Knitting Sarah Goes Fishing

Someone recently commented that I could rename this space, “The Adventures of Knitting Sarah” and really that’s not a half-bad idea. While I primarily write about knitting and spinning and fiber arts, I also fill this space with my adventures. Adventure for me is usually pretty small scale. I mean, I really do love the macro lens on a camera and there’s a reason — I find the simple things in this world most extraordinary. A salamander in the woods. The call of a northern saw-whet owl on a country road. The toads I find in my backyard. It makes sense. Why else would I be endlessly fascinated by adding twist to fluff to make string which I then knit with two sticks into stuff I can wear?

This week’s adventure was on a slightly grander scale than usual. As many of you know, my son loves to go fishing. He turned 12 last week and for his birthday my parents treated him (and me and Mr Knitting Sarah) to a chartered fishing trip with my dad out onto Lake Michigan. We went with a charter that my dad had used in the past, Big Water Charters out of Algoma and I’d highly recommend them to anyone looking for some Lake Michigan fishing. For us, Algoma is close enough to my parents’ house that we can make the 3:30am departure with only a 2am wake-up call. My husband likes to tease that I’m not really a morning person or a night owl, but more of a middle of the day kind of person so I totally wowed everyone with my speedy and good-natured roll out that morning. I was kind of excited and nervous at the same time. Excited because I like fishing, too, and I love the big water, but nervous because I knew the weather was going to be touch and go. The Captain gave us the option to delay our trip until we had better conditions, but it was the only day we could all be there. So we went and we were at the dock by about 3:15 though and ready to go.

The weather started out decently. It was a little “lumpy” as they say and as we sped out to the fishing spot my son was kind white-knuckling his seat. He’s never really been on this kind of boat and I think especially at 3:30, in the dark it was a little intimidating.

The lines were in the water before the sun was even touching the tops of the clouds.

And we enjoyed a beautiful, very red sunrise over the lake.And you know the old saying,

“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.

Red Sky at morning, sailors take warning.”

Well, it’s true and accurate.

This is my husband and son reeling in a salmon in the pounding rain. We fished through three rounds of rain and thunderstorms, in varying degrees on lumpy seas. It wasn’t smooth and easy fishing and the weather definitely dampened the willingness of the fish to bite, but at the end of the morning we rode back to the dock with a half dozen awesome fish in the cooler.

And that’s when the skies cleared and sun came out. What an experience though, what memories we made! My son got to reel in the most fish (of course), and my dad took one, and I took two. My hubby helped my son and I get the tension on the rod correct.  It was especially helpful with the MASSIVE fish on the far left. That was mine and it weighed in at 19.11lbs. For those wondering, no, I never plan to let anyone ever forget this MASSIVE fish.

I mean… this is the fillet that came from it with my hand for scale.

The charter took care of all the cleaning and when we got back to my parents’ house my mom and I got them all vacuum sealed and into the freezer. All in all, we’re thinking we got maybe about 35lbs of hard-won fish to feast upon. Maybe a little more or less — I didn’t bother to weigh it.

I didn’t knit a stitch while fishing and only got in a few rounds of a super secret project after the fish was in the freezer and my parents’ lawn was mowed. What can I say? Some days the adventures of Knitting Sarah just don’t involve knitting or spinning or fiber arts at all.

And sometimes they don’t require a macro lens, but instead are measured in slightly grander scales.

A Week of Spinzilla Snapshots

Some weeks here at Chez Knitting Sarah are less glamorous than others. Some weeks both kids get sick and the bulk of the week is spent finding good ways to get them them to rest without boring them. Some weeks I spend a lot of time dodging coughs and sneezes. Some weeks my main job is just being around in case someone needs something and then racing to squeeze all my errands into as little time as possible. So goes the life of a mom though, right?

This week that is exactly what took place here at my house. First one kid got sick. Then the other got sick. We reorganized our school week to rely more heavily on educational videos (we always have a few in the queue in case of emergency). If you’re looking for something new to watch Orbit: Earth’s Extraordinary Journey which is phenomenal for any parents or those who just like learning about the natural world. It’s available on Netflix and I really loved it. Thankfully our kids both really love nature documentaries so they are a great way to keep the kids engaged without going stir crazy.  With Hurricane Matthew churning in the Caribbean, we also spent a fair bit of time studying his every move and learning all about hurricanes — the science of it, disaster preparation, and all the rest.

This week also happened to be Spinzilla week and while I never want my kids to be sick, if they have to get sick & be worn out by colds Spinzilla week isn’t a bad one for it to happen. Because of the kids not feeling well, really the bulk of my week was spent rather quietly, often watching documentaries which is a pretty good companion for spinning. Since really all I’ve been doing this week is caring for my kids and spinning, I thought I’d just share a quick photo stream here today. For those who follow me on Instagram it’ll be very familiar, but I know a number of readers don’t use Instagram so I thought it’d be fun to share here, too.

