Monday, August 06, 2007

Ceci's back in the blogging world!

After Blogger changed over and Ceci couldn't figure it out, she finally gave up and has started a new blog kind of thing for herself through Yahoo. Here's the address: Change your links, go see new photos of the mons..uh...monk...uh...nephew. Yeah, nephew!

In other news...

Knitting: Still pluging along on everything I've mentioned in the past. Nothing's finished, but are we surprised? Shouldn't be. At least I can see the progress, however slight it might be. No photos this time around.

Spinning: Same as the knitting. It's progressing, albeit slowly because I can't spin in the monkey's presence. He finds the wheel just too fascinating and I won't run the risk that he's gonna stick those lightning-fast fingers of his into some moving part on my wheel that'll break his fingers before I have time to react. That's just a fear I can't shake and I don't want to risk.

Stitch markers: The Etsy and online stores are plugging along happily. I have a good amount of new inventory to get up online, I just haven't yet because I'm working on upgrading my "photo studio" and my photo editing/store updating capabilities. My first step - I got a new laptop! WOOHOO! First new laptop in TEN years. I'm so excited. Now I can get those stitch marker photos edited and uploaded and all that happy fun stuff without having to lock myself in my bedroom anymore. Ceci's so happy too, because that means I'm not locked in my room. Next thing on my shopping list: either a new digital camera with majorly nice macro capability, or a new lens for my Canon Rebel DSLR that's a dedicated macro lens. I'm really leaning toward the latter, though the lens I found that's PERFECT is also EXPENSIVE. OUCH. If I'd known about the lens sooner, my laptop purchase may have gone rather differently. Oh well. Not going back now! So expect to see me online and doing stuff earlier than 2am from now on. YAY!

Other stuff: Hm, can't think of any other stuff. Oh well! Talk to y'all again soon, and I promise pictures soon too!

entrelac at 4:02 AM :: |

Estes Park Epic Story, cont'd

Saturday - I wake up early (well, for me) but of course, Renee's already up and about because she's one of those bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, chipper first thing in the morning kind of people. Instead of going to a restaurant somewhere to eat, we opted to buy bacon, eggs, and bread and Renee cooked us breakfast. Sadly, I woke up with possibly the WORST headache I've ever had. And I've had some doozies. It was so bad I could barely eat, and after eating I was positively nauseous. Both Ceci and Renee felt bad about my feeling so bad, but opted to run over to the wool market and check it out while I tried to nap some more. I lay down in the living room of our awesome little cottage and was soothed to sleep by the sound of the river just outside.

Ceci and Renee woke me up around 1pm, having just come back from the wool market with some serious loot to eat lunch and check on me. I was feeling much better but not truly 100%, so they showed me the adorable sheepies they got (ACK, scary face!) and then convinced me to get up and go back to the market with them. After all, that WAS why I was there. I changed clothes, Ceci braided my hair for me, and off we went. We stopped in at the glass place again as we'd promised the shop keeper we would, and Ceci and Renee both left wearing some fabulous earrings and bracelets. I...just couldn't get enthused about the glass. Then we walked next door to a kitschy little hot dog stand and had us some REALLY good hot dogs. That really hit the spot and I started feeling like myself again. The we went back and got the car, and headed to the wool market. Like a moron, I opted to NOT take my DSLR camera with me, thinking it'd be to bulky to carry around.

We got to the market and split up -- Renee went straight back to the vendor tent, and Ceci and I went to check out the goats. She thought the Pygoras (Angora/pygmy goat crosses) were adorable, I bought a sample of Pygora/alpaca blend fiber and spun up a bit of it for the girl in the booth to show other customers as a sample, then we went to look at the alpacas. Ceci promptly fell in love. They have the sweetest little faces, and of course are majorly soft. Ceci started snapping photos with my cellphone (so please pardon the crappy quality here), and we chatted with some people, petted a few cuties, and made off with some yummy alpaca fibers/yarns. Then we went to the vendor tent to find Renee.

Ceci steered me first to a spindle maker that she saw there earlier and thought of me, and sure enough I was not disappointed. The gentleman, Tracy, and his wife were both very friendly and chatty, and we talked spindles for a good little while (and Ceci got to sit down and rest). Tracy freaked us both out by showing us his "Spindle Safe", a sturdy plastic tumbler with a hole drilled in the bottom that when he put one of his average-sized spindles into was strong enough for him to STAND ON. I wish I'd gotten a picture of that, but I was too busy trying to scrape my jaw off of the floor. I bought one of Tracy's uber-wonderful spindles, a megafast top whorl that weighs -- no kidding -- 4/10ths of an ounce. Woohoo! Then Renee found us, said she wanted to get to the town's LYS before they closed to have some of her yarn wound (they were offering free yarn winding services for people who bought yarn at the market that day).

We moved on, and I got sucked into a booth with some of the most luscious Cormo yarns and finished items I'd ever seen. I immediately thought of Robin, and of getting her some Cormo to spin as I didn't think it was anything she's gotten her hands on before, but this booth didn't carry fiber for spinning. Just yarn and finished goods. They were very sweet, though, and gave us the business card of the company they get their cormo fleeces from, and Ceci bought a single 1000-yard skein of their woolen spun single-ply laceweight yarn. If she doesn't knit the stuff up soon, I will! They also told me that another vendor down the way was selling cormo wool for spinning. I thanked the ladies profusely, and went to see the cormo. Ceci and Renee got sucked in (again) by the Textiles A Mano booth (can we say AMAZING 100% silk hand dyed yarns?) while I talked with the very sweet lady selling the cormo. She helped me rustle up a full pound of the cormo (carded into very airy sliver, yum) and I bought it on the spot. At that point, Renee said it was nearly 3pm and we needed to hustle to get to the LYS, so we skedaddled. I didn't really get to see much else, and I sure didn't get to look for Mittenfarce or anyone else who was supposed to be there. I figured I'd already missed them anyway.

