bummed you out sufficiently with all my (admittedly minor) complaints? Good, my work here is done.
This was the Saturday activity for my friend Colleen, the county librarian and fellow knitter, and I. She picked me up at 10 am and we were off.
First stop was Fibre Functions in rural Frederic, WI. (No website; link is to the Facebook page.) Audrey, the owner, is in my book group and in the alternate-Thursdays-knitting-group I attend when I can, and Colleen had taken a knitting class from her, so we were already acquainted. (Such is life in small towns.) But I had never been to her shop, which is housed in a small building behind her lakeside home.
Audrey had LOTS of yarn crammed into the tiny three-room building. We spent nearly an hour touching, squeezing, stroking, and drooling. (Wait, that sounded pornographic. Yarn, people, yarn!) After doing serious damage to Colleen's checking account and my credit card, we were on our way to the next stop....
...which was Blackberry Hills, the enterprise of Jerry and Loretta Pedersen. They have sheep and llamas and alpaca (and goats and cow and rabbits, oh my). I have seen and purchased Loretta's yarns and fiber at Yarnover and Shepherd's Harvest. The studio, in the walk-out basement of their home, has Loretta's spinning wheel(s) and loom(s) and lots of fiber. More damage to our respective checking account and credit card ensued. Happy damage, though.
[digression] The day before the event it occurred to me that the very last thing in the world I needed was more yarn. However, what was the point of going on a yarn shop hop if I didn't buy some yarn? So I resolved to buy something at each stop. Buy local, support local businesses, etc., etc. So I did. [/digression]
By this time it was noonish and we were hungry, so we headed to St Croix Falls to find some lunch. On the way we passed Chateau St Croix, a local winery that you have seen herebefore, where we noticed many tents on the grounds and lots of cars. We stopped to see what was happening, which turned out to be an art fair. We briefly walked through, but the food for sale did not tempt us, mainly because the outdoor temperature was quite possibly equal to the surface of the sun and we did not relish perching on a picnic bench in said sunshine to eat. So we left, but not before I bought a quarter pound of truffle cheese upon which to feast at bedtime.
And also not before I took my sole photo for the day.
Wine-themed ceramics. Click to embiggen so you can read the inscriptions.
Lunch was at Grecco's in a shady corner of their lovely outdoor deck (sort 0f) overlooking the St Croix river. Grilled salmon sandwich to die for for me, grilled chicken sandwich and a cup of carrot ginger soup (also to die for) for Colleen, and a glass of cold Sangria for each of us.
After lunch we headed across the river to Shelley's, site of my other knitting group and housed in a former bank. That is the former drive-up window at lower left in the first photo, and, no, Shelley does not sell drive-up yarn, sorry.
These photos are old and have been patiently waiting their turn on the blog. Today is the day, guys!
I left Shelley's with yarn and a pattern for the cutest baby sweater EVAH (no, I don't know anyone who is having a baby, but they seem to crop up about once a year; this time I will be prepared) and the yarn to make it.
There were lots of knitters and shoppers in Shelley's small shop while we were there; it is just that sort of welcoming place where one feels the urge to hang around and chat and maybe sit and knit a few rows. I overheard a woman say to another shopper, "There are shops with yarn, and there are Yarn Shops [I could hear the bold and Caps in her voice]. This is a Yarn Shop." I totally agree.
Last stop was the St Croix Art Barn in Osceola, where Mrs. I was selling her inventory. Her shop had been located in a former church on Main Street, but she had recently closed it and is looking for a way to continue her business with lower overhead. I left there with a couple balls of cotton chenille to make the softest face cloths on the planet.
Tomorrow (or soon), photos of the haul.
* * * * *
Colleen and I had both been to Shelley's and the Art Barn many times, so we had no trouble finding them. But Fibre Function and Blackberry Hills were both out in the wood and unknown to us. The day before I came up with this: screen shots on my iPad of the Google Map to each place.