Go North, Part 3

We awoke on Saturday, the final day of our vacation, ready to go home. We’d had loads of fun and made so many memories, but we were pretty tired and ready to be back in our own beds, with access to a kitchen and bottomless coffee. The kids, of course, were really just excited to have access to their screens after a week away. I’m always so proud of how they step away from their beloved video games and TV shows when we go on vacation, so we usually let them binge a little when we return home. But yes, yes. We were all ready to make the trek home.

Before turning the car East, however, we headed due South toward the Twin Cities. We followed the interstate, winding along adjacent to the beautiful St. Croix River on a sunny morning when the deciduous trees had all just popped with that tell-tale chartreuse color of the very first hint of leafy buds. If you haven’t seen that color mixed with the pines & other evergreen trees in springtime in the north woods, you are missing out. It only lasts for a day or so, but it is one of the prettiest days of the entire year in this area. Like the first snow, or that first pop of orange in fall, it’s magic.

After a couple hours in the car and brief stop for extra coffee and a Subway sandwich breakfast, we found ourselves at our destination: Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep & Wool Festival. I’ve gone to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival for many years and I love it. It’s kind of like an annual reunion — I get to visit with friends and see vendors that I’ve grown to know and enjoy seeing year after year. Shepherd’s Harvest is a festival I’ve wanted to visit for a good long while, but in the old house it was just far enough away that I never made the trip. We now live an hour and a half closer and when I mentioned the possibility of making the trek, Mr. Knitting Sarah went the extra mile and planned the entire vacation to lead up to the festival.

While I could view the vendor list and offerings online, I had no idea really what to expect. We pulled in and paid our $20 to the sweetest parking attendent ever in the history of the world to park and bring the whole family inside. It was only in the 40s, so thankfully it was safe to leave Moose in the car and he was perfectly content to sleep there with the windows cracked. Had it been warmer I’d have gone alone while the family galivanted elsewhere, but it all worked out.

We popped into the first of 3 vendor buildings and I was drawn into Quirky Fiberwerks straight away. What drew me in was this…

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50/50 yak/mulberry silk in the dreamiest of dreamy blues. Gitchi-gami in fiber form. Usually I hem and haw about making festival purchases, but not this time! These 8oz had to come home with me, no questions!

As we were about to exit that first building, Mr. Knitting Sarah pointed out a handmade basket.

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Since getting my upstairs wheel, I’ve been slowly working on making a little spinning corner in our room. I’d just found a small table to sit next to the basic chair we picked up cheap at an antique shop and I’d been looking for something to hold my fiber that wouldn’t look messy or cluttered. I had all but resigned myself to just stuffing it in my Fringe Supply Porter Bin in the closet, but when we saw this basket Mr. KS had his interior design vision for it. If you didn’t know, he’s the interior designer in the family, so when he said he liked it and knew just what to do with it, I just went with it.

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The artisan made sure the straps fit so I could wear it as a backpack — I just love the size! Who knew this is exactly what I needed?!

Shopping pack strapped to my back, the next stop was my beloved Bumblebee Acres. These ladies, I swear, have my heart. I’m very introverted by nature, but every now and then I’m reminded how much I love and miss having knitting and spinning friends nearby. My visit with the Bees was one such reminder and thus I stayed and visited with them for a very, very, very  long while. My family quickly got those glazed, mildly concerned looks on their faces that said, “Is she ever going to leave?” So Mr. KS took the kiddos down to the musical entertainment in the center of the hall…

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These guys were awesome and such a fantastic addition to the festival. Wow — what an atmosphere!

As I happily overstayed my welcome in the Bumblebee booth, I grabbed this…

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Which I’d seen on Instagram a few days earlier and had to have. And then I found these rolags…

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At which point the Bees were like, “Are you trying to match all these together or do you just miss fall?” No, I was not trying to match everything. Yes, I do miss fall. And yes, we all had a good laugh about my inadvertant matching. Eventually, I bought my goodies and said my goodbyes and headed out to find my family. I would have totally spent all day there though if I could have, though!

We made our way to the final building where the main attraction was definitely Steven Be and his fantastically colorful booth. Mr. KS attempted to convince me to ask for a photo with Steven, but alas I was too shy (#truestory). So I just bought this yarn instead…

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It’s Fool’s Gold from Hedgehog Fibres and I’ve almost bought it probably 75 times in the past, so it was kind of a big deal to me that I finally actually did.

With my basket full…

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(The extras in there are actually gifts, so that’s why they aren’t mentioned here!), we headed back to the car and then turned our Adventuremobile East toward home and in just a couple hours, we were back. Home, sweet, home.

That night I finished my Clayoquot Toque

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I thought it was the perfect end to a wonderful vacation.

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I love the colors — many kudos to theKnotty Lambfor the keen color sense of this kit!

But… little did I know, that there was one more surprise in store…

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While I was out grabbing a few groceries the next day (which also happened to be Mother’s Day), Mr. Knitting Sarah and our son finished off my little upstairs spinning corner.

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They put up the hooks for my basket and binoculars and picked an art print of Sandhill Cranes that I bought for Mr. KS for Christmas a couple years back. It’s just perfect. My perfect little spinnging spot upstairs. I simply could not be any luckier or have had any better of a vacation.

And that, my friends, is the final chapter in a very busy vacation week. From the mountains of Minnesota to the Gitchi-gami, from sunshine to rain and cold and back to sunshine, to waterfall after waterfall, to a fabulous fiber festival, and finally back home, I’m so thankful for another wonderful adventure with my family. And while the memories will stay with us always…

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We’re all very happy to be home.

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13 thoughts on “Go North, Part 3

  1. Poor Moose was SO abused – that last picture cracked me up! I’m so glad you had such a wonderful, memorable trip. You have the most thoughtful husband, and it looks as though he’s teaching your son well – a super Mother’s Day gift all around. Hide the new Toque or you know the Sproingy Haired Bandit will abscond with it – it’s so very cute. Hurray for being home!

  2. Whoa! Way to top off a vacation!!! He’s a great guy, that Mr. TKS! That yak silk blend – OMG, it is gorgeous! And you got to see the bees a few months ahead of normal, that is wonderful! I am so glad you had fun and made it home safely.

    1. The silk blend was the item that I saw and was instant grabby hands. Like, “This is mine and I might sell my soul for it, but I’d prefer to spend cash if possible.” Yes, a very fun way to end vacation!

  3. There is no place like home! But the last stop sounds like it was immense fun. When you have a supportive husband (and I do, too) it makes a world of difference. Put all those purchases to good use.

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