croppin’ at the farm

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where the heck have i been? well, i took a little side trip to the farm. it was delightful, with perfect summer weather, lots of time for knitting and crafting, and fun company.

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a little back story—erica’s dad, aunts, and uncles lived for many years of their upbringing in this michigan farmhouse. it has since had several owners and the most recent purchased the property to realize her dream of creating a bed and breakfast retreat where crafters can get together for group events.

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innkeeper debbie mcLean, foreground, has realized a wonderful mix of relaxed and spacious country living space, inviting decor and hospitality, and appropriately proportioned workspace for crafting at her create-a-memory inn.

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with plenty of natural light, the large front rooms are devoted to workspace; tables, lighting, rolling chairs, and many other necessities are provided.

the house also has a comfy back porch which we knitters took advantage of. a large farm kitchen and dining area allowed us all to spread out a bit more or keep a grazing area open all day.

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guests may buy a package that includes meals or provide their own food (which is what we did). erica’s aunts, mom, myself, and a few friends all brought i the components for light weekend meals and snacks. the inn provided some refreshments as well.

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the upstairs bedrooms have between two and four twin beds each, so that friends and relatives can pair up to share; this is especially fun for “online friends” who get to see each other rarely.

the rooms are large, sunlit, and uncluttered, with simple, fresh decor. all rooms have lovely views of the grounds and fields beyond.

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there is plenty of outdoor space for guests to enjoy with tables for dining or knitting in the shade, and a pond/beach area for sunny relaxation.

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and as if all that weren’t enough

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the chicken coop set at the far edge of the yard completes the picture, i think (at least, we found it endlessly amusing).

anyway, since so many of the owens family still live within driving distance of the house, the weekend sort of turned into a big homecoming.

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aunt kathleen (left, coordinator) and aunt shirley (right, baker of awesome cinnamon rolls) were is residence with us, but the house entertained a constant stream of other local relatives who stopped by throughout. i had met many of them at erica’s baby shower last may and it was nice to see them again.

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ok, so i had never been exposed to the phenomenon of scrapbooking from a front row seat and boy, was it enlightening to get in the thick of it. they go all night during these weekends! and i thought knitters were fanatical, but i see i need to get out more, haha.

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my desk was far too neat and tidy—a sure giveaway that i wasn’t there to do any scrapping. BUT in order to complete my bingo card, i was eventually rooked into doing a page for the weekend album.

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i was offered all sorts of wonderful stickers and theme papers to create borders for my page, but that didn’t feel like i was really making something, so instead, i did a collage of the farmhouse with the papers in my packet—not as slick, for sure, but i enjoyed doing it.

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i used my desk for pattern writing on the computer and knitting on my sea pearl cardigan. and i got a LOT done—i think i added about seven inches to the lower body; i’m almost to the bottom hem, woo-hoo.

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my other workstation was on the back screened porch, in the wicker chair next to a table where i could park my coffee. perfect. sometimes the baby joined me with a few toys, sometimes erica or candy would wander through. it was all very laid back and quiet. we should totally do a retreat there, i think!

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i also got as far as i could go on my current cotton cap with the sign of four brim. unfortunately, i ran out of yarn pretty close to the end, so i had to stop. s soon as i feel a little more caught up here, i’ll finish that off and write the pattern.

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on sunday afternoon we did a beautiful photo shoot with erica’s mom, candy, who looked stunning in the wasp and rose shawl knit from mrs. lincoln’s lace that i showed you the other day.

i won’t ruin the fun of seeing it in all its glory, but i believe we’ll be releasing the kit for the shawl in the store tomorrow, so you get to see the modeling photos then (if not tomorrow, then monday).

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let’s just say that the ladies are the only ones to find it desirable, haha. padraig dug his chubby little toes and hands right into the fabric when we set him down on it.

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yep, it was pretty awesome, wasn’t it baby?

we packed up and left soon after; we had a date back in detroit with someone you know—our special friend, cherie who lives close enough to erica that we can visit when i’m in town.

the first thing cherie asked when we made plans to meet was “can i play with the baby??”

