Treasures from the Trip

Maple syrup is not the only good thing that I brought home from our little trip.
I also discovered some really wonderful (and affordable!!!) yarn that is milled in Churchville, Virginia by an older couple who have been raising sheep with their family and processing the wool in their own mill for decades.  Their company is called Cestari.  I met them at a booth they had set up at the Maple Festival, and thought they were both very dear.  I bought enough wool to knit cardigans for both Beatrix and Larkspur.  Each skein is just under two hundred yards, and is a heavy worsted weight–and they are six dollars each!  It is soft and smushy, yet sturdy.  They retain some of the natural lanolin when they process the wool (they process without chemicals) and that really makes for wonderful yarn.  Cestari will be my new go to source for Virginia yarn!
And then there are these Sunflower dishcloths.  Because I still haven’t gotten over being all excited about dishcloths.
I discovered these at a little country store in downtown Monterey.  It was one of those old fashioned general store sort of places that I could have spent hours in, except that Jonny was circling the block with all the kids when I ran in.  In a moment of sheer stupidity I only bought four cloths.  They were a dollar apiece, unless you bought a whole bag of them.  I had spent so much money on maple syrup that I decided to excercise restraint and not buy the bag of fifteen cloths for twelve dollars.  Bad decision.  Now I am faced with really feeling like I need to order 10 dozen from the manufacture and start peddling them to friends.  I want to give them as gifts and I want more of them for myself, and it is cheapest to buy them in bulk.  I could be the dishcloth lady.  I could start a dishcloth co-op.  Of course, people might start to think that I am weirder than they already do.  They’re just dishcloths after all.
This is what they look like after you wash them in case you were wondering.  They puff up nicely.  They really beat the dollar store dishrags.  Maybe we’ll make another trip to Monterey soon and I will just buy some more at the cute little store.
I wasn’t the only one who came home with treasures.  My children gather things from other people’s rubbish piles whenever they get the chance.  These are old power line toppers of some sort (glass power pole insulators.)  I am not sure what we will do with them.
And finally, at a little roadside flea market, I found this old dirty shelf for three dollars.  Somehow we managed to squeeze it in the van.  At every stop on the way home, it had to be removed from the van before the kids could get out, but it was worth it.  I am not sure that you can really tell, but it is a wonderful pale blue with dirt accents.
Cinderella helped me clean it up.
She took her job seriously!
Jonny added new shelves to the middle section and hung it on the wall next to my sewing desk.  This room has very little natural light, hence the dark and not so great photo.
I quickly crammed the shelves to overflowing with yarn and fabric and it looks super cluttered in a really good sort of way.  At some point I will go back and fold the fabric all nice and neat.  Larkspur has been spending a lot of time sitting in the chair in front of it just gazing up at it all.  By some miracle Beatrix is staying out of it.  She seems to know that it would be really bad to make a mess of all that yarn!
I’ve just spent the evening cleaning out my horribly disorganized sewing desk, and am hoping that between that and staring at all that fabric every day now, I might actually tackle some sewing projects!
But honestly, I am so pregnant now and I have been doing a good bit of gardening, so I am liking to go to bed at night.  No more super crazy late nights with the sewing machine for me!  But, with warm weather, my girls will start spending more time outside and maybe I can sneak in some daytime sewing…


  1. Tim Duff says:

    After years of requests, we are now developing a website for our farm, Fair Lawn Farm, in Highland County. Do you permit the use of any of your photos (with credit given etc.) to enhance a website? We’d love to use a couple of yours, ( no children pictured) to illustrate our syrup making process.

    Thank you in advance-

    Tim &Terry Duff
    Fair Lawn Farm

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