Friday, March 07, 2008

Swimming in Chocolate....And Yarn

It's been a busy couple of days but I neglected the camera for most of it. So I'll just tell you about most of it with some pictures of chocolate thrown in for fun.

Yesterday there was a road trip to Frankenmuth. I've had 3 FILTHY Columbia fleeces for months in the shop. I actually wanted to take them out and skirt them but the weather wasn't cooperating. I did take them out on the driveway on Wednesday but they were so dirty we just took the worst parts off and decided to try them the way they were.

Columbia is a fine wool breed and the fiber in these fleeces was not disappointing if you could get beyond the filth. I did save a pound and a half of the best one to wash myself but it's going to take some terribly hot water and 4-5 soaks with detergent to even make a dent.

Frankenmuth is about an hour and a half from here and the drive was very entertaining with both kids and Michelle in the car. Michelle is an instigator and a spoiler - good grandmother material.

I also dropped off some two Romney Fleeces - one will be blended with some blue wool I had laying around the shop. It's always exciting to see what will come back from the mill.

After Zeilinger's we went to Zehnder's for lunch. MMMMM chicken. then for a little shopping in the gift shop and bakery downstairs where we got some chocolate.
This is what Michelle bought. Well, it's not all she bought. There was also bread and dressing and other stuff but this is what she bought to share. Yum.
I bought these chocolate covered pretzels but now I can't find them. Hmmm. Not in the car and not in the shop and not at my house. Not like I needed any more chocolate.

After the chocolate spree we went to Rapunzel's. It's a cute little shop with gifts and yarn. Right now she's got a working antique flax wheel for sale at a really good price and I'm still wondering if I should have bought it. I did buy a skein of yarn. Sock yarn. It's at the shop and I can't remember what kind it is but it is 100% merino and so bouncy I really thought there was elastic in it. I'm leaving it at the shop so Abby can tell me how to make it myself - but better - when she gets here.

O.K. so there was the eating and the shopping and then we had to stop at Bronner's. Michelle had never been there and so we Had to stop. Crazy huge Christmas store. We went on a sheep hunt and the sheep are surprisingly under represented in the store. We complained to several employees. Seriously. They had bison ornaments and hair dresser ornaments and tigers and even Elvis. We only found one sheep ornament in the clearance section and it had a broken leg:-(

When we got back to the shop we talked about how to move things to make more room int he shop....and then we started moving things. It's not done but it's gonna be great! The desk area is already better and the clean natural wools are much better organized. Next comes the adult section of the shop. (You know, the cashmere, silk, angora ooh ahh section.) I went to Lowe's tonight and bought some additional shelving and hope to make a little progress tomorrow and huge progress on Monday.

All of this moving began because I wanted more room in a room I haven't even touched yet...

So today there was a lesson in the morning and I drove out to Woven Art in East Lansing. I met Nancy at Knit Michigan and immediately knew I liked her. I hadn't ever been to her shop and so today was the day. It's lovely. It's got a nice yarn selection including a lot of yarn that Nancy dyes herself. Lovely, lovely colors and textures. Her weaving room has 6 floor looms for classes and she's got some roving and a few wheels. It's a very nice place. Welcoming and also a place where you can feel inspired and sometimes in awe. If you are in the East Lansing area you really should check out Woven Art.

I got there at about 1PM and didn't leave until almost 5. I hope I didn't overstay my welcome but the afternoon just flew by. And while I was there I did a drop spindle demonstration and and a quick spinning lesson to let a new spinner understand that merino wasn't above her ability.
I never took a picture of Nancy but I did buy a couple of things. These little Sox Sticks in ebony. I did get to knit with a set for a row and I kind of like them. We'll see.
I also bought a sweater kit. It's a Habu kit. I've been dying to try one of their sweaters for ages and Nancy has a great selection of kits as well as Habu yarns in her shop. This is the kit I've been eying for years and now it's mine in black and red.
Promised sock progress. Heal is turned and I am getting on with the decreases.
And for Denny and also apparently Kate who is looking for the chocolate photos. Today's chocolate was milk chocolate caramel embrace. Delicious. And I'm almost to the dark chocolates.

7 comments:

Michelle said...

Not to fear my Frankenmuth friend, I have your bag of chocolate covered pretzels....somehow our bags got mixed up and I ended up with your's and you have mine. I promise, I haven't eaten any of your pretzels or the other chocolate in fact so I am bringing them with me to the Spinner's Flock meeting tomorrow for you. I think I am going to eat the peanut butter heaven one though cause it's milk chocolate but the other one is YOUR dark chocolate peanut butter cup!! You know how you like that dark chocolate girlfriend!!
I had so much fun with you, Maggie and my new friend Ryan yesterday and look forward to another road trip sometime in the future with you all. Lunch was soooo yummy and who could not spoil those spectacular kids of your's......you know, my grandchildren LOL We will have to explain that one futher to certain people.

Gotta run for now but wanted to stop by and tell you thanks for having me come along on your road trip and that I am holding your chocolate hostage until tomorrow...hehehe :D

Kim said...

Wow, you have been a busy girl! Thanks for the info on Woven Art. I've never been there and will definitely check it out. Want me to pick up that wheel for you?

Beth in WI said...

Thanks for the preview of my next weekend in Michigan! Seriously, it's like a personal travel planner. Hope I can see you at some point --- still working it all out.

Kate Hussein A. said...

The chocolate is much appreciated indeed. I wonder why there are so many knitting blogs, but no chocolate blogs (as far as I know). Interesting....

Lisa said...

It sounds like you had a great time! I always enjoy Frankenmuth when we travel over there. I will have to check out those yarn shops when I am on that side of the state.

I can't wait to see the shop again. Only a few more weeks until Abby's class. Yay!

I also recommended your shop to a girl looking to buy a new wheel. Hopefully soon we will come out so she can try out a bunch of them!

Nancy McRay said...

Beth,
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your visit! I hope to make it to your shop soon - I'd love to bring my daughter, and meet your daughter too! I am thinking hard about SOAR - though it is a challenge to get away. And thinking too about cooking up other plans and schemes with you.

Yesterday was Jacquie's Silk spinning class. I spun silk all afternoon, into the evening. Last night I felt 2000 years old, listeing to "Thistle and Shammrock" next to a roaring fire, with my drop spindle and silk caps.

FibreJunky said...

Kate wondered about chocolate blogs. I found a few...
http://www.boogaj.com/chocolate_blog/
http://www.chocolategourmand.com/blog/
http://www.chocablog.com/
http://www.chocolateobsession.com/

It sure sounds like you two had a fabulous day!