Sarah Jane Humke

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

So, in the past month I have been to both The Netherlands and Wales.

And I’ve blogged about neither of them.

Part of this is that I was total crap about photography on both trips.  On the trip to Wales, I’m pretty sure that my camera never even came out of my backpack!  I don’t know why I was so negligent about taking photos, but it felt wrong at the time.  That and on the Wales trip, I did all of the driving (not that that always stops me, but in the UK, it DOES!).

Anyway, I had a great time in The Netherlands staying with Marleen and her family.  She fed me many, many great meals…

…I slept under a starry sky each night…

and I got to help her with her workshops and stand at Breidag, which was a blast.

My pack mistressing skills put to the test!

Stall set-up is sooooo glamorous!


This was what the stall floor looked like most of the time.

Marleen’s stand had some lovely neighbors to the back.  Malia (on the left) has just opened a new craft/knitting store in Amsterdam called Penelope Craft.  The next time that I am over there, I am going to totally check it out!  She had a thorough selection of Knitpro needles and accessories as well as books and yarn and I expect great things from her bricks and mortar store!

It wasn’t all just yarn and knitting, there were a few windmills too…

And there was shopping and fun and watching kids do insanely acrobatic things on trampolines and at gymnastics practice and a little knitting and yarn and stuff.  Here’s a look at my suitcase on the way home.

What you are not seeing in this picture is the 1.5 Kilo box of chocolate sprinkles that I brought home with me!!!  Also, almost the entire right hand side of the suitcase is goodies:-)

On the way home, I “figured-out” a way to get the knitpro interchangeable needles off the wires to go through security without having to find the little caps for the ends (which I didn’t have handy) for my wip (which is Marleen’s kaleidoscope vest just so you know) by using a simple little safety-pin.

Here’s a closer picture:

I’m sure that someone else has figured this out by now, but it came to me independently as I was using the safety-pin to unscrew the needles.  Yet another reason to have a couple of safety pins floating around in your baggage!

A few days after I got home, I received this in the mail:

I got #81 out of 1000 of the Fyberspates Limited Edition Royal Wedding Yarn!  This is super cool because, as Veronica explained to me while at Wonderwool Wales, 1981 is the year that Charles and Diana got married.  She managed to score #429 (4/29 aka April 29th, the big day!).  So yeah, we were/are  pretty dorky, but it is still cool!  And, it’s a super pretty yarn to boot!  I’m not sure if I am actually going to knit with it or just keep it as a souvenir of the wedding.  Way nicer than a mug in my opinion:-)

I was home for about 4 days before I took off again (and this time with the car!) for Wonderwool Wales.  Had a great time.  I do enjoy this show a lot as it is spread-out.  There is space in the aisles between the stalls for people to walk, and space for the event to grow too.  It’s held at the Royal Welsh Showgrounds in Builth Wells which has a LOT of other buildings and space for the event to grow.  I didn’t take a single picture of the whole weekend or of any of the goodies that I bought (not a lot btw).  Veronica and I had a lovely weekend.  Our B&B was in a wonderful village full of restaurants that were a little higher class (and cost) than we were looking for.  We ended-up going low-brow with some pretty decent pub grub from a pub just down the street.  We escaped prior to the Karaoke starting.  The next day we drove over to Stratford-upon-Avon and visited a bunch of the Shakespeare properties.  One I hadn’t yet been to was the Mary Arden’s house, which purported to have sheep(!)  and other animals.  It did, indeed, have sheep and other animals and it was a perfect day to see them.

Since then, I’ve been keeping busy.  I’ve finally gotten around to washing the collection of greasy fleeces that I had marinating in the attic.  I started with the Shetland fleeces, moved through a really, really rank Leicester Longwool, and have been playing with a fun colored BFL.  It takes a lot longer than it did in the States for a few reasons.  In the states, I had a top loading washer and a BIG hot water heater.  Here, I have a not-very-practical front-loader with no good “spin-only” cycle and a teeny-tiny hot water heater.  It’s so teeny-tiny, it makes the lovely jacuzzi tub that we have upstairs sort of silly as you can’t get it filled-up with hot water before it runs out and starts giving you straight cold water.  Anyway, I’ve been doing it in a group of garden trugs that I bought specifically for this purpose in that great big tub upstairs and, now that it is warm and sunny, I’ve been drying them outside on some mesh driers out of the reach of Malcolm, the fleece lover.  This has made for a rather stinky upstairs at times though luckily it was nice enough to open the windows for the worst of it.

For some reason that I cannot figure out, we have a large dog bed in this bathroom.  For a reason that I do know, the dog bed has become the defacto fleece sorting pen.  Some of these fleeces have been sandy/peaty and there is white carpet in the bathroom.  Weezy likes to sort of bury herself amongst the fleeces while I am working on them.

See, very professional!  The net bags are mostly from the US, but I picked-up a couple here too.  I’m not sure that I will ever take a bath in that tub again….

Another thing that I’ve been working on in conjunction with the hubby is a pair of baby blankets for the neighbor.  Her niece just had twins this morning and she asked if I would make blankets for them.  I took a big pile of books over for her to look at and she picked-out the pattern that she liked and the yarn and then I made them.  I used stash yarn and they were pretty standard crochet squares.  The hubby sewed them all together for me as I made them and then I crocheted the border on.  They went quite fast, I think we worked on them for about a week and a half total.  Good thing too as I finished them yesterday afternoon!

I couldn’t have gotten them done so quickly if the hubby hadn’t done the sewing-up.  That’s the part of all projects that I detest and usually the reason that the project takes so very long….

One thought on “In the between time

  1. tini says:

    mmhh I guess Dh would not finish the project bag I’m currently making 😦
    I remember that our bathroom smelled like sheep for a couple of days just after washing 1 fleece. I’m soo looking forward to visit you and have fun with the drumcarder!!! (sso what did you get at WW?)

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