Pattern: Basic Mitten Pattern from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns
Yarn: Mystery blue-ish wool yarn (I think it was in a bag of yarn that I received from my grandmother years ago) and Plymouth Drifting Gardens (discontinued)
Needles: US 9
Finished these during the Niagara trip. They're a little short for me but fit my mother well. She said she wants them but when she tried them on, she said, "Oooo, these are too nice to wear." So... I don't think she'll wear them if I give them to her. Plus, I've never seen her wear mittens. Ever.
If you Google "cross stitch pegboard", you can see examples of large-scale cross stitch projects using workshop pegboard. I wanted to give it a try and picked up a 2' x 4' piece of pegboard at Home Depot for $8. I charted out the full size on a piece of graph paper and tried to come up with a design that I would like.
For the yarn, I'm using stash wool and acrylic. It's all worsted-weight yarn, held quadruple to make it extra bulky.
I work it for an hour here and there while listening to Wrath of the Khans on Hardcore History.
Went to Niagara Falls, Ontario this past weekend with my mom. It was only about 7 hours of driving to get there. Not bad at all. We left early on Friday and were checked into the hotel by 3 pm. She booked a room that had a view of the falls:
I walked in, looked out the window and shrieked, "Oh my god! ... Oh my god!" It's impressive. It's hypnotic to see the water flowing toward and going over the edge. We walked down to take a closer look at the two separate falls. American Falls:
And the Canadian Horseshoe Falls:
Here they are together in the same panoramic shot (this is looking east, toward New York state):
Saturday was rainy, so we drove up to Niagara-on-the-lake to do some shopping. We heard about a wine festival in St. Catherines, so we drove over there as well. Sunday was much better weather. We went to ride Maid of the Mist:
This was awesome. You ride out and the boat idles in the center of the Horseshoe falls so that everyone can be battered by wind and water for 10 solid minutes. It was crazy. I took a quick video:
Afterwards, the boat leaves the falls and you're dazed, like, "What just happened? I just paid to be sprayed by a fire hose in a wind tunnel for 10 minutes." But it was exhilarating and fun.
We walked back up to do the Journey Behind the Falls. That was an epic waste of money, other than being able to get this picture:
All you do is walk down a concrete tunnel. Yes, technically you are walking "behind" the falls, but you can't see anything, other than some water falling past an opening that you can't even get near.
Niagara Falls was great. Easy to drive to, totally do-able in a long weekend. We didn't see/do anything on the USA side of the falls. From what I hear, the views aren't as good as from the Canada side, but it's also not as touristy. I would definitely like to go back some day with Dollar.
Murderface had a fine visit to the vet on Tuesday. Everything looks good (teeth, eyes, weight) and sounds good (heart, lungs). The blood work results show nothing to worry about. My reaction was: "Yay, I'm so glad... that I spend all that money for no reason." I kid- what's the price of piece of mind and all that. But still. I didn't know the blood work was going to be SO expensive.
Penny, who did NOT go to the vet, had to be soothed and coddled all afternoon. Murderface came home smelling like the "bad place". Penny seems remember that she was there for days for her stomach surgery and was forced to wear a cone at home because of it and have pills pushed into her mouth, etc. She avoided Murderface all afternoon, growled and hissed at him when she did see him (even hissing Santana, too).
Now, he was taken from me to have his blood drawn out back at the vet's. The way Penny was persistently acting, I did start to think, "What if this isn't Murderface? What if they brought me back a different cat and Penny's the only one that can tell? Like in the TV show V- and he's just a little lizard alien all covered with cat fur? No, hahaha... I mean, probably not. I hope."
When it was time for supper, I got a can of wet food and started clanking dishes together as I divvied it up. The cats started circling and Penny, as usual, began to rub against Murderface. She might have gotten a faint whiff of the vet again, because she froze and moved away from him, remembering "Oh yeah, I hate you. I forgot that I hate you, you alien lizard monster. Get away from me! You're evil!!!"
Had a lot of fun at the Tunbridge Fair this past weekend. I volunteered to give a spinning demonstration near the sheep barn for a few hours, which scored me a free pass into the fair. I went around 10 am, set up my wheel and just started spinning like at home. I realized quickly that you don't need to engage people- they just want to watch what you're doing and they'll ask questions if they're interested. You're kind of like just one of the animals there for viewing.
Everyone was really into the spinning. An older woman might lament to her husband, "I remember when I used to do that" as they walked by. Kids were really interested to see the wheel working. Other people wanted to know:
"How hard is it to do that?"
"Are you selling the yarn that you're making?"
"Do you have sheep?"
"Did you dye the wool yourself?"
"How much does a spinning wheel cost?"
Sometimes I would overhear people teaching their kids ever-so-slightly the wrong thing, "Look, son. She's carding wool into thread." I didn't want to be the nit-picky douchebag that turns around and informs them, "No. No, that's not what I'm doing at all." So I didn't say anything.
I brought 4 oz of fiber, spun 2 bobbins and plied them, all in a few hours. During at time, all the animals in the barns around me were prepared for the parade/cavalcade. The air was heavy with the sounds of BAAA and MOOO and fresh animal poo.
I left the fair around 1:30 and got my hand stamped for re-entry. Dollar and I came back in the evening for dinner and a ferris wheel ride. I haven't been to the fair at night since high school and it was so much different than daytime. Daytime is very crowded with lots of families and little kids. Nighttime is only slightly less crowed with more... rowdy people.
