Sunday, December 29, 2013

the fiber ladies

the holiday is passing with still a bit more celebrating to go here. my family gathers just after the new year to have our family christmas. with so many grown with families ( and extended) families of their own, we choose to wait a bit to get everyone together. i completed an awesome craft ( outdid myself ) and will soon be able to show the completed item.
earlier this year, my dear joan became a grandma for the first time. as soon as we heard the news, we got busy creating all sorts of goodness for the babe. i started on a baby blanket making jag that lasted for several months, with this babies being my favorite. we only saw pictures for so long, and were thrilled that she was coming to grandma's for christmas. friday, we headed off to buffalo to meet miss molly!
she is a keeper! bright, cheerful and full of smiles. she happily modeled her 'not-a-hat-sweater' and her watermelon hat. slightly out of season, it still was adorable. her mom and dad were generous with their appreciation for all 'the fiber ladies' did. i imagine that there will be more heading her way.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


i've been busy finishing up all those things that need to be finished at this time of year. in some ways, it snuck up on me. then, i realized that i was ahead of the curve with others. holiday gifts? done and wrapped! cookies?

well, they're baked and waiting for frosting. still one more batch to mix... my mom's extra special ( and labor intensive) date cookies. i took these over a few years ago when she just couldn't do it anymore. this year, they will be especially special!
the gingerbread houses are ready for delivery. unfortunately it is pouring rain. umbrella's will be needed... in december.....after a week of snow!
i did make some time for fiber. i dyed a fleece with sandy in july and set it aside.
 i pulled it out this week and started combing some locks...
and because i couldn't stand the suspense, i spun some
love it! it is beyond time consuming. i've started combing a handful after dinner and when i get a nice pile i'll spin it up. some day..... it may be yarn.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

christmas on the farm

the first annual christmas on the farm hosted by amythefibergoddess was lovely! the weather was perfect, chilly and clear, so folks could easily get out and feel festive. the first shoppers arrived just before ten, and then it was a steady stream until the end.
sweet ornaments, delicious handmade jelly, stylish jewelry and lots of fiber to be had. i chatted with old, old friends, new friends, co-workers, it was a diverse group of shoppers.
i loved seeing all the yarn that i helped paint all pretty on display.... waiting for a wonderful new home and project.
these fellows were my favorite and they all went to homes before i could capture one.

the many sheep bodies that i stitched and stuffed were beautifully finished by amy's hands. that gal certainly has a vision and the skill to execute it! my family had seen all the carcase's in various stages and just could not grasp how wickedly cute they would be.
i'm hopeful that she will have a 'second-annual' event next year. i'll be smart and get my stuff sooner ;)

Friday, December 6, 2013

little pines

i've been busy, busy, busy helping amythefibergoddess prepare for Christmas on the Farm. We've been painting yarn, and brainstorming ideas for her event. she truly has a knack for pulling these things together, and i'm along as a sounding board.... and a 'hey can you do this?' helper.
earlier this week ( and by earlier i mean monday) she calls and tells me about a new pattern that she found. so i'm thinking... 'when does she have time to look at ravelry for patterns', but choose to just go along with it. so the pattern is for wee tiny little pine trees that you put over a wine cork. are you with me? wee..... tiny..... trees. before i even realize what is happening, i'm knitting
trees! all of my yarn had been packed up and sent to the garage for the holidays. i had to rummage around for green yarn (not a problem here). my love of all shades of green paid off.

