Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Root River Triathlon

A few weekends ago a group of good friends and I took a weekend camping trip to Houston Minnesota; Bluff Country to participate in the Root River Triathlon.  No swimming for us, this tri was a laid back canoe, bike and run combo.  I finished in 2 hours, 6 minutes and 11 seconds.  Afterwards we treated ourselves to veggie wraps and coffee at the only cafe in town, before heading back to the camp grounds for an afternoon of knitting, sun bathing and beach wandering.  Despite the apocalyptic nightly thunderstorms, it was lovely to spend the weekend with lovely friends.

Triathlon photos courtesy of my friend Emily.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

At the farmer's market

Eating locally and seasonally have taught me two very valuable lessons.  One, very few things grow naturally year round, despite what you can find in the supermarket.  And two, the long anticipated wait for seasonable produce makes it that much more of a treat.  Today, asparagus was finally found at the Mill City Farmer's Market, my favorite Minneapolis market.  I snatched up 2 pounds of gorgeous purple and green stalks.  The booth I usually purchase from told me that the asparagus she sells comes from an asparagus patch planted on her family farm over 50 years ago.  OMG.  I think about my own four little plants and wonder if I will ever see them hit the 50 year mark.
Here in Minnesota,  the cold start to spring has been ideal weather for asparagus season.  Warm days, cool nights and lots of rain have yielded some of the longest stalks I have ever seen.  For the next month, I will be happily munching on asparagus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Sauteed, baked, roasted, slivered, peeled and raw, I can't get enough.  Luckily, by the time the weather breaks and summer truly rolls in, I can start obsessing over tomatoes instead.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

On the loom

My newest warp looks very similar to these, and it is.  I had so much fun with log cabin color variations that I wanted to do another warp in the more traditional bread cloth fashion.  This time I followed the pattern verbatim from Favorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My ride to work

Sometimes, on particularly lovely mornings, I find myself distracted and consequently late to work.  This time, after a long night's rain the aroma of lilacs, crisp air and bright sun strung me along and you know what?  It was worth every single late little minute.  These flowering beauties debut for 3 weeks out of the year and right now this little patch of greenway heaven is my favorite haunt.  Want to see for yourself?  Head due west on the Midtown Greenway, starting at Lake Calhoun.  In less than a mile you will have arrived.  Once there keep pedaling til you hit Kenilworth Trail and take a sharp right.  This will bring you to Cedar Lake and along another stretch of greeny goodness.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


You know it is summer in Minneapolis when you have to lock up your bike a block away from your actual destination.  I know.  I know.  This is small potatoes compared to city car drivers; but I am a selfish 4 season biker.  I spent all winter snagging the best poles and first class bike parking and now?  Now I have to share?  Well, I am more  than amused.  This is how it should be.  I am happy that our little bursts of good weather inspire biking as an alternative to driving.  These photos were taken at the  Lyn Lake Street Festival last Saturday.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A spring bouquet

Somewhere along the line someone planted rhubarb in the overgrown strip of land between my home and my neighbors and clearly forgot about it.  It's nice to harvest something in surplus, since my experience in gardening has been less than fruitful.  As I cradled my spring harvest I thought of what a wonderful bouquet it would make.  Large leafy greens (tempting to eat, but don't), crimson stalks, and tart crispness.  The best part is they keep pretty well in a vase and once you tire of looking at them you can go ahead and make a rhubarb crumble or tart.  Thankfully, my friend, Morgen was having a housewarming party and like me, I knew this was a gift she would appreciate.  In this bundle there are 9 stalks of rhubarb, 3 tulips, and 1 handwoven towel, all joined together with a piece of hand spun yarn.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pennies Lie

This is a text message conversation I had last week with my favorite brother in law, Ariel.  For a little context, read this first.

"The penny lied!"


            "Did she have the baby?"

            "Don't worry; Gorgonzola is a unisex name."

"We ended up going with Stilton."

Against all superstition, premonition, experimentation and expectation I have a new niece.

Introducing Elodie Kim Goldfarb.  Born at 9:30PM.  8 pounds.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Off the loom for Mother's Day

Log cabin hand towels are off the loom, hemmed, pressed and folded.  I sent 2 home to Wheaton as a Mother's Day gift.  I am fairly certain this is the 3rd or 4th set of hand woven towels that have been gifted or pilfered from my house.  Luckily, my mom seems to enjoy the collection.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

2 Scarves

This is quite possibly the quickest project I have ever loomed.  On and off in a week, despite my 3 day adventure to Phoenix.  I squeaked 2 scarves out of the warp.  2x2 twill and tabby on 4 shafts in a black and charcoal buffalo check.  The purple on the selvedge in alpaca was my way of making it a little less boring, however next time I will be sure to use a pop color that is in the same fiber as the rest of the scarf. ( I noticed that the alpaca didn't full as much as the 100% wool.)  One scarf was gifted to Sharon for her birthday.  I'm stashing the other one until I figure out what to do with it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Off the loom

