Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

Woolfest! June 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Jane Humke @ 7:06 am

So I have decided to break this post up into 2 as otherwise it would probably get too long, especially for y’all with slower internet connections.  I know that it was really pretty long for me, but I was driving almost the entire time so that’s sort of another story:-)

On Friday morning we got up bright and early and took the puppies over to the kennel and were on our way to Cockermouth, Cumbria.  This is a 5+ hour long trip by car assuming good traffic or 289 miles.  Now, driving 289 miles in the UK isn’t like driving the same distance in the US.  It’s a lot harder.  For one, there are a lot more cars on the roads here than in the US.  You will get traffic on the M6 in the middle of nowhere that you would usually only see outside decent sized towns in the US.  Two, there are a lot fewer “big” roads here so a significant part of your driving time is spent on 2 lane roads and in this case, two lane roads that were some of the narrowest, curviest, and most crowded that I have seen since moving here.  To say that it was sort of stressful would be an understatement. However, we made it to the Mitchell’s Lakeland Livestock Centre safely and I immediately started oohing and ahhing over what I saw.  I did one complete pass through the entire building (it was all in one building) before I started buying anything.  I think that the hubby was a little surprised by this approach but it is pretty normal for me at a show like this.  However, I don’t advise it for something like Rhinebeck or really at all because if you see something that you really like and wait and then try to find it again, well, it seldom works.

Here are some pictures from the Festival itself.  I apologize for the quality as we remembered to bring the camera but the battery was left in the charger in the Chapel.

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I got many nice things, lots and lots of fiber.  I got 500 grams of White Merino Tops from Wheeldale Woolcrafts as well as 200 grams of White BFL.  (Perhaps Tini could help me dye them some day [I can see a very messy kitchen in the future….])

Merino Tops

Merino Tops

BFL's

BFL's

200 grams of Mixed Colors BFL Tops from Meadowcroft Farm.

Mixed Color BFL

Mixed Color BFL

About 1000 grams of 2 different colors of Baby Camel Tops from them as well as

Mmmm, Baby Camel

Mmmm, Baby Camel

More Baby Camel

More Baby Camel

250 grams of yak down

Bag-O-Yak

Bag-O-Yak

Fluffy Stuff

Fluffy Stuff

and this 50 gram bundle of rainbow dyed alpaca roving.

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I found this lovely sock yarn from Kraftykoala called “Undergrowth” 

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as well as 2 of these 50 gram batts called “Rainbow” (I really couldn’t resist them!  There are even SPARKLES and y’all know that I have been on a sparkle kick of late!)

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Speaking of sparkles, I got what has to be the sparkliest battt that was sold at Woolfest.  It has 3 kinds of sparkly in it and it’s a lovely blue/black color by FeltStudioUK.

Ooooo... sparkle...

Ooooo... sparkle...

as well as another batt by her that reminds me of the colors of the ocean.

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John Arbon Textiles were here as well.  If you remember, they were at the UK Ravelry day a few weeks ago.  This time I got 2 pairs of their alpaca walking socks, one for me and one for my mom for the Alaska trip.

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I also got some more of their single ply alpaca laceweight as well as more of their 2-ply alpaca laceweight in a couple of colors

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and a couple of skeins of their alpaca sock yarn.

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I got some cool shell buttons to put on the pockets of the needle case that Tech Support is making.

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as well as a few “extras” as really interesting buttons seem hard to find around here.

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Since I have been on such a sparkle kick of late I ended-up buying a bunch of samples of different sparkly stuff to work into batts to spin.

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I also picked-up some Ashford dyes to put some color into things:-)

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I only got one fleece, but it’s for a Leichester Longwool.  I wasn’t terribly impressed with the wool sales area of Woolfest to tell you the truth.  The fleeces were in all sorts of bags, none of which were at all see through.  In fact, the one that I got was in a paper potato sack.  They also weren’t judged at all, just thrown together willy-nilly.  However, the prices were quite good.

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I got a couple of pieces of equipment.  First off was 2 pair of sock blockers, one in medium and one in large.

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However, the big piece of equipment that I got at the show is an Ashford Fine Drumcarder.

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Tini, you’d best get going on learning how to spin as freakishly well as you do everything else cause I’ve got some serious !amounts of fiber to card!!!

