Pink Monkey Knits

Using my opposable thumbs to knit up a storm!

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Olde Farmhouse 

the olde farmhouse

After a few (somewhat stressful) days in Pittsburgh, my family headed out to central Michigan. Although it wasn't the best circumstances, we made the best of it by making the trip into a little vacation. My parents booked us into this charming Bed and Breakfast, the Olde Farmhouse in Marshall, MI. Here, we were surrounded by barns and cornfields and were just a few miles up from the very cute, historical town. I don't know if it was from the change or pace or environment, but staying in this area really was relaxing, and best of all, I think my whole family enjoyed our whole time there.

Quick confession: no one in my family likes cats. It's one of the few commonalities that all of us in our little group share (the others being bad eyesight and a deep hatred of celery). But there were four outside cats at the Farmhouse and I admit, I was somewhat taken with this little guy (who may have been a gal). Aren't those eyes pretty? I did learn, however, that cats are really hard to get posed and photographed.

The respite there was so nice that my aunt proposed having annual family reunions there. I greatly supported that idea as it would give me the chance to continue to see some cousins I don't get together with very often and we can continue to hold yearly croquet tournaments in my grandmother's memorial (no, I didn't win).

When I learned how close we were to Lansing, I made a strong case for making a premiere yarn destination in the Midwest: Threadbear Fiber Arts. My dad had no idea what he was in for when he offered to bring me up there, ha! Frankly, neither did I.

threadbear

This is the view from the back left of the store looking forwards. Yeah, this is but a small fraction of their stock. Friends, when I walked in there, I really almost plotzed. My head was spinning. My knees were weak. My mouth was dry. I couldn't make see any organizational plan to the yarn and I tried to frantically remember every project I've ever wanted to knit and wanted yarn for. The process of thinking through what I might want took my TWO HOURS. At which point we went for a lunch break, and took a stroll around old town Lansing.

And then RETURNED TO THE STORE.

Which leads me to a great truth: my dad might be the best yarn shopping companion EVER. He brought his laptop into the store and worked diligently while I raced around, fondling and trying to figure out what would make me incomplete if I left the store without it. Then, my dad BOUGHT a sweater's worth of the chosen yarn! Yup, totally the best.

I'll have to show the yarn sometime when I can take pictures in the day, because it is too pretty to attempt to take a flash photo of.

[FYI: If you want to make a Carla like mine and have had trouble finding the discontinued Cotton Tape, call up Threadbear. They had quite a few shades in stock when I was there.]

Another heartwarming family knitting moment occurred when I presented my sister-in-law with the finished Headline News Cap.

Headline News Cap

Headline News Cabled Newsboy Cap from Stitch n Bitch Nation
Blue Sky Cotton, Colorway 603
Size 8 and 10 1/2 needles

I'm very satisfied with how this turned out and, as far as I could tell, so was my SIL! As a married women, she has chosen to cover her hair in public, so I thought that I could throw some handknit love into the tradition. The cotton yarn made for a nicely textured yet light finished product. Indeed, the SIL said it was so light that she didn't even feel it on her head. I followed the patterns instructions for lengthening the hat a bit so that it could accommodate all of her hair and the sizing ended up being perfect. To stiffen the brim, I rooted around in my parents' basement and found a plastic disposable plate. I cut two layers to size and voila, ended up with a brim that protruded just the right amount.

The best part is that it only took up one of the two skeins I bought, so I have enough left over to make one for myself.

Big plans for this weekend, hopefully including some finishing of projects! Enjoy yours.