How are you? I am fine.
Oh my. It's been so long. And I've been crazy busy the whole time!
I got my first yarn order shipped to The Loopy Ewe on the day we left for vacation. Then that afternoon we drove to St. Louis. Make sense? lol If only it had been a business day when we were traveling and I could have hand delivered that big box of yarn (seriously the shipping was not bad with whatever the Ground service was that I used - can't remember if it was UPS or FedEx)!
Sunday morning we woke up and went to visit the St. Louis Zoo before heading to Michigan. It rained and the girls were pills but I got good pictures. You'd never know how whiney they were from these pictures (or maybe Daddy's expression gives something away?). :)
When we got to Michigan Sharon took me to Thread Bear Fiber Arts. All I bought was knitting needles. Nobody could believe it. The dog was so aghast he wouldn't even take a picture with me - he sniffed my project and could tell the yarn wasn't bought there.
I did look at the yarn - they have a lot of yarn. And you know what? The very first thing that jumped out at me was a familiar name. A sweet surprise. :)
That afternoon I stopped to visit my piano teacher from way back when who doesn't teach piano any more - she owns an industrial mower supply company. Cool, huh? She broke some sad news to me about my high school boyfriend dying from cancer. It was such a weird shock and I'm sure this isn't the last you'll hear about it. But no sad stuff - just a happy picture for now. :) (see Emeline in the background?)
The next day with Sharon as my guide to the best yarn shops in Lansing, I had the pleasure of visiting Rae's Yarn Boutique. Ohhh. Now this is where I dug in and got some yarn. And I'll have the pleasure of listing it all in my stash as a gift from Sharon. She told me in advance to be thinking about what I might be needing in the way of yarn. Needing? Are there yarn needs? Oh yes, there are. I have needed the right yarn to knit Clapotis for years. It's now mine. I also picked up a beautiful lace scarf pattern by a local designer and some gorgeous laceweight to go with it, and maybe some sock yarn and a few notions. And just before we left Rae took this great picture of Sharon. I can't believe how many unflattering pictures I'm showing you of myself on just this one post. :)
I should probably explain that I knit like a womanposessedwiththefireofathousandsuns on a lovely wine colored Soleil shell until approximately two hours before the time I would be needing to wear it before I was convinced that it wouldn't be ready in time. I had at least three more hours of work to do on it... so into the bag it went and I haven't looked at it since. Can't bear to admit that I'll probably frog and reknit the entire thing with fewer stitches caston and fewer decreases in the waist. I have a serious denial issue - I still see myself as size 12 (waist decreases like these need the wearer to have a nice flat belly). As you can see in the pictures, I am not size 12. End of discussion.
Then, smack dab in the middle of our vacation, my sister got married. It was a beautiful breathtaking dream-like event. As Sharon said later, if their wedding is anything like their marriage will be, they will be the happiest couple on the planet. We wish them a wonderful life of unending love and happiness.
After the wedding it was time to head north to Traverse City and the Beach! Yay! I think the pictures say it all.
The weather was just spectacular while we were there. Jackets in the morning and evening - can you believe that? Warm sun in the afternoon for beach time. We couldn't have custom ordered more perfect weather - it was wonderful.
The next day we drove over to see one of the dearest sweetest Indie Yarn Dyers you will ever know - Susie from Perchance to Knit. Oh what a lovely place they have in the woods of northern Michigan - and I do mean The Woods. I don't think I've known many people who lived farther out into the woods than they do. It was so fun and of course the visit was way way way too short. A few hours is never enough time when you have so much to say and talk about! Next time Susie - Next time. :)
I recently purchased a skein of Susie's yarn from The Loopy Ewe and wanted to start some socks with it on the way home but it wasn't wound into a ball! So I took it back to her and she happily wound it into a center pull ball for me. Now THAT's customer service!
I'm getting those moles removed this fall. Will that make me a size 12?
After a quick visit with Susie we had a quick visit with my grandmother - the babies loved on her so much, as if they knew they were meeting their great grandmother and it was a very special occasion (we had been telling them but you never know with little ones). We couldn't have scripted their hugs and joyful exclamations any more perfectly - it was a very nice time.
One more night with Dad and we were on the way home to Kansas. Notice anything special hiding among the luggage and bags of yarn? The trunk was a real work of Space Engineering when we had to get the suitcases out every night and put them back the next morning for the last five days of the trip.
The big adventure was nearly over. But we had one more stop to make. A very special place. Full of yarn. In St. Louis. During business hours. And during the teeny weeny window of time during the week when they let people just walk in and look around. Wow. It was a little overwhelming to see all of those great knitting bags. And of course Yarn. Yarn. Yarn. Probably the most tempting yarn I saw there was Hazel Knits. Ohh I wanted to take some of that home (and my favorite colorway is still available - I better hurry!). What I did pick up was some Sakina Needles Superwash Merino spinning fiber in the Jam Sandwich colorway. Ohh so pretty. Can you believe I was there visiting when Sheri was gone on vacation?? It's okay. We'll go back again some time.
One thing made my visit to TLE extra special. Someone finally took a nice picture of me. I think Sheri had the lighting specially designed to make everyone look thinner and prettier. Or maybe it was the glow of yarn happiness and wool bliss?? (you would never know from my expression that the babies were running around like small chocolate covered freaks always one step ahead of my exhausted husband - they have a Very Big bowl of chocolate kisses there ya know). It was a happy time (for me!). :)
When I got home from the blissful adventure vacation to Michigan I was faced with a lot of yarn. And pink dye. And thankfully was able to order an electric skein winder. Oh how it has changed my life. As of last Friday, all domestic (US) PRS kits have been shipped. I have a few international to send out tomorrow. Thursday night I stayed up nearly all night printing labels so I could get the remaining kits shipped on Friday (about 60). Friday afternoon everything was sacked up and ready to go to the post office when my car wouldn't start. My Car Wouldn't Start. What in the world??? So, being BFF's with the mail carrier (as Katie put it), I called Kristi on her cell phone and told her the problem. She said to call the main office and see what they say. My lovely small town post master who deserves a pair of hand knit socks said "I'll send someone right over." So the packages did go out on Friday, thank goodness. The car problem meant that I didn't have customs forms for my international packages but Kristi delivered those with my mail on Saturday so they'll be going out tomorrow. Yay! Finally! The big kids got home last Monday and I probably wouldn't be finished yet if it weren't for their help printing patterns and helping to tag bag and tie many many skeins of pink yarn. The tag-bag-and-tie job was Katie's, which is appropriate since the yarn was named after her. :)
With diligent encouragement from a few people who ordered sock kits, I decided to start a Sugar Bunny Boulevard Ravelry group. We have 11 members already! And by golly, we've also started a Ravelympics '08 team as well - Team Sugar Bunny Boulevard.
It's been a whirlwind month and I think I've recovered from the vacation and it's amazing what kind of load is off my shoulders with all those kits going out on Friday. Sheri has made another yarn order and this time it'll be a new line of sock yarn plus some new colorways. I'm excited to get the yarn and start dyeing!
While on vacation I also wrote up a new free pattern that I'll be writing about and linking to in just a few days and I've got another sock pattern up my sleeve as well.
Everybody have an awesome week and take good care of every little thing! :) XOXOXOXOX