Tag Archives: social time

Redux

Yesterday needed to be put behind me, let go, forgotten and a new try today.  Grandson was less anxious with his much anticipated field trip successfully behind him and knowing that today was his last full day of school of third grade and would likely be used to shut down, clean out desks and cubbies and start thinking about his summer, so our morning was less stressful.  I avoided all convenience stores today, instead, opting to go out to a new local coffee shop with my good friend.  We ended our morning with a tour of her gardens, a 60 X 60 foot mixture of vegetables, flowers, and fruits with wide paths of wood chips, a drip irrigation system, trellises, and wind sculptures all fenced.  I find her gardens very peaceful and her company both fun and relaxing.  I came home with two kinds of sweet potato shoots and enough Tomatillo seed to plant what I want of them this year.

I finally braved a peek at the soap.  It looked better, felt sound, and so I un-molded it to cut.  It is smooth and uniform, though much darker than the first batch of Goats and Bees.

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Batch #1 from last winter.
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Batch #2 rebatched yesterday

In addition to the darker color, it has a somewhat caramel scent, probably from reheating the honey which is added right at the end during the original formulation.  It will do.  It is curing and will hopefully be ready before the older batch is gone.  I have one more lotion bar scent to make, one more moustache wax, and one more beard oil and I will be ready for the two summer craft festivals that I will vend.  I will wait until after they are done to make more supplies for the Holiday markets.

My spinning of the colorful fiber that I started a couple days ago is progressing with about 3/4 of it spun.  The singles are lovely, and should ply into a soft beautiful fingering weight yarn of Merino, Corriedale, and Tussah Silk.

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Tomorrow, I look forward to an afternoon with my spinning friends, both local and from farther away that gather annually at a friend’s house for a pot luck and afternoon of spinning and socialization.  It should be a fun and relaxing time.

 

Social Time

Today I took a break from Christmas and Holiday Market readiness and left the rest of the family at home to go have some social time with the spinning group to which I belong.  It has been too long since I have attended and I was missing the socialization with this fabulous group of gals.  Today was our Christmas Social, hosted in the most spectacular home.  This spinner hosts us a couple times a year.  Her home has the most fantastic views and we sit in a huge room with a high ceiling and large windows with more than 180 view.  The gathering is holiday potluck with spreads, cheeses, crackers, sweets and goodies.  Lots of conversation, some spinning, some knitting, and a Dirty Santa exchange.  Having never gone before, I was the only one who didn’t have spinning fiber in my gift.  I did take two skeins of Merino with Silk yarn, so I wasn’t totally out of the ballpark.  There were some sweet gifts, some taken the 3 time limit before they settled to go home with the new owner.  I ended up with the hostesses gift, an adorable painted tray of a sheep and phlox with the saying “Sheep in phlox” and 12 ounces of the prettiest white California Red fiber.  She shared the farm name and their website, I will have to visit soon.

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I can’t wait to start spinning this beautiful fiber and then figure out what to make with the yarn.

I hadn’t realized how much I missed the weekly gathering with these beautiful ladies and vowed to make attending on Thursdays again, a priority.

Tomorrow morning, I am going to have breakfast with another friend and this weekend, Mountaingdad and I are going to a holiday party for his Harley Owner’s Group.  That will be all of the holiday partying we will be doing this year.

Tomorrow, I will return to prep and packing to ready the car for the early setup on Saturday at the Winter Holiday Market.  The weather is forecast to to much warmer and calmer than the Fall Market was.  I can’t argue with the forecast.

The Retreat

Thursday morning, I departed, leaving Mountaingdad home to care for dogs, chickens, and for part of the weekend, also Son #1 and Grandson #1, while I traveled two hours west with a spinner friend to Hawks Nest State Park for a 3 day spinning retreat.  And a treat it was.  In route the other 4 of the other spinners from our local group met us at Tamarack, a delightful juried craft market with a cafe run by The Greenbrier.  We wandered and ogled the wood, glass, pottery, weaving, prints, and quilts then had our lunch in the cafe before making the last half hour trek to the park.

There we were treated to rooms, most that overlooked a long section of the New River Gorge.

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The view from our room and from the conference room of the retreat.
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Check in area of the lobby.
We didn’t even unpack before we set up our wheels and started to spin, Shetland, Mohair, Cotswold, Dorset, Alpaca, Yak and Silk.  Many vendors with more fiber to tempt this hungry group of fiber artists.

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Spinners and weavers, tables of fluff, chatter and knitting, all lots of fun stuff.

At night we partied on goodies brought from home and pot luck shared with beverages of choice.  To town we zipped for lunch at the Cathedral Cafe for homemade soup, salad and bread, then homemade Chai tea and carrot cake.  Another evening to town for pizza, salad and beer or rootbeer.

