Archive for the 'Places' Category

Greetings from Norway

Hello, dear readers! I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long without an explanation. I’ve just started a 5-month research collaboration in Trondheim, Norway. I had been meaning to post before I left the States, but wrapping things up / packing dominated the last few weeks at home. I’ve just now gotten myself settled in Norway (with Lucas’s help) and am on my own (he flew back last week).

After I finished the Hex Blanket, I made a couple small things but didn’t have the time to devote to a more involved project. Now that things have settled down, I’ve just cast on a sweater that I’ll be posting about once it develops a bit more. In the mean time, I wanted to share photos of the two yarn shops I’ve checked out in Trondheim (I’m told there are several more).

Jens Hoff is located in the Torg (or Mall):

It’s packed with all manner of DROPS yarn & patterns, as well as ready-made Norwegian knits.

Garnhuset (Yarn House) is my favorite of the two because of their amazing selection:

They carry DROPS in addition to yarn from several other Norwegian/European companies. Amazing selection!

I also want to quickly share photos of Norwegian Knits on display at the National Museum of Decorative Arts in Trondheim. Unfortunately, the descriptions were in Norwegian (which I don’t understand), so I can’t provide further information on the pieces.

I really enjoyed the dress immediately above this text. Such an interesting use of felting / texture. I wonder if it was felted, then sewn, or knit then felted. I can’t identify any seams, but it’s not the best photo. Can you imagine knitting a dress to be felted??

I also had the good fortune of meeting two Americans and one Norwegian through Ravelry this past week. They are lovely women and I hope to spend much more time knitting / hanging out with them in the months to come!

MS&W, Norway & Stash Busting

I was in Annapolis, MD last weekend for a wedding and decided to go to the nearby Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival before the ceremony on Saturday. I left Annapolis with a friend at around 10am – by 12:30p we were 1 mile away from the venue in HORRENDOUS traffic. It was moving maybe 2 miles / hr. We did some mental math and ultimately decided that if we got into a major traffic jam leaving the festival we would almost certainly miss the wedding – Not cool. So we turned around and went out for a nice lunch. I was SUPER bummed, but it was a good lesson. LEAVE EARLY!

One good thing to come out of MS&W (however indirectly) was the 40% off sale at my LYS in anticipation of the festival. I scooped up 7 skeins of lovely Malabrigo Merino Worsted, which I have always wanted to knit with, in a pretty sea-foam green.

Definitely going to knit sweater. The wheels are turning on pattern selection…

Now to completely switch topics: I got a fun piece of news a few weeks ago. I’ll be going to Norway for 5 months this year (August – December) to do research for my PhD. I’m going to be in a town called Trondheim, which is about half way up the country’s western coast. It’s going to be SUPER cold, but the photos I have seen are gorgeous and there appear to be loads of museums and galleries. However, I need to finish LOADS of projects between now and August.  To keep my wandering eyes from getting off-track (see Malabrigo above!), I’m placing myself on a craft spending freeze. NO new yarn or craft materials, except for those required to finish existing projects or those on the Resolution list. Hold me to this, dear readers!

PS – Please excuse the infrequent posting these days. I have lots of irons in the fire, but no finished objects – yet. Stay tuned!

Winter Vacation

Hubby and I just returned from a 10-day, rather hectic vacation out West. We blitzed through AZ, then headed to Southern and Central CA, visiting family and friends. Below is a recap through photos. [Unfortunately, I have none of our time in AZ – the story picks up after my family piled into 2 large SUVs  and drove out to Disneyland / California Adventure.] Here is the famous Mickey flower bed just as you walk through the gates at Disneyland:

I don’t know those people in the bottom corner. It was SO packed it was impossible to get a clear shot – even just for a moment. The second day we were there the park sold out, which according to this blog post from 2004, means there were approximately 82,000 people in the park. We were packed in there like sardines! But for all those people, the place looked immaculate – no trash anywhere. Below is a shot of the pretty holiday lights outlining the Small World Castle (as in “It’s a small world after all…”):

Fun times, but I think I’ve got my Disneyland fix for a while. Below is a shot of California Adventure’s entrance (just opposite Disneyland):

I had never visited California Adventure and was expecting a hard-core roller coaster park, but was pleased to see that they had a wide variety of attractions. It also kept the whimsical feel of Disneyland, which I enjoyed. All in all, I was rather impressed – although compared to Disneyland, the place was a ghost town. Such a shame.

