Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Can Haz Bad Mood?

Yeah, grumpy right now. I keep tweaking this stupid thumb, and it hurts so much I'm trying to do everything with one hand (the left, no less), and man that's hard. But when taking a shoe off makes me want to cry (what did I do?), well, lesser of fucking evils, here.


I'm okay, really. Just grumpy. And ... well ... no, that's it. Grumpy, with a side of snivel.

Everyone say it with me: tomorrow will be better. Just smile and nod.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Rhinebeck: random photo edition

Want to see more from Rhinebeck? How fortunate for me that a picture is worth blah blah blah...

Not the best picture, but I think the size of this stocking threw me off:

I would totally have bought this on a shirt, but I asked, and it was only on the apron. Oh well.

Sheep lights!

A backpack built for a spinning wheel!

Um... wow?

I believe some sheep are hams. This one, for instance:

And this one:

And I think this one may be giving me the eye too, but it's hard to tell.

This little guy was too comfortable on Dad's lap to pay any attention to me.

He wasn't being forced, either. He was very happy there.

A very cool pumpkin carver worked his magic, some generally appealing:

Others designed to please this crowd:

I think this one was my favorite:

Simple but delicious maple lollipop, from Remsburger Maple Farm. Highly recommend. I'll have to try their maple blend drops and see if they're the same.

Flamingo ... um, pottery.

Creative yarn decoration!

Finally, a no-photo story: at the Ravelry party, I complimented a knitter on her hat, and she told me her pattern was online. I wanted to show you, though as I didn't take a picture, you'll have to go here. Very cool, Purl diva, I like it!

This weekend, I'll try to get to the task of putting all the Rhinebeck photos on Flickr, in case anyone has not yet had enough--is that possible?

Doubt I'll blog tomorrow, as I'm twin-sitting. Maybe Thursday? Take care of yourselves until next time.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wayback Machine: Apple Festival

I want to cover more about Rhinebeck, and I will, but I don't want to forget Apple Festival, either. Shall we go back to Columbus Day weekend? Please follow Mr. Peabody into the Wayback Machine. No pushing, there's room for everyone.

I left for Grandma's right about on schedule that Friday morning, suffering only a 10-minute setback when I went back for something forgotten (a classic trope I don't usually fall prey to). I decided not to go to Starbucks after all (a tactical error I would regret later), having discovered that my "free birthday drink" was a matter of them sending me a card for one sometime around my birthday, not my showing up on my birthday and saying gimme. Since it wasn't exactly on the way, I opted out.

The weather was drizzly but not awful, traffic was busy but not awful, and things moved along. (Like the man who was shaving as he drove past; aren't people interesting?)

I stopped at one of the rest areas on the Pike, thinking that I could get something (other than water) to drink there. No Starbucks, but they had a Ben & Jerry's (and you know how I love their ice cream), so I figured I could get something milkshakish there. They had something on the menu that looked possible, so I asked the woman if she could explain what the difference was between the varieties. I should have walked away when her explanation didn't explain anything, but I decided to try it, and then waited and waited while she made it (the kid she was training had to go get some ice [?], and it took him a while). I paid, she handed it to me and immediately went back to her inventorying, and I tasted it. Ugh! I tried about three sips, then found a garbage can. It was awful, sour and nasty; not sour-milk, but bitter, like there was no sweetening in it. It had ice cream, so how was that possible? If it's supposed to taste like that, I can't imagine who drinks it. What a waste of time and money.

To make myself feel better, I went to the small farmer's market they had set up outside, and bought flowers to bring to Grandma. They traveled pretty well in their cup, only getting slightly bent by my movements, and were a very cheerful thing to have on the trip. The woman I bought them from was very pleased that I had noticed her sign about flowers, and I was happy to have them, and Grandma liked them, so it all worked out well.

I don't know any of the varieties, but I sure think they're pretty.

When I stopped to get gas later, I noticed an interesting "sign proximity event". I don't mind Subway once in a while, but I can't imagine getting a sub at a place that also sells night crawlers. Just ... no.

The rest of the drive was fine, and in fact the overcastness (overcastitude?) probably got me there earlier than a sunny day would have, since in that case I would have been stopping for leaf pictures here there and everywhere. In the gray, there were colors to admire, but nothing to take my breath away.

Saturday morning, my aunt and I departed for the Festival in the rain that was supposed to have cleared overnight. To my dismay, I had neglected to "just throw my boots in the car" the way I usually do for this trip, so I had only sneakers to face the mud in. See, overpacking isn't so bad! You pack-light people, how do you handle the wet feet to come?

Actually, it wasn't wet so much as muddy. With all the rain they'd had that week, and the continuing precip, it was swampy, and without the straw they usually put down to help out, well. Frankly, the footing was a mess, and I still have high-mud marks on the sneaks. However, the shopping was fun all the same, just broken up by very careful stepping between tents.

I bought a fair bit of stuff. Some of it is destined for gifts, so no showing here, but I got some things for myself, too, of course.

A couple of pieces of "my china":

I splurged and got two. Live while you can, you know?

