Friday, July 31, 2009

The Field Report, and other Friday stuff

It rained about 2" while we were gone, and it rarely got up to 80 degrees, but the soybeans loved it anyway. They've grown a lot in the last two weeks, though the edges of the field (where there was standing water for a long time) look pretty tough.

I'm going to try again with the Crab Apple Jelly, even though last year's batch did not jell. I'll have plenty of raw material.

I'm nearly done with the Spring Forward socks, pair #4 for the Sock Summit (Savory Sock yarn from Decadent Fibers- it's lovely yarn). I just have the toe to finish, and blocking. I doubt I'll get a 5th pair done in time, though I am taking the Koigu cabled socks as my airplane knitting, so we'll see.

I only found 2 paper doll sets on vacation, which is unusual (I usually find a bunch of Shackman reprints in Cannon Beach). One is a Golden Books reprint of the 1952 Here Comes the Bride. It's a gorgeous set with 6 dolls and 8 pages of faboo vintage clothes. The other is a 2006 Holly Hobbie coloring book with 4 dolls and 8 pages of clothes to color and cut, plus the regular number of coloring pages. It only cost $1, and unfortunately Borders only had 1 copy. I won't upload scans of these books (I only post scans of books that are no longer available), but here's an interior shot.

Today, I'm dong a shopping run for trip supplies. I leave in 4 days for the Sock Summit!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's an Upside Down World

Poor Portland is going to hit 107 today, which is miserable even where there is air conditioning available (which it is not, in The Rose City). When I get that hot, I just give up and cry. On the other hand, here in South Dakota, we're slated for a record-low high temp of 64. 64 degrees on July 29. I am wearing a sweatshirt. And socks. The Weather Fairies must be drunk.

I'm catching up on routine tasks- paying bills that came while we were gone, paying bills that will come due when I am gone again, preparing birthday gifts for small girls (which fall while I'll be in Portland), washing and folding clothes, remembering where we keep the garbage, trying to accept about a bazillion gifts and requests that accumulated on Facebook while I was gone, sleeping in my own bed- stuff like that.

Sometime today, I will double check the homework for my Summit classes, and make sure I have everything I need for that.

Oh, and I'll be gazing in amazement, and with pride, at The Big Book of Socks. My 10th book. whoda thunk?

In the meantime, here are a few more pretty pictures from the trip.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jiggety Jig

I'm home again- back on the plains, where you can see the vehicles, weather, and wildlife coming at you. It's an amazing 77 degrees here (as opposed to Portland, where it is 105 today. I was in Portland once when it was 105, and lemee tellya, that is a miserable temperature to endure while in Portland). I am selfishly hoping that the West Coast gets this nonsense out of its system before I fly back out, next Tuesday. Lord, I'm flying back out next Tuesday. I'll barely have time to unpack and reacclimate.

At any rate, we had a most wonderful and amazing vacation, and I came home to find an advance copy of The Big Book of Socks, waiting for me. It's even more beautiful than I thought it would be. More advance copies should be available at The Summit (in 10 days!!!), and I expect to sit in at the booksigning there (Note: I'm tired. I typed booksinging three times before I got it right).

It's almost too chilly to swim laps, but I've only been swimming twice in the last 2 weeks. Despite running every day, I suspect I've gained about 5lbs, though I'm not going to step on the scale until tomorrow morning. I should go swim right now, but I think I'll take a nap first.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, on the journey. I am happy to report that the little mini computer performed extremely well. I'll be taking it along to the Summit, and to SAFF in October.

So, for a week anyway, we now return to our regular broadcast.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bizzoula and Mute

You know how it is when you've been in the car a long time, and get a little giggly from pure exhaustion? One of us Spoonerized Missoula and Butte, and we laughed for 70 miles. You probably had to be there to get it.

We're in Spearfish, SD, in a Super 8 that was fairly hard to find (difficult enough that The Hubby actually asked for directions). We drove in pouring rain for the last hour (with a little thunder and lightning thrown in for variety), but it's clearing up now. The temp is 64, and it's supposed to be 77 at home tomorrow (as opposed to the 90's, on the coast. whoda thunk?). We drove down to Deadwood for supper, and bought Black Hills Gold and Silver necklaces for The Grands. We also lost $15 about as quickly as you can lose $15, but I had to try for my sister who always wins at the slots, and my brother in law, who won $10,000 on a scratch lottery ticket. That's a pair of socks that will never be knit or given...

Speaking of socks- I finished the worsted weight socks I was working on in the car (the yarns are a combo of wool/mohair and wool/angora). Then I tore out the mini random cable sock out (it just didn't look right), and started another with more symmetrical cables. I like this one better, and even better yet, I remembered how to work cables without a cable needle.

And remember the knitting needles through the head headband? My friend Jane went back to Portland's Saturday Market and picked up a set for me to wear at the Sock Summit (and anywhere else I might want to wear them). If you want a set, here's the Spoonman's website:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Whitehall, MT

After a long day's drive, through lots of rainy mountain passes, we're in Whitehall, MT for the night. Tomorrow, we'll head for Spearfish, SD, and the day after, home. It's been a wonderful vacation- the last few days were filled with family fun and reunions, including a trip to the Public Access Beach at Panther Lake. My grandma lived on Panther Lake, and my sisters and cousins and I often walked to that beach to throw rocks in the water. I haven't been there in decades, so it was a real nostalgia trip.
Unfortnately, none of the photos I took through the car window today turned out, but here are some lily pads from Panther Lake.

And here is my car knitting for the day- a pair of worsted weight socks made with 2 of the small skeins I purchased at the yarn store in Snohomish. I did very little knitting on this trip, and it was nice to accomplish a bit today.

