DSC01341.JPGShoot. I liked spinning. I knew I would. This is not good news. It means that I think I need to get a spinning wheel (any advice?). It means that I think I now need roving. It means that I get to look for pretty spindles (because I “need” one or two, even though I will eventually get a wheel. Know what I mean?) Here is my drop spindle spinning from my first attempt. I thought, “Oh, the wheel will be SO much easier than this!” But of course they made me learn on a drop spindle. When I tried the wheel the next day, I was having trouble getting the roving pulled out thin enough, fast enough. Everyone assures me that I will get better at this. (right?) I must say, Blogless Julie and Alice are such an inspiration. I could sit and watch them spin all day long, and get all of the relaxing benefits of spinning vicariously. They were amazing.

DSC01334.JPGBut back to the weekend in Virginia at Graves Mountain. First of all, Janice and I spent the night at Lucy’s house. (Ok, Wendy was there, too. But Lucy clearly rules that roost.) You might think that Lucy chose to sit on my lap because she liked me so much. The truth of the matter is that I was sitting in the KOARC’s spot and she was missing her daddy – so I was the stand-in lap. (She climbed into Janice’s lap when she sat in that spot, too.) But I pretended it was just because she and I bonded so well and she wanted to sit with me. Yes, she is just as soft as she looks to be in all of the pictures. And she has a lot of favorite places to sleep around the living room. She also has a fondness for bran muffins and plastic milk jug rings (or anything that resembles them.)

DSC01344.JPGFriday morning it was on to the mountains. We spent much of our time sitting right here, knitting by the fireplace in the lodge room. (At night we invaded Wendy and L-B’s cabin and knit over there. It also had a fireplace, although it was a little dangerous. L-B is such a good firemaker that she had sparks shooting out of the chimney one night. But I digress.) Do you see the package of St. Louis Bear Poop on the table? L-B had us so ready to see bears there that weekend. Apparently she and Wendy saw a bear by the dumpster last year, so we were forewarned about the possibilities. DSC01349.JPGWhen I saw this bag of St. Louis Bear Poop at the airport, it seemed appropriate to take with me. I’m sure you want to know if we saw a bear? The answer is YES, we did, actually. It was on our way down off the mountain, and we caught site of 2 black bears in the woods along the road. I did my darndest to get Wendy to turn her car around and go back so that I could get photo evidence of those bears – but she wouldn’t turn the car around. Something about us eating our box lunches and me threatening to feed food to the bears, and her being afraid that they might attack the car to get to our food. (I was just kidding about feeding them, Wendy. Honest.) So to make do, I had to insert this photo of the bearskin that hangs on the stairway to the dining room instead. Just to give you the feel for the bears in the area. L-B made us put our hands in his mouth every time we passed by, “for good luck”.

I love spending a weekend knitting. I’m trying to figure out a way to do this once a month. Shouldn’t we all get a “knitting weekend” at least once a month? I worked on my Chevron Scarf (I’m determined to finish it so that a) I can wear it this winter and b) so that I can start another one with two more colors that I have already picked out in Fiesta Boomerang.) I also finished a sock in a new yarn line that will be arriving soon (and I so love how it turned out. I’ll show it to you when the yarn comes in.) I also worked on two more socks in two more potential yarn lines for The Loopy Ewe, and both were winners – so we’ll be working on getting those lines in here as well! Lastly, I started a Moebius Shawl with some Wollmeise, that will take awhile to get through. (just 40 rows, but about 420 stitches. And I get tired of knitting in the round, around and around. It’s why I’m not good at making felted bags, although I love the look of them and love using them.)

DSC01352.JPGHere’s our group photo with the fireplace that we sat in front of all weekend. Somehow we were able to get this prime spot every single day, and we made the best of it. From left to right – Janice (who worked on socks and bags this weekend), Alice (who inspired us with the sweaters she was working on), Wendy (who designed and knit up two sock patterns this weekend), L-B (who worked on beautiful mittens for Wendy), Julie (who knit up some gorgeous snowflake coasters, did a hat for charity, started a cool coat, AND did a lot of spinning), and me. Maggie the sheep (with L-B) just sat and smiled at everyone all weekend. I want to find a Maggie – she was so cute.

This weekend made me anxious to get our Loopy Spring Fling Knitting Retreat pulled together for next year. It was fun to meet all of these knitting friends that I’ve gotten to know over the past year, and it will be fun to meet YOU, too! I have some more research to do before I lock into a final hotel and can share details, but for those of you who keep asking, we will probably have it either the third or fourth weekend in April of 2008. I’ll share more information and start sign-ups as soon as I can!

