Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Meeting New Friends.....

As part of the Ravelry community I have "met" some very nice people on the Solstice boards.  I had the opportunity today to really MEET one of them in person.  Helen and Grahame Jenkins were in NYC from England celebrating Helen's 50th birthday.  It just so happens that my sister Gayla is visiting me.  And friends Charles and Deirdre were able to take time off from work as well as my knit group friends Cristina and her mom Judy.  We all traveled to NYC and this is the chronicle of our fabulous day.

We all met up at Helen and Grahame's hotel.


 (l to r) Charles, Cristina, Me, Helen, Grahame, Deirdre

I like this picture too...


 Then we were off on the subway to the Lion Brand Store.

 That's Judy, Cristina's Mom, on the far left and my sister Gayla next to her.




We did a little shopping here.  I have to say I was not impressed with their store.

Then we were back on the subway to head over to Annie & Company.

As we walked in, there is a wall that is dedicated to the men and women that lost their lives on 9/11.


When we came out of the subway it was raining a little and we discovered we had twins!!


Annie & Company was a GREAT yarn shop.  While the space was small and it wasn't neatly organized it was so much fun to walk through and find yarns I already love and new ones.  The staff was friendly, helpful and just a pleasure.




 After all this shopping it was time for a break and we went to Three Guys for milkshakes (Grahame's request) and nibbles.  The food was ok.  The service was rude.


 We walked through Central Park to head back toward the hotel. Here are a few of the shots I took (the "artsy" ones are for you Grahame)






This was such a wonderful day :)




Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rhinebeck!

It's been a long time since I've written, but this weekend is worth writing about!

Three important things happened this weekend:

1.  It was my Birthday (happy birthday to me!)
2.  My yarn diet ended (happy birthday to me! lol)
3.  I made my first trip to Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival

I'm always excited to celebrate my birthday.  It means I've made it through another year.  And that's definitely something to celebrate!  Think of the alternative....

Back in August, my friend Cristina and I decided we needed to go on yarn diets. No purchasing of yarn of any kind for any reason.  This self-imposed diet was to end at Stitches weekend for Cristina and Rhinebeck for me.  We put up a skein of our treasured Ishtar yarn for motivation, which our good friend Paula held for us (thank you Paula!).  If we fell off our diet we had to donate our skein to a worthy person.  Fortunately, Cristina and I both survived our diet and regained our treasured skeins :)

So I think you can see where this is headed....

Birthday
No yarn diet
and...

Rhinbeck!!!!  I was so excited to visit Rhinebeck for the first time.  Paula (our yarn guardian) and I drove to Poughkeepsie, NY on Friday 10/19.  We had horrible driving weather - torrential, non-stop rain - the entire drive.  But we took it easy and made it to the hotel without incident.  We checked in, settled in, went out for a bit of dinner and then prepared for the next day. 

We woke Saturday morning to sunshine and blue skies!  We absolutely could not have chosen a better day for Rhinebeck. The Birthday Girls (mine was Saturday and hers Sunday) left the hotel and headed to the Fairgrounds.  We encountered NO traffic so arrived at the site an hour before the gates opened.  Primo parking space!  There was a diner across the street so we walked over for breakfast. We needed to build up our energy for the day.

Then back across the street to line up for entry...


Once inside we were greeted with some beautiful Fall color!  I think this must've been peak weekend for color because it was everywhere!  And soooo amazing...






Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool is very family friendly.  Just inside the front gate there was a petting zoo for the kiddos. (I secretly think they were feeding these goats to make sure they wouldn't eat any of the children later lol)



This bunny has some serious double chin issues...


At the top of the hill were the Vendor barns.  I could smell the yarn.  Well not really, because of the food vendors, but my whole body was tingling...lol

I am so glad that we were there when it opened because we were able to visit most all of the yarn vendors without alot of crowd issues. About 2.5 hours after arriving we were making a trip to the car to drop off all our new pretties :)

I knew going in that I needed a plan.  It was highly encouraged by Cristina so, before I left, I decided that I wanted to buy "sweater's worth" of yarns so I can actually start making some!   I made a list on my phone of possible sweaters, how much yarn and what weight yarn was required.  This came in very handy.

