Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival and New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, 2011

We made it to the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival and home again safely with a lot of fun in between.  Holly is the best festival companion.  I really appreciate her sunny disposition and the help she gives me.  I also appreciate her lovely husband Tom who lets us take  his van and suffers with Holly's small car for the weekend.  It was such a treat to be surrounded by happy fiber shopping people-out to have a great day with their friends or family-nice to see some familiar faces and meet many new yarn and fiber lovers as well.

Silk scarves all in a row.
The whole booth-we're on a corner, so there is a little more room to spread out.

My friend Andrea let me use her display shelf built by her husband John.

The shelves the batts are on are ones my parents used when they vended at antique shows.  
Zoom forward a month and it was time to go to Rhinebeck and the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.  I went with Trina, Andrea and Suzanne and we had a wonderful time.  The drive down was uneventful and we arrived at our hotel around 3.  We unloaded the car, unpacked and went to an early dinner at the Eveready Diner, a must do destination for many.  We walked because it was right down the road from the hotel.  We returned to the room for some knitting and planning of what we wanted to see on Saturday.  Suzanne was prepared with printed out lists of vendors for all of us, and she had her route already planned with an index card with vendors she wanted to see for each building. This was a great idea, and definitely helped all of us.  We turned in early so that we could rise and shine at  5:30 since there were 4 of us and only one bathroom, and we wanted to be sure to be ready on time.  We had breakfast at Pete's in Rhinebeck, another restaurant inundated with knitters-it's so much fun to see what people have knit to wear to the festival.

Trina and Suzanne
Llama parade.
Sleepy sheepies.
This guy really wanted his picture taken.

Pendulum spinning wheel-not at all what I had pictured.  The spinner said it's very temperamental.

We arrived at the fairgrounds a little early and were able to get in, which gave us the opportunity to wander a bit before the huge crowds arrived.  I thought it seemed less crowded than usual in the morning, but by noon the hordes had arrived.  There was a big issue with parking this year because of extremely water logged grounds, and some people waited for two hours just to get onto the fairgrounds.  We were lucky and avoided all those issues.  We split up to shop and came together around 2 when I had definitely met my saturation point with crowds and being knocked into in the buildings.  It was time to go back to the hotel and see what everyone had purchased and do some knitting.  We had pizza delivered to the room and shared some wine as well.  The pizza delivery guy had his daughter, who was about a year old with him-so adorable.
More knitting and wine drinking and it was time to go to bed so we could get up bright and early and return for all those purchases we had regretted not making on Saturday.

More Llamas on parade.
Goat not wanting to be on parade.
Green leafed tree-usually they are brightly colored fall leaves.
Sunday morning breakfast of 4H apple cider donuts.

We did some more power shopping, hit the sale at Briar Rose, and were ready to leave by lunch time.  The Eveready Diner has added a second location directly across from the Fairgrounds, so we had lunch there and began the long trip home.  It rained most of the way, but having good traveling companions made it a fun trip.  

I have read many reports from people who did not have the best experience at Rhinebeck this year.  Parking was a mess because of the rain, a two hour wait to get onto the Fairgrounds, too many people, etc. etc.  We somehow managed to avoid all those issues, and when it started to seem too crowded we were ready to go back to the hotel.  Despite being able to avoid the pitfalls of attending Rhinebeck, next year I think I am going to be focusing on other fiber festivals that aren't as crowded and have many of the same vendors as Rhinebeck.  I like to buy local when I ca and am going to make an even bigger effort to support New York farmers.  There were people who stood in line two hours or longer to buy yarn from certain vendors, and I don't understand that.  I would rather find a dyer who has things that are just as beautiful as the "in" person, and support that person instead.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival or Bust!!!

It has been a busy couple of months.  About the time of my last blog post, Conor decided he wanted to go to SUNY Potsdam, I discovered I was going to have house guests in Cranberry Lake for two weeks in August, and I realized I'd better start getting ready for the fiber festival.  The fiber festival was weeks away, but I know how quickly those weeks can pass and I was correct.

It's also the season for the farmer's market, a fun time which will soon be coming to an end.   Last Friday I thought I would never be able to rewarm myself after sitting in the blistering wind for five hours.  It's the last time I will pay attention to what the weather report says about temperature.  I had to resort to wearing handknit socks on my hands because I was not prepared with the proper woolens.

Canton Farmer's Market

Conor was successful in his quest to go to school, despite applying at such a late date.  I filled out the dreaded FASFA and he even got financial aid.  It just goes to show that, although it is a good thing to do things according to deadlines, it is also possible to attend college following a different time frame from the rest of the world.

My guests came to camp and we had a lovely time.  Three visitors from Rhode Island and two from New Jersey.  It was lovely to see them all and the weather was superb.  There was spinning, knitting, great food (thank you, Caitlin, for the most delicious of stews and roasted vegetables), and conversation and laughter-truly memorable times.

Holly, Bev and Sandy on the porch at camp.  Bev was fascinated by all the sheep talk.

Now it is the day before leaving for the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.  My mind is being boggled as I wonder why I felt that this was the perfect time to write a blog post.  I think it is a major procrastination tool.  I still have thrum mitten kits to finish, batts to make and bag, tablecloths and silk scarves to iron, labels to make for Angelina, lots of display items to be pulled together, and I suppose I also need to pack some clothes.  I guess I'd better get moving. Oh, yes, I also designed this sock, so I need to get the patterns together for this.  Oy vey!

