Thursday, July 22, 2010

Garden Party in Searsport

I was looking forward to a day of rug hooking at Searsport Rugs and meeting up with a few friends who live several hours away from my home. Of course I encountered heavy traffic (dang tourists!) until I got above Freeport as traveling on a Friday night on the Maine coast during the summertime is not advisable. Heavy thunderstorms added to the traffic as it was obvious that some people can't drive on a wet road (dang tourists!). Thank God that they seldom visit when snow is on the ground. Once I hit Augusta I took a favorite back road and left all traffic and storms behind.
Here is a nice shot of the beautiful Searsport harbor. 
Saturday morning brought a heavy fog that burned off and developed into a hot day. A tent had been set up on the large lawn behind the store and numerous chairs were nearby. There was also a hooking space available inside the building. Kat and Merideth and I chose to sit a bit away from the crowd under the shade of a beautiful tree. Within a few hours everyone in the building came outside because of the heat, and the tent was unbearably hot so everyone ended up sitting in the shade of the trees.
A gentle breeze developed and it was quite pleasant.
Kat was working on a wonderful primitive rug that is a memory rug for her dog. It has two dogs on it and a fabulous tree that she hooked using a variety of subtle colors that really give the tree life. Hopefully she will post a picture when she gets it finished.
I was working on a rug that I began last year and had not picked up for 6 months. It is a Patsy Becker design and I am using some bright colors on the five center tulips with a dark teal background. Behind me you can see the "chairs deemed unsuitable for hooking" area. They were too high, or too low, or too hard, or too soft, or the arms were too high.
Of course the shop was open and is always a pleasure to go through. It is in a large rambling house with rooms dedicated for different items. For example, one room held mostly books and kits. Another room is full of patterns arranged by type such as geometrics, and there is the dye room. And the largest room holds luscious bolts and cut pieces of wool. Numerous samples decorate the walls and entice you to purchase patterns or kits.

This sweet kitty caught my eye and I liked the colors
Here are some of the beautifully dyed wools in the main wool room.
Last year I had purchased this pomegranate pattern but have yet to hook it as I need to finish some other UFO's. I took this photo to give me some ideas of what I like and might not like to do when I pick up the hook and begin my pattern next winter. I like the interior colors but might choose a light golden brown for the border background. We'll see!
And yes, there was food. Glorious food. Delicious quiche, warm popovers, pickled asparagus, fresh salads, and delicious deserts including cakes and a fabulous hot peach turnover in syrup. After lunch we waddled happily out to our tree for a couple more hours of hooking.
I totally enjoyed the day and was quite surprised that I actually knew about half of the women from other places such as Tin Pedlars or the Alfred hook in. It was a relaxing day, and it prompted me to put away my spinning wheel for a bit and pick up my hook. It felt good.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spinning Bee

I recently attended a Spinning Bee at Tare Share Farm. This homestead was built in the mid-1700's which is the same time frame as our home. It is also a Cape home like ours. The difference is that this home has been kept as authentic as possible over the years, and is historically correct.
They had tents out on the lawn for the spinning wheels and I would guess about 50 or more spinners came to enjoy the day. It was hot, but there was plenty of shade and refreshments.
The owners of the property set up several games for people to play. The niddy noddy contest involved placing measures skeins of yarn on a swift and on the mark everyone tried to spin the yarn off the swift onto a niddy noddy the fastest. After narrowing the field the winners were announced and they won lovely fibery prizes to spin up. I have it on video but am not sure how to post a video here!
My favorite part of the homestead was the Spinning Barn. Yes, they have a barn dedicated exclusively for their collection of antique spinning wheels and spinning tools! Almost all of the wheels are from this local area and they have an extensive collection. This photo shows the large loom in the barn. After all, you have to make something with all of the yarn you are spinning!
The loft area held some nice old wheels that had a wonderful patina. These wheels are in working condition.

The barn also had several walking wheels, chairs made of spinning wheel parts and an assortment of tools. It was a very interesting place to spend some time!
Another loft held yet more wheels. They were everywhere! I wanted to spend all my time investigating all of the antique wheels but also had to spend some time spinning, watching competitions, eating snacks and of course checking out their house.
Since it is a working farm they had some critters. These colorful little friends were underfoot and seemed to like the sound of all the spinning wheels.
Of course there were sheep...quite a variety. Thi one caught my attention because of his fashionable hairstyle. I don't think he could see much!
There were red cows with long horns but they were shy and every time I attempted to take a picture they walked behind trees. The inside of the home had small rooms and the original fireplaces. It is furnished in period furniture, which is mostly primitive in the style of the home. It was a great way to spend a day and make new friends. And it was only a couple miles down the road!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I've been busy!

