Tuesday, April 29, 2008

a little knit goodness in all the chaos

Thought I'd share a little something that I'm working on with you....

My first project in intentional fulling.

It doesn't look like much yet, but it will grow up (or shrink, more accurately) to be a French Market Basket, a la knitty.

Right now the bag base measures 12" square, the sides are about 10" tall, and the handles are in progress. I've modified it a little, based on some of the lovely finished projects on Ravelry....

I bought the wool for it in New Hampshire, at Pearl's. Apparently she's the only knitting shop in the city, and we were lucky that she was located so close to MQX! We snuck over to her treasure trove during one of our lunch hours.

I wish the colour would come out better in the photos! It's really quite lovely, all purple, blues, greys and gold. Once it's all beaten into shape I'll try to get some photos of it outside in better light. It's taking longer than I thought it would to knit, but I have to keep reminding myself that the body of this honey is 200 stitches...as much as the body of some of the sweaters I've been working on lately.

I've got a bit of a deadline for this one, though, as I'd like to take it in pre and post fulling for the kids in the grade 7 class to see...tomorrow with them I get to do Kool-Aid dying! It should be good fun. They're all busy working on vests to send to Afghanistan. The community has gotten involved in a big way, too, and many, many vests are coming in from ladies who have heard of our project. It's so wonderful to see them all displayed on the wall of the school as they come in...

Happy stitching,


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Oh, I can't stand it.....

As of tonight, we are sooooo close to the completion of the purchase of the property we want in Krestova. All that's left is the land title transfer....

I can't stand it. I'm so excited. We've been waiting for a change for so long!

The boys and I will not move right away, we're staying here until the end of the school year, now. Only two more months of school, then off we go! I'm so happy that we'll all be together again. Heck, we'd happily live in a yurt if it meant we could all be together.


(Will I get any sleep tonight??? nah. Who needs sleep.)


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gifts and surprises...

The boys liked what I brought back for them from MQX...

They love dragons. I mean LOVE dragons.

Most of our daily lives involve long discussions (or monologues) about the specifics of types and habits of dragons.

Did I mention dragons?


Youngest surprised us with an idea this morning. He was ready to part with his long tresses!

Here's what he looked like before we got going.

He was hopeful that we could cut it for charity, but alas, it's too short for that but was driving him crazy. He really couldn't take it being in his eyes anymore.

This is the photo we sent via email to his Dad as a little joke....

And he does SO love hamming it up for the camera.

Convincing, isn't it? You should have heard the laughter!

Final look, pre-sweep.

Happy boy. Mostly happy because we're not letting his dad off the hook to know it's a full head haircut until tomorrow morning.

Daddy never reads the blog. Or does he?


May all your cuts be straight,


Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I tried to get some photos of the areas around the convention hotel and our hotel (only about a 4 block walk). The area of Manchester is where the woolen mill was - I think one of our drivers called it the largest one in North America in it's heyday.

Between the Merrimack river and the canal (which I think is now Canal St?) is a long, long loosely linked set of brick buildings, all former mills and dormitories that are in various stages of retrofit with new businesses and homes. Charming buildings, beautiful to look at and not austere at all.

The photo at right is of the TV station. Pretty grandiose for TV, eh?

We were graced this particular evening with a wonderful view of the Moon.

I think this was Wednesday or Thursday night? We were on our way to the Commercial Street Fishery
(amazing food. Amazing). Jodi and I decided that this would be a darn impressive date restaurant. If you want to share with someone a great love of good food, this is the place to go.

This particular mill holds not only the restaurant, but many, many other shops and services, housing and workspaces.

The main entrance looks like this:

It probably didn't look like this inside back when young women were being brought down from Quebec to work in the mills. We had a particularly lively shuttle driver tell us about the history of the area before child labour laws, of how young (11, 12 year old) girls were brought to work here in the factories. It was his assertion that most of the area in fact has a French heritage, though we never thought to look in the phone book at all the French names as he had suggested.

Apparently, back while the mills were running, there was a huge immigrant population concentrated along this part of the river with ethnic markets and stores. The evidence of that is all now gone.

The view from the restaurant was really lovely as the sun went down, and my camera cooperated with me to take a picture of our point of view as we saw it from our table.

I also took a picture of my dessert in this restaurant (I know, I'm such a tourist), but the photo didn't work out. Too bad.

In amongst all this wonderful architecture, the roads are atrocious. Check out this pothole! Yes, those are my feet next to it at the bottom. Yes, it really was about 5" deep in the deepest bit there. All the roads in the area we were in were pockmarked and pitted like this except for the main ones, and the bridge reconstruction that had been going on last year when we were there was still going on. The sidewalks (where they exist) are not a lot better. In the main downtown, on the main street, the sidewalks are all brick and paving. Just a few blocks in any direction from there would reveal that this is a city population that does not really walk anywhere (signposts and trees planted in the dead centre of crumbling 2.5' wide sidewalks).

