Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Knitting + Food + Goats + Friends= a Great Time

I'm a little slow in posting this but - a couple weekends ago my local knitting group headed out of town to Lanesboro, MN and the Cottage House Inn. We spent Friday afternoon to Sunday morning thinking about nothing but knitting and friendship. It's something all groups should do at some point and we plan on making it a regular event.

The people at the Inn were wonderful. They gave us the meeting room to camp out in for no additional cost. This room had tables to sit at and several comfy places to sit - couches and chairs. It also included a refrigerator/freezer, microwave, sink, and several plug ins for crock pots on a counter. We took advantage of all these things.

We didn't plan any meals but all brought food. The shocking thing about this was - it was probably the healthiest retreat I've ever been to. Fresh fruit and veg, salads, yummy soup and meat dishes. Everything was wonderful.

After staying up way too late Friday night (past midnight) we all headed to our rooms and planned to meet for breakfast at the local Pastry Shop cafe. Again the food was great. They had Vegetable scrams that were a ton of fresh vegetables with scrambled eggs and homemade toast and grapes. All for $4.00. You gotta love small town cafes!

Back at the Inn we sat around and knit. Early afternoon some of us headed over to the local Mohair Goat farm to pet the goats and buy some yarn. Austin's Mohair's is a fun place just outside Harmony, MN. The whole farm is purple which made PurpleKathy (one of our group) very happy.

There was a purple shop, a purple barn, purple fences, purple everywhere. Inside we met Ada. What a character! She is the Old Goat Lady and worth the trip just to meet her. Many things in the shop are made from yarn from her goats by local ladies. Ada helps ladies around the area who have ended up in welfare and can't make ends meet.

There's also mohair yarn to buy. Yup - there's purple yarn with PurpleKathy (note the purple turtleneck and sweatshirt) zooming in on it -some did go home with her.

The other side of the shop had items from the local ladies and other fiber goodies.

Once we made our purchases we headed out to the barn to say HI to the local critters.
These guys looked pretty tired and the one of the left reminded me of Lee Marvin in the movie "Cat Ballou. OK I admit that's a pretty old reference but- there's a famous scene where he's on his horse drunk leaning against the side of the building. Ya gotta give me this one!

This cute little guy loved getting pet, especially his horns. I never noticed before but goat horns are warm and they have the silliest grin on their faces.

Meanwhile - we headed back to the Inn and got back to some serious knitting....

and eating with knitting.......

Our final morning we headed back to the Pastry Shop cafe and had their Sunday morning special - Spinach, Swiss Cheese, and Ham stuffed Crepes. Huge serving, tasted great and only $5. Then back to the Inn and home.

This was the weekend after my Dad's funeral and was such a great way to get back into things and start a new life. I suddenly don't have any parents to have to look after. There won't be any calls from a nurse telling me I need to head over to the hospital or Dad needs some special care item. I spent the entire weekend just enjoying my friends and not worrying about anything. It will take time to get used to this but I know Mom & Dad would be happy I'm able to do things now.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Knitted Accessories

For the past year I've been working on and off on accessories patterns. Each set is a different technique - lace, garter stitch, etc. My original plan was to write them up as a booklet with 6 different sets. Lately I've been thinking about a different plan.

Every year people talk about planning for Christmas or talk about wishing they planned their knitting better. Lots of people do a sock a month clubs type thing but I got to thinking - why not an accessory a month group. Each month would be a different technique and accessory or set. People could knit these for Christmas presents or just because it's fun. Besides - we can all use a variety of accessories for ourselves depending on which outfit we're wearing.

So - what do you think? Would you be interested in a Ravelry group with a different original accessory pattern each month and different techniques? One month might be garter stitch scarf and mittens, another month lace hat and fingerless gloves, another month mitered square slippers, etc.

Let me know what you think by posting in comments and if I get interest I'll plan on starting a group in January. (I'm checking a few other places as well)