tonight i made it to ten completed trees. it takes me forty-five minutes to make a tree. it's like eating popcorn... you can't stop at one kernel. if you're in the area i hope to see you on the farm!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

it's not fiber......but still creative

  several years ago, my sister invited me to join her stamp classes.she had been creating all sorts of lovely cards with 'stampin up'. the monthly classes were held by a distributor in her home. for a small fee she would provide us with all the tools needed to make 4-5 cards. you could then order the products from her if you wanted to. it was really a win-win. i started going monthly and soon my cards made it to a quality level that was reasonable to use. hint... not as simple as is sounds, or easy as it looks. i still struggle with creative ideas and when i find one, i'll make a bunch using that design.
  i haven't been able to attend the classes as regularly in the past year, but i decided that i would still do the calendar project. we purchase the blank templates for the year ( january through december) and stamp them in a design that represents that month. now, ever since i started this nightmare project, the distributor gave us the designs and use of materials when we bought the templates. not this year.
 this year was different. we were still able to buy the calendars, but we had to do all the designing. sure, lots of time. i got them early in the year, moved them around my desk and finally realized that i needed them completed to give as gifts in about two weeks.
  yesterday was d-day. i actually started tuesday evening. first... bring a bazillion containers of stamp crap supplies to the dining room table. second, pour a large glass of wine. third, get creative! i enlisted the skill of my fellow stamper and off we went. i knew that we had to be completely finished by last night to have the table ready for the feast today.
i woke up with hand cramps from all the coloring! seriously, two mornings in a row my hands were clenched in a pencil holding grip when i woke up.
spoiler alert..... they are stunning
and since my hand is loosening up, i quickly put a needle and thread in it to finish a project for amythefibergoddess......

Monday, November 25, 2013

project endings

at least a few of my projects are done, or nearly there. the gotland fleece that i got in rhinebeck was washed and dried, then i was swayed into combing it. combing a fleece is much like combing hair.... putting all those strands in alignment and getting the snarls out. unlike little girl hair, you can't spray it with tangle-free stuff to make it easier ;)
i gathered up my combs and invited myself to a lesson. kathy was in on the fleece deal, and has oodles of skill and know-how. we weighed our fleeces and really only lost a bit in the washing.
i washed mine with unscented purex he laundry soap which did a very nice job cleaning those locks. we clamped the combs to the table and my lesson began.
the fiber is stunning, so soft with gentle color variations. i soon realized that i will be combing this wee little fleece for a very long time. i promised myself to do a bit each day to keep learning and maybe i'll get this done. i'm anxious to spin some, but i want to get at least half of it combed before i start.
the baby tulip sweater went to it's owner yesterday. the baby shower was charming. they held it at a town park in the new lodge. there was a fire in the fireplace, beautiful decorations and lots of well wishers to this new babe. the mom (my cousin) was radiant, enjoying every minute.

all the clothes were hung up and looked so sweet. i can just see this outfit out for a stroll next fall, picking up leaves and chasing after daddy....
she has everything she needs for a wonderful, wild ride into mommyhood!

my other finish is the hananninanni that amythefibergoddess and i have been knitting. it was truly kicking my butt near the end, but i perserverred and cast off yesterday. pictures and details tomorrow when i get it on the blocker.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

at it again

amythefibergoddess is hosting a wonderful holiday event.....~ christmas on the farm ~ the inaugural event will be saturday, december 7th on her farm. she has invited several merchants to join her to offer wonderful things for gifting ( or treating yourself with ) nistock farms will have yarn and roving, get juled is bringing all sorts of jewelry, there will be ornaments, hand-made preserves.... a very traditional offering of hand crafted goodness. guests can visit from 10-3, so if you are in the area is will be well worth the trip!
so onto today's adventure.....
i had to refresh my memory on dyeing techniques.
it didn't take tooooo long to get back into the swing......
there will be some stunning colors available! sadly, we ran out of time. guess that means i'll be back for more fun next week!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fiber Festival of New England

for the third year, the wool room @ longmeadow farm made its way to the Fiber Festival of New England. this year we traveled eastward with sandy's brand spanking new trailer to springfield, massachusetts.

it was a breeze to unload the trailer (taking only 15 minutes) and transformed this.....
into this.....