I just loved this little card. The fact that the rabbit wears bunny slippers!

In a Rhinebeck preview, I got to see a couple of alpacas--one of the farms brings a few to the Fest every year. (Not the same farm that I bought my yarn from; the other one.)

This guy wasn't quite sure what I was up to.

And, as every year, I had to get french fries from the fire department, and admire the potato-to-fry process. Yum!

We worked for a few hours in the church tent selling pies, and people certainly ask a lot of questions. Yes, they're all apple pies (Apple Festival, remember?). Yes, they're hand-made, by the church ladies. Whole pies only, not by the slice. (This was not a problem for the three teenage boys who pooled their money and took a pie away to find forks.) Selling pies is pretty congenial work, and now that the price is an even $10, the math isn't even hard. (Two years ago, it was $9, and that required a little more care.)

It was cloudy but barely raining when we started:

And in a while, the sun actually came out!

Three hours of being nice, following three hours of shopping, took it right out of me, and I was glad to lie down for a bit and read when we got home. Had to rest up for our dinner out! Yes, my aunt and grandmother took me out for my birthday. It was really good. The drive over was pretty, too:

I did not get a picture of the five deer crossing the road in front of us; I was too surprised. Forgive me.

Sunday we went back to the Fest, did the last of the shopping, and then worked in the Chamber of Commerce tent for a few hours, selling coffee this time. It was really busy, since the weather was cooler and windy, encouraging people to want hot drinks. We hardly stopped moving the whole time. Better than being boring, but again I was tired by the end of the day.

So that's Apple Festival weekend! I drove home Monday, without incident, and normal life resumed. I will leave you with a few shots of Grandma's cat.

Her normal posture, tidy and reserved:

And a rare casual moment, mid-bath:

I love cats.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Sunny Sunday, for ONCE

It has seemed like gray, cloudy, overcast weather has prevailed of late, which is a real shame when the leaves are changing. The trees are still pretty, but boy, does the sun improve things.

Here's the tree across the street on Saturday.

Gorgeous, right?

Here it is Sunday. Wow!

Still pretty Saturday...

But on Sunday, well, no contest.

Not only was Sunday sunny, it was warm, 60+ and felt like more in the sun. Fantastic! A friend and I went for a walk, and it was blissful. Hard to believe that a week earlier, it snowed.

Sunday, October 18th:

Sunday, October 25th.

Guess which I prefer?

Let's pretend it will be just this nice for, oh, the next month. Close your eyes and picture it with me. Mmmm.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Yarn, yarn, yarn!

I think it's time to talk about the big reason I went to Rhinebeck: yarn. Yes, I loved the sheep, the fair food, all the animals and fleece and buttons and tools, but I mainly went to get yarn. A girl needs some stash!

And get yarn I did. I bought merino/nylon, this lovely-colored Fiber Optic Yarn with the great sock-yarn name of Foot Notes:

And I bought, uh, more merino/nylon, in the gorgeous Stonewash Denim color from Periwinkle Sheep:

I had to try some Socks That Rock, having heard so much about it. I went with a medium-weight, after holding it and the lightweight and lamenting to a neighboring shopper about how one is supposed to choose.

I bought some merino/bamboo from Sliver Moon Farm.

I got the best daylight I could, but ... anyway, the color in this second photo is more true.

Stupid photos won't stay rotated. Stupid Blogger.

So many handspuns were a bit too rough for me. I have to enjoy knitting with them, not just respect the finished object. But this one, my hand sinks in. Mmmm. Merino/tencel, and I love the colors.

Isn't laceweight an amazing bargain, considering how much knitting time you get out of it? On Sunday, I found this in a booth I could hardly get into on Saturday. Note: if you get claustrophobic in crowds, you might be better going to Rhinebeck on Sunday, not Saturday. I know, things sell out, but the crowds were overwhelming at times on Saturday. Sunday was much more laid back.

Anyway, some alpaca laceweight from Cascade, in a lovely delicate yellow.

Finally, my big indulgence. Do you know how expensive yak is? Do you know how good it feels? Do you know that in the Ravelry goody bag, there was a coupon to buy-one, get-one-free for Sunday?

I actually bought yak/bamboo, which is a pretty funny thing to say, don't you think? The man in the booth and I had a fun talk about how strange the work "yak" looks on a yarn label.

At half price, this is only "too expensive", not "you must be joking".

The pictures don't look like much, but it feels wonderful.

The overall Rhinebeck experience? What's pretty funny to me is that after I went to the trouble of studying my Ravelry queue, pondering projects and patterns that had appealed to me, and printing it out so I could know the types and amounts of yarn I would need ... I pretty much bought random skeins of what appealed to me, for no particular projects. Not that I'm complaining! I just think it's funny.

Actually, I bought two other skeins of yarn recently as well. There was this one at Apple Festival, mmm alpaca, mmm those colors.

And this one via a friend who's a yarn rep. Not as soft as my usual, though not harsh, and somehow compelling.

Looking at these pictures makes me almost as happy as looking at all the yarns themselves, only lacking the touch factor.