 

Navajos and Dog Farts June 29, 2009

So, last night I got a bug up my butt and decided to learn how to Navajo ply my spun singles.  For those of you not into spinning, Navajo plying is a technique that is essentially like making the base chain for crochet except with a spinning wheel that keeps trying to twist your chain shut on you.  It looks kinda difficult but all it really is is sort of awkward to start.  I finally figured it out after looking it up on YouTube (of course).  What this means is that you can make a 3 ply yarn out of only one bobbin full of single.  It is also a good technique if you are trying to keep color changes consistent and not have that multi-colored, multi-stranded thing going on.  Anyway, I had a small part of a bobbin left over last night when I had finished spinning and plying the roving that I had started shortly after Rhinebeck (Oh my God has it really been that long? [It is, I looked it up on the blog. I started this bag of roving in November, but in my defence there was an international move in the middle of all of that!]).  Currently it is sitting in the shower drying and setting it’s twist.  I also spun the entire batt of this

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one of the Fyberspates batts from the UK Ravelry day in Coventry.  I was sort of surprised that the sparkles in it didn’t show up more in the yarn than they did.  However, it did spin-up into a pretty lustrous yarn though not too terribly much of it so I’m not sure what I will use it for in the end.  (I will have pictures of all of the yarns once they have dried.)

I have been starting to get ready for my very big trip.  I’ve been trying to figure out which bags to use and things like that was well as to search down everything that I will need for the trip.  But first, I have a trip of another kind to pack for and that is Woolfest this weekend!  I’m really looking forward to this trip since it is my first trip to the Lakes District.

 

Crumbling June 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Jane Humke @ 10:38 am
Tags: , , ,

 

I have been on a total crumble kick of late.  I have made rhubarb crumbles and rhubarb and strawberry crumbles and mixed berry crumbles, it’s been downright crumbleastic around here of late!  Some of these have gone to the nice neighbors who have helped us out with the whole car dying as well as the raft of what I am sure they think of as insane questions.  Today I made three.  One for a neighbor and two for us.  Two are rhubarb and strawberry and the other is a mixed berry.  

I will tell you the truth, when I started this crumble kick I was really in the mood for strawberry-rhubarb pie.  However, I couldn’t find any premade pie crusts at the store so I ended-up making crumble.  I’m not against making pies from scratch but the last time I made a pie crust, well, lets just say that I am sure that whoever is living there now is still finding petrified piecrust stuck places it really shouldn’t be.

Anyway, enough talking, here are some pictures…

 

A completed strawberry-rhubarb crumble

A completed strawberry-rhubarb crumble

 

A Mixed Berry Crumble awaiting the oven

A Mixed Berry Crumble awaiting the oven

 

Another Crumble Baking in the Oven

Another Crumble Baking in the Oven

 

Me? A Perfectionist?! June 22, 2009

 

When did I become a perfectionist?  I mean really, when?!  Last I remember I was changing colors in an afghan by (gasp!) knotting yarns together and the next thing you know I’m ripping out 90 or so rows of sock yarn which had been knit on size 2.5mm needles (for my crochet buddies, this is like steel hooks more or less).  I got to ripping and I decided to just start over.  Since I had started this sock prior to learning that I was twisting my stitches there was a weird tight spot on the top of the sock near the cuff that was annoying me so, I just ripped the whole damn thing out.  And started over.  I wound the yarn on the ball winder so that the yarn that I had already knit is in the center of the ball so hopefully the bits that I have already re-knit 4 times will be part of the “leftover” yarn that will go towards this project (for those of you still Ravelry-less [if you are a fiber artist what is wrong with you?] it is also this.).  I know, what it is with me and blankets of many, many, many colors right?  Anyway, here is the sock as it was:

 

 

Sock as it was

Sock as it was

 

 

 

 

and here it is as it looks now:

 

Meara can't believe that this is all the bigger it is by now!

Meara can't believe that this is all the bigger it is by now!

Speaking of blankets of many, many, many colors I am nearly done with the gigantic granny square afghan throw.  I put 3 rows of half double crochet around the edges and am working in the ends and I will be done.  I think that I am going to pack it to go home with me in August and mail it from there as it will be a tad heavy to mail from the UK without taking out a loan of some sort.  Since I want my suitcases to be nice and fill-up-able this will be a perfect thing to take-up lots of space that isn’t coming back with me!  

