Monday, March 16, 2009

Warning: Pictures Ahead...

A fair few, to boot. So sit back with your favorite beverage in hand and allow me to take you on a leisurely stroll through this past weekend. And just a head's up: if you aren't into American history, scroll to the end of the post because there are indeed some fiber-y and FO-related pictures down there.

Ok...we begin our tour at Mount Vernon, home of George and Martha Washington (the US's first president and first lady, for those of you in other non-US locales), located on the lovely Potomac River just south of Washington, D.C. Kevin and I drove down Saturday morning, and we arrived around noon-ish. It wasn't the brightest of days, but the rain didn't start in full until after we were mostly done walking around, so I can't complain too much.

George and family were on hand to greet us when we arrived...

I assume these are meant to be life-sized statues. However, I'm 5' 4" and according to one guide, Martha was only 4' 11". She's bent over a bit in this statue and is still nearly as tall as me. I don't remember...maybe the statues were on some sort of plinth that added height. Anyway...

We watched the introductory video about Mount Vernon that was narrated by Alex Trebec, which I found an odd choice of Mount Vernon spokesperson, but whatever. From all of our Founding Fathers studies that we did last school year, I have to say that the video was really a very accurate account of many George Washington hightlights. Accuracy. I like that in a history-related experience, and it isn't always guranteed.

From there, we wandered about and I soon realized that Mount Vernon is lousy with sheep. There were sheep at every turn! How cool is that?

At one point, we actually stumbled upon this little guy...

...who had literally just been born moments before. (Not so clear in the picture, but the umbilical cord is still hanging out the back of Mom. LOL)

With so many sheep around, its no wonder they needed this...

...the spinning room! There was also a huge floor loom in this room, but I wasn't able to get a very good picture of it.! :)

The line to wait to get in to tour the actual house was a bit lengthy, about a 45 minute wait in the drizzle, with me hiding my camera under my jacket to try and keep it dry. (It was at this point Kevin and I were most glad to have come without the kids, lest we be hearing, "I'm cold!" "How much longer?" "Are we almost done?" and other general whining.) Pictures were not allowed inside the house itself, so I snapped a few from the outside.

Here's the house from the end of the bowling green...

(I posed the question to my husband as to why it is known as a bowling green...he didn't know...I guessed it was because they would play lawn bowling there, and he rolled his eyes clearly indicating he thought I was silly. Well, according to Wikipedia, that is EXACTLY why it was named that! And what's more, before the lawn mower was invented, sheep used to be grazed on it in order to keep it closely trimmed. So there! I was right, AND sheep were involved!)

( case Cheryl is looking at this picture above and wondering, yes, I did Photoshop something out of it! LOL)

The house features a cupola...

...which I think is pretty neat. I could imagine looking up and seeing ol' George standing up there, looking out over the Potomac behind the house, or watching the sheep bowl on the front lawn...ahem...

The view from behind the house...spectacular!

I could so sit out on the back porch and sip my morning coffee whilst drinking in this vista, couldn't you? Apparently so could over 600 people in one year, which was how many guests the Washingtons are reported to have played host to at one point. No wonder they had their own private quarters!

We visited the museum last, after warming up and getting a bite of lunch in the food court. Standing around in the damp so much was wearing on us, so Kevin wasn't much in the mood for posing too animatedly with our original Commander-in-Chief, but he humored me nonetheless...

I told him I needed photographic evidence that he actually went on this trip with me. LOL

Those were Saturday's highlights. I'll spare you the gory details that were involved in both finding our Annapolis hotel that evening as welll as being assigned a room that a) did not have a family of ants in the bathroom and b) that did have a working heater. We did, however, score an excellent crab-oriented dinner at Mike's Crab House...totally hopping place. Gotta love fresh seafood.

Sunday dawned just as rainy as Saturday had been, but thankfully the Homespun Yarn Party was indoors. ;) It was also packed! We arrived right before noon, when it opened (and yes, I said "we," as Kevin was going to just walk through it with me as he had nothing else to do), and there was a line of close to 200 people serpentining around, waiting to get in. My dear husband's words? "You've GOT to be KIDDING!" Not that there was a line, per se, but that there was a line of this many people waiting to get into a yarn event. Poor guy just has no idea how many of us there are. LOL

At that point, he opted to take his chances in the rain and wander around outside while I enjoyed the yarn and braved the crowds. It was lovely. Lots of very nice stuff. I was only going to buy roving, but you know how that goes. Yarn at these things just reaches out and grabs you and won't let you leave without it.

The two on the left are Vesper sock yarns from Knitterly Things from right up here in Pittsburgh (the red, black and gray one being for socks for my son, as he loves those colors...the colorway? "Hell Fire." LOL). The pink and orange is Sock Hop sock yarn by Dancing Leaf Farm in Barnesville, MD. And the blue colorway (Poseiden's Revenge, I think?), is some cashmere and silk Gaia lace from Dragonfly Fibers, who shared a booth with The Sanguine Gryphon (who is just too cute!).

And of course...fiber...

The first is a Crash into Ewe roving, colorway Bed of Roses. It is a Merino/Targhee/and something else blend...I'll have to double check on that!

The middle one is unlabled so I have no idea what colorway it is, but it is from Three Irish Girls. I've often wished TIG sold roving, so it was awesome to find some at the show! I've bought from TIG online a couple of times, so it was nice to meet Sharon -- and absolute doll when it comes to customer service! -- in person! I meant to get back to her booth and pick up a skein of one of her new colorways she was sneak previewing there, but her booth was always very busy when I went by, so I never got to do so. Bummer. :( (I believe she is officially unveiling her spring line of new colors tomorrow, though, so check it out!)

The two on the right are from Serendipitous Ewe, Happenstance Roving, South African Wool, in the Tulip colorway. I saw some yarn there also in this colorway...very pretty! Nice springy colors. :)

I bought two other things at the show as well, but they are for a swap partner, so I can't show them to you here! But they're yummy! :)

Lastly, the fruits of my many hours of car and hotel knitting this weekend! First, a FINISHED Februarly Lady Sweater!

Yes! Look at those sleeves! Note the length! Yes! They are about the same exact freakin' length as shown on the pattern. The same length I've been fighting for over SIX MONTHS. And guess what? The length is perfect. I am stupid. But at least I have a finished sweater that fits wonderfully and is light enough that I can still get some wear out of this year. Wore it today, in fact. Perfect!

Lastly... first finished Monkey sock. Looks lovely, no? Yep. Does it fit my foot? No. No it does not. It is exactly 3/4" too short. That is about how long one pattern repeat is. And I measured it and thought, "No, I can't do one more repeat or I'll need to do toe decreases within it and gawd I don't want to do THAT." Of course, this was me measuring the sock in the car on my lap, after I knit it in the car and in line waiting to get into the HYP and then in the car again. I should know better. Again...I am an idiot. My plan is to knit sock #2 then go back and rip the toe out of #1, do another repeat and redo the toe. Damn. :::sigh:::

I also made significant progress on my 2nd Blackberry Jam sock. No pictures of that. But all in all, a very good knitting weekend!


pdxknitterati said...

The FLS is perfect! And so is the sleeve length :-)

That's about how long my sleeves ended up, too, after me changing them 3 times. I did decrease in the garter border to bring them in a bit, though.

I wanna see the blackberry jam sock! I remember liking a picture last year; the color was gorgeous!

Knitting Mania said...

Wow great photo shoot! Thanks for the trip it was fun.

Your knitting is amazing, that sweater...omgosh!!!! :0

Good job!