Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Since Holland, Michigan was settled by the Dutch, it has an annual Tulip Fest in May.  It's an extremely big festival for such a small town, but when we first moved to Michigan we would venture out into the crowd of half a million and ooh and aah over the fields of tulips.  Well, we discovered last year an Iris farm between Traverse City and Empire, Michigan.  It's a centennial farm and has been in the same family.  I've searched for a web site to which to send you, but alas while there are hundreds of hits in Google, the farm itself does not appear to have a web site.  So I hope the photos will make up for it.  While the colors are breath taking, I was most touched by the accidental meeting of the patriarch of the family. 

As always I had to rest my back after traipsing among the blooms; so I sat myself down in a chair at a table with two elderly gentlemen.  Well one was, the second one was just a wee bit obnoxious once he figured out I was born in Germany.  He kept trying out his "Minnesota German" of which I could not make out even one word.  So I did what I do best.  I smiled.  Thankfully he left and the patriarch of the Iris Family Farm and I got into a conversation.  He was sent to Germany as a young man toward the end of WWII.  I couldn't help but thank him for his service and told him how a bunch of American soldiers kept me from starving in 1946/1947.  He started getting tears into his eyes and was mourning the carnage he lived through.  We shed a few tears together, laughed a little, and shared some war stories. I think when we parted we both felt a little better.

And now some photos of my favorites:

I hope you liked the photos.   

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Socks #15, 16, and 17 for 2011

Ugh.  Blogger has changed the formatting and uploading of pics.  I'm getting too old for change just for the sake of change.  It was working just fine before they fiddled with it.  But that's my humble opinion.  I know the techies out there are probably happy.

I took a week out to visit my daughter on the East side of the State of Michigan, i.e. the vast metropolitan area of Detroit.  I had a wonderful time, but just one complaint.  Living in the middle of a National Forest, noises of lawn mowers and edgers are quite rare except for our neighbor who has a week-end cottage and likes to mow her small patch of grass.  Luckily, these nice folks are more snowmobile enthusiasts and, thus, don't mow too often.  I told my daughter us folks from the backwoods would really appreciate it if all the neighbors would get together and mow and edge at the same time instead of someone doing it every day of the week. 

But the variety of food made up for all the noisy mowers.  We even found a German bread bakery who had honest to goodness real Laugebroetle.  "Lauge" stands for "lye" and "broetle" stands for "little bread" also known as a roll.  These are a type of hard rolls dipped in a week lye solution before being baked.  Be still my heart.  Just thinking about it makes it pound again. 

While I was visiting, I also got busy and knit three pair of socks for the Orphanage in Kazakhstan.  A mere pittance toward the 500+ pairs we need to knit by November.  I had fun knitting with the 6 ply ONLine Supersocke yarn.  This particular set was knit with their "New Wave" line.  They are just plain stockinette socks with a short row heel.

This pair was knit with the remainder of a skein of ONLine Supersocke Wellness yarn.  The pattern is a simple knit 3, slip one with a knit row in between.  It seems to compliment the many colors in the yarn.

I like the colors in this pair of socks, but the yarn was the yarn born in hell.  While we were at Hobby Lobby, I picked up some of their sock yarn called Walk Away sock yarn."  True to its name, it should have just kept walking instead of pretending to be sock yarn.  The yarn was unevenly spun with the colored plies appearing to be spun around  a core ply of white yarn which I assume is the polyamide.  Every so often the colored plies were bunched together loosely around that center ply of yarn.  It's hard to describe, but I had never seen anything like it in the many types of yarn with which I have knit.  Even at half price, I would not buy the yarn again.  I can buy top quality sock yarn when it is on sale from Little Knits at the same price. 
Knit on Merrily!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Socks Galore!

It's been sock knitting time. The first pair was designed by Regina Satta and offered as a KAL on Ravelry. The yarn is ONline Supersocke Cotton, Summer Color bought on sale at It's a nice summery, cool yarn. Needles used were 2.5 mm. My own feet will have to do for these photos since my faux leg did not travel with me on vacation.

In cleaning out some of my stash, I found several single 50 gram skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fine, a fingering weight, 80% cotton and 20% Merino yarn. Fifty grams are just enough to make a pair of anklets for me. So here are photos of two pairs I knit for myself.
Knit on Merrily!