 

 

Granny Blanket with Jiji for scale

Granny Blanket with Jiji for scale

Over the weekend the hubby and I went to Milton Keynes for a few things.  One of the places that I stopped at was, of course, IKEA.  I got some fabric there for a project that I have in mind as well as several very small little pillows that I plan on making some fast pillowcases out of leftover fabrics for the trip.  I may get a 4th as they were so small and, well, cheap that it would be a good idea.  I also got a small throw blanket for the trip.  I know it seems odd to be getting things like this for a vacation but remember, we are going to be spending between 3 and 4 weeks on the road.  Having things that can make us more comfortable seems like a good plan to me right now:-)

 

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We also got a patio set for the courtyard.  We are planning on moving it into the conservatory when winter hits and getting rid of the turquoise turd to make space for it.  So, it had to be fairly small-ish but we also wanted to be able to actually entertain folks outside since we have such a lovely place to do it now.  Once again, IKEA came to the rescue with this:

 

The table folded-up

The table folded-up

 

The table with one wing up

The table with one wing up

The table with both wings up

The table with both wings up

 

The table with one of the 4 chairs that we got as well.  I didn't want to get them all out as it looked as though it was about to rain.

The table with one of the 4 chairs that we got as well. I didn't want to get them all out as it looked as though it was about to rain.

I also bought a new fig tree.  We had been looking for a 2nd one to plant in the other very large pot that we have in the courtyard that was not a ‘Brown Turkey’.  It seems that ‘Brown Turkey’ is the only kind that is easy to find in this country despite the abundant number of huge garden centers around.  Our first one is a ‘Brown Turkey’ so we just wanted something a little different.  When I went to Frost’s yesterday I came upon a variety that I have never heard of before called ‘Violette’.  So, today I planted it up and we’ll see how it does!

 

 

 

 

The new fig (note: I trimmed the very top of it as to make a cutting and to also encourage branching out)

The new fig (note: I trimmed the very top of it as to make a cutting and to also encourage branching out)

I guess that this makes a nice segway into the, “oh how does her garden grow?” part of the blog (may name is Hortihoney for a reason!).  It hasn’t exactly been warm too much lately here.  We’ve had a few days that would have almost been described as “hot” by anyone who hadn’t lived in Florida, but that’s been it.  I’m so not complaining, I think that the cooler weather is just so much better than the brain-boiling, skin-baking, automatic sweat making heat that is Florida this time of the year.  However, it is going to make me have to rethink my outdoor growing strategies.  Obviously plants will need to be started indoors earlier in order to be nice and full by the time they are put outside.  To this end, I am already thinking about how to take cuttings and keep plants in the conservatory over the winter in order to not be held captive by what the garden centers have and when they have it.  I am also thinking about bringing in some cuttings of things so that I can make plants for the various plant sales that go on in May and Early June.  To no-one’s surprise, I will probably have Streptocarpus and violets ready by then but perhaps some herbs as well?  I have to think about all of this now as I will probably be gone when the first frosts occur here.

Anyway, here are a few hastily taken photos.

 

The tomato patch

The tomato patch

 

The flowers patch

The flower patch

 

Part of the herb garden

Part of the herb garden

 

More of the herb garden

More of the herb garden

 

I also decided to try to make a higher humidity rooting chamber of sorts.  

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Really that just means a bunch of pots under a piece of opaque plastic.  Cheap, fast and effective though none too pretty.

So, to leave you with some pretty pictures, here are my hanging baskets with their solar powered roto-turner things (which, by the way, need a lot of sun to function, at least initially, in order to turn the pots).

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I (Heart) Mailman June 16, 2009

There is really nothing much better than getting real mail and the past 2 days have been most excellent for that here at The Old Chapel.  Monday I received my graduation pictures from Florida.  Still haven’t gotten my diploma yet, but that’s ok.  Anyway, I had ordered a package with four 5X7’s in it to share with the family.  I’m keeping one and the other three are going to get sent out as soon as I can get to the post office.  I also got a lovely letter from my friend Sarah Jane.  It is always just so good to get an actually snail mail letter.  Don’t get me wrong, e-mail and phone calls are nice as well but there really isn’t anything to compare to an actual hand written letter mailed to you with actual stamps.

Today, I got a package from my friend Tini in Germany.  She sent me a couple of books that she thought that I could use:

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I know, I'm such a big fan of Debbie's and I didn't have this book!