I finally finished hemming my keyboard pad and mini rug for my computer station.  I am happy to now have a stable place to type.  I probably didn't really need a rug, but I had some extra warp that I didn't quite know what to do with and I wasn't about to let it go to waste.  It does keep my feet off the cool wood floor and seeing my cute little blogging station makes me happy.  Although I do fear my brother Ben is right.  One day I will have covered almost every surface of my house with weaving and every object within it with a knitted coozie.  I guess I will cross that path when I get there, but for now I seem to have a lot of uncovered surfaces. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Painted Desert

One of the loveliest surprises about Arizona in April, is that it happens to be the peak season for cacti blooms.  For such a prickly and foreboding plant the sudden burst of fresh and juicy colors seems both out of place and yet entirely appropriate. Throughout my stay I marveled at the arid beauty of the desert and was inspired.  

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend Fun

This weekend I......
discovered asparagus making a spring appearance in the garden.
feasted on Chef Shack Indian Spiced Mini Donuts at the Mill City Farmers Market.
surprised Sharon on her 30th birthday.
 enjoyed craft beer at The Happy Gnome 
 spent quality time with quality friends.
publicly sang Happy Birthday for the third time that day at  Sweeney's
 maybe had too good of a time.
 taught a friend a little lesson on bike safety.....
am pretty sure it will never happen again.
took a surprisingly good photo over my shoulder whilst riding.
loved that my friends and I rode a collective total of 230 miles to St Paul and back. 
ate the most awesomest birthday cake ever made, compliments of Danielle.

realized that no one is ever too old for firecrackers.
ate, drank and was merry all night long. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fun and Sun

Our first hour in Arizona was screaming breakfast, preferably outside.  With the combined efforts of my I phone and Danielle's GPS we managed to stumble on The Farm.  Breakfast tacos al fresco under the shade of Mesquite trees was an excellent start to our brightening day.  Afterwards, we wandered the property taking in as much greenery as our eyes could handle and as much sun as our skin could bear.

 After a quick pedicure and leisurely naps by the pool, we headed to Four Peaks Brewery for dinner and a sampling of some local brew.
On Saturday we took a day trip to Sedona.  Lunch at the Oak Creek Brewing Company resulted in yet another flight of samplers.   
A visit to Sedona wouldn't be the same without a ride or two down the naturally formed "slides" at  Slide Rock State Park.  Although the weather was a warm 70 degrees the water was a chilling 50.  After, a quick dip with my big toe, I decidedly chickened out, but then changed my mind.  I don't want to live without regrets and I would have regretted not doing this.  Swimsuits on, Danielle and I gingerly stepped out to the "entrance" of the slide which is really nothing more than a tubed channel that has been carved smoothly into a perfect water slide.  Danielle slipped on her first approach.  Once in the water,  she just slid her way down and I watched as the jets of water bobbed her along to the deeper pools at the base.  I followed suit.  The ride down was choppier than I expected but not as cold.  It was exhilarating and refreshing.  I went down again.  I can see why this canyon is a hotspot for locals.  The natural beauty of the red rocks combined with icy stream makes for the ideal summer escape.

 The Red Rocks of Sedona
Our last evening was spent at Sage and Sand.  Pulling up to one of the diviest bars I've ever seen, I was skeptical. The parking lot was an extension of the street accessible by any direction given that there was no curb nor sidewalk.   Once inside, it was busy and not scary, which at that point was a big win.  There was an outdoor patio that was more of a combination of grungy garage and suburban backyard.  There was basketball, volleyball, ping pong, tetherball and a perfectly manicured lawn strewn with just about every other lawn game you could imagine.  A live band rocked out while we watched a group of kids participate in a game known as King Kong Beer Pong, a large scale approach to the ping pong variety utilizing trash cans, and a basketball in place of cups and a ping pong.  Luckily, the beer proportions didn't correlate.  Climbing into the car at the end of the night I exclaimed, "That was surprisingly fun".  To which Danielle replied, "That's what the reviews said".

 A trip to Phoenix wouldn't be the same without a stop at the Desert Botanical Gardens.  Lovely shards of chartreuse from one of my favorite artists, Dale Chihuly, was a pleasant surprise.
 Delicate white flowers on a massive Saguaro cactus.

 Much of the flora and fauna of the desert reminds me of the coral reef.  It strikes me as odd given that each environment is so unique.  I am fascinated by cacti that resemble sea urchins, brambles posing as coral and flora disguised as anemones.