Fern Bedsocks

Now it is the day before leaving for the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.  My mind is being boggled as I wonder why I felt that this was the perfect time to write a blog post.  I think it is a major procrastination tool.  I still have thrum mitten kits to finish, batts to make and bag, tablecloths and silk scarves to iron, labels to make for Angelina, lots of display items to be pulled together, and I suppose I also need to pack some clothes.  I guess I'd better get moving.

The beginning of the preparations for the festival.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hazy, Hot and Humid

It is humid and warm here-I know this to be true because by the time I was done getting dressed after my shower I needed another shower.  So now I am figuring out what to do with my day that will not require much physical effort, and writing a blog post seemed to be a good idea.

Since the beginning of July, I have been spending time spinning every day because of the Tour de Fleece.  This has been fun for me and I've been spinning some pretty yarn using Phat Fiber samples that I have accumulated over time.  
Samples sort of separated into color families
Seamus making sure the samples don't escape.

This is my favorite of the yarns I have spun so far, along with one of the batts from which it was spun.

The next day I made batts from the green and purple samples.
Seamus once again being a helper kitty
The yarn I did next, from the green and purple batts.

My other goal for the month of July is to return to reading more.  I used to read incessantly, but since I have been knitting and spinning incessantly, the reading time has lessened. This stack of books is residing next to my bed so I don't have to go searching when I am looking for something to read.  I just finished Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart.  I have been a fan of hers since my teen years and truly enjoyed re-reading this book.  I also want to revisit her Merlin series.  I discovered three of the four books when I was cleaning some boxes of  books out of the basement.  (It seems there are five books in the series, Wikipedia knows everything.)  So now I have two books to look for when I visit used book stores.

My final July project has been a giant granny square afghan using leftover yarn. Here it is as a baby.

And now almost done-it just needs a border. (The colors are brighter in person.) I really don't want to stop because it is so much fun to choose the next color, so I can see another afghan quickly being started.  I have been looking in the book Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs as my inspiration for beginning the next one.

Time for lunch.  I have a local tomato from the Canton Farmer's Market that is going to become a yummy cheese and tomato sandwich made on home baked bread from the market.  Delicious!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I Yam What I Yam

It's been too long since I have regularly posted. I used to enjoy writing posts, but lately have lost the desire to write, and have been trying to figure out what changed. I've concluded that it stemmed from a meeting I had with a teacher of a class I was taking who asked me the purpose of my blog. She was looking at it from a business perspective and was especially puzzled as to why I would post recipes and talk about my family if the blog was for my business.

I let that conversation keep me from doing something I enjoy. My idea of this forum had been to share not only what I am doing with my business but also what is happening in my life, because it is all interconnected. My job for the past 30 years has been that of mother. When my children began to move on, out of the house and start their own lives and no longer needed me as much, I realized that I needed something to fill my time, and I wanted it to be something that I loved to do. My passion as a fiber artist led me to this wonderful business of dyeing fiber and yarn, and I truly feel blessed to be able to be a part of this world. I also enjoy the people I connect with online and in person-I am amazed and feel honored to be a part of the friendships that have arisen through Moonlight and Laughter.

I am still a mom though, and my children are still an important part of my life. I don't see how I could write a blog and not include them occasionally, and include the things I love to do, like cooking. I have let someone else's idea of what is right for me keep me from doing what I know is right for me. I am not being true to myself, and I do not like that feeling-so I'm going with what I feel is right, and I'm back.

Be forewarned that every post will not be about yarn, knitting, dyeing or something to do with fiber. You may hear about where I've been visiting or who I've been visiting with, you'll get to know a little bit about my children, you'll hear about the joys, but also the sadness which are an integral part of my life, you're sure to see photos of my cats and hear about their antics, and I will definitely be sharing recipes with you because I think food and eating together help form community, something I feel that is often lacking in the crazy world that is the 21st century.

So in answer to the question I was asked as to what is the purpose of my blog-I want to share what is happening in my life, both in my business and personal life, with people who are interested. Perhaps we can form a community here. If you would like to join me, I hope you will stop in and see what is happening, both in the world of Moonlight and Laughter and in the world of Marilla, which can sometimes be a very crazy world indeed.

In the immortal word so Popeye "I Yam What I Yam".

In conclusion, let me tell you about Gerard and Seamus' new favorite sleeping spot-a box that has been residing on my kitchen table for a couple of weeks. They actually fight over the box,



If you have a moment, I'd love to hear from you in the comments what you think of this post and the purpose of my blog. Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 22, 2011

I Am Many Women

I have been cleaning and sorting and getting rid of things in preparation for putting my house on the market. Today I found this poem that I had copied from the inside of my sister Jane's recipe book when I was at her house last year as she was dying. Jane was a wonderful cook and baker, and she loved to make bread.

It seems an appropriate poem for Good Friday.

I Am Many Women

When sky and street merge in sullen grayness
and black trees stir in sleep,
my stove becomes a hearth.
I am many women who have looked at rain
through a flap of hide, from a handhewn door,
and felt secure against a threatening world,
blessed within warm walls and sheltering roof.

Hands deep in flour,
powdered grain from a million fields
garnered in sweating sunlight,
I am many women who have kneaded resilient dough
with strong hands . . .
brown, red, yellow and white hands.

Folding and stretching, shaping
smoothly contoured loaves
rich with the smell of yeast.
(Bread is like nothing so much as bread,
sacred in its own identity.)

The sky trades snow for night,
and the scent of baking loaves
is calm benediction for my home.
I am many women who have taken bead from an oven,
and breaking it . . .
felt consecrated.