the transformation took about three hours, but hey... we're cheap help!
it still seems overwhelming to have so many vendors in one ginormous space. i was able to visit many of my favorites throughout the weekend and still find a few new ones. i purchased yarn for several projects, bobbins from the bobbin guy, and enough scarves to last a bit.....

the yarn in front will be another color affection, this time in tuckerwoods baby alpaca, wool and silk blend. two new patterns await the other yarns and i can't wait to get started.
sandy did well and i've already agreed to travel along again next year!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

halloween eve

tomorrow we're off to the fiber fest of new england and i had one thing left to finish.
the sample sock of longmeadow farms 'sock-it-to-me' yarn. sandy mailed this to me earlier in the week and i've been knitting away. i found a cute ravelry pattern for a youth sock ( even i knew that i couldn't crank out an adult sock) with some patterning and straight stockinette. such a good friend, she made sure the colorway would be one i loved ( i did, i really did). i was ready to finish the toe just as the trick-or-treaters arrived.....
not a one commented on my stitching.... it was all about the candy. and the pumpkins!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

baby gift done

ever since i first saw the 'dream in color' tulip baby sweater, i knew i had to make one. several years ago, i purchased the pattern in a kit. it has sat in my basket waiting. the colors in the kit are blues and greens... with the tag of "water". i mainly got it for the pattern, so i've been slowly collecting the dream in color yarn. the recipe calls for 8 different colors,  and with a price tag of $20/skein, i do mean slowly.
i have another family member expecting a babe this winter, so i seized the opportunity to finally knit this.
the pattern is simple, the yarn is delightful. the biggest challenge is carting around all those hanks of yarn and keeping them in the correct order. this morning i wove in all the ends and blocked it....

how dear is that???? after careful thought, i chose to make this in the 12-18 month size. fresh little ones really don't need a hand knit sweater and how cute will this be with a pair of jeans! knit in just over a week, i may have to make some more to have on hand. i can mix the colors up and add in some new ones and i've got tons of yarn left.

Monday, October 21, 2013

rhinebeck 2013

after trudging through the crowds last year, i proclaimed that i was not going to go to rhinebeck this year. the festival was crowded, overwhelming and exhausting.
well, i'm glad i didn't follow my own decree! one afternoon when i was helping amythefibergoddess with her dyeing, she asked if i had thought about going to rhinebeck this year. it had floated across my mind, but i let it go. we looked at each other and agreed to give it a go. maybe. lots of life things had to come together to make it happen, so i wasn't sure we were going until i was sitting in the car!
we took her car and i was able to get a great start on my newest project. i'm finally knitting a tulip sweater as a shower gift. the drive down was lovely, the leaves were in full autumn. i was grateful that we took amy's suv, we were already filling it up after a stop at the vera outlet!
as we made our way to the festival we worked out our plan of attack! stick together, buy it if you want it, follow the plan. it worked like a charm! we hit the first buildings (that usually are the busiest) as soon as it opened. we wandered through the fleeces, visited more vendors..... i was in heaven!
i had a pick-up to make for sandy ( yarn bowls for her booth at new england ) so i had a lovely visit with sue and picked out pottery. the day got very warm, but the crowds seemed manageable. as we made our way into the sheep barn, we found more fiber friends. holly was working at a sheep display and soon introduced us to martin and joy from shepherds lane farm before i knew it, i was out in the vendor parking area meeting four lovely gotland ewes and buying fleeces....
we touched, fondled, oooohhh and aaahhhed...... we were like addicts making a score! we left with four fleeces and lots of great information.we closed the festival and finally were on our way home at 5:30. i now have lots of spinning and knitting projects to keep me busy.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

