Sunday, August 24, 2014

call me huckleberry hound

Yesterday Dan and Lauren took us up the gondola on Whitefish Mountain and showed us how to find and pick huckleberries.  These are a local delicacy, and folks get sort of territorial about the berry patches in the wild.  We did not witness any berry wars!  We just wandered around the mountainside a bit and didn't have to look far to find some bushes.  These berries are a little small, they do develop larger when given the right growing conditions.  We were picking them simply to eat, not collecting a bunch like a few other people we saw.  When we arrived in Whitefish last Sunday night, we were treated to a fresh huckleberry galette (sort of a rustic pie) that was delicious.  Now that I have seen how hard it is to gather any significant number of berries without eating them, I am so impressed that Dan and Lauren shared their berries with us in a pie!

Today has been spent on the road, after forcing ourselves to reluctantly leave the kids and Whitefish behind.  We did so many fun things, and have some left to do next time!
We drove east across the middle of Montana, with rain most of the way.  There had been significant rains in some areas, with lots of water in ditches, etc.
Even covering the road that we had to drive through!  There was a police-type person there who told us it was safe to drive slowly on the left side of the road, which Bob did while I pictured the car floating out to the prairie!  

I have had a chance to do some hand stitching on these wool applique samples for a future class for Bear Patch.  I did most of the preparation before leaving home.  I finished up the cornucopia that I had begun back at home.  Then today I got almost all of the candy cane done.  And tonight in our hotel I did the pressing to fuse the snowman all together so he is ready for stitching tomorrow.  I can stitch without motion sickness when the road is pretty smooth and straight, as it is in a big chunk of eastern MT as well as the rest of North Dakota that we will cover tomorrow.

patterns from Buttermilk Basin
 Before leaving Whitefish, I did make stops at a couple of shops for more "souvenirs"--
first, at Whitefish Quilts.

I found some odds and ends, patterns by local designers, a bit of fabric, etc.  I always like to find things that I won't find easily back home in Minnesota, and I really scored at this shop!  Some fabric lines that we don't have at Bear Patch, a sweet little ruler that will always remind me where I got it, some applique designs from an Alaskan woman with blueberries and lupines, both appropriate for MN, too!  The woman working (sorry, I didn't get her name) was very good at answering my questions and giving suggestions.

Then I hopped over about 3 blocks to Knit 'n Needle.  Their online presence is Polka Dot Sheep, selling both their own patterns and now their own yarn, too.  I liberated 2 skeins of yarn and one little pattern to bring home with me!  Jill was working there and was so friendly and helpful.

I think that pretty much covers the yarn and fabric shopping portion of this trip!  I did even get a little bit of sew time because I took my machine (Viking) out for Dan to experiment with.  He's interested in making some tote bags so we had a little sewing lesson.  If only I could have stayed longer, I could have taken him through the construction of a whole bag.  Instead, I left him some instructions and spare fabric to practice on.  I'm sure he can create something amazing!

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time on the new (to me) machine! It sews so much nicer than the older model I was using!