I know, I'm such a big fan of Debbie's and I didn't have this book!

She also sent CHOCOLATE!!!!

 

Always accepted into the Chapel!

Always accepted into the Chapel!

 And to top it off, she sent the note written on the back of a Tori Amos postcard.  Does this woman have my number or WHAT?!?!

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There is a package going out to her today so check out her blog to see what I sent her!

So, I did a bit of a stupid.  I sort of knit a few too many rows on my sock before I stopped to count it and now I am going to have to frog, well, a lot of rows.  Here’s what it looks like currently:

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Oh well.  Now I get to learn about frogging with knitting!

Edited later to add:

Holy crap!  There were stitch markers in that package as well!  Tini mentioned them in an e-mail and I went, “Huh?  Stitch markers?  Better go check the packaging again.” and voila! there they were!  Such a cool package!

 

Three little stitch markers sittin' in a row

Three little stitch markers sittin' in a row

 

Birmingham and the sewing machine

So, it’s been an interesting week here at the Chapel.  As all of you who have tuned in previously know our blue shaggin’ wagon bit the dust last Sunday on a run to the train station.  It’s transmission gave out and it would have cost much more to fix than it was worth.  It took us a few days to figure this out as we had to have it towed from our house to the mechanic and then they decided that they don’t fix transmissions and the folks who do took a bit to tell us how much it would cost to fix it….you get the idea.

 

Goodbye dear shaggin' wagon, you served us well...

Goodbye dear shaggin' wagon, you served us well...

Weezy says farewell to the shaggin' wagon

Weezy says farewell to the shaggin' wagon

 So then it became obvious that we needed a new or at least new-to-us car and that we would probably need a loan to do it.  That, oddly enough, was actually pretty easy to do, it just took a day and a lot of printing and scanning of documents.  We found a pretty car that we both liked on-line on a website and I went up to Birmingham on Friday to get it.  Ok, so I made that sound, well, easy I guess.  But it was really sort of an adventure.  It was definitely the longest that I have ever traveled by train alone.  It was actually kinda fun.  I took my sock knitting along with me and just knit and watched the scenery go by.  Of course, this caused people to watch me for some reason.  I guess that a person knitting a tube with 4 short spikey looking needles sticking out of it is a bit of a……curiosity.  Anyway, I get to Birmingham New Street Station and then I needed to walk to a different station that (everybody assured me) was about 5 minute walk away (it was).  I got to go right through the middle of the Bull Ring and to see the famous bull statute (it looks like the Merrill Lynch logo).  It was an easy, well marked out route that took about 5 minutes and then I was on my next train to where the car lot was located.  Once I got to my stop, my instructions were to “walk across the street”.  So, I did that, and there was absolutely nothing that looked like a car lot for several blocks.  So, after mulling over the situation for a bit, I finally figured out that the train station had 2 exits.  So, I head for the other exit and, well, still no car lot.  Now, I need to point out that this was not in the nicest of neighborhoods.  I mean, there were houses that had broken windows and were vacant shells.  It was not as bad as some of the neighborhoods that I have seen in American cities (I’m thinking of some of the burnt-out shells of homes that I have seen in Detroit and Chicago with dead cars and empty lots surrounding them) but it was still not a place where you really want to be a single female walking around, even in the middle of the day.  Honestly, it was one of the first times that I was nervous walking around in England. Anyway, so I go out the other exit and still, no car lot across the street.  So I call the hubby freaking out needing directions and find that “across the street” is simplifying where they are a bit.  The industrial park that they were part of was across the street, but the actual lot was a few blocks over and down.   I get there finally and get sent to a waiting room to chill a bit where there are other folks there waiting for their new cars.  I go through all of the paperwork and payments and stuff and I am given the keys to this car and told how to get to the gas station (reminded repeatedly that it is a DIESEL car, so do not put in Petrol!) and from there to the M5.

 

And then I nearly ruin the car getting out of the industrial park.

