Sunday, November 4, 2007

Reason to love living in a small town

Ok, the title of my blog makes it pretty obvious that I don't exactly live in a large city. It's larger than it used to be, but, it's essentially a small town plunked down in the middle of a cornfield. I've lived in suburban/metro areas (and let me tell you when I first moved to this small town over 20 years ago there was some serious culture shock going on) and a large city. There are benefits to all -- but last weekend I got to enjoy one of my favorite parts about living in a small town in the Midwest -- the annual town wide festival. And what does our town's festival celebrate? The pumpkin! (kind of lucky that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays don't you think?)

And let me tell you -- most of the town really gets into the celebration. There is a pumpkin decorating contest with all of the entries displayed on the courthouse lawn. I overheard someone saying this year there were something like 900 entries. And there are categories divided by type of decoration as well as by age group. It's always a blast to see how they are decorated and whether they fit into the year's theme. If you want to know what is popular with different age groups from year to year -- just check out the pumpkins. This year there were A LOT of pirates -- wonder if Johnny Depp might have anything to do with that? ;0)

In addition to the pumpkins, there's also a parade. And while some small town parades are relatively small affairs -- this one, not so much. In addition to all of the local floats, etc. there is also a marching band competition -- so, lots and lots of marching bands (I lost count after 10 or 11 this year -- but, you get the drift). It's also the first year we've taken my dd to see the parade (her first year it was cold and rainy, last year ditto and she probably wouldn't have enjoyed it because of the crowd -- this year, totally different story). She LOVED the bands and was paying attention through the entire thing (or, well, as much as we stayed for -- after a bit more than 2 1/2 hours with more of the parade coming we decided to call it done and get out of dodge -- I did mention this parade was kind of a big deal right?)

Ok, so what does all of this have to do with crafting, quilting, etc.? Other than being a fun little slice of my life? Well, another feature of our little festival is the huge craft/goodies market held at the high school. The entire field house is taken over by crafts and other stuff (it used to be called a flea market but for some reason the name has been changed). There are actually 3 craft shows being held in town at the same time -- we only hit one of them, but have vowed that next year we will hit the rest. Lots of great ideas for gifts, etc. and this year I found someone who was selling hand painted yarn. Aren't those colors just luscious? A new skein of sock yarn to play with, of course, this does mean I should finish the pair of socks I'm still working on...they're a bit further along than they were, but not much. Oh well, this is an incentive to get them done.

On other crafting fronts, I haven't been sewing much at all lately. While Mom was here I simply didn't have time, and since she left on Tuesday, I have been finishing a few other things. But, I did have some crafty fun while Mom was here -- no quilting, but some knitty goodness. Mom wanted to look for some yarn while she was visiting so we went to a new to me yarn shop. May I just say yummy? I must admit that walking in was like stepping into a playground where all I wanted to do was take one of everything (or more). But, I was good -- I had two projects (yep, ambitious aren't I given that I have tons of quilting projects to do for Christmas and a WIP already on sticks) in mind. I had checked this book out of the library recently and let me tell you I am in love! The photos are stunning and the patterns really do seem doable. (this one is already on my Christmas list along with its sister book for quilting -- the folks at Purl really do have some fantastic ideas)

So, what did I end up with? Well, one yarn I got was a lovely bamboo and wool blend. I'd show you the skein, but, um, I've already finished the project. Hehehehe -- see, not so crazy is it if I've actually FINISHED it. No new UFO hanging around -- just a really soft and cuddly knit bag. This was actually a super fast project to knit up (gotta love those addi turbos) since it's done in the round and nothing but knit stitches except for the eyelet round.

And I also ended up with a skein of Koigu Premium Merino (the link is not to the place I bought it, but I can't find it on their site). Again, would love to show you a photo of the skein, but, um, I finished the project already. A fun little cabled knit bag. What I'm going to do with it I don't know -- it's pretty much big enough for a cell phone, a credit card or two and a set of keys (maybe a lipstick too) and that's it. But, I had a ton of fun making it and I am now no longer afraid of cables. Which is cool.

Both projects were finished by Nov. 1st -- and I bought the yarn on Oct. 26th, so -- less than a week for two knit finishes. I think this is a record for me. Now to just get back to those socks! I will have more quilty/fabric related content again soon -- it's just been a knitting kind of week or two. Oh, and anyone who is curious -- Mom loved the quilt, but she still noticed how messy the house was -- kind of hard to miss it. But, being the fantastic Mom she is -- her comment was "I know you too well -- and I'm not there to see how clean your house is, but to spend time with you." Yep -- and that's why I love her, and why I SWEAR for Christmas, things WILL be cleaner! I've got two months -- I should be able to get it clean by then!!!

9 comments:

Carolyn said...

The new yarn is just gorgeous! I've never knit socks on circulars, just on DPNs. I think I'd be afraid that whatever I was knitting would slide off the addi turbos, but they're so tempting! Is it easier to knit socks on circulars? Do you have to have stitch markers to mark the beginning of rows?

katelnorth said...

Ooh, I know what you can do with the green knit bag - you have my address, right? LOL. Between you and Cathi, you are really going to force me to learn to knit...

I love your pumpkin festival pics - that sort of stuff really is the most fun about small towns, isn't it.

Nan said...

What a wonderful post, from small town enchantment to your gorgeous knitted goodies, I've enjoyed it all! Your house may not have been it's cleanest, but your relationship with your mom is sparkling! Love the pic of dd on daddy's shoulders.

gwen said...

On second thought, a small town does´t seem so bad after all! Lovely report on your outing. We have a craft fair at the week-end too so I will report as well.
I am so envious of the beautiful yarn you got and what you made out of it. Maybe I should go to that yarn shop I have a voucher for and see what I can find there. Thanks for the inspiration and take care.

andsewitis Holly said...

Those are exactly the reasons why I like living in a small town. Your knit bags are adorable.

Pat said...

I also live in a small town and I would not trade it for anything. Your knitting is beautiful. I have not knitted in many years. But I love it.

Felicia said...

Looks like a fun festival! I'd been coveting that Last Minute book for ages and finally managed to get it for my birthday this year. Its full of beautiful things.

Libby said...

Your festival sounds like a ton of fun . . . I miss small-town living.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

your town sounds like a lovely place to live - I'm envious. Just like I wish I lived in Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girl territory).