Monday, September 30, 2013

Back In the Land of the Living

 Putting one foot in front of the other, I made it to the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Fest yesterday. It was a bittersweet day because as much as I enjoyed being there, I was painfully aware that the only reason I was there was because I didn't have the responsibility of caring for Dear Old Doggie anymore. I plodded along with a heavy heart intending to keep busy with my charity knitting on the long ride only to have The Mister get us good and lost. For the remainder of the trip I had to keep a close eye on the GPS if I wanted to get there at all.

 We did get to see a lot of rock walls and the Manassas battlegrounds so getting lost wasn't all bad.

It was this kind of day so actually getting lost wasn't too bad at all.

 We finally did make it at around 11ish only to find the place practically empty.

 There was no trouble shopping. I really need to bring more money to this particular fest because the goods are amazing and you can actually take your time and shop sensibly.

 There isn't even a snatch and grab atmosphere at the fleece sale. I had The Mister hold onto the one I was thinking about but there was no competition for it.

 I wanted one of these rug hooking stands but I am going to have to save up for one. Next year.

 I got a lesson in weaving rugs and I didn't even have to push my way through a crowd to see what was going on.

 The animals on exhibit are always very friendly. Unlike the MDSW where the animals seem stressed and very agitated, these animals seem to welcome attention.

 They actually demand it.

See what I mean? You can't walk away without petting that.

There were also bunnies galore this year. Every time you turned a corner someone was handing you one to cuddle.

There was a lot of fancy shmancy going on as well. She knows she's a pretty girl.

While not decked out in ribbons, the star of the show is always the camel. Boy, is he big. Really, really big.

 As for the stuff, I brought home two braids of over-dyed BFL from Misty Mountain Farms that I needed for a striped sweater I am spinning for.

 I also brought home something I wanted last year and regretted not buying-color changing cotton in fingering weight that is just plain gorgeous. It comes from Wolle's Yarn Creations and it is to die for. I told The Mister that this will become the shawl I will wear there next year as it was too hot for my poor handspun Holden that stayed in my bag the whole day.

 I certainly didn't need anymore fleece but this small bag of Shetland was calling my name. It is two and a half pounds of a pretty thing named Nora. I have no idea what she will become but I had to have her just the same.

 On the way home we stopped in the little town that hosts the events and walked the main street.

 Nothing was open but it was fun looking in the windows. It was like traveling back in time.

A book shop had an interesting display. I am pretty sure they don't have to worry about mice.

Our last stop was to get what I really wanted to bring home-apples. Last year The Mister just whizzed right past all the stands and I came home with none. Not this year.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Promises to Keep

 Daddio's thick boot socks were ravaged by moths last winter. I promised him another pair.

 He helped me crank the fiber for these Jacob socks. Daddio likes the fact that you can control the color by how much of the dark you add. Later I cranked a little more of the dark to add some stripes on the cuff.

Jacob is the original self striping fiber. Isn't it gorgeous?

 I am going to have a hard time giving these away.

It's a good thing I still have this much of the original fiber left.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chilly Morning Leg Warmers

 You know a project is old when you have to dust it off before you can start working on it. I started this one in 2008.

 It was supposed to be a tubular scarf using all my leftover sock yarn.

 I have a lot of leftover sock yarn.

 A whole lot.

 The problem was that it really was an ugly scarf. I would never wear it. What I really could use were some leg warmers.


 I risked a little steeking to see if I could separate the two halves.

 Picking up the live stitches on each end of the steek was easy enough.

 I got both sides back onto needles uneventfully.

 I added an inch or so of 2x2 ribbing to one end of each half.


 ...I've got some crazy leg warmers for those mornings that socks don't do the job. Goodness that photo makes my legs look long and skinny. I assure you they are not. I am of a short and stubby build-think Hobbit, not Elf.

Before I could weave in all those ends where the colors meet, I first had to wash them. They were so dusty they were making me sneeze. Ah choo....

Friday, September 27, 2013


The driveway is starting to look like this.

Which means I have the urge to be doing a lot of this.

This is an ancient bag of Gulf Coast fleece that needs to be a pair of tropical colored socks. I can see myself spinning them in the dead of winter.

I love putting a pot of fleece out to soak. It takes very little work but I feel like I've accomplished something grand.

What I have actually done is make poop soup. Don't worry, I use a lot of hand cleaner.

I wonder what the wild life thinks of the little pot of yuck I leave out in the back overnight. I can just see a raccoon lifting the lid for a peek and coming away mighty disappointed.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Checking In

In case you are wondering how I am holding up, I'll let some of my new best friends tell you how I'm doing:

Aurora Greenway/Shirley Maclean in Terms of Endearment
"I'm so stupid...somehow I thought that when she finally went that it would be a relief. Oh, my sweet little darling...there's nothing harder."

All those things I couldn't do while I was caring for my old doggie these past long months don't seem very important anymore. At times I felt resentful so working through that tiny residual of guilt has been a bit of a challenge. I feel bad when I try to make myself feel better so making myself miserable makes me feel better. Got that?

M''Lynn Eatenton/Sally Field in Steele Magnolias
"We should handle it in the best way we know how and get on with it. That's what my mind says. I wish somebody'd explain it to my heart."

Being a retired, empty-nester has made this loss harder than any pet that came before. It is the loneliness that is hardest to bear. We did everything together. Someone once said " life begins when the kids move out and the dog dies". I don't think so. And no-there isn't going to be a puppy in my future. I can't go through this again in my mid 70's. If they come up with a dog that lasts forever, I'm in, until then, I'm out.

Thankfully, my pity party has been kindly tolerated by all those who depend on me. My wonderful kids even sent me a giant basket of junk food to ease the grieving process. Each day is gets a little better and I have found great comfort in a new knitting project that I will share later. I hadn't the heart to pick up any of  the ones I had been working on in those last weeks with Dear Old Doggie draped across my lap so I went in search of some inspiration and found it in some charity knitting. I am too tired and lazy to get up off the couch and take photos of it at the moment but I have promised myself that Friday will be the end of my official mourning period. On Saturday I get to see the Grandbaby and then on Sunday there is a local fiber fest. If that can't pull me out of my funk-nothing can.
Thanks to everyone who sent their condolences, they were much appreciated.

Just a reminder that all these in between posts were pre-written and pre-posted. I don't want you to think I am sad one day and  fine the next. I've kinda lost it but I'm not that crazy-yet. My next real-time post will be Monday when hopefully, I will tell you all about the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Fest.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hand Woven 2

 I worked up the courage to plop the table runners into a warm bath this afternoon.

 Then I hung them out to dry.

What I got was two wrinkly table runners. When they are completely dry I am going to attempt to lightly press them into shape. Wish me luck.