Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mackinaw Trip 2011 - Part 3

Happy Memorial Day!  This holiday isn't just about having a three day weekend nor is it about the official opening of swimming pools, it's about remembering those who have fought and died for our country.  Growing up, I can still remember marching in the parade in Homer as a Bluebird or Campfire girl and later in the marching band.  We would make our way to the circle in the town center where the VFW would lower then raise the flag then on to the cemetery for the final tribute.  I get chills every time I hear Taps, even if it's from a beginning Trumpet player.


While visiting Mackinaw Island last week with Sister Bear and her classmates, we made the awful walk up the hill of death (my words, not the island's) to visit the cemetery.  Some of the tombstones date back to the early 1800's.  One part of the cemetery was dedicated to the unknown soldiers. 

Did you know that the cemetery in Mackinaw is only one of four that is allowed to fly the flag at half-mast all year long?  I didn't either.  There are so many unknown soldiers buried on the island that it has that right.  I thought that was interesting.

While visiting the cemetery at dusk, the sun was shining through the trees just so and I got this beautiful photo.



We passed Skull Cave on our "walk of death" to the cemetery.  Yes, I was still hacking up a lung from the awful walk uphill.  Apparently, I'm out of shape.  Who knew?  Um, the mirror?
Fort Mackinaw - View from the ferry.  

Hopefully as the students were walking through the cemetery, they listened to what their teachers said about the soldiers who fought so that the beautiful island we were enjoying along the great state we live in and more importantly, our country would become the land it is today.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mackinaw Trip 2011 - Part 2













I took a bazillion photos on our Field Trip to Mackinaw and I want to share them with you.  Here are just some of the photos from our ferry crossing from the Lower Peninsula to Mackinaw Island.  The ferry took us under the bridge on a fun ride to the island.  It was so much fun to see the aw of excitement from the kids...and parents too.












Friday, May 27, 2011

FiberArtsFriday - Field Trip Knitting

Welcome to the Mackinaw Island Edition of Fiber Arts Friday! Did you work your Fiber Arts Magic at a special location this week?  Today is the day to share your adventures so join in the fun!

I spent part of my week on the beautiful island of Mackinaw located approximately five hours North of my farm here in Michigan.  It is home to a plethora of historical knowledge, beautiful land and mouth watering fudge.  Yes, fudge!  Yet leave it to me to find the one store that sells knitting needles and yarn...Cascade 220 Yarn, to be exact!

As usual, I can't go anywhere without finding the Fiber Arts Connection.  Surprisingly, I didn't see any spinning or knitting displays at the Fort although most gift shops had books on weaving, natural dyes and knitting.  I can only assume that the island must have demonstrations during the tourist season.


Five hours in a bus that was full of children meant that I had plenty of time to knit on my Walking on Sunshine socks.  I found that I was able to concentrate quite well on my knitting while tuning out approximately 25 Nintendo DS playing Fourth Grade Students on the drive up to the island.  On the way home...I slept.  It's not very comfortable knitting on a bus but I managed. I was able to complete one 36 row chart on my sock.  It's amazing how much slower the second sock is knitting up versus the first sock.  Of course, being the end of May life is much more hectic with year-end school activities.


After we left Mackinaw Island, we visited Fort Michilimackinac which is actually located on the Lower Peninsula at the foot end of the Mackinaw Bridge.  Here I found my fiber arts gold!  The first thing I saw was a bundle of flax hanging on the wall where some women dressed in period garb were darning socks. As soon as I saw flax I was looking for the wheel.  It wasn't nearby although a niddy noddy was so the ladies and I discussed linen and weaving towels when I realized that I knew so much more about textiles. 

One day...many decades from now when I am retired...and old, I want to be one of those ladies dressed up demonstrating to visitors the wonders of how fiber arts shaped our history.  Really, an opportunity to talk all day long about fiber arts and history would be totally rock star.

Sister Bear spied the spinning wheel and we just giggled together.  Our Fiber Arts Scavenger Hunt has become a fun game when we visit places.  I'm so happy that my bears have joined in the fun and excitement of finding fiber arts in the world around us.  As we toured the island and the fort, the demonstrators focused a lot on the history of fur trade, the harsh winters and the battles that were fought over the territory yet I kept wanting to learn more about the hardships of making their own linens.  I guess that means I need to return during the tourist season to find out more.

