Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lefse Fantastique!

My second class for St. Paul community ed was last night and it was wonderful!

I had 4 students, 3 of them representing 3 generations of one family. Fantastic! I had 2 ladies and 2 men. I'm guessing the 2 ladies were probably older than me, early-mid 40's. The two men were the grandfather and grandson of the group. Poppa around 60ish and the grandson approximately 10. They were wonderful students! I demonstrated the first piece and the GRANDSON did the second. He rolled it out perfectly, lifted it onto the griddle and baked it like a pro. It was perfect!!!

My best compliment was when we were eating the finished lefse and the grandfather took his first bite and sighed "Just like I remember".

We were finished by 8:30 and I did get a recommendation to add flat brot to the menu, which I am considering and it was certainly possible to do with 4-5 people, but might be difficult with 10. I'll have some time to experiment before my next class in February.

The grandfather was also a knitter so we chatted about his stuff and I showed him the stockings that I had with me. He learned to knit to make chemo caps for friends and charity. I meet such wonderful people teaching this class.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Lefse class tonight

This will be my second class that I have taught for St. Paul Community Ed. My first class was in May, they have already scheduled me to teach a class in February too. Yay.

As someone who loves to teach people, and kind of does that all the time in my hobby, it's wierd when I get compensated for it. Nice, but wierd.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Crazy Aunt Purl!

Came to Minneapolis to sign her book at the Mall of America, and didn't get a chance to shop. That seems almost criminal, don't you think?

She was absolutely lovely in person. A fantastic combination of Lee Anne Rhimes and Reese Witherspoon, or maybe it was just the accent. She kept asking us if we understood her. "Ya sure, you betcha"

She read the intro and first chapter of her book and it made me want to read more. I really admire her courage to be so honest about coping with her divorce. It's amazing to see the person she has become coming out the other end of that experience.

Like I said, that bastard leaving her was the best thing he could have ever done. She is so much better off. I think this book will speak to many people, regardless if they are knitters or cat owners or not.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Moving on to new projects

Now that the Japanese garb production line is complete I can move back to my other projects.

I started a wool coat with trim and fake fur a week+ ago for a friend who supplied the material for me to sew together. She won the largess competition a year ago so it is high time that I finish this project for her. It is a very simple tunic shape and I had that cut out and sewed in one evening, all the finishing and detail work is what takes time. Monday I hand finished all the seams. Last night I re-attached the front decorative strip and hand sewed the bottom decorative trim. The remaining parts are the collar and fur. She picked out a really nice fake fur that is a rich black, almost sable like and it will be attached to the front opening, the cuffs, along the bottom and at the collar. The coat will close with a single hook at the neck, which I need to determine if she has, or if I need to supply it. The coat is a think wool melton in bright red. The trim is a brocade that features a train of camels. I'm really pleased how it's turning out.

I have started on the red stockings for Constanza for her largess prize. I'm working on size 2 circular needles and am knitting both at the same time.

The yarn is Louet Gems, 100% Merino Wool Sport weight in Cherry Red. I have about 5" knit in total. I'm using the pattern for Stockings with Clocks by Nancy Bush.

I just found out about a chance to do some more historical knitting. Plimoth Plantation is looking for volunteer knitters to make stockings and gloves for their interpreters. They supply the materials and you supply the labor. I requested a kit yesterday, but I don't know how long it will be before it arrives. I probably won't start until the end of January, holiday gifts come first, but what a wonderful way to provide something historically accurate! They provide the patterns and the research that they have done on 17th c. knitted goods too. Bonus! There is no deadline to get the finished items back since they are items that can be used all year long. I can't wait! Maybe I'll try my hands at the gloves too.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I decided to be girly so I got a manicure and went shopping.

Film at 11.

I received a really nice compliment on my Dikinson sweater. The clerk at Eddie Bauer asked where I got it so she could buy one. She was impressed and a bit disappointed when I said I made it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New Garb

This coming Saturday the college SCA group is hosting a Japanese event and I have been working on making new garb for this event. I purchased the fabric last Monday and washed and ironed it over the weekend and started sewing Monday night the 15th. I finished one piece Monday and cut out a second. Last night I finished 2 more pieces and have one more to go.