First, Dollar and I went to the beer hall. I've never, in my life, been in the beer hall. But... I've heard stories. Urban legend type stuff. The beer hall is under the grandstand, it's one large room with long tables and benches. We showed the bouncer our IDs at the door and walked in. It was loud as we looked for a place to sit. It was also quite crowded so we stood for a few seconds, looking for seats.
Suddenly, the noise level starts to escalate. I stop to gauge whether or not I'm imagining this is- yes, the noise is getting crazy loud. I see people looking right at me and smiling. And going "AAAAAHHHH" and "OOOOOHHHHH". Some people are pounding the tables.
It's getting louder. Why is everyone looking at me? Why is everyone yelling at me?
Suddenly, I remember something that I heard once: There is no standing in the beer hall. Looking around, everyone is sitting. The only people standing are the waitresses and bouncers. And Dollar and I.
I jump into the closest empty seat, basically abandoning Dollar to all the yelling. He walks to the end of the aisle and asks a bouncer something. I wave my hands and frantically point at the empty seat across from me. He makes his way there and the noise level goes back to just LOUD.
I can feel my face burning but before I can tally up how humiliated I should be, a waitress is at my elbow, smiling, asking what she can get for me. I ask for a couple beers. I look around and a few people are smiling at me in a good-natured way, everyone else has gone back to their rowdy conversations. It was no big deal and it was forgotten in an instant.
The next hour was crazy and surreal. It's so loud. Everyone is shoulder to shoulder and everyone is friendly. There is mesh wire over the beer hall windows (presumably to prevent people from passing stuff from the beer hall to the outside, or vice versa) and people would come up just to watch what was going on inside while they ate their fair food. It must look like the most real reality show ever.
Two highlights for me: First, at one point a smiling, red-faced guy was death marched out of the hall by a bouncer. The bouncer had gathered him up by the back of his sweatshirt. Of course, everyone is yelling at making noise at the spectacle but the expression on the red-faced man said "I regret nothing."
At another point, a chant of "U! S! A! U! S! A! U! S! A!" erupted for no reason, other than because America. It was hilarious. Dollar and I looked at each other like, "Yup, Drunk Level: Ardant Patriotism achieved." We joined in because we were sure this was just a ruse to see who wasn't chanting and, thus, who the commie sympathizers are.
We left. I brought him to the craft hall to show him my stuff. Saw some people admiring a couple of my knitted items and managed to refrain from saying, "You like that? I made that. That was me." After three beers, I was feeling braggy but still had enough sense not to accost sober people with my knitting prowess.
We went looking for food. I got a bowl of rice and red curry dumplings from one vendor and Dollar got chili and fries from another. We actually found an empty table under an awning with ambient Christmas lights hung- it was removed from the busy areas of the fair and we had a nice, quite dinner. It was awesome.
Then on to the ferris wheel for a ride:
Then home. Best Tunbridge Fair ever.
Picked up my entries Sunday evening.
I won Best in Show! Again! I won last year, too! I'm so unbelievably flattered. When I saw the big ribbon next to my mittens on Saturday, I was like, "OMG OMG Those are my mittens, that's for me, Holy crap, OMG". I almost didn't want to tell people about it- because maybe I hallucinated it or maybe the wind blew it off someone else's item and it accidentally landed on top of my mittens. Once I picked up all my stuff and I had it in my hand- then I believed ;)
Murderface napping next to me on the couch during a movie. He's hasn't been to the vet in a couple years- since we moved and he stopped going outside. He's creeping up on "senior" cat status, so I want a check-up and bloodwork done.
Enjoying a seabreeze this weekend in Pawtucket, RI.
Went down for a night to see my friend's band play. Had a good time.
Looking forward to this week- need to gather my entries for the Tunbridge Fair and drop them off Wednesday night. Going to the actual Fair some time on Saturday. Looks like good weather is forecast for this weekend!
After several days of grey skies and rain, it was nice yesterday evening so I went out to take pictures. The apple trees are loaded this year:
Some are rather large (for wild apples), so I'm picking some for a pie. I know they're ready because I can hear the occasional thump of an apple falling and hitting the ground.
I got a free bag of wildflower seed mix earlier this summer. I put them in a few spots, not expecting much, but the flowers have been so pretty! I love seeing all the different colors and types.
Look at this one. It's looking at me!
I don't know what I did wrong but this is the only hydrangea bloom I got this year:
I cut the entire bush back last fall. I don't think I will this year.
Some of these flower pictures are actually a couple weeks old. But this one I did take yesterday:
We're still having day lilies bloom! Is that normal? It seems late but it's awesome. The deer were coming and chomping off the unopened buds (damn youse deers!) and I started leaving Irish Spring soap shavings around the flowers. Boom, the day lilies made a come back. I don't know if the deer are more preoccupied with all the free apples everywhere but I'm happy they've gone away.
I also picked a pint of blueberries from my bushes. It's late for blueberries, too... right? But we're so high up on a mountain, everything at my house seems weeks behind everyone else.
Had a nice, long Labor Day weekend. The weather was rainy, so I didn't get to do what I wanted (add more rocks to the firepit, wash/stain the front porch) but I did some much-needed indoor cleaning and sorting mail/bills (boo, hiss). Penny likes to help with the laundry, always.