Three days of new friends and old, food, fiber and fellowship.  Each of us leaving with a goody bag of fiber samples, notebooks, pens, pencils, patterns and a door prize each of wonderful donated weavings, fiber, photo frames, salsa and chips, bags or other wonderful surprises.

In spite of the chattery good times, much yarn was made, much was woven or knit.  I succeeded in over 400 yards of a mixed fiber skein.

This will be added to my growing mixed fiber yarn of naturals and colors that will be a blanket someday.
This will be added to my growing mixed fiber yarn of naturals and colors that will be a blanket someday.
This hot mess of overspun Merino that looks like a 106 yard long hair scrunchy.
This hot mess of overspun Merino that looks like a 106 yard long hair scrunchy.

And 100 grams of beautiful Merino that is awaiting the other 100 grams to be spun and plied that will become a gift scarf for some lucky person.

The Hot Mess was Merino purchased there as is the Merino that is only half done and the 8 ounce bag of Dorset Lamb fiber the Hot Mess is sitting on.  I will enjoy more spinning reminders from the weekend and look forward to the next retreat in late winter of the one next fall.  I will return.

 

Food and Fun

Today was the Spunster, my spinning group’s annual Spin In and Potluck located in a beautiful valley in our mountains at the home of our delightful hostess and host.  We get to sit around and spin on the lovely porches, socialize, and eat and our significant others are encouraged to participate with us for this event.  An afternoon of crafting, walking the woods, touring their business, Strauch Fiber Equipment (http://www.strauchfiber.com/) and enjoying the delicious food contributions.

Today, I contributed two salad favorites.

Ranch Pasta & Potato Salad

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  • 6 small Red Potatoes with skins on cubed 1/2″
  • 6 oz spiral pasta (approx 2 c) {Gluten free is fine}
  • 1/2 c chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 c chopped green onion, bulb and stem
  • 8 slices bacon cooked crisp and chopped
  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c Ranch dressing (I use the light version)

Boil the potatoes for 3-4 minutes, add pasta and cook about 9 minutes til pasta is soft cooked (not al dente). Rinse with cold water and drain well.  Toss with chopped vegetables.  Blend dressing and toss into salad with bacon.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

This makes about 8-9 cups of salad.  I got this recipe from my daughter, who got it from a friend, who got it from ????  I have seen variations of it on the internet, so I don’t know where to give credit.

My other contribution was:

Three Bean Salad

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I think this one came off a can of beans many years ago, maybe…

  • 1 each 15 oz can of Red Kidney, Cannelini, and Garbanzo beans
  • 3 c chopped vegetables ( I use the other half of the red bell pepper, carrot, onion)
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1/3 c wine vinegar or Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 finely minced gloves of garlic
  • 1/2-1 tsp Italian Seasoning (I don’t buy mixed seasoning, so I use basil, oregano, thyme, parsley)
  • 2 Tbs Parmesan cheese

Drain beans and combine with chopped vegetables.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Blend Olive oil, vinegar and herbs well in blender or with wand blender and pour over bean mixture.  Stir and chill several hours.

This makes about 7 cups of salad.

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There was a lot of yarn spun, some knitting done, much eating, socializing and a beer or two consumed.  It was a delightful afternoon with a wonderful group of friends.

Solo Time

Today is a beautiful springlike day after snow day before yesterday.  The snow is gone, the day is warm and dry.  The kind of day that Jim has been wishing for all winter.  He was up as soon as it warmed and dressed to ride.  He took off on his motorcycle for a “long” ride and I was left to do whatever I wished.

Today is the day the new yarn and fabric store opened in the nearby town, so for me it was a day to explore.  Lunch alone at Panera, reading, then across the road to the new shop to check it out.  After that excursion, I was off to my favorite local shop to sit with friends and knit.

My current projects, since I finished the baby sweater and delivered it to the Mom to be, but failed to photograph first, are still the Honey Cowl of Green Dragon Terminator in Heatwave color.

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It is coming along nicely, though I found a dropped stitch while I was at his shop and now have to decide how to deal with it.  And my other project is Estelle of Quince and Co. Lark in Delft color.  The body is finished on it and I’m working on one sleeve.  That leaves the other sleeve and the feather and fan front bands.  I am beginning to think it may not get worn this year, but it will be put away for the next cold winter.

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I am considering selling my Ashford Kiwi 2 spinning wheel for a Kromski Sonata that I can pack up and take to the weekly spinning group.  I’m not addicted enough to own more than one wheel.  I was hoping when I got to the Green Dragon Shop to knit that David had not sold all of the fiber he took to Hawk’s Nest last week, he had one I really wanted, but my road trip there didn’t happen as I remembered an appointment that interfered, but alas, he sold every roving he took with him.  Maybe in the fall.