We left the wool market and I used Renee's handy dandy Knitter's Shop Finder to get the phone number of the town's LYS and called them for directions, and what do you know, it was less than three blocks from our cottage. Go figure. But we drove on over anyway because we were already in the car. We reached the building and just stared for a moment. It was a really ecclectic looking multi-level affair, with multiple staircases to reach the various stores inside, and a restaurant on the ROOF of the whole shebang called the Smiling Elk. We resolved to eat dinner there, then started wandering up the stairs to find the LYS. I could tell pretty quick that I was still not back to 100% because I climed one flight of stairs and promptly couldn't breathe, so Ceci and I stopped at this really gorgeous fountain/pond/creek/thing that was running through the open center of the building. Once I could breathe again we started again the way Renee went, and then realized the fountain/creek thing had honest to goodness REAL trout swimming in it. Pretty darned cool.

Then we turned around to get our bearings, and the LYS was RIGHT there behind us. Whew. No more stairs. Renee was already camped out on the chairs outside the shop, knitting and chatting while her yarn was in line to be wound, so Ceci and I slipped inside the store proper to look around. Nice place, well-laid out considering they didn't have a whole lot of space, and of course having those cool mountain breezes coming in the oen windows helped a lot. There weren't any WOW yarns in the store -- and we'd blown all of our money at the market anyway -- so we went to sit outside and relax for a while. I started chatting with a lady who drove up from Denver, I think, and when she saw my new spindle she mentioned that she'd been trying to learn to spin but had been struggling. So I pulled out my trusty spare spindle (I swear, they're like towels, you want to always have one on your satchel!) and pulled off a little chunk of my just-bought cormo to sit down and help her get the gist of spinning. I showed her the park and draft method (which she already knew), and helped her realize where she'd been struggling. She made a good little piece of very nice and even yarn, and thanked me for the help, and then went on her way. After a little longer, Renee's yarn was wound, the LYS was closing, and the three of us were starting to get hungry. So we climbed some more stairs to the Smiling Elk Restaurant.

The restaurant had an indoor seating area, but there was NO way we were gonna sit INSIDE to eat. So we sat out on the roof of the building under some really neat umbrella awnings and ate dinner while listening to the live music. (We couldn't help but think that the guitarist guy singing really looked like WIlliam H. Macy with bleached blonde hair.) It was an unhurried, peaceful dinner, with the breeze keeping things pleasant, the direct sunlight behind the mountains, and the craggy not-quite-mountain things all around us. The three of us could not help but note repeatedly that it felt like we'd been there for a week already, and yet it wasn't even sunset yet. Amazing and magical and very, very calming. After we finished eating, we headed back to our cottage to relax and enjoy our loot while the day wound down.

That evening Renee finished the back piece of her Eileen from NSFY, I (with Renee's help) finished Ceci's Christmas stocking, and Ceci...well, she got a LOT more knitting done than she had in nearly two years. ;) We took photos of our loot all piled together then separately, and photos of our WIPS and FOs, and of other stuff. Then we called it a night early, because we knew Sunday was gonna be an EARLY day and especially rough on Ceci and me since we weren't used to waking up at 7am like we needed to to get to the airport on time.

Sunday - 7am arrived WAY too soon. We blearily (except for chipper miss Renee, darn her) got our stuff in the car, left a thank you note for the wonderful cottage people, and then were on our way back to Denver. We dropped the car off at that HE-YUGE rental car place, got on the shuttle bus back to the airport, and got into the airport proper. We oopsed and got in line for the checked baggage/boarding pass check in, but the lady was really nice and got us our our way pretty fast once we got to her. Then we went inside the airport. And nearly freaked. The LINE to go through security was -- no kidding -- worse than any I ever stood in for the big Astroworld roller coasters. We started worrying about making it to our flight on time, but then realized that UNLIKE the roller coaster lines this line was moving. And FAST. I don't think we actually stopped and stood still for more than 10 seconds at any time, and only stopped still three or four times at the MOST. Color me really impressed. When we got to security, again they were all very nice and MUCH friendlier than most horror stories would lead you to believe, and...Ceci got stopped AGAIN. She'd tucked a bottle of water into her bag and forgotten about it. Thankfully the security guy was very nice and joked about it, and just took the bottle and let us go on our way.

We made it to our terminal (Ceci got in line at the McD's in there to get us all some breakfast), and were able to relax and wait for about 20 mintues. We ate our breakfasts, met a very nice (not easy on the eyes) young man who graciously let Renee borrow his laptop to check her email, and then started boarding. We got onto the plane and got underway, and the waking up too early hit me like a brick wall. I used my Jaywalker Stole as a pillow and half-dozed until we were about to land in Austin. We shuffled off of the plane and promptly called Dad, who was already waiting for us in the arrivals area of the airport. We walked out to meet him, then he drove us home.

And that's the end of the story. Sorry, no morals. Just the desire to go back next year, with more time and something to better combat the elevation sickness. Oh, and finally, here's where all of the photos we took reside: Estes Park Photo Album

entrelac at 2:44 AM :: |