Well, I'm finally back from a week-long vacation in the Pacific Northwest. It all started with Stitches Midwest on Friday afternoon here in Rosemont, which was quite an experience! There were a whole bunch of vendors from across the country selling just about anything and everything related to knitting and crocheting. We picked up a whole bunch of beautiful sock yarn as well as a beautiful African basket to put it all in!
That same day, we drove down to Bloomington, Indiana for Sugar Hill 2005, put on by the Bloomington Old-Time Music and Dance Group. Sugar Hill is one of our favorite weekends because it is where we first started playing for contra dances. This year, we played a hour-long set on Friday night, and then we played another because no one had signed up for the next slot. Our fiddler friend Martha (from Stringdancer) was there and joined us on the second set. It was a great time, and we were the hit of the evening! We poked around Bloomington and Nashville on Saturday, then danced a bit Saturday evening before retiring for the 6 AM drive back to Chicago the next morning.
We managed to get back to Chicago in time to catch a cab for a noon flight out to Seattle. We had a delicious seafood dinner at Elliott's followed by a nice walk around downtown. The next morning, we headed over to the Pike Place Market to buy some produce, including some of the most delicious peaches I've ever tasted. We then drove down to Portland, had lunch with my second cousin in Hillsboro, and eventually found ourselves in Rockaway Beach on the coast, where we spent the rest of the week with friends, their two kids, and both sets of grandparents. We played games, hiked, went skim-boarding, canoed, and made s'mores, among other things. Our excursions included a trip to Tillamook for ice cream and dinner supplies (wild coho salmon was only $7 a pound!), and a drive up to Cannon Beach (for the quilt and yarn stores).
We drove back to Portland on Friday, where we took lots of pictures at the Washington Park Rose Garden, had a "pirate" dinner at Salvador Molly's, and spent the evening at historic Edgefield playing cribbage and drinking too much. On Saturday, we checked out Lint, a yarn shop in the Pearl district. It was a very nice yarn store, and I give special kudos to them for selling some solid-colored sock yarn, which is almost impossible to find without going online.
The rest of Saturday included another trip to Pike Place Market (where we picked up some salmon and crabs for Sunday's dinner back in Chicago), and contra dancing in Tacoma. It was a very nice dance, and I was impressed at the average dancing caliber and the high number of youth there. Sunday morning, we reached the airport by 4:45 AM. I've never seen so many people at an airport so early! We eventually got back and had that salmon and crab dinner at a friend's house.
Over vacation, I finished the barter socks! They are pending trial by the wearer-to-be to ensure snugness, then I will take the pictures. I also got the first of the bowtie socks completed and am now plowing through the second. Pictures to come for those, too!