Friday, October 24, 2008

Uploading photos to Blogger while in the US of A is LOTS faster than from home so today you get pent up photos from my trip so far. At the moment we are awaiting the arrival of the the 3rd of the the three-some from high school that did everything together, listening to music, going to the movies, etc. In the mean time here are some pictures. At top is a picture of some of the looms at the Weavers School. The class was so good I cannot begin to fill up the space with superlatives. Madelyn is a super teacher and there were looms to do every common (and some uncommon) weaves. I was disappointed in my own shortcomings as most of the looms are Baby Wolf jack looms and I didn't have the knee power required to lift the shafts for plain picks between pattern picks for the summer and winter which was one I really wanted to do. I did lots of twill and a double weave colour gamp that I never thought I could do. Of course, with all the looms set up and ready to go, it was easy to concentrate on weave structure. I hope I can hold the knowledge in my head long enough to do it when I get home. The weave that is at the head of the School's web page is one we did and it looks completely impossible but is actually easy. I now own my own sample of it woven with my very own hands.

Here is one photo from Rhinebeck, the entries in the spinning award. The first prize in weaving was a twill scarf in what looked like naturally brown wool--nothing fancy but well executed and that I know is what counts. When we were getting ready to cut our fabric off the looms at the Weavers School we had to weave a border to tie a new warp to and I wove the best tabby I've ever done, knowing that future classes would see my ending border when they sat down at that loom.

At right is some of Eleanor Roosevelt's knitting. I went to Val Kill, her home, and was somewhat disappointed that only about 4 of the 20 rooms are open to the public. There was also a VIP function on at the site and I got to see James Earl Jones ride by in a golf cart. There was nothing knitting related there. I was tired and thought, well, FDR's place is right down the road so why not. I went through the museum but could not summon up leg power for the home. In the museum I cruised and found a whole wing/gallery devoted to Eleanor and there was all the stuff I wanted to see including a whole exhibit of her needlework including the example shown here. There was a short movie before you get into the gallery and she was knitting everywhere. They said she knit during UN sessions. Take that, all you men who think women can't knit and think at the same time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The drive up to DC was great and I stopped at the Yarn Barn because BFLB used to work there when Pat was in Delaware. Alladin's cave as it was then and is now. I was a bit naughty but if I am buying stuff I like I'd rather buy it from Pat than a nameless online site. Non-wool sock yarn, a kit I think she knocked the price down to get rid of it because she didn't like the yarn vendor, etc. I am knitting another Opal sock and had almost the leg on one done while watching American TV. I have seen shows I watch at home and the "fast-tracked from the US" makes me all a bit confused as to what I am watching and what I am missing in Australia.

I am sitting in a Days Inn in Poughkeepsie where I have a little time still trying to recover from yesterday before I got out and sightsee. Mandy (the GPS lady; I've decided she went to private school and has an English boyfriend because she uses words like motorway) took me up the west side of the Hudson which I had never seen before and the fall foliage was absolutely stunning. My cheap 1950s motel was right across the road from FDR's home. The weather had changed overnight and I had to wear a cardie and my leather coat just to get out of the door. Rhinebeck was even bigger than when the Bear and I went years ago. The vendors were more and more varied. Some really nice stuff I walked past. My major mistake was buying a huge cone of wool for $10 at the beginning of the trek and having to lug it around. The very nice folks at Wild Fibers minded my bag for me so I could continue. I did meet up with Sheila Bosworth and she remembered me and awarded me "the longest distance traveled" honour. I did stick my head into many vendors' stalls, with whom I have been a customer online, and said hello. By the time I left, some vendors looked sold out; maybe Sunday shoppers will get short shrift. I had my Ravelry button on and lots of people asked me where the meetup was supposed to be and I didn't know either, and I didn't bother trying to find the lunch gathering because I was at the other end of the fairground then. I found cider and real Macintosh apples and fried dough which isn't quite an Ohio State Fair dumbo ear, but as close as I could get. I tried very hard not to overdo and left at 2.30 and went to my motel and put my feet up and napped. Still haven't figured out how to load photos, but I will.

I am now trying to decide, if I have to choose because my feet still hurt, which sight is a must today. I think Eleanor Roosevelt's home. The Culinary Institute of America's restaurants are not open on weekends and I could have gone Friday night but I was too tired. I am OK in my 2 star hotels and will be seeing my sister tomorrow. Please Aussie readers remember I'm now speaking in US time and you'll have to convert it if you want to figure out when I am where.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blogger lost my post so I will try to recapture my stream of thought. I am at the end of my stay in the south and I remember why I love this part of the world so much. The smells, the voices of the people, the lay of the land, the food (of course). I've eaten LOTS of barbecue and we managed to get ham biscuits yesterday and I have a small packet of real Virginia ham to eat before I leave. I have made contact with all the friends I hoped to see and L and realized we had been friends for 38 years!. P has bought the house I lived in (as a renter) for five years and is completely remodeling it and it looks great and not in the sorry state when I lived in it as as penniless grad student. I have eaten LOTS of barbecue and ham biscuits and have a small packet of real Virginia ham to eat before I leave the States. L (different L) has been working as a volunteer for Obama so she brought me up to date on all things political and otherwise. I didn't get to see as much of her husband as I would have liked, but then he wants me to write book on authority control!!! I don't have time to post photos but we took the ferry across the James and we saw an eagle sitting on a post. Jamestown has has had a major upgrade since the Bear and I were there before. Today we are driving back to DC the scenic route and will no doubt yack more in the car. DH2 has been wonderful to me. We have both matured emotionally since we were married all those years ago. I miss his parents almost as much as he does and I'm glad I made the effort to see them one last time when the Bear and I came through here 2 trips ago. It's a bit spooky to see my former niece all grown up when I left her 17 years ago as a small child. I'm living on credit cards and have not shopped till I dropped, just hit the outlets I knew I wanted to hit and didn't spend too much but linen slacks for $15? My health has held up except for overdoing one day in Durham when L took me shopping and I didn't say stop fast enough and my legs told me about it the next day. On to Rhinebeck!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hi, gang! I made it! Here I am typing away from the U S of A. The weaving class was really overwhelming and I'll post photos of my production when I get a chance to upload some photos. I can highly recommend The Weavers School and Coupeville, Washington, was charming and had a good pub with a nice selection of ales and fresh local mussels.

I will be off to visit friends in North Carolina in a day or two and then head north to see my sister et al. I will post when I have wi-fi and time. The US is still not my home but hasn't changed too much. I miss the Imp.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Well, folks, tomorrow morning I'll be on a Qantas plane, heading for LA and then Seattle before crossing the water to The Weaver's School for a week of in-depth weaking study. I am terribly intimidated and hope I can avoid making a fool of myself. M was such a forgiving teacher, who would help me correct mistakes or say it wouldn't matter. The new M is A Big Name in weaving and I hope I can absorb enough to put it into action when I get home.

Everyone who has read my itinerary can't believe I am trying to do so much but at every stop I think there is a block of a day when I can call time out if I need it. My legs were killing me after a brief stint of shopping to buy a new purse for my dying one. If I can get a good night's sleep tonight I'll be right and I have no trouble sleeping on planes. I have confidence in my housesitter and The Imp seems to like her although I'm sure she will miss me as much as I'll miss her. No little cat head on my shoulder as I go to sleep. And I hate leaving the garden at this time of the year. I just picked another half dozen spears of asparagus. There will be strawberries soon too. The other grafts on the grafted apple tree are also blooming.

Wish me luck and I'll post when I have a chance (not for at least a week).