Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ho Ho Ho

by Caroline

It's been a year (and a little) since I last posted. Like Kathleen I have so much to share, but I've been struggling with writer's block so let's see if I can break through with something simple and seasonal (and only a couple pictures - really bad pictures.)

Tonight I joined the army of elves who work in Santa's workshop - elf name: Cupcake (no, no picture available, thank you.)

You see, my friend Kathy's father is a real bearded Santa Claus.

And he is a woodworker. So through the year he (and awesome volunteers) make wooden toys. Then, for a week in December, he opens up Santa's Workshop to the public - for free. It used to be in his garage/backyard but it was getting cramped so last year a local business, Profile Self Storage, offered up their business office for Santa's Workshop. Friends and family volunteer to be elves and kids are welcomed by Mrs. Claus (Dick's wife, Donna) at the door.

Kids can talk to Santa and have their picture taken with him, decorate a small wooden ornament, and pick out a wooden toy (I can't believe I didn't think to take pictures of the toys, facepalm), there's even a little goodie bag with a snack. Some of the wooden toys are complete but others are in pieces and the kids can take the kit over to an elf and have the elf build the toy or even help the elf build the toy! It is quite an operation and Dick and his army of elves are amazing. I'm proud that this year I have signed up.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'm making a list...

Of all the posts I need to do to catch you all up on what has been... a... let's call it a challenging few months. Because it's not been all bad, but when it's been bad... it's been bad.

Positive side:
Reunions with friends I haven't seen in 27 years. People I loved dearly and am soooooooooo happy to have reconnected with.
I have finished some impressive (if I say so myself) knitting projects, designed and built successful costumes for work and a friend's one man touring show, and even (maybe you should sit down) sewn something for myself!
Got a new kitten!
Bought yarn! (okay nothing particularly new in that but it's still on the positive side.) And got a gorgeous custom made yarn cabinet for it all!!!

Negative side:
Had a very stressful, physically demanding, long hard move of my workplace. ALL areas... workrooms and storage areas and offices and classrooms. Packing and labelling and lifting and carrying and moving and carrying and lifting and unpacking and relabelling and we're still doing it two months later.
I broke a tooth.
DH broke his truck. (We hit a deer. The deer broke too...)
I broke my toe.
My car broke itself (before we had replaced DH's truck).
I broke my finger.

So there's a lot to cover. And I'll start here...
Meet Zeeba.

More later...

by Kathleen

Friday, May 14, 2010

Maryland recap

by Kathleen

I'd heard that Saturday was the "crowded" day at the sheep and wool festival, but when I said huddled masses in the last post I thought I was joking... I didn't realize how teeming with bodies that crowd would really would be!
It was seriously packed, and seriously hot. It was pretty much impossible to do a whole day.

Fun Fun Fun!!!!!

We (DH came with me) got to the fairgrounds around 1ish (after sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for an hour and a half). We met up with my parents for a quick hello, and then a couple who were college days friends. The guys went to look at pretty girls who knows what and the ladies went shopping.
Well actually, on Saturday I mostly went through the animal barns... much less crowded and always interesting. The huge differences in size, fleece or hair, horns and coloring among the single species, Ovis Aries, is fascinating to me.

Why yes, thanks for asking, I do have pictures...

There were lots of lambs...

Rambouillet ram, shown with my Mom to show size... a big boy!

Don't remember who this was but such long curly locks (but not a Wensleydale)!

And a few non-sheepy types...
Newly shorn, but still majestic llama.
Cute as a button alpacas (the white one was named "Kitty" heehee).

That night we got together with my co-blogging sister and my parents for dinner. DH set up his tent close by my folks rig at the campground in Fort Meade, and I went to Guido's After Party (after some confusion about getting C back to her hotel... thanks to her friends she made it back there fine).
The party was... not quite what I was expecting. I'm not sure really what I was expecting, just... it was more subdued and less party-like I guess. It was outside the hotel so it was still hot and muggy and, unfortunately, there weren't enough seats for everyone. The food was delicious looking, but I had just eaten dinner (and I wanted a coconut shrimp so bad... though I manage to eat a few brownie and cake bits dipped in the chocolate fountain by the end). The prizes were amazing, and there were quite a lot of them, but I didn't win anything.

Oh well.

