Posts tagged ‘goats’

April 4, 2011

Craftaganza Q1 2011

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 These days it seems I never have time to sit and play. If I am not doing something vaguely constructive, then I feel consumed with guilt. Knitting, beading and reading have unfortuantely fallen into the not-so-constructive category. To counter this, I have continued to work on small projects and especially to design items which can use up odd bits of stash.

I actually have really enjoyed having this framework to define what and how I spend my crafting time. Going through my stash and finding partial and single skeins of great yarns with which I have worked in the past is fun. It is one part wander down memory lane and one part creative re-purposing. Ah, look at this moss green yarn…

Gosh, I remember getting this on that small farm up in Maine. We saw the sign by the side of the road and I only had to beg a little to get Jim to turn off. The woman raised sheep in her backyard. They were mostly Romney and she knew each one. She had goats, chickens and dogs, too. Her husband worked for the cable company. I wonder how they made ends meet with his salary and her expenses. In the front yard she had a little shop out of which she sold her yarn and some locally crafted buttons. It was a cute little wooden playhouse. The yarn she had was barely processed and her dyes were a wonderful palette of soft yet rich colors. I designed a vest with the yarn from her place. I had just over a skein left over and it was this skein that became one of the baby sweaters pictured here. Those happy memories are part of the sweater I have knitted.

I still have the goal of taking a table at a craft fair and selling the sweaters, booties, beaded earrings, etc. which I have made. I am curious to see if people will actually buy them, the value they are willing to assign to them and how I feel sending these things off with other people. I think it will be a fascinating exercise and maybe help recoup some of the “investment” I have made over the years in stash and beads. I love the idea that someone might buy one of the sweaters I made for a baby and that then that new mother will have the pleasure of wrapping her baby in warm Romney wool. Or that someone will buy a pair of earrings I have made and that each time they pull them out to wear them they will think how pretty they are. That would be a tremendous rush.

So, I will continue to make things. I enjoy the process more than the product and at some point someone else may well be able to enjoy th product.

Romney MommyBaaaa!Mommy and kids

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October 31, 2010

The 2010 New York Sheep and Wool Festival

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October 16th looked like it would become a perfect fall day. The forecast was for sun with a few clouds and some wind. It was going to get up to the mid-50’s. The leaves were turning nicely and the scene was set for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival! The third weekend in October is always the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. And even those Frosts who don’t knit turn out for this annual family pilgrimage.

We piled into the car at 8:30 and the cars were streaming into the Dutchess County Fair Grounds when we got to Rhinebeck after 10. It was brisk and a hot beverage was first on Ellie’s list while I purchased my annual t-shirt. Each year much is the same about Rhinebeck. The vendors have the same locations, we follow the same path through the barns and even eat the same foods. That is part of what makes it all so wonderful.
We walk around and see all our favorite vendors. The fellow who makes the fantastically warm and soft sheepskin slippers, Ellen’s 1/2 Pint Farm, Nanney Kennedy’s Meadowcroft Farm Seacolors, the woman with the gorgeous and colorful blended yarn from Vermont, Green Mountain Spinnery and the folks with the huge supply of Socks That Rock Yarn. Even when I don’t buy, I love seeing the fabulous yarn and crafts these artisans have on offer.
Each year Peter is bound and determined to return home with an angora rabbit. He sees the women spinning fiber right off their bunnies and he goes wild for a soft, furry bunny.  This year there were puppies for sale and Ellie was possessed by a desire unfulfilled by even her great love for Dakota. They were really cute and if Jim hadn’t been along and if I didn’t know that Dakota has no desire to share, I might have fallen.
Jim is patient, but bored and heads off to sit quietly in the 4-H booth with a cup of hot cider and his book. The best place for him at this point. We walk up and down the rows looking at the booths and break for lunch early. The chicken pot pie line gets really long and one year they ran out for a while…I enjoyed a roast lamb sandwich.
After lunch we wandered over to watch the dogs in the Frisbee competition and then hit the barns to oggle some sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas. It is fun to watch the sales going on, but visiting the animals in their pens is even more fascinating. Here is a whole agricultural life about which we know little, but the sheep are clearly well cared for and loved. Their owners wait patiently for the judging and tend to the animals while probably wishing the dumb city folk would stay out of their way. It isn’t an easy way to make a living no matter how romantic it looks from the outside.
All too soon critical mass has been reached and the voting is to return to the car and make our way home. I wonder what it would be like to spend an entire day or weekend at the fair? Somehow even after just a few hours, the car feels warm and comfortable and it is tough not to doze off over yarn and needles as we head south in the afternoon’s darkening light.
It was a good day. A day anticipated for many months and enjoyed in the best of company. It will be another year until Sheep and Wool and yet, it will be very much the same as this year. A turning point as summer truly fades into autumn and the world prepares for winter. A good day’s outing in the country and a chance to enjoy the fresh air, animals, some good food, my family and lots of yarn and fibre. It doesn’t get much better than that!
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