finishing up

the vest is finally dry from blocking. it seemed that all the damp, cool, cloudy days started as soon as i wet that sucker! i carefully seemed the sides, and bound-off the shoulders.
i have no idea what came over me, but i decided that i would have the future owner try it on to make sure it fit BEFORE i secured the seems and added the finishing stitches. it fit. now i just need lots of good light to put this project in the done pile.
it's been difficult to stay focused on the vest as i was working on this.....
i wanted a fall scarf/wrap and as hard as it is to believe...... i didn't have anything in autumn colors. this is lovely malabrigo worsted that i got forever ago and had the good sense to buy two hanks. i used them both, making this about 6 ft long and 1 foot wide. it was super fun to knit and i want to do another in lighter weight yarn.
i've a new project on the horizon that is going to need to be finished in a timely fashion. as soon as i've got it sorted out, i'll post.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

knitting catch-up

way back when, so far ago that i can't actually remember the date, i started another vest. i bought the yarn, found a pattern,  even had a chunk of it knitted. it must have gotten warmer (no need to keep knitting on a wool vest) or an emergency knitting project came along (birthday shawl and then sample knitting ( right lines ) so as i was do some fall cleaning, guess what i found.
it didn't take long to finish the back, and i was so inspired that i even tweaked the cable on the front. it just needs to be stitched together, toss some edging on the neck and arms...... just in time for the cool weather.

Monday, September 30, 2013

just a ride

i have always loved bike riding. the freedom of hopping on and being able to go..... fast or slow it didn't matter. we bought really nice bikes ages ago and found that it was something we loved to do as a couple. even when the kids came along, we got the seats to have them with us. but it became less fun as we worried about getting hit on the road or finding the time to travel to a bike path to ride in safety. it seemed that the bikes just spent most of their time hanging in the garage. until this year....
my cousin was here for a visit and needed a place to go running. i had heard about this great new pathway in the community, but hadn't gotten there. she enjoyed it and raved that it was one of the nicer path's she had been on. after giving it a go, i realized what a gift was in my back yard! ( really it's just about a quarter of a mile away, but close enough :)
the  manchester gateway trail has become my almost daily obsession.

i've seen all sorts of creatures, and can usually find the perfect time of day to travel the 3 miles alone.

sometimes....... i even take the herd with me ;)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Finger Lakes Fiber Festival - 2013

i'm not sure that i have completely recovered from the festival. i have so many words to describe the event and i really just want to get to see it all again.
set-up began on friday afternoon. it was a hot, sunny day and it would just figure that it was the last nice day of the season! my car was full, i didn't forget a thing. we were able to get the signs all up and guild display organized in good time.
saturday dawned warm, but with clouds threatening. sure enough, rain started falling by late morning and the temps plummeted. even with that weather, over 1000 hearty fiber folk made their way to visit us. my job has become the parking gate person. i have been blessed to work with the most amazing volunteers and this year was no exception. these folks stood in the pouring rain and happily greeted each car. i met the crazy sheep lady  in the flesh. i've been following her blog for quite a while, and i know i made a fool of myself trying to make the connection.... in the rain.... in the parking lot. she has posted some great photo's on her blog ( hint- go take a look).
on a quick break, i made my way to see that amythefibergoddess was doing really well and longmeadow farms was staying dry. lots of beautiful stuff in each booth, and by the end of the festival they were pretty empty!

so, the guild display~ one of the nicest ever.

last years 'viewers choice' winners were prominently displayed....
there were 19 bags on display for festival goers to choose their favorite....
since the festival falls on -world wide spin in public day' we even had an area set up for folks to 'give it a whirl :)....
there are lots of votes for me to sort through, i'll get to it soon.

by sunday the rain had stopped, and little bits of sun shone down... but we were wading in mud...
i'm happy to say, with a bit a quick thinking we kept the cars from getting stuck. it made for longer walks for our patrons, but they could easily get out. the yarn  harlot was on the grounds sunday for her lecture and to shop. i didn't get a chance to meet her, but we could hear the laughter of the crowd out in the field.
monday she provided a class on knitting for speed and i was beyond excited to finally get to meet her and be a student. she did not disappoint! i'm committed to learning a new skill and invest the time to make it work. i took pages and pages of notes.... and had a fantastic time.