Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Lace, Nevr-Dull, Saddle Soap, and Other Random Topics

Ishbel’s Dedication post was important, but the knitters want to know the story of the how and what of knitting it.

Pattern: Ishbel
Size: Small (though it turned out much larger than I expected)
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze (1 ball and a small bit of the second)
Colorway: 643 – Flowers
Needles: 4.5 mm (US7) straights
Beads: 0/6 seed beads, two tubes, one set was iridescent clear, and the other set had a pink core, with a clear iridescent outer coating.

Per usual, I went up a needle size due to the tightness of my stitching. The pattern is very good and I came across no errata in the charts. The knitting of this was very slow, partly because of the mohair and partly because of the beads. I was very cautious with this pattern because I was knitting in terror of having to rip back any knitting; ripping mohair is living dangerously. I had to tink back a few times, but nothing serious.

Terror is taking this floaty little thing outside to photograph along the Canal Walk and its associated rushing water when the wind is gusting up to 20 miles per hour. And as it turned out, I got about 4 pictures of it in and around the old Alcoa plant area when the batteries in the camera gave up their ghost on me.

Next week I will pack it up and ship it priority mail to Ann in Columbia, South Carolina, who I hope will wear it and love it to its fullest. And that is the end of that. It is hard to believe it took me over a month to knit it, but it was not highly transportable, and only as I got desperate on a self-imposed (and unnecessary, as it turned out) deadline did I become willing to take it out of the house and work on it during my lunches.

Thanks to some time spent at Chick-fil-a on Saturday night, letting Grace run around like a crazy person in the play area, I got a few inches of work done on the second Leyburn sock for February. Chick-fil-a has been a god-send this winter. It has been far too cold to play at the park much, or even just in the back yard. They are really nice about the fact that I usually just go and buy a large coffee and a bottle of white milk for Grace, and I sit in the corner next to the enclosed play area and let her play while keeping one eye on her and one eye on my knitting. As the weather is improving, the park is becoming an option again, and but Chick-fil-a and their indoor play room has done me a great kindness this winter.

The Leyburns will come with me to North Carolina this weekend. We have a rider coming with us in the van, so I will turn over the front seat to him and knit in the back. I am not physically able to knit in the front seat as it gives me terrible motion sickness. As long as my focus is down and on my hands in the back seat, I do alright.

The rest of my week is devoted to finishing new garb for this weekend’s SCA event. I did manage to finish my blue wool dress, complete with trim around the wrists. I have over half the hem done on my white linen underdress, though it still needs a neckline. Since I was up at 3:30 in the morning on Sunday morning, I had time to cut out another wool dress, this one black.

I am sorry the picture is so crummy, but it was 4:30 in the morning at this point.

I added gold brocade “gauntlets” to the sleeves as decoration. This is not very 12th century or documentable, but it certainly is pretty, and the extra layer of fabric around my forearms will keep me warmer. I hope to have enough of the yellow brocade to do a band of it above the hemline too. I just couldn’t go to an event with only one piece of garb to get me through the weekend. I am too prone to pouring coffee down my front or slipping in mud to have nothing to fall back on.

That is the view of my efforts from the much more reasonable hour of 8:30 p.m. last night. And that is probably the last Sam Adam’s Winter Lager I will drink this season.

Now, the event we are going to is named Ymir after the Viking frost giant, and occurs every February. There have been snowy Ymirs and there have been nice, 70 degree Ymirs, but the vast majority of them are very cold and very dry. I have ensured that this year will be sunny and toasty warm by bringing only wool garb to the event with me. For my SCAdian friends, you can thank me for this service by bringing me a cold cup of water this weekend while I slowly roast in all my extra warm brand new garb. (Actually, they are calling for it to be 72 on Friday, but only 54 on Saturday.)
It was a two-beer kind of effort since I was operating off about 2.5 hours of sleep. That was a Sam Adam’s Chocolate Bock. Again, probably the last of the season, but a damn fine beer.

I know Spring is at hand because the rest of the week will be focused on finishing the garb I have started and polishing up my general medieval appearance. Boots need cleaning and polishing, veils need to be located and packed, accessories, like my belt, need to be found, and the belt likely needs a new hole punched, and everything needs packing.

Oh yes, Spring is at hand now. I love the smell of Nevr-Dull, saddle soap, and beer in the late evening.


A Story of Charleston In Photos

So, Charleston, South Carolina, is a nice town. I had never been there before, and when our friends, Ann and Les, decided to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with a party weekend for friends there, it was a golden chance to explore a completely new-to-me town.

Now, I live in Richmond, which is an old city, but very little in this town is older than 150 years thanks to the Civil War. I lived in Hampton, which is a very old town, but being burned in every war that was fought on our shores did not allow it to hold onto its old town feel.

