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Archive for August 4th, 2003

A Blogger-Filled Weekend, Part Two

Monday, August 4th, 2003

Sunday’s PicKnit day was a blast! Tony and I got going a little slow, but he came by as I was starting to make my blackeyed pea salad, so he sliced up some fresh zucchini and I put some fresh dill in from my garden, and whatever else I could come up with, and then we went on our way.Crowd at PicKnit

My Own Knitting Machine
We detoured, though, on the way to the PicKnit. A music friend, Mark, was giving me a knitting machine for my very own self. Price? “You can’t bring it back.” I like that price. I guess the machine was left behind when someone moved out of his house years and years ago. I sure came out well on that deal! It turns out to be a Singer HK-100 which is similar to a Studio LK-100.

Sarah and RobNow, that means I’ve now joined the Machine Knitting email list at Yahoo. Like I need one more thing? Mark offered this thing to me maybe 9 months ago and I delayed, knowing it could take over my life. Well, now is the time, I guess!

Finally a Picnic!
Anyway, after we picked up my knitting machine, we went to Patriarche Park for the PicKnit. This is a very fine larger park in East Lansing. We met near the huge community-built playground so that those who brought kids could also enjoy a little chat between looking up to see if the kids were doing OK. We had a nice spot, and the weather cooperated. It looked like it wanted to rain, and I felt a few tiny drops once early in the day but nothing developed. In the end, we had sunshine which was a delight!

It was a good crowd. I hope I can remember everyone two days later… Sarah Peasley/Handknitter, Ann and Jessie, Tony, Me, Tracy/Sweatergirl, Debi/TrixieChick, Daphne SerialKnitter, Judith, and Marcia/PurlsB4Swine, who came from Grand Rapids. Rachel was there at the beginning but had to leave sooner than the rest of us. Later Terri joined us (I hope I spelled her name right, I can’t find her business card in the mess on my desk.)

Rob and Matt, Judith and TonyThere were all sorts of goodies! Tracy brought hotdogs and hamburgers, and was the chef for that course. Then there were some lovely snacks and salads and some beautiful green grapes (I ate more than my share of those), and the final course was S’Mores (toasted marshmallows and melted chocolate bar between graham crackers, for those of you outside the US). No picnic with any source of fire can end without S’mores (Some more’s, or I want some more), at least not if there are children around! Sarah Peasley’s hubby Ryan made sure the marshmallows toasted without incident. Then he kindly took the kids home and left Sarah to be kidless for a few hours with us. Cool dude.

Once we had a meal, we settled in to knit again. And then we had our big surprise! Rob/Black Dog and Matt/Crowing Ram showed up. With two dogs, a spinning wheel and a very large basket full of fat paper bags. They used to live here but moved to Indiana before I started up knitting this time around. I’ve corresponded with both of them numerous times on email, and Matt’s picture was on Knitty very recently at the end of his Sigma Tank pattern on Knitty.com (which I started and then stalled a few weeks ago) so I recognized his face instantly.

Marcia with Indulgence SkeinWell, the crowd was very happy to see their friends again! There were many exclamations and hugs going around for a good long while. Once all calmed down, we made sure they got some food and Matt settled in spinning a bit on his Ashford Traditional. One little boy from the picnic next to ours came over and stared for a long while, getting closer and closer before he finally asked what Matt was doing. He didn’t stick around too long but he had to figure out what that was!

Then we had a bit of the holiday spirit: Rob’s big basket contained a goodie bag for everyone in the crowd. We all got to pick out a bag. They either had yarn or pattern or some other knitting related gift. (Rob and Matt run an online shop called ThreadBear.) I got a pair of skeins of Meilenweit sockyarn Jacquard, with striipes of navy, grass green and orange. MSU Grass GardenThe colors are wonderful to look at, and different than what I normally wear.

They gave us a chance to trade in what we got for what was left in the basket, once everyone picked their first bag. However, I had to make up some reason to keep what I had, even though I won’t wear it myself. I have such fun knitting bright color combinations even if they don’t include my own favorites. I thought first I would knit for my Goddaughter Sara, who looks wonderful in orange, but she doesn’t like wool much. Brian likes the yarn, so he will get another pair of socks sometime thanks to Rob and Matt.

[Notice the picture of Marcia, who got the big prize of the day: two skeins of Cascade Indulgence, an extravagantly luxurious heavy worsted yarn. I think it’s alpaca and angora. I know it comes in colors I adore and I’ve fantasized about a hat made of it for over a year. Lucky grrl! I guess that made the trip from Grand Rapids worhthwhile.]

The MSU Grass Garden
I recently told Tony about the incredible Grass Garden at MSU, and we went right by there on the way home. We decided it was the right time to check it out, and I’m really glad we did.

Tony in MSU Grass GardenMy fiber-friend Marlene Cameron who taught me to dye wool, is married to Art Cameron, a professor of Horticulture at MSU. He designed this ambitious and wonderful large garden mostly planted with different types of ornamental grasses. There are a few other plants in there, mostly flowering plants, and it is just an amazing thing. I never imagined how many kinds of grass there might be. Every year in the winter they cut the grass down and it comes back up in the spring. This is a very good time to visit, but as different things flower at different times, it will be just beautiful until frost.

The garden is located at the turfgrass center, on the southeast corner of Mt. Hope Avenue and Farm Lane. If you are in the area, do check it out, it’s open to the public all hours. Don’t miss this!

Frog on Coneflower in Grass GardenThere is a Chinese grass there that grows 10 feet tall. Tony is 6 feet 2 inches tall and here he is dwarfed by that grass. Amazing, isn’t it???

On the way out, we stopped to look at the coneflowers and Tony spotted a Swallowtail butterfly. It was beautiful, and I got a few pictures of it. But as I got closer to take the pictures, Tony also noticed a tiny green tree frog sitting happily undisturbed on a coneflower. I think the frog picture turned out great!

It was the best of days.

Borders Tomorrow, Anyone?

Monday, August 4th, 2003

Wowie, tomorrow is the 1st Tuesday of the month. That means I’m heading to Ann Arbor’s Arborland Borders Books for a knit in. These fiber folks are so great, I really look forward to the event. (Actually, it’s for lovers of any fiber or needlework thing, not just knitting.) Last time all I bought was a cup o’tea, but the company was so good it was a perfect evening.

So who wants to join me? Anyone in Lansing want to car pool? Anyone new in driving distance from Ann Arbor want to meet up?

Pics of yesterday still to be posted today but I thought I would put this question out there as soon as I realized it was time to act and ask!