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Archive for August 22nd, 2008

More Knitting on the Road

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Rae and I both had classes cancel for Saturday. We have made the decision to drive down to the Chicago Area for one day, to Stitches Midwest (knitting/fiber-related conference). We made no plans ahead of time so we will go to the market (no time for classes). Our friend/colleague Sarah Peasley is teaching there, we may or may not see her but will look out for her.

A busload of folks planned ahead to go from Lansing, and I think it may be the same day we go (but we are not early birds so they are going first). Of course both Rae and I have been in the knitting business long enough to have friends from all over the country. We will be able to see a few folks we don’t see anywhere else but trade shows.

I hope to get some Indian food somewhere in/near Chicago. I know where to find Devon Avenue which is a sure bet, but it’s not near where the show is. I hope someone will give me a lead on something good that is closer.

The drive is a long haul, somewhere between 4 to 5 hours to that particular location. When I think Chicago, I think less than 4 but this is more. I do love to drive, and I really love Rae’s company. We will take turns driving and knitting, and it will be very good. I am good driving in city traffic so I’ll do that part, and the rest we will play by ear.

I’m excited. Time to sleep, or at least try to sleep. It will be very soon when the alarm goes off!

Fun in Allegan, Michigan

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Rae and I took Sunday last week and spent the day together at Michigan Fiberfest, in Allegan Michigan. It is no surprise that we had a good time, and no surprise that when I bought things they were the color Turquoise. Well, except for the wood item, that is. (Photo below is a garden outside the fence at Allegan County Fairgrounds, visible from the parking lot. Yes, gardens are an artform!)


Here you see what I came home with. At the left of the photo is roving/combed loose wool fibers. I swore I wouldn’t buy more this year, since I havent been spinning much this year. However, Rae is encouraging me to bring my spinning wheel to her shop for slow times and knit-in times. This fiber was so perfect (I love turquoise with just a hint of green in it), and so soft yet shiny, I gave in.
It’s a blend of alpaca, merino and tussah silk. I would love wristwarmers of this, but will have much more fiber than that requires. It’s from Yarn Hollow. That’s my friend Rita from the Grand Rapids area, we met face to face last year at Allegan but she knew me from this blog. Since then we have connected quite a few times.


The two matching skeins are fingering/sockweight yarn from Ellen’s Half-Pint Farm. I love her stuff, I make a point each year to collect something from her. Ellen and her sisters are wonderful folks and the products are consistently lovely.

This particular yarn is 50% wool and 50% bamboo fiber, which is fluffy and shiny and baby-soft. I am dreaming of a tank top or short tee. At 475 yards per 4oz skein, I can probably get any number of styles out of these. I love knitted garments made of thinner yarns, and this will be wonderful next to the skin.

The last item is a hand-turned walnut darning egg by Knitting Notions. It is interesting to me that I did not set out to do this, but the three people I bought from this year I also bought from last year. Last year I was not as stuck on Turquoise and I got wild multicolored sockyarn from Rita and a purplish-magenta handpainted sockyarn from Knitting Notions. And sockyarn (including turquoise) from Ellen.

alleganrestaurantsign.jpgIt was a more relaxed fiberfest than I’ve had in previous years. I had no appointments with anyone, no classes to teach, no obligations. We got there when we got there, we wandered around and said hello to the folks we knew, and then we left when it was good and done.

After we left, we decided to try and find food in Allegan before heading home. Rae and I tend to eat very different foods at home, but I remembered a restaurant from the three years I taught at this festival where I thought we both could find something we would like.

Allegan has rivers and bridges and hills, and the streets meander rather than sit in a grid as in Lansing. That is a bit of a challenge for a citygrrl behind the wheel! Amazingly, I was able to find my way to the place and it was still in business.

The Village Inn reminds me of places I went as a kid, maybe around 1970 or so. It has a very clear small town friendly flavor. A young man probably in high school was our very capable waiter.

The salad bar had pretty good choices for toppings on the iceberg lettuce salad mix. I had hard boiled egg and onion and black olives and carrots, which was a really satisfying meal for someone who normally has to pick and choose because of food sensitivities.

As a side story… I somehow dropped my cell phone (which I did not use all day) in the parking lot of the Village Inn. I realized it was missing that night when I got home. On Monday I started looking at replacement phones, and in the late afternoon I got a phone call from the restaurant. A customer had found it but the inside screen was broken.


The man I talked to at Village Inn sent me my phone back in the mail, and I proceeded to order a new phone. The old phone and the new one arrived on the same day (Thursday). Verizon was able to transfer over my phone list even though it was impossible to see the menus, and I was off and running around 5:30pm on Thursday after having lost the phone around the same time of day on Sunday. It could have been much worse. Thanks to Village Inn!!!