I'm using a friend's website for construction information and information on the proper wearing of the garments since this is a culture that I have not delved into. Quite frankly my persona would never have known about Japan and the closest info I would probably know would be the stories/ tales of the travels of Marco Polo who made it to China. The Portugese weren't even allowed to land in Japan until the late 1500's.

My outfit is constructed entirely of cotton and consists of the following.
1, white cotton kosode (robe)
1, red cotton hakima (pants)
1, outer kosode, also of cotton (I still need to sew this item so the color/pattern will be determined once I stop at the fabric store tonight)
1, obi (a sash I'm borrowing from a friend)
1, uchikake (unbelted coat that goes over the whole thing)

Considering that I'm nearly 6' and blond I'm going to look rather odd wearing Japanese, but I'm excited to try something new. I'll probably arrange my hair in a single braid running down my back but I'm going to wait for my friend's advise when he comes to town Friday for the event.

Monday, October 15, 2007

People are strange

Saturday morning was filled with excitement. My partner and I were woken by our neighbor who had discovered that someone had riffled through their car and suspected the same had happened to our 2 vans.

Sure enough that was indeed the case. Some person/s had removed a duffle bag of armor bits from P's van and my "oh shit" wooden box from mine. They hauled this stuff across the street (I assumed it was to use the bright security lights on the apartment building to search through the contents). They dumped out all of the stuff and ended up taking a folding knife that was in my box and nothing from P's bag, everything else they just left. They did not break the windows and the locks on both vans appear to still be working. They also left behind the spare set of keys for my van that was in my "oh shit" box. They easily could have driven off with it, although I think I would have woken up if I heard my car start up.

Our neighbor's vehicle was searched through and they grabbed 2 purses and a couple of headsets. One purse had Ms. M's stuff from bible study and they dumped out the contents and took off with the purse. The other purse had her wallet, money, checkbook, and all the items that you would expect in a purse. They dumped out all the contents on the lawn and left it there, including the purse and the cash. Really strange.

Naturally this occurred while we were home, in bed, and our bedroom window faces our garage where we park our cars. I'm annoyed about the knife, but more wierded out that this happened, to the point that I'm uneasy being away from home. The person/s also ransacked about 6 other vehicles in the apartment parking lot across the street. Emptying out contents and strewing them all around.

When I spoke to the officer on Saturday I was the only person who had made a report to the police. We've lived in this neighborhood for 6 years, going on 7, and this is the first time we have had anything happen like this. The officer did not appear to be surprised.

Sunday morning I installed a motion sensor light at the back door. More than likely it's the punk kids who live behind us, at least that was the theory of the girls on our block.

Anyone know where I can buy a gross of bear traps?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mixed-Up Monkees

I finished my 3rd pair of Sock Monkee socks, to be delivered in Dec.

With the leftover yarn that I have from the sock monkee socks I decided to knit Mixed-Up Monkees. I used the free pattern for toddler socks. I have one done and have started the second.

What a difference mixing around the colors makes.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sometimes the truth hurts...

I might need to buy another shirt from Despair.com. Fantastic!

$5 off per shirt for the month of October.

Monday, October 08, 2007

As great as the wedding was....

(with apologies to Aesa and Raito, but really this was amazing!) there was another high point to the weekend.

December came early this year and I was treated to a SECOND ROW viewing of the

Royal Shakespeare Company's production of King Lear staring Sir Ian McKellan at the Guthrie last night!!!!!!!

I was 10 feet from the stage OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! My sister got me the ticket as an early birthday gift. (I think she is covered for a while)

The show was 3 hrs and 40 minutes long and it could have been 10 minutes for all I noticed. I'm certain that there were points that I did not breath and I did not blink. It was spellbinding.

As far as the cast in the show was concerned I knew Ian was Lear but knew nothing of the rest, so my jaw nearly fell on the floor when Sylvester McCoy walked out in the role of the Fool.

