Tag Archives: girls stuff

Troy Wool Day (2)

29 Jul

The other reason we judges were at the Troy was to judge the fair entries in the various craft categories.  entries were down this year, but we kept quite busy with what was at hand. Here are some snippets.   And then there was some shopping…

Loch’s Maple Fiber Mill was where two of us bought rovings ready to spin.  A half pound each of some lustrous mohair and Wensleydale wool came home with me.  Sharon got those as well as most of a light grey Teasdale/Wensleydale roving.   I highly recommend Randy and Jamie’s business.  They have machines imported from Europe so are able to process fiber into very fine rovings. They have a 16 month backlog for processing!


There were lots of fleeces for sale, like these from Mary Stepney’s sheep.  Mary herself no longer runs her place.  The prices have gone up considerably: $15.00 per pound for raw skirted fleeces!  They are beautiful.


Here are three examples of yarn we judged: a hand spun boucle (say boo-clay since diacritical marks are outside my skill level to apply), paper yarn, and hand-dyed mohair locks spun into yarn.  The boucle was a wonder: it was also entered in the sheep to shawl in the warp as an accent in the Dream Weaver’s teal-winged duck shawl.  The paper yarn is for display and spun from old tissue sewing patterns.  The goat yarn is pretty and had a hard hand; its intended use was for ornamenting a scarf which we felt might one would not want in contact with skin.


The drop spindle contest.  Who can spin the longest thread in ten minutes.  For the first time in memory, we had a tie for first place: a very fine grey wool and a thick, dark brown camel both had 52 yards on the spindle–more than twice as much as any others.  If I am recalling correctly.


The Spinning Bunny was there, too.


Above are the three shawls that we gave special prizes to.  The Crab Nebula shawl was designed for a Ravelry contest.  The entrant even had a photo of the Crab Nebula attached to show us how well she did.  It is wool and silk.  The gold shawl was spun on a drop spindle and plied on a wheel.  It had some angelina in it so in certain light is looked as if it was covered with gold leaf.  And the rust colored shawl was from yarn spun more thick but incredibly softly and knitted into a lovely leaf-edged pattern.

More entries.  Please note the blanket in the lower left hand corner.  It was our best of show.  Spun by the young weaver for Cat’s Cradle.  It was her second project ever.  She included her pattern draft, a color card of all the yarns she used–all hand spun and hand dyed by herself.  It was soft and the colors worked well together.

And it was beautiful.  The photo does not do it justice.


3 Apr

Yes, I could make my own.  And am rapidly coming to the conclusion it might be the way to go while on the hunt for a best yogurt lately.  Well, best that is available here for a reasonable price.  No camel’s milk here, I am afraid.  And the little cups of goat milk yogurt that are on offer are priced a few times above what I wish to routinely pay.

Then there is the topic of “getting what you pay for”.  Most yogurts offered have little or no fat and high amounts of sweeteners or flavors in order to cover up the fact that fat-less milk products taste like nothing very much.  Which is not what I wish to pay for.  It is laughable (to me) to pay a premium for what is styled a ‘Greek yogurt’ that is in fact no such thing.  An amazing mix of thickeners have been stirred in to approximate the thickness , but really, the rest of the world is not afraid of using whole milk like we are.

So far the top , and only, contender for boughten yogurt of high caliber in reasonable price range is one called Liberte Mediterranee.  With all those little jette marks above the e”s.  It has whole milk, and cream.  And the vanilla is not very sweet at all. It is enough for breakfast and carries me through to lunch. Although , disappointingly, it seems the company is now announcing it will be available with 0% Fat.  Why bother.

Why this morning for this topic?  Well, funny you should ask.  I am sitting here with a partially eaten 6 ounces of Stoneyfield French Vanilla.  It came home with me because it says ‘Whole Milk’ on the front.  But my first two spoonfuls and subsequent reading of ingredients have confirmed that its ‘Smooth and Creamy ‘ claim is strongly aided by the use of pectin. So much pectin that there there is a slimy string which follows each spoonful.  Which is disconcerting to someone who has worked with certain bacteria that act in a similar fashion.  And sugar is the second ingredient.   So this is a way to put off bolting the rest before church.

Window Shopping

26 Jan

Are not these incredibly luscious blooms?  They are the flowers of the Transylvanian Hepatica from Arrowhead Alpines, a favorite place to window shop.  I sometimes even buy a few plants.

Hepaticas are native to this region and come in a mixture of white, pink, and pale blue.  I am partial to the blue, so this dark stunner caught my eye.  So did the price tag: $39.00!  For one

Hepatica plant!    Of course, when you compare it to other hepaticas on the same page, it looks almost reasonable since they are priced at almost seventy dollars.  Shocking.  Note that the regular

American Hepatica are only $8.00 apiece.  Come visit me.

Quilt blogs have caught my attention.  There are quite a few in Australia.  Speaking of which, we received a package this week from Julia and Rob, who had been at BTI and visited us a few times.

They had particularly liked (not really) Goldilocks the snake.  The majority of snakes in Australia are deadly.  So holding a bright orange constrictor was a thrill.  We took photos so they could show how brave they were to folks at home.

Julia started knitting while she was in the states.  I thought it great fun that an Aussie whose husband is from a sheep station learned to knit –wool–in the US.  We also did a dye pot using Lamb O’Lakes wool.  Along with a very fun Aussie Christmas card note  Julia sent me/us a Donna hay cookbook on salads and vegetables. (That is, by the way, a great site to get recipe ideas.)  I had pulled out the two books of hers  I have while she was here and enthused about them.  They are gorgeous to look through and there are photos right near the recipes.  And the recipes are nice.  Although I spent my Border’s Bucks buying a Donna hay magazine earlier this month and was sorely disappointed.  What snooty ads!  Then when Angela was visiting and we were tired of making fun of the ads I used a dessert recipe for which I had all the ingredients on hand: coffee jelly with a chocolate cream topping.  Bleh!  Too sweet by far.  and heavy on the cream topping. Simply ghastly.  Her salads look far nicer and can serve as main dishes since there is some sort of meat or cheese in them.

Anyway, back to quilts.  I like Quiltsalott and have been checking out her links.  I also like the European magazine Quiltmania.  One can get so many great ideas from looking through pages.  For Christmas I made quite a few zippered pouches using an online tutorial.  And then last week I made on of these quilted zippered pouches.  I recognize where quiltsalott got her idea: from the book Houses, houses, houses! by Yoko Saito.

Must go walk Hawthorne and myself.  The other place I have been window shopping is Sephora–for moisturizers, not the glam beauty stuff. Well, maybe a perfume.

Boy Sweater on Number 2 Needles

2 Sep

When Isabelle and I visited Abby and her family this summer she was in the throes of packing but was kind enough to dictate her formula for little baby sweaters.  She knits them on number 1 needles using sock yarn. They are her version of E. Zimmerman’s percentage method.

Abby even gave me the wool sock yarn this sweater is mostly knit from– on number two needles.  Yes, there was a mix-up.  Number two was in the air that day.  It will fit someone older, though–a toddler.

I did add a garter stitch border to the loser edge to keep it from rolling.

Notice the Realistic Horse

1 Dec


City Life

17 Sep

The girl and I are in a City visiting friends.  The girl thought yesterday evening that she would like very much to live in a city.  We will see what she thinks by the end of the week.

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