Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Festival

So I mentioned in my last post that I attended the Magnolia State Fiber Festival again this year.  Last year was a blast so I was really looking forward to this year even though Melissa couldn't go because she had to work but it was great that Stacy could go and Lorelei was there again plus some other great friends from my LYS so I felt better (<--masterful use of the run-on sentence, thank you).  Once again, we booked in at the Anchuca Mansion in Vicksburg, MS for our stay.  I couldn’t get the same room we had last year, which was awesome, so we took the one across the hall which was pretty cool but definitely not awesome like last year, which is why the only pics I really have of the B & B are of the pool:

See that gray sky?  Yep, it pretty much rained all weekend.

However, my friend Stacy and I went up the day before everything started and did some extra sight seeing.  We landed at the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum in downtown Vicksburg.  Vicksburg was the first place Coca-Cola was actually bottled for distribution.  Before then, to get a Coke you had to visit a shop with a soda fountain like this one:  

Where's Lisa?

Yes, that’s me behind the blue phone in the mirror, the presence of which clearly demonstrates my smokin’ photography skills.  There was also a lot of Coke memorabilia, which was cool.  More pictures of that can be found here on my Google+ page (warning--I am totally NOT that blond anymore, although I would be if I could justify spending my yarn money on my hair).

Goat cheese is my Kryptonite
During the festival, we also enjoyed some great food.  In fact, Stacy and I ate twice at the Walnut Hills Restaurant (once by ourselves and once after the whole crew had gotten there) where we had this yummy plate of chicken breast stuffed with spinach and goat cheese served over angel hair pasta.  

It was so good, we ate it at both visits.

And as for the festival, it was good.  I have to say it was not as great as a year ago, as one of the vendors I liked the most last year, Yarnhouse Studio from Opelika, AL, was not there.  I scored some fabulous Madelinetosh at their booth last time.  I scored zero Madelinetosh this time.  But here is a pic of my yarn haul:

Much smaller than last year, no?

The pretty pink and gray fingering yarn is from Heavenly Fiber.  I’ve decided it doesn’t want to be a pair of socks, but I don’t know exactly what it wants to be yet.  I’m open for ideas (I've got 438 yards).  The gorgeous silver/gray yarn is 100% silk lace weight from Lost City Knits.  I bought a skein of their silk last year and I’d been looking forward to getting another all year.  If I can ever find the courage to actually wind the silk, it will turn into something lovely.  The two blue skeins are LCK’s Twin Canyon Merino/Silk blend.  I bought a skein of this last year too and it was wonderful to knit with.  I used it to make my Stadium Upgrade scarf. 

If Lost City Knits had not been there, this trip would have been a colossal disappointment.  There was a lot of fiber there, but mostly un-spun.  Spinners were happy.  Non-spinners, not so much.  So, in order to fend off my resentment for a lack of yarn, I decided to buy this:

Rookie alert...
It’s a drop spindle and some batting. (Did I get that right, Stacy? Stacy knows the difference between roving and batting and every other fiber-y thing produced because she is awesomely crafty and totally rocks anything she sets her hand to.)  Using a drop spindle is a very low-tech way to spin your own yarn.  I have attempted to spin pictured fiber and can freely admit I totally suck at it.  However, I’m not giving up and might even show you some pictures eventually, like maybe next year when I’ve managed to spin something that doesn’t look like a mutant fiber monster.

So there you have the recap from this year’s MSFF.  If there aren’t any additional yarn vendors next year, I probably won’t attend, although I hear there’s a great festival in Oxford, MS so a substitute road trip may be called for.  And with my yarny friends, that is always a good time…


Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Return (I think...)

We finally got our fence!
If I had actually written a blog post every time over the last several weeks that I thought about writing a blog post, you’d be tired of reading by now.  Unfortunately, circumstances of the last few weeks have created a huge gap between thinking and doing.   I’ve been working overtime at work while trying to survive a summer cold that is going on it’s second week now.  When I have had down time, all I’ve managed to do is this---->

Mixed with some of this:

That ain't decaf.

And then some of this:

In fact, my cold is still active enough today that it is a struggle to complete a sente…

Uh, where was I?

Holy cow, it’s been a month since my last post.  Before the OT and the cold, I did manage to attend the Magnolia State Fiber Festival in Vicksburg, MS again this year - blog post on that to follow (hopefully) soon.  I’ve also worked on some actual knitting.  The project in my yarn bowl in the picture above is Midsummer Aran by Ginerva Martin.  It’s been in my queue for-absulutely-ever.  I’m using Elsbeth Lavold’s Hempathy.  It’s my first time knitting with hemp and it’s not bad.  Of course, it’s not squishy and soft like merino wool or 100% cotton, but it will wear well and everything I’ve read says hemp gets better and better with each washing.  We shall see.  I’m not very far into this as you can tell - and that is my second cast on (don't ask).  The lace pattern requires more concentration than my brain can muster with this cold.  Can’t wait until I can think clearly again.

What's the deal??

<-----One Waihi Sock by Sarah Ronchetti with half of another on my needles using Sweet Georgia Yarn’s Tough Love Sock.  I love these socks.  Unfortunately, I seem to be having a problem with my right-leaning cables.  See how they are wonky?  The left leaning cables are beautiful.  I’ve picked the brains of Lady L and the other ladies at my LYS, yet nothing I do seems to completely correct the problem.  Ideas?  Anyone?  I’ve done them both with and without a cable needle.  Same result.  What is it?!?  Driving me nuts…

A nearly-finished Locus Vest by Katya Frankel for my mom.  I only need to seam the
shoulders and finish the armholes and neckline.  A task that should take all of an hour but one that exhausts me just to think about in my current sickly state.  This will be really pretty when it’s done.  The picture doesn’t do the color of the Sublime Extra Find Merino Wool DK yarn justice - it’s a very nice lavender.

Ignore the lousy blocking on the armhole.
I mean it.  You don't see it, mmmkay?

I’ve also kicked off some baby knitting since my friend Taryn is due in just a few short months.  Pics of those things some other time.

I’m out of steam for today.