Well, somehow I “got up on the wrong side of the bed” today. I just could not wake up, and was not myself until nearly dinnertime. It was awful, since I had some plans for the day and could not shake myself alert enough to get started.
An Adventure in Salvage
I did go to MSU Salvage/Surplus Store with Brian around noon. I found a very fun chair to sit on when I spin at my new wheel, I am very happy about that. Brian also found a chair and we got a few computer parts as well.
Salvage is this warehouse at Michigan State University, where they sell off things that are no longer needed by the university. It is amazing to see the things they have to sell there. Sometimes you will see scientific equipment that once cost hundreds of thousands of dollars but now is considered obsolete. Once I was there and they were selling these 12-foot-long oak library card catalog files. Gorgeous. Sometimes there is medical equipment, today there was a lot of commercial kitchen equipment, like a gas grill of the type used at breakfast diners, and a machine for dispensing milk in a cafeteria line.
It can be quite overpowering, a little like MTV with all these visuals attacking the eyes all at once, and the brain wrestling to decide what in the picture is worthy of focus. Today it was overwhelming to me, but sometimes it is joyfully stimulating to the senses.
My chair looks a lot like a white mushroom with a back and a green seat pad. It reminds me of the futuristic styles in Woody Allen’s movie “Sleeper.” I also remember seeing similar furniture at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) in the early 1970’s. The chair is really scuffed up, but appears to have been painted (over plastic or fiberglass) so I will plan to eventually prime it and repaint it. I will also recover the chair seat which is artificial leather and has detatched at one spot.
I love practical manufactured items which look like sculptures! I feel that my Louet wheel is in this category, and my collection of Hall teapots. We have some toasters and other chrome appliances which are also beautiful in this way. This chair just fits in that realm, although it can not possibly hope to “match” anything at all in this house, other than in spirit. Yet that is why it belongs here.
Taking Charge of My Mood
I decided at about 4:00 that I needed to turn my day around from grumpy to something else, so I decided to go visit my friend Nancy McRay at her store Woven Art. She had just been on a second honeymoon and I just had to hear how her trip went. She had a great time.
She showed me some yarns she purchased on her trip, yarns that look like nothing I’ve ever seen in the US or Canada in my travels. One was like a knit tube of nylon, with a chain of multicolor thread inside it (sort of like a serger stitch or braid). She crocheted a fancy scarf from this. The other yarn I remember had mostly linen and acrylic and a few other fibers, with lots of color and lots of texture, but very stiff feeling, almost like waxed shoelaces. Fascinating. I’ll be interested to see what she makes out of that yarn.
Planning ColorJoy Stole Classes
I brought my Since-September Sweater and my Lumpy-Bumpy-Loopy stole with me as show-and-tell, and we got talking about the stole class she had wanted me to teach this fall. We decided that we don’t have to wait until fall for stoles, because surely there are beautiful summer yarns that would make a great stole for covering up from Air Conditioning or cool evening breezes. I will be combing my calendar this weekend, to find a few dates for the class.
You know what, I got so excited about the class that I just wrote about two days’ worth of blog text on the idea of it all. Let’s just say it will cover color for knitters, and also cover the practical side of making a stole out of multiple dis-similar yarns. I’ll wait until later to go into the details of the contents and philosophy of the class.
Redeeming My Day
Well, my day sure did not turn out as I had expected. However, I did play “Suzy Homemaker” a little. Brian got me some gorgeous vegetables and so I cooked two meals today. We had steamed asparagus with pasta and fava beans (and dill and olive oil) for lunch. And then for dinner, I rescued a soup I had made a month or so ago and froze. I did not like this soup at all, it was a tomato based soup which was too thin and too acidic to enjoy. I had LOTS of this soup and did not want to eat it.
So today I thawed out two large containers of this “not-quite-ready-for-prime-time soup” and used it as a base for a new, better soup. I added some swiss chard (something like spinach) to the pot, and then sauteed some gorgeous orange bell peppers, and some green onions including the green part, and the stems of the chard. I added the sauteed veggies to the soup, added a can of refried beans (I thought this would thicken the soup, mellow it out from the over-acid taste, and add protein… and it worked great), and added a bit of basil and thyme, and a generous amount of olive oil (this is a secret ingredient for soups that do not contain any meat, to add a meaty sensation to the taste).
The soup turned out great. We had it for dinner (Brian had a small second helping so I know it was good) and then I froze eight individual servings for lunches later. Whew! It was great to redeem that poor unloved soup!
I also did a bunch of housecleaning today… laundry and dishes. Not enough that any guest would notice, but enough to make life a little more comfortable. My, do we have a lot of clothes! It’s astounding. But I love clothes, color, and style, and therefore I have a lot of maintaining to do at times. When you tend to change clothes a couple of times a day, you have more work! That is the way it goes, I guess.
Soon I’ll take pictures of the beautiful yarns Nancy gave me to create a sample for the ColorJoy Stole class… so lovely! At that point, I may indulge myself and wax poetic about how I will teach color and stole-knitting in two easy sessions. Until then, have as pleasant and non-grumpy of a day as you can!