I’m spinning with Team Three Waters Farm and as I have a healthy stash from them, I’m delighted that I’ve been spinning nothing but TWF fibers. My week started bright and early Monday morning before the kiddos were up with Blooming Treasures….

img_4760When they awoke and it became clear that my girl was not feeling well, I knew I should just forge ahead…

img_4763And I did.

By the following aftrnoon…

img_4766I’d finished the Blooming Treasures singles and moved on to the Night Light colorway…

img_4765And then that evening I took a brief break with my hubby. We had a little campfire and I spun some non-Spinzilla fibers that I had started on my spindle a while back.

By Wednesday though, I was mostly through a new colorway, my Dragonfly spin…

img_4778This was a last minute addition to my Spinzilla line-up. It’ll be a gift for my mom if she likes it.

And then by Wednesday night, it was time to get plying and by Thursday morning…

img_4780I had made some good headway.

I got up early on Friday (again) and got going on my last bit of plying that I had…

img_4782Dragonfly. And I got that finished up just in time for my daughter to wake up and declare, “That’s one fat bobbin!” It’s true. It’s very full & I’m lucky I squeeze it all on there!

Moose has been…

img_4784Less than enthusiastic about these early mornings.

I spent yesterday on the Damselfly colorway…

img_4787And as the sun was going down…

img_4788I was wrapping those singles up, too.

And before bed last night, because I try to never leave my wheel without a project started…

img_4790I got going on some merino in the Rattlesnake colorway.

I’m now solidly in the “if I suddenly become an amazing speed spinner” realm of my fiber plans. Of course, it’s less about being amazingly fast (because I am not) and more in the “if both kids suddenly fall ill and I can’t leave the house for a week” category. So on the bright side, the leaning tower of fiber I had prepped for this week “in case” is going to good use. I’m not yet sure the plans for our weekend with both kids kind of still not over the hump yet of their colds, but I do hope to finish up my Rattlesnake spin and maybe one other. These last two I’m aiming for slightly heavier yarns, so it’ll be less yardage for my Spinzilla total, but good for some new winter hats. Speaking of yardage, I haven’t bothered to count any of that yet. If I manage to have enough bobbins to not bother until Spinzilla ends, I won’t. It’s less about the yardage for me and more about just enjoying the spinning.

This morning, after this long week of early mornings I’m taking a bit of a delayed start. Both kids slept until 7am which is pretty much unheard of in our house, so I dosed a little later than normal. And then I found myself with a burning desire to make and eat some home made blueberry muffins. This morning it was quite chilly outside and I just thought the warmth of the oven and fresh baked goods would be such a nice treat. Of course, it would have gone a little more smoothly had I realized we were out of eggs before I mixed the butter & sugar. Nothing a quick run to the store can’t solve!

img_4792Muffins baked, kids (and myself!) fed, it’s time to get on with my day. I’ve a little work to do, but hopefully I’ll be back at my wheel before long. I’ve got many yards to go before I sleep!

YUM.

Both of my kiddos are sick with colds on this late-winter Saturday, so I decided that nothing would suit this morning better than some good old-fashioned home-made comfort food. Today’s choice: blueberry muffins.

I did a little searching on-line for a recipe that used sour cream — I love how moist it keeps baked goodies & I had some leftover from a batch of banana bread. After reading a few recipes & assessing my ingredient situation, I went with Smitten Kitchen’s Perfect Blueberry Muffins. I love Smitten Kitchen, don’t you?

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So, here is the batter just after ‘folding’ in the blueberries. For whatever reason, I really stink at ‘folding’ things into batter. I almost always end up with purple blueberry muffins, but this batter is pretty thick, so it actually wasn’t as bad as normal.

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Fresh out of the oven. This is where I started snapping pictures like mad because I was excited.

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6 jumbo sized blueberry muffins. These were so warm I burnt my fingers putting them on the plate. They smell AMAZING.

imageOnly one word caption is necessary here: YUM.

Can’t write anything more, I have to go eat these muffins while they are still warm!

PS — Hopefully I will be back to regularly scheduled knitting updates later today or tomorrow!

A couple notes on the recipe:

  • I used the sour cream instead of plain yogurt simply because that’s what I had on-hand.
  • I also omitted the lemon zest. I absolutely love lemon zest in fresh baked goods & it would have been awesome here, but I was at home with two sick kids so running to the store for lemons was not an option.
  • I sprinkled a little sugar on top. It is awesome & I highly recommend doing it. I used regular old white sugar which worked fine, but a turbinado sugar (like Sugar in the Raw) would be better. Sadly, I am somehow out of stock here at Casa Knitting Sarah.
  • I used frozen blueberries & as instructed did not bother defrosting them.
  • I made a double batch so I’d have plenty for my kiddos & a few extra to share with Alisa the Yarnista & her hubby. My double batch yielded 12 regular sized & 6 jumbo sized muffins.