Lastly, this week’s Sneak Up will include: All of the Dream in Color Smooshy colors, all of the Dream in Color Classy colors, Zen String Bellissima Lace, and Yarn Nerd. Next week’s Sneak Up: Oceanwind Knits, Wollmeise Lace, Duets, Woolly Boully, and some fun accessories. So far. More expected. 🙂

Sheri nowgoingofftodosomeresearchonspinningwheels.Darnit.

I’m back and I missed you!

DSC00817.JPGIt was 48 degrees at 6 am on Saturday morning when we left Colorado (although it was going to be in the 70’s that day). It’s going to be in the upper 90’s here in St. Louis today. What is wrong with this picture? Yes indeed, we need to move to Colorado. (We had serious discussions about this. Probably when the kids are out of college. Yay!) I’ve been vacationing in the mountains for 30+ years and I must be a mountain girl at heart. I just love it out there. But I missed all of you! The online capabilities where we were were spotty at best, so I was disconnected. I know – it was probably a good thing. You all kept Susan and the girls extremely busy here while I was gone. They did a great job in filling all of those orders! (I’m thinking that Susan probably needs a vacation now.)

So what did I do while I was gone? I had 3 days in MN, and then flew out to Colorado (Keystone) to vacation with family and friends for a week and a half. I did much knitting. I have 5 new pairs (PAIRS) of socks! Four of them are previous “single socks” that now have partners – whoot! And one pair I knit all at once because I was so in love with the yarn. (Anyone want to hazard a guess as to which yarn I was knitting up?) Pictures of socks on Wednesday’s blog. I need to wash and block them all. It was so fun to get so much knitting done. 🙂

DSC00767.JPGWe had fun doing other things as well. We went horseback riding in the mountains. Here, Knitting Daughter, Iowa Girl, and College Guy await their assigned horses. DSC00773.JPGIt was a 90 minute ride up and down the mountain and that seemed to be just about right. I was near the end of the line, so this was my view most of the time. (I was sore after horseback riding, for pete’s sake. How can that be? I don’t ever remember being sore after riding horses as a kid. Jeesh.) I’m thinking if I was sore, it must be good exercise, right? Maybe when we move to Colorado, we’ll have to buy horses. For exercise, you know. Here’s something I learned – if the horse is going to the bathroom, you need to stand up in the stirrups. It takes the pressure off of their kidneys. That’s probably information that you did not need to know. Me, either.

DSC00774.JPGThere was shopping, of course. I had to take Loopy to two of my favorite stores in Breckenridge. The first – Joy of Sox – is almost as fun as knitting your own. Almost. I didn’t buy regular socks there, but I did find some fun footies that have aloe in them and felt like silk. Great to wear to bed. DSC00776.JPGMy other favorite place is Milagros. They have wonderful loaves of all kinds of soaps and I think I went back there on three different occasions this time. 🙂 My favorite scents there are Glacier and Rain, but my favorite loaf for the design has to be the coffee one. Do you see Loopy perched there in the middle of a few loaves? He liked it there. This is just the entrance to the store. There are tables and tables of these wonderful soap loaves! You can see all of the soaps and order them online here. DSC00824.JPGThey make great gifts. I also caught this sign on one of the shops in Breck. I can’t remember which store it was, but it cracked me up. (There are several great pizza places there. No doubt there are a lot of pizza leftovers being carried about.)

DSC00806.JPGWe took the ski lift to the top of the mountain one day. It’s so beautiful up there. Here is a photo of College Guy and Iowa Girl on the rocks. What a view behind them! These rocks are stuck into the side of the mountain and perfect for climbing. My friend Janice and I did a bit of knitting at the top of the mountain, because there were chairs there that were clearly meant for knitters. We knew as soon as we saw them that they were marked for us. While we were knitting, the kids were sliding down snow hills, so we soon had to abandon the knitting and get the cameras out.

DSC00822.JPGAll of the flowers in Colorado look wonderful. I might even be into gardening if I could do it in cool weather and have such wonderful results. DSC00821.JPGHere, my flowers just seem to …. die. Maybe I ought to water them more often. Yet another reason to move to Colorado asap. We’re going to have to investigate locations more completely.

Ok – now I’m off to get all of your weekend orders out and then answer the eleventy-billion emails that are sitting in my in-box. It’s a good thing Susan and Knitting Daughter are helping again today. Knitting photos on Wednesday, next week’s Sneak Up info on Friday. (Remember – no Sneak Up this week – WH has a LOT of photos to take. Boxes and boxes of stuff came in while we were gone. I’m hoping by Friday we will have a better idea of what will be up next week. For sure, the Wollmeise, because THAT is the yarn that kept me so captivated that I made the second sock immediately after the first. The colors and yarn are amazing.)

Sheri sowhatalldidyoudowhileIwasgonefortwoweeks??