I am proud to say that I did stick with my plan and only bought:


(6) Shephers Worsted Red
(5) A Touch of Twist Alpaca Tweed Black/Grey
(2) Misty Mountain Farm Prime Alpaca Brown/Grey-Blue
(5) Cascade Eco Purple
(2) MadTosh Fig
(1) MadTosh Antique Lace
A Sheep and Wool Project Bag

And I was gifted the sheepie by one of the vendors because it was my birthday!! At one of the vendors where we bought some Alpaca the nice lady gave Paula and I both a gift for our birthdays! She was very sweet :) It helped that we both wore big Birthday Girl buttons all day.  I don't think either of us have EVER received so many "Happy Birthday" wishes from complete strangers. LOL



After dropping all our goodies at the car we headed up to the barns.  We first went through a museum and there were women knitting and quilting as well as making socks and braiding rugs.   


The most fascinating of the four was the woman making socks.  She was using a very cool machine and was mesmorizing to watch.  The socks she produced were amazing.


From there we went through MORE vendors before finally arriving at the sheep pens.  I had so much fun seeing and petting the sheep! 

Sorry for the overload of photos here but there are some great shots to share :)














After seeing all the sheeps we were DONE!

Our friends Jeff and Will, from knit group, were also visiting Rhinebeck Saturday with their friends from Albany - Aaren and Dave.  We had made dinner reservations for 5:00 pm at Terrapin Restaurant in Rhinebeck.  And since it was only about 3:00 we decided to go to downtown Rhinebeck and wander around till dinner.

Rhinebeck is a great little town.  They have some really nice restaurants, quaint shops and lots of places you can sit on a bench and watch the traffic go by.  We visited a really cute old-style five and dime store, a little coffee shop and an amazing little shop where I bought a new sweater coat.  Happy Birthday to me!!! lol

Dinner was amazing!  There is nothing better than eating a delicious meal with old and new friends.  Out of the six of us, four had birthdays.  Aaren, Jeff (10/23), Paula (10/21) and  me (10/20) so there was plenty of celebrating!  Paula and I both had the Mango and Brie on a crostini tapas and the Pumpkin Ravioli with pecans that was beyond delicious. Everyone else said the same thing about their meals.  Perfect choice for dinner.

(l to r - Aaren, Dave, Jeff, Will, me and Paula)

With that, our Rhinebeck trip was coming to an end.  We spent Saturday night in Poughkeepsie and headed home on Sunday.

On the drive home we stopped at a Farmer's Market we'd seen on the drive in and bought some fresh local veggies and fruits.  I loved seeing all the pumpkins and Fall flowers!










This was a GREAT birthday weekend!!!  I got everything I could have hoped for.  And I spent it with an amazing friend (thanks again Paula!). I can't wait to go back next year....

But for now, I'm outta here and off to try to match yarn with sweater patterns....

Michelle :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Travels

Christmas is my favorite time of year. There is such joy in the air.  The music is happy.  There are jingle bells ringing.  The neighborhoods are lit up.  There's a crispness in the air.

But the reason I like Christmas most is that I get to go home and spend two weeks with my family.  I spend a few days at my sister Gayla's house and then the rest of the time at Mom and Dad's After the first few days' frenzy of doing all my shopping, it's a chance to relax and visit with everyone. 

This year is going to be especially fun because some of the women on Ravelry that are also doing the Advent Calendar Shawl and I are going to get together!  It's amazing how one project could brig people hundreds of miles apart together.

My first day here Mom had plans for us to attend a Christmas event put on by her Sunday School teacher.  It was held at his 27 acre compound.  We had a beautiful day weather wise and had a fun time at the event.  Here are some pictures I took that day.  It's a pretty amazing place...


(l to r) Me, Mom, Gayla in front of the tree in the library


One of the sitting rooms in the library

 There were lawn ornaments:





 And live animals:







 Babies too (awwww):





There was a really pretty lake with black swans:





 We walked over a bridge that Santa was watching:



To see the peacocks:






Then we went to the train station to hitch a ride:






Gayla and Mom on the train


Our Conductor

 We had a really good time and can't wait to go back next year!

My sister and I have been on the road for two days wrapping up my Christmas shopping which is done and wrapped!  The crowds weren't too bad,  You would never know there is an economic crisis from what I've seen here.


We visited Yarntopia Monday morning and I picked up a few yummies (pics to be posted later).  Cute little yarn store.  Saleslady (owner?) was very nice. When she heard me mention that I had purchased some Prancer yarn on one of my crawls she provided me with a printout of a one skein cabled scarf.  Now I know what to do with that yarn!

I'm looking forward to visiting Twisted Yarns this year.  I always find some yarn yumminess there :)

Back to Mom and Dad's tomorrow afternoon.  Try to help mom get ready for Christmas Day.  I'll report in as I can with more news from Texas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!