So, this is a 6-speed car.  It is a diesel.  Two things that I have never had any experience with prior to this, so to say that I was a little nervous would be an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, I have had 5-speeds for the past 12 or so years, just never a 6-speed.  I got out of the lot and had a lot of trouble getting it to engage but I thought that that was just me getting used to a new clutch and all of that.  So then, there was a small hill, a stop sign, and a truck that pulled so close to my rear bumper that I am amazed that he wasn’t actually touching me already.  Yeah, you can see where this is going, sort-of.  But, then let me add something else to the mix.  I’m still getting used to the car, I thought that 3rd gear was 1st!!!!  Getting up and out of the stop sign without wrecking that stupid truck behind me nearly gave me a panic attack and well, imagine going from a complete stop to moving in 3rd gear.  It was so not pretty.  There was cursing, there was, uh, smoke. There was one Sarah very close to tears as she could not figure out how the hell to drive this fucking car that she had just paid a lot of money for.  So I get it out of there and to the petrol station (which was a fiasco as there were semi-trucks blocking at least half of the pumps and people backing and doing all sorts of crazy shit) and get some fuel in the car and get on my way.  While at the gas station I figured out where exactly 1st gear was and I am on my way.  Did I mention that this baby had a built in GPS unit?  Well, she (I’m not sure what her name it yet) kept trying to tell me to go back to her old home, so finally I figured out how to turn her off so that I didn’t get a total complex as to where I was going.  

The drive home was pretty uneventful.  The new car can go very fast without you noticing it very easily.  It’s a very good thing that it has cruise control as well.  

 

Our "New-To-Us" Toyota Avensis

Our "New-To-Us" Toyota Avensis

 

Isn't she pretty?

Isn't she pretty?

On Saturday we went into Tring to the auction that is held there every other week.  It’s held in the old animal market (I think) so each of the buildings that holds stuff are named something interesting like “The Cattle Pens” of “The Pig Pens”.  It is usually multiple households worth of stuff that is for sale and sometimes you may see 5 or 6 of something going on the block.  This time it was pianos.  There were 5 of them for sale.

 

This is just one of the buildings at the auction

This is just one of the buildings at the auction

Don't worry, I still knit in public for KIP day!

Don't worry, I still knit in public for KIP day!

 Anyway, we were on a quest for a “cheap” sewing machine as the hubby’s doesn’t work here due to the whole power thing.  We ended-up getting this guy:

 

 

Our "New-To-Us" Sewing Machine with Jiji for perspective.

Our "New-To-Us" Sewing Machine with Jiji for perspective.

 

It needed a little TLC, mostly oil and cleaning.  But now it is running great.  It’s got this pretty cool buttonholing feature that both of us have enjoyed playing with.

The rest of the weekend was pretty standard for The Chapel.  Not a lot of excitement.  A shopping foray to Milton Keynes, watching Buffy on DVD, you know how it is.  

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go play with the sewing machine…

 

Coventry Calling June 8, 2009

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Saturday the hubby and I went to Coventry for the UK Ravelry Day.  On the way there, we stopped in Leighton Buzzard and picked-up a lady whom I had met on a UK Ravelry Day forum offering and looking for rides.  Her name is Tini and we honestly could not have had a better car guest for the trip.  Tini was visiting friends in Leighton Buzzard from her home in Germany and it just “happened” to coincide with the Ravelry Day.  I had been sort of worried prior to meeting her that she would be, oh, I don’t know, someone you felt uncomfortable in a car with for a few hours.  It quickly became obvious that she would have felt right at home and would have even given David a run for his money at a Hookers night!  Bilingually!  All the way there we chatted easily and enjoyed the scenery of the M1.  

When we got there an hour early (the hubby drove really fast [naughty hubby!]) and found a place to get a hot drink and a place to sit down.  It was raining, which sort of portended the type of day that it was going to become.  The whole event started at 10am and my first class started at 10:30 so I didn’t have much time to peruse the stalls that were set-up with all sorts of independent shops and hand dyers selling thousands of kinds of yarn before I had to run off and find where my class was being held.  

My introduction to lace knitting was pretty low stress.  The lady that taught it, Kate Tetlow, was pretty low key and didn’t get at all flustered by the various speeds of learning, or knitting that the group exhibited.  There were a few in the class who were super fast and a few who weren’t (I was included in that last category) but she kept all of us busy and never got irritated at all.  It was in this lace knitting class that I learned that the way that I was knitting was, well, not exactly wrong but, well, wrong.  I was twisting every stitch, which I think it part of the reason that the sample of lace that I made in the class was so tight that folks were joking about how I could start knitting miniature lace for dollhouses.  Even though my lace sample didn’t turn-out exactly as it should have I still accomplished my main goal for the class which was to learn how to read a lace chart.

