Sunday, June 17, 2007

Day Tripping

Today has been a quiet Father's Day. The kids and I have cooked Jim's favourite things to eat. We've just finished a barbecue steak with Caeser salad (Luke fixed it) and bruschetta. The kids are clearing the table before we have a desert of homemade cheesecake (Alex fixed it).

But yesterday was extremely exciting as Jim and I took a little day trip. First we stopped to give my Dad his frog shirt. He really liked it. I think it tickled his funny bone. Next stop was in St. Thomas so I could check out Parkspin Inc.

It's a gold mine of acrylics and discounted yarn. I scored a 4mm 120cm long circular needle! I also picked up some Sugar 'n Cream cotton for dishrags since I've signed up to be on Team Canada for Dish Rag Tag. This is the first time I've ever seen this brand of cotton.

Next, we went to Winter Wheat just outside of Sparta.

It is a place of whimsy and art.

Every corner had a new surprise and we brought home some lovely little souvenirs.

We then went to Anything Used in Sparta. I don't really get the name, unless it's to say that they will use anything in their art. The store was packed to the gills with stuff. It wasn't as high brow as Winter Wheat, but some of it was quite lovely. They are known for their candles in particular.

Next was lunch at the Sparta House Tea room. Going with the tea theme, it was decorated with hundreds of tea pots in cupboards, on shelves and lining the fireplace. The lunch was very good and the desert, a chocolate brownie cake, was just decedent!

We stopped to browse through Sparta a bit more, looking into the art galleries and stopping at the volunteer-run museum because I saw this through the front door:

This wheel was taller than I am. It puts meaning to the term "great wheel". And do you notice the two wool winders? One is on the floor, but the other stands behind the wheel on four legs. I was also mesmerized by the needle work on the petticoats and dresses. It was so fine, it looked like modern machine work, but it had all been accomplished by hand.

It makes me think twice about the work I do. I've been told I work in fine gauge, but what I do is nothing to what people routinely did in the past.

Here's my fine, hand knit socks with one of our souvenirs. Finished for a Father's Day present for my dear husband Jim.


  1. A walking wheel!! They are so hard to use (imho). You have to draft with only one hand because the other is being used to keep the wheel turning. Really good spinners would be able to draft farther and farther from the wheel using a long stick to reach the wheel. Then they would walk back to the wheel to put the single on the bobbin. (But you probably already knew all this. :) )

    I'll have to bookmark the winter wheat site. I'll be in St. Marys later this year and it wouldn't be too far out of the way.

  2. Those are beautiful socks! It sounds like you had a great, relaxing day.

    Isn't it amazing what hand work people used to do? I'm frequently humbled by it. I'd love to be so exacting! By the by, I loved the frog shirt =)

  3. I love seeing knit stores. It's so much different than tha crafts section in Walmart we have to deal with instead.

  4. www.knittingnutter.com6:00 pm

    I really like those socks for Jim. Thanks for the tour - looks like a great day out.

  5. Mary Jane6:05 am

    Glad you had a great day out with Jim. I had the most incredible day trip yesterday to North Ronaldsay to see their rare breed of sheep. Remind me to tell you all about it when I get back. I must have taken 50 photos of sheep. We even got to see some eating seaweed. It was a trill a minute. I am not joking either.

  6. Sounds like a fabulous Father's Day! The socks are great.

  7. Sounds & looks like a beautiful day! And bringing back souvenirs is fun! Just love those socks ... looks like art, tehe.

  8. i love that i am not the only one who goes into places because they see a spinning wheel or the like. driving through new hampshire a few weekends ago i even spotted a spinning wheel outside a self-storage center unit and shouted "spinning wheel! spinning wheel!"

    love the socks by the way!

  9. You mean you came to St. T and did not stop by our house!?! I'm going off to cry now. I love parkspin. I have incredible memories of going there with my Gramma and picking out yarn. She would get it in bulk (as would my mom) and my brother and I would help them wind them into balls for hours and hours while watching tv in the winter. It was a lot of fun. Now I just get frustrated with the knots, but then I had patience.
    They call it anything used because it used to be more about antiques than retail, but it has sort of outgrown its name. :)
    I love the socks, by the way!

  10. wow, jim is lucky . . .. i've been drooling over those socks myself.