Over the next few days I hope to post more photos from our trip but today I really wanted to focus on the fiber arts portion of our trip.  If you ever get a chance to visit Mackinaw just remember one thing...where your mittens!   Not only will they keep your hands warm but they also will also remind you which great state you are in.  Now...share your adventures in Fiber Arts!

Fiber Arts Friday Blog Carnival! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
  1. Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  2. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mackinaw Trip 2011 - Part 1


 I love the great state of Michigan.  I was born here and I have rarely left here because there is so much to see and explore. 

This week I traveled to Mackinaw Island with Sister Bear for her field trip.  Not only did I re-visit one of the treasures of our state that I haven't seen since my honeymoon, but I got to see it all through the eyes of my daughter.

I have a camera full of photos and these are just a few that I managed to upload this morning. 










Friday, May 20, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday - Spinning, knitting and Walking on Sunshine

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  Each week Fiber Artists from around the world meet here to share their adventures in Fiber Arts.  So...what are you waiting for?  Link your Fiber Arts Blog in and share in the fun.  If you visit, please leave a comment and join the Fiber Arts Fun!

Over the last couple of weeks I have been totally obsessed with knitting my first pair of socks using the Walking on Sunshine pattern written by KellyJ.  I finished the first sock during the week then cast on it's mate.  Kelly told me that I would notice a major difference between the first and second sock as I learned to knit with the small needles and she wasn't kidding.  Look how tight this second sock is starting compared to the first.

I am super excited to know that I am over the halfway point of knitting my first pair of socks.  I've already decided that I am going to knit this same pattern but with different yarns as soon as these are done.  In retrospect, I wish I hadn't picked two varigated yarns to knit  with because it's a bit hard to see the beautiful pattern but then again, it really makes it look like I knit super difficult too.

I also found time, since it rained so much this weekend, to clean out my fiber closet and sort my stash.  I have a whole bin of just sock yarn.  For a person who never knit a pair of socks or even used small needles, I have enough sock yarn to open a small store.  Well...I guess I will have plenty of yarn choices for future socks now.

I also found time to spin more yarn.  Over the last few weeks I've been filling my bobbins up and I finally got around to plying them using different techniques.  All of the yarns were spun from Art Batts of Wonder that I created from my herd.  So...now it's time for you to share your adventures in Fiber Arts.  Thank you for visiting my blog, leaving your wonderful comments and linking in your adventures.

Fiber Arts Friday Blog Carnival! 

To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
  1. Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  2. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Walking on Sunshine - A rainbow of color

Friday night I was at Your Local Yarn Shop for the Walking on Sunshine KAL (Knit Along).  It was a night of knitting, laughter and great conversation but the best part was that I finally turned the heel and knitted the gusset on my first knitted sock. 

My biggest fear about knitting socks was the tiny needles and knitting the heel.  Now, I am getting more comfortable with the Size 1 needles and thanks to KellyJ, I now know the secret to turning a heel.  I can't believe how simple it was!  So...I've been busy decreasing my heel so I can continue my foot.  Maybe I'll have my first sock completed by Friday...wouldn't that be cool?

Now...here is a collage of about half of the socks being knitted for the KAL. Yes, I put my sock in the center.  Isn't it great to see all the color combinations used for this pattern?  LOVE IT!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday - Show and Tell

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday, the Blogger Technical Difficulty Day!  This is the place to share you adventures in Fiber Arts of all kinds.  So...what are you waiting for?  Blogger is back up and we are ready for you!

This week I am posting during my lunch hour so...the written words will be brief.  I belong to the Weaver's Guild of Kalamazoo and on Monday we had our Show and Tell Meeting.  This is where all of the study groups bring in items that they have been working on throughout the year.  I was simply in awe of the talent that surrounded me in the room. 

It was also our annual meeting and election of officers.  At one point our outgoing President asked all of the committee volunteers to come to the front of the room.  Again, I was in awe of the amount of members that came to the front.  Approximately 35 out of 120 members were standing in front of the room with many of the members standing on multiple committees. 

My favorite quote of the night was also from Anne, our outgoing president regarding our voting and parliamentary procedure, "I love weavers, the can follow directions!"  I don't know, maybe it's just me and the fact that I have been in meetings since a young age, but it was a very true statement.

So...on with the show and tell.  Here are the photos I took of all the study group projects.  I think the workmanship speaks for itself and if you look closely, you'll see a couple of my projects in the photos.  Now...share your adventures in Fiber Arts and hopefully next week Blogger will be back to "normal".


 
 



 

Fiber Arts Friday Blog Carnival! 

To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
  1. Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  2. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs: