Sunday, September 19, 2010

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!!!

September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Here is one of my favorite pirates. Avast and shiver me timbers. I'm sure if Jack were to knit, he would use beautiful hand dyed yarrrrrrn.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival

I've been frantically busy the past two weeks preparing for the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival. It's hard to believe that in a week I will be in my booth, bopefully selling much fiber and yarn. I have had to put blinders on as I walk through my house though because the frantic dyeing and labeling has not left time for much of anything else, like housework. I keep telling myself there will be plenty of time for all that silliness in two weeks. It took me a whole day just to label my yarn, and I haven't even started on the fiber labeling, nor am I done with dyeing. I think I need a fairygodhelper. Where are you, Trina?

Yesterday was the farmer's market. It was pretty quiet, which gave me more time to purchase vegetables. I am very excited about getting 50 pounds of potatoes from a local farmer who is going to give me the 50 pounds in a variety of types of potatoes. My family and I adore potatoes-it must be the Irish in us. Travis makes the best mashed potatoes ever, and his scalloped potatoes with carmelized onions are to die for. Am I making you hungry?

It was a fun day at the farmer's market too because we had a visitor in the Donahue Family Farm booth, which is next to ours. Heather and her husband are organic dairy farmers, and also sell organic pork and beef, which is delicious. The visitor was a six week old golden lab puppy named Maddie. Heather brought her to help her get used to being around people and other dogs. There were some St. Lawrence University students who fell in love with Maddie and totally exhausted her. She kept trying to go under Andrea's chair to rest, and the girls kept pulling her back out. When they left, Maddie heaved a sigh of relief and returned to her box to collapse.

She was even too tired to play with her sticks.

When she woke up I was able to get a photo of my brother Tim without his hand in front of his face because he was distracted by the adorable puppy. Tim is also a vendor at the market selling his delicious coffee.

Perhaps I see a new dog in his future.

Here is Maddie with Heather after she woke up and was ready for more play.

One of the things I enjoy about the market is the opportunity to meet new people and make friends. I am sorry that the Donahue's will be moving back to New Hampshire this fall, but Heather has extended an invitation to us to visit anytime, so we will keep in touch.

Time to get back to work. This is my 4th blog post in September, which ties with January when I also had 4 posts. Stay tuned, with 12 days left in September, there is no telling what will happen.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Facebook is My Friend

I just went down to the basement to rinse the pounds of fiber and yarn I dyed yesterday, and much to my dismay discovered standing water with toilet paper floating in it. Panic! I called the village and they sent a truck to clean out the lines, and I'm waiting to see if I need to call RotoRooter. This happened once before when we first moved into the house, but it was much worse that time. The water was over half the basement floor and we had to throw out all my and Paul's record albums (something my children wish we still had), tons of fabric, most of my stored books, cards and letter I had saved, and lots of other things too. I guess it' was a way to rid myself of an accumulation of "stuff" but not a very fun way. I am praying that the village will fix it.

So I figured why not write a blog post while I am waiting, since I can't do what I need to be doing, all of which involve water, such as showering, dishes and fiber rinsing. I am pondering why, when this occurred, one of the fist things I did, after calling for help was post my dilemma on Facebook. I think it is because I felt the need for support, and know that there is a community of people who care about me and my life, who will respond with a kind word and a virtual hug, and I guess that is what I need right now. I'm too nervous about it all to carry on a phone conversation, I have no humans in my house to talk about it with (although the cats are being incredibly supportive), so I reached out in a way made possible by this giant virtual community I have become a part of. Yesterday a friend had her Facebook account hacked, and her address book stolen by thieves wanting people to participate in an Ipad giveaway. She said she thought she would be leaving Facebook because of it. I think Facebook is just like the rest of the world, you have to be wary of strangers and take precautions to guard your privacy, but if you do those things, it's a great place to keep in touch and reconnect with friends and family. If you had told me a year ago I would be writing a blog post about my love of Facebook, I would have told you you were crazy. It just goes to show one should never say never.