One of the things that we kept noticing, too, is how few of the motorcyclists bother with helmets. Apparently it's not a requirement by law in this state, and many, many riders were taking advantage of the gorgeous weather we had to feel the wind in their hair. Considering the size and frequency of the potholes, I'd wear a helmet.


We're home

I thought I'd do a few posts here for catch up... took a few more photos to share with you while we were in Manchester, but was busy enough to not get a chance to post during our last few days.

I only took a few photos at the show itself, of friend's quilts. It was different this year to not have a quilt of my own in the competition and makes me think that I'd like to really focus on getting one done for next year.

The conference itself was really well run. I don't know how Mary and Janet-Lee do it! There are so many little details and changes that happen during the conference itself, there really is no way that they could plan for every eventuality. From what I saw of them, they handled all the unexpected with grace and humour.

I took a couple of pictures in the Armory (one of the show halls) that I wanted to share. The hall shot is taken from the end of one of the rows of quilts. You can see that they are hung really well, and that the lighting shows off the quilting beautifully! There were a couple of special exibitions in this hall, one of which was these amazing paper pieced dog quilts. Unfortunately I can't find where I scribbled down this woman's name - if someone out there remembers, could you send it to me?

There were at least 5 different dog quilts, all with the breed portraits sorted according to type. Imagine how excited I was to find our dog in the Sporting Group, even though she is a Canadian breed, only recently embraced by the AKC? What a lovely portrait...it looks just like our Breezie, as she looked when she was younger.

Beautiful, isn't it?

I've got some more photos to share, but I'll break it up into several different posts.

Hope your day is good,


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Manchester walkabout

I had some time this morning and got to spend an hour or two walking around down town, around the area the the convention is at.

This little piece of paper caught my eye....

It gave me quite a laugh...

And you know me, once the camera is out I'm incorrigible.

The city is quite pretty to me. I'm definitely from wood-built-building country. Everything here is brick. The sidewalks, the buildings, and many old woolen mills along the Merrimack river.

And from time to time, you come across these wonderful manhole covers:

Aren't they just wonderful? I don't think that they custom ordered them just for the quilt show, but there's some lovely Grandmother's Flower Garden Variation stuff going on there.

Oh, and I found a little remnant of times past in a back alley not to far from our hotel. Just imagine what this sign must have been for...a dance hall? A movie theatre? A roller rink?

Who knows. Once you go up the stairs all there is is an empty lot. Kinda sad.

be forwarned.....

I did it again. Hopefully this is the last time.

(I know my parents are probably cringing right now, thinking, "why couldn't she just bring back a t-shirt, like everyone else?")




The time change is totally kicking my butt.



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We're here!!!

Jodi and I got in to Manchester, New Hampshire around 5:00 local time (our body schedules, still very much on coastal time, thought it was about 2pm...). The flights went well, we had plenty of time to make our connection in Chicago, which is always a concern with the sheer size of that terminal.

The second flight was pretty bumpy toward the end, and Oi! I came close to real, bona fide air sickness! I think my seatmates were ever so happy that I kept my -er- equilibrium...not as relieved as I was, though! Yike. It makes me think I should take some chewable Gravol or something with me for the return journey, just in case.

Yesterday, in Colville, we went to a shop called EZ-knit...a huge repository of quilting fabric, books, magazines, beads, sewing machines and wool. I came across Noro sock yarn, in real life! Of course I had to buy 2 skeins...who can resist that kind of saturated colour? I bought some really wonderful knitting needles that I stashed in Spokane, and some really crummy ones that I thought I could risk having confiscated by the airline. I needn't have been worried, there were no issues at all with bringing my knitting on the plane. I listened to my book and knit on both flights and got a WHOLE LOT of sock knitting done! I'm almost done the leg on this honey and I started it late last night. This sock has sweet mock cables on it. And yummy Noro colour.

We're staying at the Hilton Garden here. The Hilton GARDEN because.....


It has a baseball diamond! There was a big game just after I took this picture (you can see all the fellas out there grooming the field). The photo was taken from the window of our room. We're hoping to catch at least one ball game while we're here.

And did I mention the weather is glorious?

And tomorrow we're looking forward to lots and lots of good MQX vibes. I can hardly wait.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Gettin' ready to go

to MQX! Whoo hoo! This will be the second year that I go with Jodi Beamish of Willow Leaf Studio fame...look for us! Make sure to say hi!

For those who aren't going, I'll try to keep up the blog while we're there....

As for us now, today we drive to Spokane, tomorrow we fly.

Happy trails,