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2010-11-05

Rhinebeck Rhecap, Part 1:

Maaike and I drove down to Woodstock in the afternoon of the Thursday before the festival.  We left early because Maaike was registered for a class on Friday on spinning exotic fibers.  That meant one thing- I had a day to myself to roam free in Woodstock!

Our inn was right in the heart of the Woodstock village, and it was amazing.  To a tourist, at least, it feels like an artist’s community right in the middle of a forest, complete with bubbling stream and rushing waterfall.  I LOVED it.

To save money we took a room with a shared hall bath.  Our room was lovely, quaint and welcoming.  My favorite part of the room was the top drawer of the dresser which held journals that had been filled in by previous occupants of the room.  It was so sweet to look through the memories that other people had made in that same spot.

After meeting a few other guests at our inn who were also there for Rhinebeck, I went out for my walk.  Unfortunately it was clear that almost nothing would be open for another hour or two so I took advantage of the time to grab some breakfast at the Oriole9, a restaurant that had free wifi.  (Our inn did offer a continental breakfast, but my tastebuds have been majorly screwed up since the tonsillectomy, and I can’t really eat much.  Sweets, dairy and the like taste the worst, and the continental breakfast was muffins, fruit and yogurt…so that was out).

I’m not posting all the photos here, but there was so much to see and photograph in Woodstock.

Everywhere you’d look you’d find tie dye, peace signs and other “typical Woodstock” trappings.  You’d think it would get overdone or theatrical after a while- but it never did.  It just seemed to make sense.

Across the street from our inn was one especially colorful shop:

The black figures in the center of the photo are 2 life-sized Blues Brothers sculptures, posed reclining in patio chairs.

After setting out for my walk I passed two stores then the street meandered over a bridge.  I looked down to see a beautiful rushing stream, and then a few more stores later I followed an alleyway to suddenly come across this waterfal feeding the stream.  It was just perfect.

I forgot I can’t rotate photos in WordPress…so let’s just all hold our heads to the right, m’kay?  🙂  In the heart of the main street was a little community center that had some colorful sculptures around.  This blue park bench had hearts on either side with this peace symbol and hand in the center.  It was just the thing to hold my Rhinebeck Travelling WIP (which was finished 2 days after we got back- more on it later).

As if it weren’t enough to randomly come across streams and sculptures, there was also “found art” everywhere, like a peace sign drawn into the sidewalk concrete, or another peace sign made out of broken bits of motherboards and little round stones found on a garden ledge.  Along the way I also found this guitar carved into someone’s fence.

When I left Oriole9 I went over to the Tea Shop hoping to find some of the same tea I’d had with my breakfast.  They didn’t have it, but I did buy sample sizes of 6 other flavors; the Cream Earl Gray has since become my new favorite.

I didn’t buy much else during my walk- just a polished gemstone to add to my collection, and these two VW vans for the boys:

That evening Maaike and I met up after her class and headed down for an amazing dinner at The Red Onion.  (It must have been good if I enjoyed it even with my silly tastebuds).  It was a beautiful steakhouse with low candle light and black & white photographs of nude women on the walls.  (Those two things don’t seem to go together, but it was very tasteful…no pun intended!)

We finished our night back at the inn, knitting in the lounge with the other Rhinebeck women there.

Getting back to the present, it’s been more of the same around here.  Every night I’ve been working on getting my pattern ready for publication.  It’s getting close…I have hopes to maybe mail it off on Monday.

I spent the day home with Henri who seems to be fighting a gastro.  I don’t like when my kids are sick, but I’m not sorry about getting an extra day to stay home cuddling with him.  I do feel really bad for the poor kid, though- he threw up again tonight right as I was about to put him to bed, and I had to put him in his crib (his pjs were still clean) so I could clean up the floor.  I had the lights on, and kept going in and out of the room to get more paper towels and floor cleaner, etc, and then I looked over and my little fireball of energy- the kid who never sits still or stays put- had laid himself down on his stomach and closed his eyes.  It was heartbreaking.

