Tuesday, October 21, 2014


best time ever!! don't i say that every year and mean it :)
amythefibergoddess, kathy and i made the trip to the new york state sheep and wool festival, better known as rhinebeck. our trip was scheduled a bit differently this year to accommadate a friday evening engagement that i needed to attend. we were on the road by 8:15 arriving at our hotel just south of albany at 11:30. the room was quite nice and became even nicer when kathy surprised us with a bota box of delicious red wine. knowing we had to get up early didn't seem to stop us from chatting, knitting and planning our adventure. on our way to breakfast the next morning, i had barely uttered to amy (do you think they could possibly be going to....) when they looked at us and said "rhinebeck?" we all laughed at the image of a pack of fiber enthusiats'  recognizing their own.
the drive was lovely with little traffic putting us through the gate at nine-ish.

we had our plan and stuck to it. restroom, then vendors. first purchase was a gradient pack in kashmir from fiber optics in 'midnight gradient'. having finally used my first one, i treated myself to another. no clue what pattern i'll choose, but oh my those colors are lovely.
next was into the whirled, where i nabbed a rhinebeck colorway in polwarth. i knew i had on from last year, but those autumn colors just sing to me. by now it was literally a sea of people, and you went the direction they pushed you. i heard my name, and waved to manise. i couldn't believe that she saw me in that crowd! the lines were insane for several of the booths, and many of our old favorites were not there. we all fell hard for fibers in lisa sousa's booth...
having never seen her colorways before, we couldn't help but add some to our stash. a quick lunch and we were on to the barns. the cool dreary weather didn't dampen our spirits one bit. before long our shoulders were crying so we made a trip to the car to lighten our load.
which made it much easier to finish visiting every booth.
there was even time to wander through the sheep barns ....
we closed the festival and made our way home. tired but on that fiber-high that only rhinebeck can give. can't wait until next year!!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

samples sell

i will be the first to admit that i have fallen victim to an enticing project that was on display. remember last year? amythefibergoddess and i came back from rhinebeck with yarn from briar rose to knit the shawl from their booth. i spotted it as i was walking down a human packed path at the festival. i was like a bull with a red flag waving in my face. there was barely any discussion ( except for color) and that yarn was in my bag.
the same thing happened last weekend at webs. we walked slowly through the store.... touching, dreaming, chatting about the inventory and there it was. the colors drew me in.... the design sealed my fate. the poor sweet gal who helped me was online, finding the pattern, book was out of stock, getting yarn amounts, yarn was out of stock and i could not be swayed from the sample. truth be told, if i had seen it in any of the other colors, or just the pattern, not a second glance would it have gotten.
this arrived on tuesday.
i had already purchased interweave fall 2014 online magazine......
and i was off! the wrap is constructed with 17 triangles across the bottom and short rows for the top. i've made it to triangle 10. the construction reminds me of the baby blanket i made a few years back for baby samples. you just pick up stitches on the side of a triangle, cast on some more and off you go. it's a sickness.
remember my vacation project? windward that i purchased yarn, pattern, needles from a delightful shop in glouster, mass. again, i was captivated by the just finished project and yarn.... finally got it done and blocked.
i'm still working with how to wear it. the yarn couldn't be nicer and with the gentle fall weather i'm wearing it often.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


a few weeks ago, kathy mentioned that she had to put together and indigo pot, would i like to dye something. not being completely literate in all things wooly, i replied that i would love to. notice two things in that sentence that should be a concern..... i wasn't completely sure what 'put together an indigo pot' meant and then i enthusiastically agreed. i have to fess up, that i have infrequently had my complete, unreserved enthusiasm lead me astray in my wooly pursuits. if i were into honest self-assessment, it has probably lead me to my closest friendships and most fabulous adventures.
so, the indigo pot. kathy is enrolled in an intensive fiber program that required her to experience a 'natural' dye technique first hand. i use quotes because 'natural' dyeing has many components that can be toxic. in this instance natural does not mean risk-free. we employed all the safeguards needed and began to put the ingredients together. it always makes me chuckle to see how easy it is to get information and have at the ready. the counter was covered with books, instruction sheets, a lap top and ipad..... we were set!
i was surprised that we didn't use any heat with this technique. i'm used to hot liquids when i'm with amythefibergoddess, so this offered different options.
we soon took the entire process outdoors (much to the amusement of the neighbors) and got busy! when you submerge the wool into the pot it becomes the best shade of green. as you remove it the chemical reaction occurs, as the air hits the fiber it turns blue.
the lawn was littered with roving as we gently pulled the fiber apart to expose it to the air. after a bit, i chose to submerge some again to enhance the color. we had a perfect day to let it dry in the breeze. i took mine home and the next morning rinsed with cool water, added a splash of vinegar to help it set, then hung it out to dry. i had two different fibers, this is cormo alpaca blend
and 4 ounces of a BFL,alpaca and mohair blend.

it's all rolled up, waiting for a turn on the wheel.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

fiber, foliage and friends

last week an email arrives in my inbox titled: fiber, foliage and friends. hmmmm, intriguing. there were but two words: too soon? my fiber friend kathy is part of barbara parry's foxfire fiber csa, and last weekend was the annual fall visit for members. so the unasked question was: are you crazy enough to drive to shelburne, massachusetts for an afternoon touring her farm and playing in wool? well, everyone who knows me realizes that answer is absolutely yes!
i quickly found us a hotel and made arrangements for pets and families and off we went on saturday morning. kathy had never been to the yarn store that is webs, so our plan was to spend the afternoon wandering about the store. i chuckled when she commented that we'd have lots of time..... we closed the store after squeezing, sighing and dreaming over every item. i really don't have enough superlatives to describe the staff in this shop. helpful, pleasant, dilegant ( yes, i had one poor gal on the hunt for yarn & patterns) and most of all fun! we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and basked in our finds with a glass of wine after dinner.
i found room to pack my wheel, so got quite a bit of spinning done....
we slept in and slowly meandered our way to the farm. the weather was picture perfect

nothing better than an afternoon on the farm with fiber, sheep and your peeps! we harvested from her garden.....

had a lesson.....
met new friends...

and left with treasures....
i came away completely refreshed, with my fiber love renewed. i'm looking forward to joining the sheep shares for 2015 ( and hoping there's room)!