The Musings of One Miss Julie

Monday, August 22, 2005

An Ode to the Angora Goat

Well, maybe not.

Yesterday my chum and I took in the thrills that are found only at the Michigan Fiber Fest. I don't know what was better, the herding dog demonstration (which always gets my heart pumping) or the lovely chat we had with a goat farmer. His angoras had won the top prizes of the day, so we were definitely in the presence of an authority when he spoke about the qualities that make a goat a good, er, show goat. Here I am, not looking my best, but delighted to be in such fine company all the same.

I also bought some yarn, though I nearly left with nothing. I bought these two lovelies on the way out, and now I'm wondering if the woman I bought from has any more.

I came home looking for something to make with the yarn and figured that if I had just a few more skeins that I could make this sweater, which I've loved for ages, from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits. What do you think? I haven't tested the gauge yet, but I presume it's close.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Harvest, Pt. I

My first tomato! All season I've said I would be happy if I got just one to ripen, and now here I am. Our little garden plot is a sad and neglected thing this year. All the action's been taking place in the house, what with ripping out the floor, replacing all the doors and trim, and now repainting pretty much the whole house so we've not had the time or energy to maintain the yard.

I shall ignore the wilting and sorry tomato vines in the back yard and instead sink my teeth into this juicy red wonder and smile.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Oh, I Shouldn't Have

Overcome by temptation last week, I succumbed. I bought this lovely green merino and red mohair from

I don't have any absolute plans for them yet, but I think something cabley would be great for the green. And if the first rub-the-yarn-against-my-cheek tests are accurate, this may be a rare wool I can actually wear right against my skin. As for the mohair, I may try to find some sort of metallic silver strand to carry along with it to make a really dramatic evening wrap.

Isn't that bowl great? My mother-in-law knows of my fondness for all things daisies and lime green, so before Scott and I married she gave me that hand-blown glass bowl with a set of 6 matching goblets. I haven't used it in a long time, but I'm now inspired to have a girly gathering before summer ends so I can serve some yummy salad and lemonade.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Apprentice

Whew! Things have been busy here at Chez Julie. Not much knitting to report (except the ripping out and re-knitting of a few frustrating rows of Branching Out).

Scott and I are just two days away from a kitchen floor. So while Scott's been using the saw, I've been the Carpenter's Little Helper. (I'm really favoring Scott with the title of "carpenter," but he deserves it for how hard he tries.) Most of the time my primary task during such jobs is to pick up nails, do the vacuuming, pick up more nails, and be the stalwart encourager. This time I've been in the thick of it; I even got to use the nail gun. The power! The rush!

Tonight I've been caulking around our new baseboard trim, a first for me and a wholly satisfying job since I discovered that caulk and I get along brilliantly. And now, even though it's nearly 10oo p.m., I'm about to bust out the paint brushes and rollers and go to town on the kitchen wainscoting.

We're so close to enjoying life sans sawdust, splinters, and other various construction detritus. Just a few more weeks -- and probably a few more splinters in my, ahem, backside from scooting along the floor sanding and painting.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

10 Days and Counting

Since my inaugural visit to the Michigan Fiber Festival last year, I've been planning my return visit. For the last few weeks, I've wracked my brain trying to think of someone who I could ask to join me since all of my usual go-alongers had other plans. Going alone would have been fine but sometimes you just like an amiga to share the fun with. Today I have fantastic news!

My friend Jenna, who lives in Colorado, will be arriving in town the day before I plan to attend the festival. Our friendship is intrinsically linked to the road trips we took together in college. And now we're taking one more.

On Sunday, August 21, we'll hit the road for that two-hour drive -- windows down, iPod kicking out the tunes, and our two enthusiastic but imperfect voices wailing along. We'll have all day to catch up since it's been a year since our last visit. And there will be pounds and pounds of lust-worthy yarns to fondle and live alpacas to coo over.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Right... Uh-Huh

Vacation was grand. We arrived home several days ago, but I'm feeling particularly stymied when it comes to blogging lately. I'm sure you haven't noticed. Jan must have been reading my mind with her post today.

The camping couldn't have been more perfect. Highlights included: all the sleep I could handle; nights by the campfire with views of the stars that you just can't get here in town; and a great day at the beach in Grand Marais, where Scott and I frolicked in the giant Lake Superior waves. And all of this took place in country so beautiful it makes my heart constrict with love. Clearly it's been too long since I spent any time up north in the U.P.

My subject line acknowledges the naivete of last post's proclamation that I would have lots to show for all that free time. I had plenty of free time, but much of it I was happy just to be. And sometimes being means not even doing those activities one loves the most.That's why the only photographs we came home with were ones of me splashing around in the water -- and those aren't hitting the Internet anytime soon -- despite the number of photo-worthy views we took in.

I did make some progress on Branching Out. I love the almost magical quality of knitting lace. I'm so slow at it because at the finish of each row I simply must stop to examine and admire my work.