I can’t work on anything important while Henri’s awake because I keep my focus on him, especially today when I was always on the lookout for signs he was about to throw up (so I could protect our couch, etc).  So while we were watching a new Diego DVD I’d picked up, I started the first Ravenna Mitt.  I think it will be cute, but will have to try on the completed mitt to see if it is right to give all the teachers at the daycare.

And now the kids are both asleep and I’ve had what little I can stomach as supper (toast.  all I eat is toast.  all I can taste is salt.  this kinda is annoying) and am going to do more math, more calculations and more tweaking to get the pattern to look and sound just right.


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2010-11-03

Today is photo day at the boys’ daycare.  I can’t wait to see how the pictures come out!  Lately Jakob’s “say cheese!” face has a big grin but tight, squinty eyes…I’m hoping for a photo that’s not too silly looking.

Speaking of daycare, I’ve been thinking about what to make for the teachers this year.  I enjoy making something for the teachers, and they’ve told me that they appreciate it too.  Now that Henri is there, that’s a second class with another set of teachers to craft for.  Plus I make something for the owner too…so this year I wanted to find something small but that would still be appreciated.

I think I’ve settled on making the teachers each a pair of wristwarmers.  It’s small, practical and even people who don’t get cold enough to wear mittens or gloves can wear them.  They’re stretchy enough to fit a variety of wrist/hand sizes, and hopefully something I can get done in a relatively short period of time.

I didn’t want to rely on stash yarn for this mainly because I figured that the only way to make it fair would be to make everyone the same pair in the same color.  I stopped at Wal-Mart today after dropping the boys off at daycare and on my way to work.  I don’t have anything against chain-store yarn; I think that every yarn has its place in the right project.  (Well…except maybe Phentex.)  All the cotton I use for dishcloths and bath sets is from either Wal-Mart or Zellers, and a lot of the yarn I use for baby projects too.

The selection was really low today.  Either they’re getting rid of the crafts department (I noticed the fabric cutting table was gone), or someone really bought them out.  I did, however, find 4 100g balls of Bernat Satin in black- exactly the color I’d been hoping to find.

I think everyone could use a pair of cute, soft, black wristwarmers.  Hopefully the teachers will think so too!  I’m going to take another look through Ravelry, but I think I’ve pretty much settled on using this pattern– the Ravenna Mitts by Meg White (probably NOT of the White Stripes).  It’s crochet- not knitting- but it looks fast while still being pretty and feminine.

While there I came across this bag of 3 “unknown fiber” balls.  1 lb of “unknown fiber”.  Some of the “unknown fiber” bags you can tell what they are, and I liked this one.  I think it is combined with rayon or nylon…the yarn looks like a woven core wrapped with a shinier strand.  I tried to get a close-up shot to show you:

I’m sure it’s 100% fake stuff, but I love yarn like this, with a silky drape and light weight, for Summer stuff.  I won’t know the exact yardage until I run it through my yardage meter, but I’m sure I have enough for a tank top or lacy shell.

So that’s today.  And lately?

I’ve been working like mad on one special project for the last 2 months.  I had a pattern approved by KnitPicks towards the end of August, and then received the yarn to get started literally the day before my tonsillectomy.  Needless to say…I didn’t get much knitting done for a few weeks.  The one time I tried I knit in the wrong color, and that was enough to teach me that if I was going to finally get this pattern published, I would have to do it right and wait until I was off pain killers.

The knitting has been finished for about a week now, and I had the pattern photos taken last Monday.  I have been spending every night since then working on typing up the pattern so I can send everything off to KnitPicks.

You’d think with this many hours of work behind it, I would feel closer to my goal.  I don’t.  I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t get the pattern out in time for Hallowe’en…though I know that my 2 surgeries and work and health stuff with the kids had a lot to do with that, so I’m not beating myself up over it.  Still, now that the knitting is done I’m itching to move onto the next accepted design, but I can’t call this one “complete” until the pattern is written up.

Luckily I’ve finished all the laundry, and have nothing else to do each night for the rest of the week other than to finish the pattern.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can have it in the mail by Friday.