Charleston is legitimately old and in spite of the American Revolution and the Civil War, a major earthquake, hurricanes, and years of economic shambles, it has managed to hold onto much of its old town feel. It was like a great combination of Richmond and New Orleans, and yet, it had a flavor distinctly its own.

We stayed at the Andrew Pinkney Inn. Our room was beautiful and very comfortable, and we got lucky and were on the eastern corner of the building so we had a great view (when it wasn’t blocked by a Carnival cruise behemoth of a ship). We took almost one hundred and fifty pictures, so I am going to let the camera tell a lot of this story.
The Inn
Our room.
Our Room
We went on a carriage ride.
Our guide was fantastic. I realized half way through that her job was part mule-team driver, part historian, part traffic controller, and largest part performer, and she was phenomenal. Our mules names were Hit and Run (or so she said), and they were like two teenage boys picking on each other the whole time.
We got to see some amazing homes and the same Spanish/French influence that is in New Orleans was very prevalent throughout the town.



After our carriage ride, my beloved husband proved to me in every way that I married the perfect man. (And get your mind out of the gutters, you pervs in the back!) He helped me track down the local yarn shop (LYS) and then went with me over there to buy souvenir yarn.
He helped me pick out gift yarn to knit something for Ann (two balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in a cotton-candy pink color, which will probably become Ishbel for her) and then I had him pick out good sock yarn for himself. He chose a rich red alpaca/wool blend (Classic Elite, maybe? I honestly cannot remember!) and it will go in his stocking for after Christmas knitting. He is the best husband ever.

After the knitting store, we worked our way back southeast, walking down King Street. After we got out of the main commercial area, we found ourselves on much quieter streets, less travelled by the tourists. We saw this lush green pathway and decided to see where it would take us.
We found ourselves lost in a Unitarian church graveyard, with graves dating all the way back to the 17th century.
It was like something you would see in a movie. Spanish moss. Overgrown weeds. Some gorgeous tombstones. Some plain and sunk deeply into the soft ground.

With botany crosses in my SCA heraldry, I could not resist getting a couple of shots of what I considered to be the most impressive grave marker. You can find a fleur de lis anywhere in an old French town, but botany crosses are a bit more rare.
After the graveyard, we met our group of friends for lunch at the Fleet Landing Restaurant. On the walk over there, at Queen and Church Streets, we came across this:
That is the French Huguenot Church. You don’t see something like that every day. I also saw this window decoration and I couldn’t resist the photo.
So we made our way to Fleet Landing.
Good food was had, yummy drinks were consumed, and stories of what we had all done since splitting our party up earlier were told. Our table was right by the big window, so we had a wonderful view of the water and the wildlife, which included a pod of dolphins and a number of beautiful brown pelicans.
After lunch, we split up again, and Byram and I, along with our friends Bob and Bonnie, made our rambling way over to the Smokehouse microbrewery. We stopped along the way to get some more photos.
(I grew up around Navy ships and have taken a day cruise on the USS Enterprise, but I was still flabbergasted by how big the cruise ship was.)
Charleston is so lousy with water that they have fountains everywhere. I mean, literally, everywhere. It kind of became a running joke throughout the weekend.

Hitting the brewhouse ended adventures in photography for the afternoon, partly because I stopped remembering how to make the camera work (ha!) and partly because of the failing light. We went back to our hotel to rest up a bit and then get ready for our dinner at Magnolias. The food was beyond amazing. The service was top notch. Because we were a large party, we had a special menu. Our dinner was tomato soup with crème fraiche, Caesar salad, and then our choice of either Shellfish and grits (my choice), roast duck breast, or filet mignon. I tried a bit of everything, and I admit, the duck was my favorite, though it is hard to go wrong with cream grits smothered in cheese, with lobster, scallops, and shrimp.

Ann had gotten three cakes from Baked, which were amazing. We had Red Velvet, Spiced Apple, and something like Double Chocolate with Salted Caramel. I had tiny bites of each, which was perfectly sufficient for me.

It really was an amazing time. I love Ann and Les, and their generosity was beyond anything we ever dreamed of. Their idea of how to celebrate a wedding anniversary has really raised the bar for me and my thoughts for the future.

Sunday morning became somewhat muddled, and we ended up leaving more quickly than we had expected, but on our way out of town, we drove all the way to the Battery for a last look at Charleston.
The water was choppy and the wind was up, but it was warmer than anything we have had in Richmond lately.
It was time to say goodbye and head back north.
This is one of those things that will stay with me for a long time. It really was magical. Thank you so very much, Ann and Less, for this amazing opportunity and for sharing a celebration of 25 years with us.
Les and Ann