For those who do not know Sylvester McCoy played the 7th Doctor in Dr. Who and he was brilliant in the role of the Fool. A large portion of the first act is the fool and Lear on stage and I didn't know who I enjoyed more in their respective roles. I was in heaven.

This was my first visit to the new Guthrie since it opened and I must say I love it! It is far easier to get to and the parking is much more convienent than the old location. I was there early so I walked around to see all of the sites.

During intermission Katherine and I walked out on the endless bridge and enjoyed the view of the city and then quick hurried back to our seats for the rest of the play.

After the show I hugged her and yelled "that was fantastic!" I was absolutely elated and gone was the exaustion of the weekend and the drive.

Because I am a geek I hung out at the stage door and greeted and thanked the actors for their performance. (some of them were pretty sneaky and almost passed by unnoticed)

I actually did see Ian (that's his head in the center), he was fricken 5' from me, but really I was waiting for Sylvester.....unfortunately I either missed him, or he went out another door. I looked like a puppy who had been kicked.

It was a fantastic! An amazing performance and I feel so lucky to have seen this. I know all the performances are sold out for Lear, but I highly recommend getting tickets for the Seagull cause this cast will be awesome in anything.

I'm still on cloud 9!

Wedding success!!!

All goals were accomplished this weekend.

1) The bride and groom got married

2) Everyone had enough to eat

3) No one went to jail

4) No one went to the hospital

5) Everyone had a fantastic time!!!!!

Thursday I picked up the bride's mom, sister and sister's boyfriend and headed to Madison, WI. We got there about 11 pm and I visited with the birdies and our hostess and then crashed.
Friday morning we loaded everything up and headed off to the bride and groom's house. We had breakfast, greeted people, especially the 5th bridesmaid, Jess, who had been living in Michigan and recently been living in England for the last 2 months, and loaded up 2 cars to head to the reception site, the Madison Masonic Center. At the reception site we unloaded dresses and other items needed for Saturday into our rooms. The groom arrived and started setting up the lighting equipment and sound equipment for the reception along with the groomsmen, who were going to get fitted in their tuxes that day.

The ladies piled back in the van and headed to the hotel so S, C and E could check in and we could pick up the other bridesmaid Jen. Once everything was checked in we headed out to the spa, Aniu. My goodness was that place nice!!!!! We started in the pool room where we could dip between a hot and a cold plunge pool. There was also a steam room. The steam in the pool room itself was enough that my chest felt instantly clearer, the best it had felt for over a week. Then it was my massage appointment with Nicole. Ahhhhhhhhhh. That was so nice and I didn't cough one, just drooled a little. I'm thinking I need to do a massage and facial for a birthday treat for myself this year. It was worth every cent. After massages we took showers and then headed downstairs for a quick lunch.

After lunch was the manicure and pedicure, something I had never done. I don't take care of my nails at all, and am pretty rough on my feet so Catherine had her hands full with me, especially since I kept trying to "help" by holding my hands for her and it was not helping. I got a light pink on my hands and hot pink on my feet.
A choice no one was expecting. It was a lot of fun, but I felt a bit out of my element, however my nails and feet are gorgeous!!! If I wore more open toed shoes I would deffinately get a pedicure again. I had fun showing off my nails all day Saturday. I even managed to knit a little while waiting for my toes to dry.

After the spa we sped back to the hotel for a quick clothes change before we headed off to the Pres House at the U of Madison campus where the ceremony was going to take place.

I hadn't been to the campus before so I got a few shots of the other buildings including the imposing Science building and the old gym, which is now office space?

We found out that Saturday the campus was going to be hosting "Geek Fest" and all I could think of, "well we know where all the groomsmen will be..." We practiced lining up, walking in, and walking/ dancing out. We had a lot of fun.

After rehearsal we headed off to the Essen Haus for a very nice catered meal. We returned the guests to the hotel and I returned to my crash site and waited for P to arrive, which he did around 11:30. We all stayed up far too late and I finally crashed around 2 am.