I'm sorry that I haven't posted for so long, but I've been busy! Here is a month in my life...which includes a bit of everything! My dear better half enjoys ripping things apart, and luckily he is quite adept at putting them back together. Our barn windows had probably been broken and crooked for 50 years, so he fixed them. First he took off the entire top side of the barn. Then he framed out the windows.
And as I said he knows how to put things back together with a fresh look! My role in this is to keep a cold beer in his hand and keep the phone handy in case he falls off the roof or
does damage to an important body part!
We attended the wedding of our friend Bob and his new bride Evelyn. They were both recently widowed, and we think they compliment each other quite well. It was a quiet and lovely ceremony.
Sometimes we all are able to make friends on the internet. I have been writing with Debbie St. Germain for a few years and she and her husband paid us an unexpected visit for a few days. While I was working during the day they enjoyed the area and went kayaking and beach walking. Each evening we all sat outside and chatted until it was dark. They stayed in our cabin you have heard me speak of and I believe they will return in a few weeks. Don't worry Debbie...I won't post pictures of you! But here is the cabin:

I went to my favorite auction house and although I bought little I always enjoy the scenery. This is a shot I took by Mt. Chicorua as the sun was setting.
In the winter they run sled dog races and ice sailing races on this large lake.
My friend Laura and I both love music. I couldn't tell you how many concerts we have attended over the past 34 years since we met. This time we went to Gillette Stadium to see the Eagles, Kieth Urban and the Dixie Chicks. Now when a stadium holds 75,000 people you can't expect great seats or great sound. You go for the experience of having that many people all singing the same songs at the same time. It was such fun!

Living quite near the coast gives me the chance to see the ocean every day at work, and there are certain places that those dreaded tourists haven't discovered yet. Here is one of them, but I can't tell you where it is other than the town of Kittery Maine. Lovely view, isn't it?

We celebrated the 14th birthday of our wonderful dog Brutus. He still does pretty well, although he has lost his hearing and his legs just don't work so well all the time. We used to let him run in the fields but since he can't hear us calling him back he has to stay on a lead now.
His name is tough but he's our loving, ever loyal and non-judgemental baby.

Some other friends arrived from Tennessee for a couple of weeks. Steve and Rosie are such fun! They come up each year and make our cabin their home. We all went to a camp and had a big lobster bake with some friends. It was a relaxing gathering full of laughter.

Yup...when in Maine you have to have lobstah, steamers, mooseburgers and fresh corn.

I also spent some time in my "Gardens of Weedin". I adore my gardens but seldom have them all looking nice at the same time. My lupine looked really nice this year.

And this little garden is called "Mo's Garden" after my dear friend who is now an angel. She and I purchased the lilies together at a local garden place that only sold varieties of lilies. The hummingbirds love them.
We also attended another wedding. It was for AnnMarie and Eric. They planned it for a year, and had the most beautiful flowers. AnnMarie personally made all the invitations, centerpieces and candle gifts for all her guests. She also made the bouquets at the end of each aisle with garden hooks found at the Christmas Tree Shop, canning jars and some wire. She's so clever! They had a fabulous chocolate fountain too!
It was a joyous celebration.
And three weeks later...she's expecting their baby!!!
I have also been spinning a lot in the hopes that I will get good at it. I'm improving! I figure I can make yarn during the summer and knit it up during the winter. Of course I have been rug hooking too, but lately that has taken a back seat to spinning. This is my spot to spin overlooking our back field. Often deer and other critters come out because I don't make any noise while spinning.

Here is some spindle spun Blue Faced Leicester that I worked on during that concert:

And this is my first try at blending fibers. This is a mix of Coopworth wool (from my favorite sheep named Dolly) blended with angora bunny. I am proud that I was able to make it thin and rather consistent. I must say that blending angora is a bit of a pain because of static. I know there must be a trick to make it easier but I don't know it yet! However it is worth the effort as this yarn is butter soft and lovely. I am going to spin up another batch for a pair of fingerless gloves.
And this is a skein of my lovely thick and thin yarn. It has character, doesn't it? This is actually my first full skein that I dyed, spun and plied. I just like looking at it!
So that catches you up with many of the things that have been keeping me away from blogging for the past month. Oh...and did I mention that I work full time? Yup...I've been busy. But don't feel neglected. I'll be back really soon! Hugs to you and stay cool!