So I drove back to Fort Meade and spent the night in the tent. It is a very nice tent and the ventilation was good so it wasn't too stifling. But tenting is not for the weak of will. Or the achey of back.
As a kid my brother once made the astute pronouncment that "Camping is for suffering". Yep.

The next day was so different from Saturday. The crowd was thinned out by at least half. There was no traffic to speak of... and though still warm it wasn't as oppressive as the day before.
DH and my Dad went to play golf and my Mom and I came in and shopped. I was pretty good, but I did indulge in a bit of sock yarn.

Why yes, I do have pictures (so kind of you to ask)...

Bear Mountain Colors in Sun River

Cascade Heritage in the prettiest blue (I try not to buy yarns I can find locally but the color just grabbed me).
Persimmon Tree Farm

Zoe by Shalimar Yarns in Loden green ...
and in purple.
Persimmon Tree Farm

And it's just possible a couple of pretty spinning fibers might have fallen into my bag...
Blue-Faced Leicester
Merino silk blend

And two books including Knitwear design Workshop by Shirley Paden (which has to be returned as it came missing pages 33 to 48 but with an extra set of 17 to 32).

All in all a fun day with friends and family and a moderate amount of loot taken home.

See you all next year...

Friday, April 30, 2010


by Kathleen

Hey y'all! My Sister and I will be among the huddled masses this weekend at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival!!! If you're there too and see us please say "Hi!"

I'll be wearing my KathleenC ravelry name button and(hopefully) ravatar button, Caroline will have her Kermit ravelry button.

Plus... I can't believe this even as I'm typing it... but I won a free ticket to Guido's After Party Saturday night. Woah! Many thanks to Juniper Moon for the contest!!!

And, because one can't have a post without photos (well... one can, but should one?)

A gallery of socks in various states of being...

Something with knits and purls in Cherry Tree Hill "Dusk" (the second is on the needles)

Knitty's RPM pattern in Colinette Jitterbug, "Popsicle" colorway. A souvenir yarn from Key West! (second sock is on the needles and to the heel)

A test knit of Circuitry for a Ravelry designer (I'm past the heel but no more recent photos)

Schaeffer Yarns Heather (wool and silk blend) in Knitty's Marigold Sock pattern (This has been... a challenge. We're not talking right now as we undergo a trial separation)

Jaywalkers made a couple of years ago and gifted to my MIL. I never got photos, but the other night we were there and she was wearing them. A totally sock worthy MIL.

Maybe I'll see you! (Caroline, I WILL be seeing you).

Monday, March 8, 2010

by Kathleen

Things are finally slowing down for me after the standard crazy busy Winter/Spring season... we opened (and closed) our big musical, and the large Spring dance concert. After a few months with very few days off (including weekends) I'm taking it easy easier. I'll be working long days and weekends again real soon.

In the meantime a few photos of the several snowstorms we had this winter... we had two which dropped about 18"-24" each and then there were a few of about 6"-10". For a while we had to park up by the road and walk home... not far, about a quarter of a mile, but at night and coldcoldcold!
I guess that's the price you pay when you live "rustic".

The first big one came mid-December. Where we live it dumped about 20" over 24 hours. This photo was taken past the heaviest of the storm, but before it was finished.

The second storm came in February. It amounted to less inches, but since the first one hadn't melted the final accumulation was pretty high.

And it was prettier because it was sunnier afterwards. Though no warmer for quite a while.

We parked our cars up by the road figuring we could get them out easier up there...
Easy being a relative term.
We owe big thanks to our neighbors who came out with brooms and shovels and helped us dig to and out our cars.

Funny snow hats on the mailboxes.
Jeff fooling around. It wasn't really waist high...
Great icicles too! We had one on the back porch that grew down from the eaves and encapsulated our outdoor metal chair.
It stayed cold but sunny for quite a while. The snow compacted and most of it gently melted away until one week (yes, all week)... it rained...

The creek is about 40 feet away from the house in the back. It runs fast so we weren't really worried... it would take a dam break to flood as high as the house... but was it ever loud for while!

Comparative Fall level photo. Yes, those boulders are there under the water above...

This is only the second time in the three years we've been here that the creek has gotten this high. But then in the fifteen years I've lived in this area we've only gotten two other snow storms to equal those others. And only one of them per year. Lots of water in the ground this Winter.

This is good... the farmers need this precipitation.