Saturday morning it was my job to pick up the bride and take her to Cameo Salon for her hair and makeup. Needless to say I was early. I got to relax in the Serenity room and knit and take a little nap while they got started on Angie and Shiela. My turn came and I got a cute up-do and I really like how they did my makeup. It was really nice having someone else work on my look and all I had to do was get dressed. After our appointments Sheila and I walked the 2 blocks to the reception space to have lunch with the guys and wait around to get dressed. It was beastly hot Saturday, high 80's, but not as humid as Friday.

We had barbecue for lunch and then waited for the photographer, well the bridesmaid's started getting dressed without her. Our gowns were royal blue strapless with a nice beaded detail on the bodice. Our flowers were golden roses, carnelians, grape seed, lemon leaf, and hydrangia. They were just lovely. The photographers took shots like crazy all day long so I did not take my camera out much, just a few pictures.

Bridesmaid dress and wrap

Bride looking stunning.

Groom chatting with guests

Various groomsmen.

We took pictures of the wedding party at the Capital and the Stock Pavilion before heading out to the press house. The girls and flowers were in the large van and the boys were in the "short bus", well that's what we called it.

The ceremony was fabulous and I almost cried when the minister was reading her piece. It was really beautiful. Everyone did a fabulous job. We all showed up when we should, dressed and ready to go and we all looked great.

After the ceremony there was more pictures and then some downtime at a pool hall for the wedding party and friends. We arrived at the Masonic Lodge at 6:30 ish and processed in to a quite lively Pacabell's Cannon done on electric guitar. There was no head table so we were able to sit where we wanted. The dinner was great and very filling.

The cake was really beautiful, and they cut it with a sword, of course.

Towards the end of the night I realized I had not got a picture with Padruig, so we got that sorted out.

And one with Halvdan for good measure.

It was such a fun weekend and I think everyone had a great time. The bride and groom were picked up from the reception in a limo and escorted safely home. We were driven to our crash space in the party shuttle.

Sunday morning we had breakfast, said our goodbyes and headed off to pick up my van at the hotel and our fellow passengers. Sunday was very warm and as we were heading through La Crosse the bank sign read 93 degrees. Oy.

We stopped at the border and got some much needed air and were treated to some lovely views.

We got to Northfield around 3 and home around 5. Great weekend and I was so proud to be there and celebrate this ocassion with my friends. It was such a great time!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wedding weekend

I'm heading out tonight with the mother and sister of the bride to Madison. I'm glad we were able to make this arrangement as I did not relish the thought of driving to Madison by myself.

I'm all packed. I still need to load the second bench seat into the van. One last errand, I still need to purchase a strapless bra. I think I'm going to do that over lunch today cause considering the itinerary in WI this weekend I do not know if I will have an hour to spare.

Bridesmaid pictures will be forthcoming after the weekend.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


We had some pretty loud storms over the weekend. Lenny T. Cat hates thunderstorms and when one is blustering outside he prefers to snuggle next to something warm and stable. He even has gone so far as to seek out Nehemiah for temporary comfort.

Looks innocent enough?

The peace is not long last once the storm has blown over. Shortly after the second photo was taken Mr. Angry decided to thank Tubby with a quick nip on the butt.

I guess Lenny is a fair weather enemy.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Dickinson Pullover complete!

It fits perfectly! I'm very pleased.

I just finished binding off the neck, wove in the ends and threw it on so it still needs to be blocked, but I am very pleased with the fit and the length of the body, sleeves and the deep V neckline are all perfect.

I started with 14 skeins and had 1/4 left of the last skein left despite the fact that I added 2" to the arm length and 1 1/2" to the body length. I chose to knit the body and sleeves in the round up to the armholes and then place everything onto a cable and work around shaping the ragland sleeves and it worked really well. I'm thinking the yarn will benefit from a good washing and blocking as it will relax the cables and take away some of the scratchy edge to the wool.

Detail of the ragland decreases, pretty close to the final color.

Out of all the pictures, only one shows the right color. Once it is dried from blocking I'll get a picture wearing it.

Edit: pictures wearing Dikinson

The yarn relaxed a lot more thqan I thought it would, but it still fits well and it very comfortable! It is one of those sweaters that makes you want to sit by a fire and sip hot chocolate in a ski chalet.