Christmas Eve 

Aside from late-night gift wrapping, today wasn’t particularly Christmas Eve-y.  We started with a trip to the local grocery co-op, where I giggled to myself over the absurd prices of (sometimes absurd) items.

   
  We also hit Imagiknit (twice!), and admired their holiday window decorations.

   
 
Between bouts of rain, we scaled Corona Heighs.

   
   
  We saw a huge rainbow!

 
We strolled Fillmore Street and admired decorations in our favorite shop windows.

  
And I finally put eyes on this fish hat!

  
I don’t think it looks so worried in real life…

And that was Christmas Eve! Hope yours was merry!

Yarnapalooza, trains, and a lake

I made it to Yarnapooza at Northwinds Books and Fiber!

   
It’s a really nice store, located in the adorable downtown of Spooner, Wisconsin. I only took photos of yarny items, but the book selection is fantastic as well!

wonder if i won???

    

spinning fibers

    

local yarns!

  

malabrigo trunk show

  

great selection of crafty books!

I left with 3 Feet of Sheep, and some potholder loom loops for the girl.

  
Next, we visited the Train Memories Museum in Spooner.  It’s chock full of train memorabilia and history. Well worth the visit!

    
    
  Then we took a scenic train ride!   

Nemakogon River

 Our last stop before heading home was the lake we used to go to when I was little. It’s especially nice because it’s super clean, quiet, and motorized watercrafts aren’t allowed.   
   
The water was pretty warm, and the kids enjoyed swimming and spotting many fish swimming around. 

What a fun day!

Minneapolis recap

We went to Minneapolis today, and managed to fill the day with activities, right up until 7pm.  Recap!

First off, we joined Mother Bear Project volunteers in sewing hearts onto the Bears. I dropped off my most recent 4.   
Amy met my kids for the first time. 🙂  

i wonder how many of these bears got their hearts sewn on today?

  

I was very happy that we had the opportunity to check out another LYS, Steven Be! 

  
 

I was trying hard to choose one souvenir sock yarn from this Nerd Alert collection. Can you guess which one I chose?
   
Even the bathroom was fabulous.

 

Steven showed the Wee Boy the kittens on the patio. ❤
   
And posed for a fan photo. ❤ ❤

    
 

The Wee Girl and I found this crocheted coral reef at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (which is free! Cool!).
   
As well as this gorgeous quilt.

 

Next we hit the sculpture garden, which is also free. 

Then, after a quick visit with a. Old friend and his family, we drove the 2 hours back to my parents’ house. Long day!!!!

LYS and a trip to Duluth

We finally made it up to Lake Superior today! But first– on the drive up, we conveniently had to pass a yarn store, and with my niece along to stay in the car with the kids (one sleeping, the other disapproves of my yarn habit), I was able to browse!

   
The building is small and doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it’s jam-packed full of great yarns!

a wall of noro!

    
    
 
There were also notions, fabric, and gifts, but the yarn selection was really outstanding, especially for the location, aka in the middle of nowhere. If you are up north on highway 53 near Gordon, stop by!!!

As for Duluth…

Well, first we made a quick stop at Amnicon Falls, although wencould have spent hours exploring the falls and trails.

  
In Duluth, we watched a few huge ships pass under the lift bridge. Wow!

  We took a boat ride and enjoyed some amazing views of the lake and city.  
Then we finished up with some beach time on Minnesota Point.

   
Phew!!! Tomorrow is another big day, so I’d better be off to sleep! Good night!

(Almost) hometown LYS/coffee shop!

Today I met up with one of my oldest friends at our other old friend’s small business, which happens to be a knitter’s dream; a coffee shop/yarn store!!  It’s called the Brew House and is located on the north side of Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

justin owns and runs the shop with hisn wife , Jen (not pictured). the three of us pictured here had some awfully good times in high school and college, and I’m so happy to be reunited !

 
Past the front room where you order, you find a small room with various handmade things; bibs, soaps, candles, handspun yarn…

  
  The next room contains big shelves of yarn. Some are well known brands like Cascade, others I hadn’t seen.    

 

   
  

how cute are these??

    

and notions!

They also sell local yarn, which I was so pleased to see! It’s beautiful and soft, and I might need to buy some as a souvenir. Blue Hills Fiber Mill- the Blue Hills are not far from my home town and are especially pretty in the autumn.

I’ll be back several times during my visit, so I have plenty of time to choose a souvenir yarn. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  

Solano and Stash Enhancement, Oops.

Today the kids and I made a day trip to visit a friend in Petaluma.  I had gotten interested in taking my frustrating Cormo locks to a mill in Valley Ford, about a half hour drive from Petaluma, that I’d discovered.  It turned out that my amount was too small to process affordably, but we decided to check out the mercantile anyway!

The town of Valley Ford seems to consist of about a dozen buildings along a short stretch of highway.  It was hard to understand where it was acceptable to park, but I felt safe leaving my car in front of the local grocery.

Village market

Village market

From there, it was about 50 feet back to Valley Ford Wool Mill!

Wool!!!

Wool!!!  A-ha moment; it’s only been in business since 2013, THAT’S why we hadn’t heard of it!

Of course, we couldn’t check out the mill itself, but the mercantile was more than satisfying.

Lovely shop

Lovely shop

Local yarns galore!

Local yarns galore!

Spinning fiber!

Spinning fiber!

Beeswax candles!

Beeswax candles!

The Truth.

The Truth.  Click for a clearer view.

I would like to print this info out on small cards to pass out to people who gush over my handknit items and insist that I should sell them.  Um, yeah, I’d make a great living doing that, because who WOULDN’T pay $375 for a hat?

More local yarns!

More local yarns!

Locally made soaps, etc.

Locally made soaps, etc.

Since our knitting group had our stash exchange yesterday, this outing was kind of like going into a candy store the day after Halloween!  Initially, I left without buying anything, but after lunch, I dashed back in for a few of these lovely soaps.  I wish you could smell how delightful they are!!  I resisted the urge to buy a very pretty top.  I can’t remember why….?

Restraint.

Restraint.

And on to the Stash Enhancement, Oops.

Oops, where will I put all of this?!?

Oops, where will I put all of this?!?

I knew my friend had some roving for me, but the photo she’d texted me did not have me prepared for the huge amount!  Part of the green is 15 ounces.  I have a few sweater’s worth of wool here to spin, as well as a sweater’s amount of Cascade 220 Heathers (always lovely!), and some sweet fabric.  I think the Wee Girl and I will dye up some of these silk scarves as holiday gifts for her teachers.  I’m eyeing the yellow/blue fabric and thinking of a blouse from one of my sewing books….  Oh, the possibilities!