hooray for a holiday weekend

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects


yesterday began the memorial day weekend and around here that means just one thing—it’s wooster time. wooster is the everyday name for the great lakes fiber show, our regional wool festival. i’ve written about the show many times because i attend every year (check the archives, right, for the last weekend in may each year); the show is an absolute treasure, small enough to cover in one day and big enough to fill that day with great satisfaction. also very busy for its size with a fun, friendly air; it’s a nice day out for a few girlfriends or the whole family.

and each year, i see both familiar faces and fleeces as well as fresh new ones. and this year, the latter group includes our own bare naked wools. that’s right, we are very excited to have secured a booth space at our local show, yay! we will be on site both days to introduce customers to our yarns and patterns, plus answer any questions. and of course, we’d love to see you there.


in addition to our usual suspects, we have a couple of celebrity visiting knitters who are helping out. our good friend and yours, anne marie is in town (more about her visit in a sec), erica and her mom, candy brought padraig for his first wooster experience (well, he was here two years ago, but he didn’t didn’t get to see anything, haha), susan’s granddaughter, caroline (above, labeling bags) is pitching in, and our own emily and erica will be out sunday to help in their first show experience.

i’m so excited about everyone being together this weekend that i can hardly contain myself.


i got up early on friday and baked a pie; i really wanted to make strawberry rhubarb but it’s just a bit early—we are getting nice strawberries in the stores from down south, but no rhubarb yet and that’s one thing i haven’t gotten around to growing (though i want to). so i settled for blueberry pie instead, which everyone likes.


i’m doing better at getting that gluten free crust in the pan, thanks to a reader’s tip about using plastic wrap to move it, but still struggling a bit. the final result is always fine, but i wish i could invent a way to make it prettier.


and then there i my propensity for piling up so much filling in the crust that it bubbles over more than is pretty. no one ever seems to notice this when they are scarfing down a slice, however, haha.

after i finished baking, i went for a nice run and then worked at my desk for a few hours. i’ve been trying to square away some detail work on the sea pearl sweater to follow up on the work the tech editor did. i have to make some additional charts and i’ve been working through the series all week here and there; next week  when the shows are over, i’ll be able to attack the task more seriously.


i also have a couple of new patterns to write up for the wheaten cap and mitts which i showed you the other day (almost done now)


and a new little nothings scarf i’m working on in a cable and lace motif. the yarn is silk mist from sweet georgia yarns, a fine kid mohair/silk blend in the woodland colorway. it’s delicate but plush, light as a whisper. and the way it conducts light?? holy cow.


i don’t have a deadline for this project or any goal for finishing it, but i thought it would be a lovely summertime project to pick up and put down, carry in my purse (it all fits in a wee project bag and weighs all of nothing), and make lots of headway at once or not so much. the cable-and-lace motif is a cinch to learn and in one repeat i was off the chart and on my own. in other words, relaxation knitting.

in terms of goal knitting (besides my secret deadline projects), i want to finish this hydrangea cowl up sometime soon—it’s been on the needles since winter and it would be nice to get it down for use in our popup shops.


it’s knitting up just beautifully in our breakfast blend fingering yarn. this batch of cream n sugar came out so smooth and lovely, you’d think it was actually somehow made from cream. i have to decide soon if i’m going to add the original edging, or just make it straight—i’m leaning toward the edging. for now i’m tooling along on the body pattern, enjoying it whenever i get a chance; this project is the one i carry around in my bag and in the car to knit whenever i find myself waiting for something.


one of the things i did while i waited for anne marie to arrive was to organize some knitting projects for next week. the sweater/jacket i started in confection worsted a couple of weeks back is zooming along. i’m almost to the underarms, having put it aside to travel to kentucky and to take care of things here between shows.


i asked sarah to wind me up six skeins of dark chocolate, which would give me almost 1300 yards to work with. with this much done, i’m almost through my third skein of yarn.


i love the cable; it’s a textured rib that’s really easy to work.

then i started the wheaten cap and mitts project, which i wanted to crank out quickly, so i laid aside the jacket in favor of traveling with the smaller project. with the wheaten things nearly done and wooster almost over now, i’ll be able to settle back in on the jacket this coming week.


because i definitely want to finish this project quickly; i’d like to get the pattern and test knitting all done during the summer so we can have it ready to sell at the fall shows—it’s the perfect leaf raking sweater.

once anne marie arrived, we settled down with our knitting to talk and catch up on everything. we email nearly every day, but when we get a chance to visit in person, we still have tons to talk about. i showed her everything that was new in the bare naked wools war room as well as all of me current projects.


like this super pretty swatch i’ve been working on with a special batch of briar rose stella we have—this is the seedling of the next special kit we’re going to release. i don’t want to say too much about it yet, but then again, it kind of speaks for itself, doesn’t it?? i just adore the way the colors are dancing along in these wavy patterns—it’s a very shimmery effect. more on this as it develops . . .

a little later in the afternoon i got to work fixing dinner for ourselves and whoever else decided to drop by. i made guacamole for a starter, finishing up just as beckie arrived. while she and anne marie chatted i got going on the main dish, pasta with vodka sauce and seafood. once i got into it, i completely forgot about taking photos, however, sorry!


we’ve been eating asparagus from our garden for the last week or two and some of our recent pickings went into the dish.

sarah and erica arrived with her mom and padraig in tow; they are staying at sarah’s house. it was nice to have everyone together the night before the show and i think they all enjoyed our meal immensely.

by 10:15 that night i was just beat, so i hiked my tired self up to bed and collapsed. needless to say i was then wide awake by 5 am, thinking about the day ahead and hoping our booth would do well at wooster (i always worry that no one will come and i’m always wrong—we have wonderful friends that always show up!).

