Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Fling Synopsis.....

Ok, I have to say that it is very hard to do a blogpost on something like 'The Spring Fling'.... There is so much to write... I will try to do my best on giving you a taste of what goes on when 100 knitters gather from around the world for a weekend of knitting!!!

I headed down to St. Louis early last Tuesday morning to help Sheri get a few last minute things ready for the Fling. (Which officially started Thursday afternoon). She had expanded The Loopy Ewe since the last time we were down there, and it is incredible. This wall of Cascade had me dreaming of endless possibilities of felted bags one could make in countless color combinations!!!

The 'Sit and Knit' area was extremely inviting, but unfortunately we were too busy to ever really just sit and knit. Maybe next time!!! (Although things are always hopping at The Loopy Ewe!!!)

One of my jobs was to put together some spinning wheels to take up to the hotel for people to learn to spin on. Do I look in over my head because I totally was!!! I eventually got them all together....

One of the highlights for me last year was getting to know Claudia who flew in from Germany for the Fling. This year she came again, and brought along her husband and two dear friends, Dani and Maria. They got in Tuesday evening, so we had several days to get to know them. I would love to someday go to Germany to visit them all and Claudia's workshop. Here is Maria, Dani and I... (Claudia is in black but prefers not to have pictures of her taken or published!)

One of the traditions that seems to have been established is the ordering and consuming of delicious cupcakes from The Cupcakery in St. Louis. These cupcakes are delicious!!!!! Two of the flingers, Laura and Leslie or Leslie and Laura (can't keep them straight....) take orders and pick them up for us all. Yum. Good thing this bakery isn't in my hometown, or I may be in trouble....

Once everyone gets checked in, the rest of the weekend is spent knitting; spinning, taking classes and a shopping trip to the Loopy Ewe. The decibel level in this lounge got quite high at times.. just saying!!

There was quite a spinning contingent this year, which was fun to see. I brought my spinning wheel and spent quite a bit of time on it and got some GREAT help from Adrienne, Lynn and Stacey. Thanks guys!! I can't wait to get back at it! (Pictured here - Kristi and Adrienne)

Here is the bobbin I got spun during my time at the Fling. I am pretty excited to finish the next bobbin and get them plied together. I may even have yarn that I can make something with!!

The other project I worked is another felted tote. It will have the same shape as the circle tote, but I refigured the pattern so I can knit it in the round. I used the Stripe Generator to generate a pattern with my four colors. I'm pretty excited to see how it turns out.

Sheri had 3 teachers this year that held classes on Friday and Saturday. Wendy, Anne and Cookie. Wendy and Cookie both had books published right before the Fling. I was able to get copies of both to bring with me and have them sign. Here is Wendy and I.

And then me with Cookie. (Goofy picture of me, but what can I say??) Cookie is the designer of the Monkey sock pattern that I adore and have made several of. There are several patterns in her book that I am excited to try!

Laura (of cupcake fame) was one of the test knitters for Wendy's book, so I had her sign the page of the socks that she knit. There were so many talented, talented knitters and spinners and I enjoyed seeing what everyone was knitting and getting to know many of them. I'm already looking forward to next year's fling!

Well, I will share some of the fun things that came home with me in my next post.

Until Next Time....

P.S. check out more Spring Fling photos etc.. on Sheri's blog today

Monday, April 20, 2009

Away I Go!

Well, it is the eve of my departure for St. Louis and the second annual Loopy Ewe Spring Fling! My bags are just about packed and I think I'm ready to go! AND I got the Circle Tote done!!! Here it is knit, sewn together and ready to felt. (It will be the size of the brown tote after it's trip through the wash machine!!)

Here is the front of the bag, post felting. I actually like the colors better in person. As much as this bag is a pain to knit, it is my favorite bag that I've made to date. I always say I won't make another one when I'm in the middle of knitting it, but once it's done, I start thinking of other color combinations!!!

As with the other circle totes I have made, I chose to make a simplified back with just one circle.

Off to finish packing. Will try to do a post from the Fling!

Until Next Time....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's April 16th....

Are your taxes done? I hope so!! Tax season is now officially over and the 1040's are put away and my knitting is back out! I have been knitting away on my Circle tote that I hope to have done for the Spring Fling next week. I think I am going to make it! Here is the front side.

I decided on the last circle totes I made that it made more sense to make a simpler back. (Knitting all of those circles is quite complicated... at least for me!!) So I am making a plain red back with one teal circle. Getting close to half way done with this side! I hope to be able to felt the bag this weekend.

Speaking of weekends, we had a GREAT Easter weekend, full of family, fun and a few little disasters... but we'll just talk about the fun!! Saturday was R's birthday and we got to spend our first afternoon hanging out in their new backyard! Played ladder golf; ate cupcakes and had a great time. Forgot to take a picture... Will post a few of their new place after this coming weekend.

Sunday everyone was home for Easter! I LOVE having everyone home. It just feels right. We all met at church for breakfast and an incredible Easter service. Then we met at our home for lunch and an Easter Basket hunt. R & M return from finding their basket back by the firepit where he proposed to M just a little over 2 years ago!

We had hid A's phone in his basket and he had to walk around calling his number until he heard his phone ring. It was hiding up in the tree fort. Most of the goodies he has to share with CB when she returns from Spain next month!!

Lastly, I need to report that Sumo tried but could not protect this little guy from Sophie. She has completely gutted it now and chewed off most of his face. I'm sure the legs will be next. Poor thing. You did what you could Sumo!

Until Next Time....

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Spring Will Come.....

We are now well into April and I am starting to believe that Spring will come!! The snow has almost all melted from our mini-blizzard on Sunday and I am starting to see buds on the trees. The lilacs are blooming in St. Louis... so I know it's just a few weeks and they will start blooming here.

I continue my morning and evening walks in the back field with the dogs. Sumo continues to amaze me with his energy! He even breaks into a run now and then.

I think sometimes Sumo even takes Sophie by surprise! She got a few new toys yesterday, one of them being this new frisbee. She loves frisbees!! She also got some new toys for inside as most of her other toys have been chewed beyond recognition.

Occasionally the dogs even find a scent that is appealing to both of them. I don't go over and look. I really don't even want to know......

Back at home, one of Sophies new toys has sought refuge with Sumo. I guess it really would prefer not to be chewed beyond recognition, thank you very much!

Had a fun surprise on Tuesday this week. Got a call from K that a leadership group that she and SC are a part of were coming into town to hear their leader speak up on campus. I invited them to swing by for dinner if it worked out. 8 of them showed up! So much fun! I miss having this table surrounded by the kids and their friends. Fortunately it will be full again this Sunday when everyone is here for Easter!!!

On the menu that night was chicken enchiladas; Mexican rice; cornbread muffins; kiwi and brownie truffle. I realized I hadn't yet shared the recipe for this Mexican rice. It is very yummy. K got it from her high school Spanish teacher.

Mexican Rice

4 TBSP cooking oil
2 cups rice, uncooked
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1 8oz can tomato sauce
4 cups chicken broth

1. Brown rice in oil until golden brown. Stir often or it will burn.
2. Add garlic and onion and sauté until onion is clear.
3. Add salt, cumin, tomato sauce and water.
4. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until rice is done and rather dry.

Note: I have tried doubling this with not much success. I think it's best to make 2 single recipes in separate pans if needed!


Until Next Time....