My miniature sample on the right, my ticket to the class and the project that I was working on at the end.  The yarn is Jamieson and Smith 2-ply laceweight that they thoughtfully supplied for the class

My miniature sample on the right, my ticket to the class and the project that I was working on at the end. The yarn is Jamieson and Smith 2-ply laceweight that they thoughtfully supplied for the class

After I got out of class at 1:30pm the hubby kindly had fish and chips awaiting me for some needed lunch.  Then Tini and I went upstairs to listen to Meg Swansen speak about her mother, Elizabeth Zimmerman.  It was interesting as Meg read some passages from her mother’s journal about at camping trip that she and Meg’s father had taken in the Canadian wilderness with their cat.  She also had a great Q & A session where she answered questions about both her mother’s works as well as her own.  Meg now runs Schoolhouse Press an independent publisher of knitting books and supplies so she had lots of great insight into the trends of fiberarts as well as great new designers on their way.  Her stories were fun and some of the questions that she got were just great.

It was sitting next to Tini prior to the talk by Meg where I learned how to knit continentally without twisting my stitches.  After the first row it made it soooooo much easier to do.  The sock that I had been working on was making me nervous by how tight it seemed, now it is knitting up totally normal.  If I can, I will take a picture of the sock so that you can see the difference in the stitches.

After the talk I had some time to run around and look at all the different vendors wares.  There was a surprising amount of alpaca fiber there including two very sorry looking young alpacas who had been recently shorn and had to stand out in the rain for the bulk of the day.  I’m sure that they were fine, but they just looked, well, wet.  I got several nice things including an entire set of the Knit pro (Knit Picks in the US) interchangeable needles as well as lots of yummy yarn and batts to spin.

A lady in period dress and wheel looking REALLY uncomfortable the entire time I saw her

A lady in period dress and wheel looking REALLY uncomfortable the entire time I saw her

The bedraggled looking Alpaca.

The bedraggled looking Alpaca.

The Fyberspates Stall with Sarah going a little nutty when she found out that those batts were for SALE!!!

The Fyberspates Stall with Sarah going a little nutty when she found out that those batts were for SALE!!!

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Fyberspates Faery Lace in Moss

Fyberspates British Dream Sock Yarn in Mosses

Fyberspates British Dream Sock Yarn in Mosses

Lovely Batts

Lovely Batts

More lovely batts from Fyberspates

More lovely batts from Fyberspates

You can't really see it in the photos but these all had sparkly in them

You can't really see it in the photos but these all had sparkly in them

A really big crochet hook by Rachel John

A really big crochet hook by Rachel John

About 5200 yards of laceweight alpaca from John Arbon textiles

About 5200 yards of laceweight alpaca from John Arbon textiles

A pretty pile of natural alpaca mill ends from John Arbon as well

A pretty pile of natural alpaca mill ends from John Arbon as well

My Knit Pro needles, it came with more but it's difficult to photograph it all

My Knit Pro needles, it came with more but it's difficult to photograph it all

While in Coventry Tech Support found a stall in the market selling all American “foodstuffs”.  I put foodstuffs in parenthesis as it was full of Nerds, Twinkies, Beef Jerky, Lucky Charms and (oh blessed neon yellow manna from heaven) Mountain Dew.  However, everything in it was outrageously expensive.  A 12-pack of cans of MD cost 14 pounds!  That’s like $22.50.  So obviously we didn’t get anything but we now know that it is there if we ever become really desperate.

He found these goodies waiting for us in a shop there as well:

 

The complete Buffy the Vampire Slayer Boxed Set

The complete Buffy the Vampire Slayer Boxed Set

The complete series of Angel

The complete series of Angel

On Sunday we had some friends out from the city.  We had good food and good drinks and it was a really relaxing afternoon.  That is, until the time came to take them to the train station.  The hubby was driving them to the Tring train station when the car suddenly would no move any more.  The engine didn’t stop, just the car.  We have breakdown coverage through, oddly enough, our bank so Hubby had me call them for a tow.  Luckily, they were close enough to the station by that time that it wasn’t all that big of a deal for our friends to get there.  So now our lovely shaggin wagon has it’s fate up in the air.  It is at a mechanics shop in the next town over.  We are pretty sure that the transmission went on it.  It is just a matter of if they can fix it for less than the ceiling that we placed on it or if the shaggin wagon is going to be recycled.