That's all I got. All the new pretty fiber I haven't shared is still sitting in pots waiting to be rinsed. I am hearing a lot of noise outside, so think the village workers have arrived. I'd better go check to see what is happening. Thanks for listening, all you blog friends.

Monday, September 13, 2010

'Tis a Gloomy Day

It's a rainy, gloomy day and I'm still here, dyeing, reskeining, labeling, blending batts, knitting and generally surrounded by tasks of a fiberous nature preparing for the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival, which takes place September 25 and 26. It's fun, but exhausting, and leaves not much time for anything else, although I did go to our spinning group on Saturday. It was a gorgeous day, and spent with good friends-laughing, eating, and spinning too. We had the opportunity to buy some mohair right off the goats too, but I didn't get any this time, although I did get some black alpaca and mohair roving from Angel to put in my Midnight Spindies batts for October.

I am also knitting a shawl that will be a sample garment at the festival to show that sock yarn can be used for things other than socks. It's Luciole, a Knitspot pattern, and it's been a fun knit. I think it's a great first lace project because all the purl rows are purl back which gives the new
lace knitter a chance to breathe for a row. I'm thinking positively that it will be done in time.

Here are a few photos of the results of my days of dyeing. Sorry for the obviously flash photos, but as I said in the title, it is a very gloomy day. Which means it's a great day to be dyeing because I don't feel that I am missing out on a beautiful fall day.

Seamus has arrived to lie on my right arm, which makes typing a bit difficult, so I guess it's time to go. I need to eat breakfast and get to the dyeing anyway.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fall is in the Air

Looking at the weather today, it is hard to believe that a week ago it was 91 degrees and humid. What a difference a week makes. It seems good to feel the cool night air and think about hand knit sweaters, socks, hats and mittens. I am working on a hooded sweater for Conor that only has the arms remaining to be done, but I keep putting it off. I'm not quite sure why I have such an aversion to knitting sweater arms. I tend to get to this point in a sweater and not finish, but with Conor's relentless questioning of when I am going to finish his sweater, I don't think that will happen this time. Now that it is cool enough to sit with a sweater on my lap while knitting I will have to finish it. Is there a particular kind of knitting that you have trouble finishing? I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

I am very busy right now preparing for the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival, which is being held at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Greenwich, New York on September 25 and 26. I am looking forward to vending there. It will be especially fun because I am going to meet two of my Spindies cohorts in person for the first time. I've been dyeing up a storm and creating some colorways that I hope will be pleasing to those visiting the festival. There are some already for sale in my Etsy shop.

Polwarth fiber in the colorway "Back Down to Earth".

Merino Tencel fiber in the colorway "Magic Carpet Ride".

The return of an old favorite "Loon Lake" in Merino Nylon Superwash

Another old favorite "Ghost and Goblins" in honor of the approaching fall season.

It's been a fun summer at the Canton Farmer's Market.
This year I've only gone on Friday, and that has worked out well. And unlike last summer when we missed numerous days because of rain, we have not missed any days this year. It's a lot of fun to meet and talk with people about yarn and fiber and find out what they love to knit most of all. It amazes me how many talented knitters are afraid of knitting socks, and I do my best to persuade them to try knitting socks, because they are the thing I like to knit most. I think it is a good idea to knit first socks out of worsted weight yarn because there are 40 stitches in a round instead of 60 or more, and the socks get done much faster, which gives the knitter a sense of accomplishment much more quickly. I had one customer who doubled sock yarn to make a pair of worsted weight socks, and she was really happy with the outcome. So we learn from our customers, as well as our customers learning from us.

Time to return to the dye studio and dye all that superwash merino and laceweight yarn that is soaking and waiting for me. I am making a commitment to blog more frequently. This has been a very difficult year for me, and that made blogging difficult. Things are looking up, and I promise to be here on a more regular basis.