Next we hopped aboard the Coast Starlight Train in L.A. and rode up to visit my Aunt and Uncle in Monterey, CA. I was WAY behind in finishing the socks I intended to knit them, though I managed to finish my Aunt’s first sock (raveled here) on the train ride over, which required me to learn the Kitchener stitch…yikes! I modeled it in the train’s lounge car:

Next, my Aunt and Uncle took us on a driving tour of Monterey Bay. We stopped in a couple places and took photos – the water was amazingly clear and blue. I believe these are from Lover’s Point Park in Pacific Grove:

We also stopped at the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, which I hadn’t seen since I was a child. It was pretty spectacular, but unfortunately VERY crowded – after Disneyland we were done with crowds, so we only stayed a couple hours. Here’s a shot of Hubby with a starfish in the touch pond:

We rounded off our time in Central CA with a trip to Fisherman’s Wharf. There were Otters everywhere, but not close enough to us to get a good photo. They are unbelievably cute! We also ran across a giant starfish attached to one of the dock posts:

Next, we hopped on a plane back to VA and are very happy to be home. We have this awful habit of packing too much into our vacations… 🙂 Now it’s back to work and finishing up those socks!

I hope, dear readers, you had a wonderful time over the holidays and are enjoying this brand new year!

Berkeley Springs, WV

This past weekend, hubby and I took a short trip to Berkeley Springs, WV – a cute little artsy, hippie haven in an otherwise middle-of-nowhere county – that we’ve been visiting every year since 2006. It’s just a 2 hr drive from the farm and has the most wonderful spas and restaurants (such as Tari’s and Lot 12), in addition to art galleries and antique shops.  Berkeley Springs is the source of mineral-rich “warm springs” (hence all the spas) and has been host to several of our founding fathers, who frequented the springs for relaxation and medicinal purposes. Lots of great history in a really low-key, yet fun atmosphere.

Here are some photos of the town square (where the warm springs originate):

The mineral water bubbles up into this trough and is channeled throughout the park by way of several canals.

I’m usually not a huge fan of antiques partially due to my allergies and partially due to my perceived “ickyness” at buying really old used stuff (silly, I know) – but we did make a couple purchases I’m excited about. Hubby found these old, rusty shears and has promised to get them cleaned up and in working order for us to use on the goats:

And I found some old wooden thread bobbins to use in some future crafting adventure (okay, I don’t really have a plan for them – but aren’t they cool?!):

Getting Chilly

It’s been a really odd Fall – the weather got very cold a few weeks ago, then warmed up to the 70s for a while, and is finally getting back to chilly. The trees aren’t sure what to do with all this crazy weather, so our pretty fall colors have been a big flop. I took this photo on campus today – you can see that some trees are bare, others are still green, and a few are in fiery Autumn colors:

Fall 2009

But the good news is that it’s finally cold enough to start using the fireplace at my apartment near campus (sadly, no fireplace at the farm). Have I mentioned my love of fireplaces yet? Love.


Can you see the face?

Spoils from the Fall Fiber Festival in Orange County, VA

Went to the Fall Fiber Festival on Saturday with several of my Tuesday-night knitting group buddies. The day was SPECTACULAR – beautiful weather and LOADS of yummy fiber in every stage of prep.


Many of the fiber animals also came to this festival including this adorable angora bunny (which I had to restrain myself from purchasing):

Angora Rabbit

All said and done, I came away with loads of roving and some washed (& dyed) sheep wool. Here’s a closer look:

Fall Harvest Roving

Above is 4 Oz. of “Fall Harvest” roving from Persimmon Tree Farm that’s a 40% wool, 50% mohair, 10% alpaca blend. Absolutely luxurious! Lately I’ve been going for blue, green, green/blue color schemes, but decided to break out of the mold and go for a more “mature” color palate with this roving.

Creatively Dyed Yarn RovingThis (above) is 8 oz of roving from Creatively Dyed Yarn and is a blend of wool, bamboo, and seacell (as you can see from the tag). I’ve been lusting after roving from this company since last year – I was so happy they were at the festival again.  It’s so gorgeous, I almost don’t want to spin it!

Wool / Tencel Roving

Next are two 4 oz. packages of a 70% merino wool, 30% tencel roving from The Drafting Zone in Bowie, MD (no website). I fell completely in love with the colors and the wonderful softness. I imagine spinning it up like Jil Eaton’s Minnow Merino (a thick worsted 1-ply)… if somehow I can manage to create a yarn, rather than just getting whatever comes out 🙂

I also bought some washed (& dyed) Coopworth fleece from Wild ‘n’ Wooly Farm to combine with my goats’ mohair for spinning:

Coopworth fleece

I figure the multicolored variety will blend nicely with either Hamlet or Ivan’s mohair, while the blue/black will go well with Hamlet’s charcoal grey, and the white can be blended with Ivan’s silvery-grey and dyed a different color. But we’ll see how it really works out.

Along those lines, I also bought hand carders to get started with this fiber blending (very exciting!):


I think I had a great haul at this year’s festival and I’m very excited to get spinning on my little drop spindle!

Contact Me

I love hearing from my readers! Feel free to contact me via comments or at this address:

rambleonrosemary [at] gmail [dot] com

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