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but of course; friends who like to play with the baby are always welcome, haha.

we had chinese takeout for supper and then hunkered down for a knit and chat that went deep into the evening; so much fun. cherie finished up her hornpipe gansey knee socks in ghillie sock while i knit on my sea pearl sweater and erica worked on her fartlek cap in stone soup DK granite.

speaking of stone soup DK in granite, look at the spectacular sweater that cherie delivered to me that night

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a gorgeous highlander cardigan in stone soup DK; isn’t it fab??

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we lengthened it about four inches and eliminated the shaping at the sides to make it more of a tunic length jacket.  i need to give it a good soaking and final blocking to smooth everything out and relax the hem ribbing a bit.

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it also needs buttons, but i’m sure i have something; the hard part will be choosing between several options, so i’ll most likely put my choices out for a vote.

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the original highlander is probably my most-worn sweater and i can tell this new one will be also. the longer length and super-cozy fabric make it an excellent defense against the chill that pervades our house in winter, especially in the north and west facing room where my desk always ends up.

it’s funny; we all noticed how soft this batch of granite DK is, even softer than the pumice which is the same fiber blend, but different shades of wool.

so, i came home with plenty to do—i also have secret projects to block. along with my designer notes for the first installment of our fall in full color knitting club—opening day is just around the corner (and boy do we have a nice start planned!).

ok, wow, i think i’ve come to the end of my post for today—look for the wasp and rose kit with mrs lincoln’s lace to be available tomorrow or monday. and in reno-land, our remodel is coming along quite well; i’ve got an update to share at the next opportunity.

hope you are enjoying a great summer; i gotta say, i do wish we had some tomatoes right about now. must make it my business to get to the farmer’s market this weekend.

12 Responses to “croppin’ at the farm”

  1. brandi says:

    I always find your knitting to be beautiful and I have the time to read again which is wonderful too. Keep up the lovely work:)

  2. Katharine says:

    Oh I love seeing Cherie with the baby, thanks for that. And that Highlander is AMAZING! It looks fabulous on you Anne, really fab! Would it be possible to update the pattern to include this option? I have my sweaters worth of Stone Soup and this would be a perfect weight jacket for me. Though I can picture it in a dark Charcoal, which I would die for. Looks really flattering for any body shape.
    Also really loving the top down sweater, the lower lace body is intriguing me. I can not wait to see this blocked out.

  3. Judy says:

    Cherie did lovely work on the Highlander!
    Enjoying watching your progress on the Sea Pearl as a sweater’s worth is in my stash very patiently waiting for this pattern release, but no hurry – there are plenty of ufos and sock patterns to keep the knitting on track.

  4. josiekitten says:

    Little Padraig looks fascinated by the hens, he is such a cutie. Love the Highlander sweater, Cherie’s knitting is amazing.

  5. Hattie says:

    I cannot wait to see that sea pearl cardi! And man every time I see that wasp and rose… it’s SO gorgeous!

  6. Jo Morgan says:

    You do such a great job of highlighting the wonderful places you go, I always start wanting to go there too. This rural feeling retreat looks especially appealing! OMG, the highlander cardigan is just the prettiest, most versitile garment….I’ve lost my words. And little Padraig…always love seeing pictures of him. He seems like such a happy, adaptable fellow. Well, I could blather on forever, but you’re the blogger!

  7. Lara says:

    It looks like you had a great time with the Owens clan :) I love the scrapbook page you made with the farm house.

    Now I really need to knit a Highlander, wow love this version!

  8. Kim says:

    Love the Highlander!! And I like the tunic length and the no-shaping business too! And how cute is Cherie? Babies make everyone smile! Love Padraig’s little pouty lips. So kissable! I can’t WAIT to see the finished Sea Pearl sweater! I’ve got my Sea Pearl waiting!

  9. Kathleen Gruber says:

    This post made me smile. Not only does it sound like an awesome place to go, but Aunt Kathleen and Aunt Shirley made me laugh. I love to plan and get together with my sister Shirley to quilt, knit, or paint. Plus she is a baker of amazing cinnamon rolls. Smile!!

  10. janna says:

    I haven’t scrapbooked since I left Texas, where I belonged to a great group – this looks like so much fun! And the page you made is great!!

    Can’t wait for FiFC to begin!

  11. stashdragon says:

    YES! Knitting retreat at the inn!

  12. Cathy says:

    Aw, how sweet to see our beautiful Cherie playing with Padraig! He’s such a big boy now.

    I’m with Kim – can’t wait for the Sea Pearl sweater pattern.