well not to worry; as anne marie and i pulled into the fairgrounds at 9:55 the next morning, i had a call from sarah that we were already out of some yarns! (the fair officially opened at 10 am, haha). good thing we were only 45 minutes from home and that erica had not left the house yet. a quick call to mister knitspot to pull more yarn and patterns for her to pick up on her way out and we were fortified.


our booth was positively bumpin’ most of the day, but during one of the few quiet moments, i snapped this cute photo of susan, barb, and anne marie together. our wednesday night class united again, haha.


i didn’t get to take many photos—it was too busy!—but i did get this adorable picture of kerri who drove up form columbus to visit the show; isn’t she cute??


and this adorable lady with her green squall; i feel terrible that i spent half and hour speaking with her today and i can’t remember her name. i wore my ivar cardigan all day, even though it got fairly warm outside—the sweater is so light and breathable in stone soup fingering yarn (color slate) that i was comfortable all day.

the day was well documented by erica for our Facebook page, so i bet you can see lots more over there. it all passed so quickly, but if you missed it, guess what? we’ll be back tomorrow and i hope you’ll come see us. plan to get there early for the best selection, just sayin’.


thank goodness our new batch of breakfast blend fingering yarn (or BBF as we fondly call it) arrived just before the show; i don’t think we’d have been able to offer it if not.


our BBF bins were almost completely bare.

now, we’ve got all the current shades restocked, PLUS—you’ll never believe this . . .


we’ve got the original flapjack shade from the first BNK club back in stock! yep that’s right, flapjack is BACK. this was the very first BNW yarn, even before the oatmeal. it’s a different lot of course, so it’s not an exact match but it’s the closest i’ve seen. i am ridiculously excited for those who’ve been missing it. (it gives me hope that one day, the elusive earl gray color will once again grace our shelves).

for those who did not get to see it firsthand, flapjack is a darker, warmer fawn shade than the oatmeal; it really is like comparing the color of flapjacks and oatmeal in real life. we have it in the booth this weekend (haha, sarah even has a wheaten wrap knit up in flapjack by her mom from the original batch) and david has listed it in our online shop; click here if you’re interested.

along with the fresh breakfast blend fingering, we have plenty of the very popular chebris lace that is trending in third place on the ravelry yarn board and its sibling, chebris sport. as well as plenty of other goodies.


one last work-related item—my chinese fringetree is blooming. for anyone who ever wondered about it, this tree was the inspiration for my fringetree shawl design.


i always thought that in addition to how perfectly the patterns mimic the actual tree flowers right down to the way they move in the wind, the hem motif ironically also has a “chinese” name—pagoda pattern.


now, enough talk about work, let’s talk about other fun stuff—like when the gardening will commence. david has been working on getting the bottom layer of our compost pit out from under and transporting it to the vegetable garden patch. look at that gorgeously dark soil; doesn’t it make you want to sink your hands right in and wiggle your fingers around?
ok well, maybe it’s just me then . . .

we plan to do some planting on monday; maybe we’ll even get all of it done. i have a race that morning and after that, a whole day free. and it just feels right to spend memorial day in the garden.

i hope you get to do something that feels like a tiny vacation that day, too—happy holiday!


(strawberries forming)

10 thoughts on “hooray for a holiday weekend

  1. We have been forced by health issues to be gluten free. I’ve been struggling with converting recipes/techniques over to the GF way. Anyhow, check out the pie crust bag here:


    I roll out the crust in the bag and then put the whole thing into the refrigerator to chill while I put together the filling. It works out really well and is infinitely easier than plastic wrap.

    Also, for the GF thing…google “chocolate quinoa cake” and “gluten free peanutbutter cookies”. I can promise you, you will really like both of them!

  2. I loved seeing you in your newly remodeled kitchen – beautiful.

    Your Fringetree shawl pattern really does mimic the tree itself. I’ve never seen one before. With all the projects you’ve got going, you give all new meaning to the word multi-tasking 🙂

  3. I don’t trust any pie that doesn’t have a little of the filling spilling over. This tells me you used enough blueberries and there probably wasn’t room for any more. The pie and your kitchen look great. Garden is coming doing well.

    Thanks for the trip to the show.

  4. So much delicious yarn and knitting! I’m especially loving that sweater/jacket in progress.

    And your garden notes and photos are – like asparagus and rhubarb – worth waiting all year for.

  5. Okay just sign me up now for that future Stella kit…the colors are dazzling me!

    Thanks for sharing the show and the projects and the garden and the pie. So much going on and so many pretties to see…

  6. About that pie crust? Try using parchment to transfer it. Good support, but the crust should slide off easily avoiding much patching.

  7. I’ve found that the secret to a well-behaved GF pie crust is way, way more water than you think. I add water until I’m sure it’s going to be an awful slimy mess, then add a little more. The bonus with a GF crust is that you can always add more flour if you overshoot, since you don’t have to worry about overworking. Then I leave it to sit for a few minutes (5? 10?), realize it’s a little crumbly again, usually add more water, wait a few, and then roll it out. It’s still not as flexible as a gluten crust, but it holds together a lot better. Even after baking GF for several years, I am constantly amazed at how much water it takes. It requires major faith to add that much water if you learned on a gluten crust, but I find that it works. Your pie looks beautiful to me, anyway…I’m partial to the overflowing kind!

  8. Catching up with your posts after a week in Greece. Love the Briar Rose project, I cannot wait for that to be released! Your kitchen tiles are a fabulous colour too!

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