Monday, August 29, 2011

Thisses and Thats

It's all unconnected commentary today.
Janet took my Fair Isle Design class at the Michigan Fiber Festival. It's an intensive, all-day workshop, where I hope that the students come to see designing (especially designing stranded motifs) as simply a series of repetitions. Janet's original hat, which she designed in the class and finished knitting later, is called Cathedral Windows. It's gorgeous!

I had a Gramma/Girl day with Bee Girl over the weekend. She's 12 now, and it won't be long before she views spending a day with me as a chore, so I was especially delighted when she suggested hitting the photo booth. We be stylin'.

Thanks to her eagle eyes, we found a tray of vintage jewelry at a store where you would not expect to find vintage jewelry on sale. We both spotted the Black Hills Gold and silver items immediately. They were tarnished (as opposed to new pieces, where the silver is permanently shiny), which probably accounts for the fact that someone else did not snap them right up. The total for the above haul? $18. Yes, that's eighteen dollars for a Black Hills Gold and Silver ring and a pair of lovely earrings. I did not hesitate.

And though I liked the tarnished look, I am even happier with the pieces after a thorough scrub with baking soda and and an old toothbrush. Bee Girl found a couple of other pieces in the tray, though in the end, she opted to wait and choose new earrings from Claire's for herself. (Side note: I will not tell you how many tries it took to get good pictures of these pieces. Let's just say it was well over 50).

I am not generally a jewelry person, but now that my ears are pierced once again (I get to change earrings finally in 2 weeks), I've been on the lookout for nice, small earrings (nothing but posts for the first year, they say). I'm generally willing to let pieces speak to me- a pin or a bracelet here and there, once in awhile a ring. Nothing extravagant (I'm more drawn to my birthstone, Opal, than I am to diamonds, and I am more fond of books and yarn than I am of any gemstone or precious metal). But I've always been partial to the tri-color Black Hills Gold creations, not only because I live in South Dakota, but because the pink, green, and yellow gold grape leaves and vines designs are so beautiful. Even tarnished, thsee pieces were instantly recognizable. I am thrilled with these new additions to my collection.

I'm still in Spindle Mode. I bought both the Kundert spindle, and the fiber (from Girl on the Rocks- Merino and Bamboo) at the '09 Sock Summit. The spindle on the right has plied alpaca and metallic thread, from the Michigan Fiber Festival.

This is just a nice shot of the spindles. The Kundert is on the left, a locally made oak spindle is in the middle, and my own handmade maple is on the right.

We have here, 1.1 ozs of Merino/Bamboo, 119 yds, and .4 ozs Alpaca/Metallic Filament, 55 yds. The Alpaca will block out without the kinks, unless I decide to knit something where I like the kinks and change my mind about blocking it. Both my spindle spinning and my spindle plying are improving. Practice... its amazing stuff...

And finally, yesterday I made Zucchini Bread. Not content with that yummy, calorie-laden, carb-full goodness, I decided I needed to have some Amish Friendship Bread as well. I have not made this for many years, but I remember it well (especially the lemon poppyseed variation).Here's the recipe, including the starter. In 10 days, my scales will be very sorry that I gave in to this whim, though everyone around me will be very happy.

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