Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Tour of Thorp Mill

This week has been a week of changes. At work, personnel are moving out and moving in, and the Central Transit is now back in full swing with a new route. And I cut all my hair off because it was buggin' me too much! Here's my new do:
My camera's batteries kept dying, that's why the pic's so blurry. I love the new cut! It's super easy to style and looks really cute with a knitted beret! The weather here is also changing. Fall is definitely in the air! I even got my furnace a new filter and turned the heater on yesterday to burn off all the dust from the summer. And yes, all my smoke alarms roared into life for about 20 minutes. I was so nervous the fire department would show up! LOL!

Today it was rainy and a tad bit foggy in the evening. A perfect day to bundle up in a comfy wool sweater and an orange and brown plaid skirt and head off for an afternoon getting myself rooted again. Mary T. called and invited me to go to the Thorp Mill, built in 1883, and take a tour of the old mill. Being there brought back memories of Mary Jane's Farm in Moscow, Idaho, and the amazing time Mary T. and I spent there. It also rekindled my love of all things old, yet useful. The mill is in excellent condition and could still be run if it needed to be. Our tour guide, a chap named Tanner who wore a '30s fedora, suspenders, and a hand-embroidered silk tie, kept us on our toes as we tried to keep up with his stories of the mill and his many cups of coffee. I took my camera, but because the batteries were nearly dead, I was only able to get some pictures and then only one or two at a time before the screen went black. Anyway, I thought I'd let the pictures give you all a better description of our tour... OH! And there was a contest where we were asked to guess what certain items from the 1800's were. One of the items was an extremely heavy piece of iron with two levers that rose up from the side to meet in the middle. When pressed down, it would staple into whatever you placed between the plates. Anyway, most guessed it was a stapler of some sort, but I put down that it was a belt lacer, though I had to confess when I won the prize that the actual object has "BELT LACER" stamped right on it and all I did was copy that onto the form. LOL! They still let me have a prize, and I chose a book about the mill called, Listen to the Millrace by Barton Porter.

The lacing on one of the huge belts that run the wheels.

The turbine that runs the whole thing.

The turbine as it was actually running. I'm looking down through the flooring of the turbine house.

An old speedometer for the turbine. It used to sound an alarm when the turbine ran too quickly. The thing was gutted shortly after being installed...

On a knitting note, Mary T. has started a ruffled scarf from some handspun that is to DIE FOR! It's going to be a beautiful piece of wearable art when it is finished. Also, a long time ago, I sent in some yarn to Spin-Off magazine for their sock yarn edition. While I didn't get published in the magazine, I did make it onto their website! Go to this link and see my sock yarn! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Life in Hats

I realized today as I was frantically looking for my black beret that I usually wear when I wake up too late in the morning to do anything with that mop of brown and red that sits on my head, that I have knit far too many hats this year. And coupled with the hats I've bought, I could do an entire calendar (or two) in just knitted hats! LOL! I just finished another one this week.
NAME: Tashkent Hat
YARN: Mohair, Wool, Alpaca blend, spun on my Ashford Drop Spindle
NEEDLES: Sizes 4 and 5 16" circulars
PATTERN FOUND: The Knitting Emporium by Jo Sharp

The color of this yarn is so rich, that I've used it in a lot of photographs. For the fair, this hat was my Half Project Basket. I actually had forgotten about this particular category until the day before my entry paperwork was due, so I speed knitted the first half of this that night just so I could make sure I'd have it to enter. This is what my basket looked like... well... it's really sort of a pitcher, but you get the idea... :D

While Mary T. and her family were at our church's Family Camp last weekend, I hibernated inside my house fighting a rather obnoxious cold. Mary informed me that camp was great fun and their mondo-tent that they bought was perfect for the four of them. Lots of people were there enjoying the hikes and games. The camp was up at Mission Ridge at a little lodge called Squilchuck. I was set to go as well, and even bought a new sleeping bag just for the occasion! But the cold had be whipped, so I stayed home... except for Saturday morning when I went yard saling... and Sunday when I went to Goodwill and St. Vinnies... Even though I wasn't too beat to bargain hunt, I was too tired to knit and hardly did anything at all all weekend. Monday I slept all day and Tuesday I finally went to the doctor and got some rather nasty tasting medicine that is supposed to help me get better. So now it is nearly Friday, I'm still feeling rather ill, but I'm back at work and that, some will say, is a good thing! LOL!

So what did I do all weekend if I didn't explore the great outdoors or knit? I spent a lot of time watching movies. Stranger Than Fiction, which I had already seen, but love it so much I'll watch it many many times. Premonition. Good, but incredibly sad. And Chronicles of Riddick. Extreme cheese, but some fun action scenes and who can knock Vin Diesel's sexy lisp? Hehehee... Also I spent a lot of time checking out, which I haven't visited for awhile. If you haven't checked out this site, go to the right and find the link and click it. Then surf Mr. Motts incredibly beautiful and poignant photographs of societies forgotten. These photographs are not just capturing the decay of decades old buildings, but also give haunting insight to the people who worked and lived in those spaces. Anyway, check it out.

And here's a parting picture:

I just couldn't resist this one! :D

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Visit and a Fair

The past week and a half has been a bit of a whirlwind for me. I got all my stuff done and entered into the fair and Mary T. entered some beautiful items as well, even won Judge's Choice for her beautiful shrug. Terry Niles, a fellow knitter, spinner, and all around fiber artiste, won Best of Class and Superintendent Choice for her amazing shawl. I got two Best of Class ribbons, one for my Kool-Aid dyed Shetland and one for my red 2-ply Romeldale. I also got Superintendent Choice for my black alpaca shrug and Best of Show for my brown and pink baby alpaca lace scarf. I also received quite a few second place ribbons along with some great comments regarding what I could do better in the future.

Not that the fair was fun enough, I had the immense pleasure of visiting with my beau, Matthew Eunice from Florida. Until September 1, he and I had only emailed each other and talked on the phone. Needless to say, I was very nervous and excited when I arrived at the airport to pick him up at 12:45 am. What does one do in an airport at that time of night? Observe!

Yes, the Starbucks at the security gates is open 24 hours! PRAISE GOD! My dad and stepmom joined me in greeting Matthew because, "The parking garage of an airport is not a safe place for a young lady at that time of night." LOL! It was perfect though. Matthew was one of the last to come through the gates and I cannot even express how relieving it was to hug him for the first time and just be in his presence! The week and a half he was here was incredibly fun! We went to the fair, went to church, had a BBQ, went hiking at People's Pond and in the Umtaneum (where we encountered a nest of rattlesnakes!), drove around Manastash and visited Craig's Hill and the Japanese Garden and Arboretum on the CWU campus, tromp around Pike Place Market in Seattle (after I took the wrong exit off I-5 and got us lost! LOL!) Here's some pictures from our week together! The best part of the week was the hugs! I couldn't get enough of them! :)

Me and Matthew at People's Pond

The Yakima River from the Canyon Road.

The train at Umtaneum.

Matthew in Seattle across from Pier 59. The Seattle Aquarium is the building behind him.

Somewhere in all that I managed to finish my Harf from SpinCycle Yarns and spin a skein of black and white alpaca. I miss my man and look forward to seeing his beautiful brown eyes again soon!