As wonderful as the mountains and trees are, I confess to missing the flat land. It's nice to see who is coming at you.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Even More Hometown

I'm back online. This is our last day in the PNW- we're going to a family picnic with aunts, uncles, cousins and assorted little ones (and sisters, of course). It'll be wonderful and busy and food-ful (I am food-ful. I've tried to maintain a sensible diet on vacation, but have slipped sadly). We head out early tomorrow, to Whitehall, MT.

But in the meantime, here is the 6th Street Bridge, over the Pilchuck River. I grew up in the valley, beyond that bridge, and went over it multiple times a day in my childhood (walking, on bikes, on the school bus). Though much has changed about my home town (including the fact that my childhood home was moved for an onramp), this bridge is still the same. There is comfort in that.

The other river picture is Pilchuck Park. the Pilchuck is a relatively narrow and shallow river, ice cold from mountain runoff, with a rocky bottom. It's also very beautiful. We swam in it often (though not on this trip).

And finally, here are some baby pinecones. I just thought they were pretty.

Yesterday, I had the kind of day with my sisters that we never get: an ordinary one. We went shopping, had lunch, and then made a family supper. Lots of laughter and hugs and talk. It was wonderful. And then my fantastic nephew got my mini up and running on their wifi, which was a relief.

Oh, and we also got to tour my brother-in-law's aeronautics engineering company. No cameras were allowed, but the machinery was beyond amazing. I loved the tour, and am sorry I can't show any of it to you.

Friday, July 24, 2009

we interrupt our regular broadcast

I'm at my sister's house and cannot seem to connect to the wifi with my mini, so I may not update much here. We're heading for home on Sunday, so we'll be on the road again until Tuesday. I may or may not be able to post on the way. We'll see how it goes. We're having a most marvelous time, with amazing food and great conversation and lots of laughs. I'll post stuff as I can.

Oh- the Thursday Tab sets will resume when I get back home (at least until I leave for the Sock Summit)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I can haz yarn

Okay, so I wasn't going to buy much yarn on this leg of my trip (waiting for the market at the Sock summit), but I dropped by Country Yarns (in Snohomish- no web site up yet), and lo, and behold, some yarn jumped itself right into my hands. What could I do, but buy it?'

The yarns all come from indie-dyer Lollipop Cabin ( - though it's a totally minimal site, with only a link to an e-mail address, as far as I could tell)- and gorgeous yarns they are: a 96 yd sampler of what looks like heavy fingering weight wool yarn in purples/greens/browns (for $2.95!) , a 30% angora/70% wool sampler with 160 yds in greens, purples and blues ($6.95! enough for mittens, I think), another sampler in wool/mohair singles also in green/purple ($4.95), and an amazing skein of sock yarn in 50/50 wool/soy silk in pale purple/green/cream/brown (462 yds, a perfectly reasonable $21.95). All beautifully dyed and presented (I love the winged sheep logo). And I picked up some crochet hooks for my Sock Summit classes.

and Lollipop Cabin will be a vendor at the Summit, so I suspect I'll buy more. It's gorgeous!

p.s. I also bought a t-shirt from the Snohomish Bakery, where I used to eat bearclaw pastries

Mosher Creek Wetland Reclamation Area

Beautiful, beautiful walk this morning, along the Mosher Creek Wetland Reclamation area along Ebey Slough. The tide was out, and so were the birds, flowers, and blackberries. I tried to get a picture of the Bald Eagle, but wasn't able to.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mini Road Trip

I'd never had much to do with Anacortes, WA. Our high school teams played their high school teams, so we automatically disliked each other, and the ferry lines to the San Juan Islands debark from Anacortes. Otherwise, I don't think I've ever been to Anacortes as an actual destination, so it was fun to drive up there today, just to see the town.

We drove through the Skagit Valley, where there were lots of crops (blueberries, potatoes, wheat, and some low growing row crop that none of us recognized), and boats on the Skagit River. We went through there, on the way to La Conner, which is a lovely little town with great shops (where I bought the sparkly little bead bracelet. I bought the other bracelet in Cannon Beach, and since I'm showing jewelry, I thought I'd throw that pic in as well). From there we went to Washington Park, where I got a pic of the Madrona bark, and the lovely pics of Mt. Baker and the islands in the sound. That lumpy thing that looks vaguely boat shaped with trees on it, is an actual boat hull that has been abandoned long enough for trees to grow on it.

It was a lovely day, ending with a great meal and a microbrew at the Skagit Valley Brewing Company, where I had Cajun Crab Cakes and Shiver Me Liver Barley Wine Ale (the waiter asked if I was sure when I ordered it. I was sure. It was 9.5% a/v, and very good, with a sweet beginning and a mildly hoppy aftertaste).

Tomorrow, I think we're going on a nature walk. And probably eating more good food. And definitely having another beer. It's a good life.

Monday, July 20, 2009

More Hometown

We took a driving tour of my childhood this morning, showing The Grands where I grew up(or the space whereI grew up anyway- the house was moved to make way for an on ramp), my Grandparent's houses (again, one house and the space where one house used to be), my elementary school, my high school, the little store where my dad bought beer and fishing licences, and my old high school.

We'll take a tour of the downtown later this afternoon (or tomorrow). Tonight we're having a lovely classmate get together.

Oh, and I've done some knitting- these will be random cable socks.I think the Mason Dixon Ladies invented this notion- I just cast on 72 sts and am working 1 and 2st cables wherever the notion hits. They'll be fraternal socks and I think they'll be cool. (Koigu, 2.75mm needles,72 sts)