Tag Archives: friends

VT Sheep and Wool

Last weekend I went down to the VT sheep and wool festival with some friends.


It was a muddy weekend, but we had a good time anyway! We went to introduce one friend to the festival atmosphere. She’s coming to Rhinebeck in (nine!!) days and had never been to a fiber festival before. We wanted to start small.


We saw the sheep dog herding trials, watched a sheep get sheared, met other bloggers and some twitter friends, and generally had a good time!

I loved watching the guy from Yellow Dog Farm who was making spindles on site.

spindle mosaic
1. spindle2, 2. spindle1, 3. spindle4, 4. spindle3

He went from an octagon of wood, to a beautiful, functional spindle right before our eyes.

festival yarn

And I got some yarn. Of course. The big brown skeins will become the Boyden sweater. The dark green (almost black in this light) is for a chirstmas gift. The light green is sock yarn*. The light brown may become another pair of mitts (because apparently, I can’t get enough mitts) And I knit on a christmas gift on the drive down and back too. Did you know we have 81 days left? I get mad when stores put out decorations this time of year, but for crafters, it’s about time to get started…

*sock yarn doesn’t count as stash

Drum carder!

Amy left me her drum carder on Friday. I’ve been having lots of fun with it. I carded some of my ridiculously soft romney (somewhere from 2-4 ounces of it) with some gorgeous cranberry kid mohair (2 ounces) I picked up on farm tour weekend. Then I added a similar amount of white montadale. I got 6 batts, I’m guessing they’re about 1 or 2 ounces each:

mohair batts
(sorry this photo came out blurry, but if I make it small and you squint, I’m sure you can see the awesomeness!)

I blended some of the romney and montadale with a little (1 ounce) leftover into the whirled fiber that was a green/blue/purple/brown colorway

itw and naturals

But the most fun came from my rainbow fiber blending experiment. I had 3-4 ounces of montadale which I dyed in vibrant shades (food coloring dyes are ALWAYS vibrant) of red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. I added some purple in a different (but similar) roving (which I also got from Amy – clearly she’s enabling me)

fiber mosaic

These batts are what happens when I’m turned loose with a drum carder and a full spectrum of colors (plus white and brown) I’m pretty pleased with this assortment, although each batt is only 1-2 ounces so who knows what’ll happen with them once their spun up.

Speaking of spinning I’m doing the Tour de Fleece next month. This is where spinners set goals and spin every day – theoretically while watching bikers spin in the Tour de France. Since I’ve NEVER watch the real tour I’m clearly just in this for the camaraderie and the reason to try and spin every day. If you’re on Ravelry the group is here.

What I’m wearing: cosmetic edition

Today, I’m wearing layers:

wearing layers

because the weather guys SAID it was going to be sunny and cool, but then when I woke up it was cloudy, and I was afraid it’d be even cooler, and I hate my cold, cold office. The top is my modified version of A Little Something, one of my 12 sweaters in 12 months from last year (I had to have some quick knits in that project) I wear it All The Time in spring when I’m looking for transitional clothes. I should knit another lacy, vesty, sort of thing.

The other thing I’m wearing, is makeup:

i almost never wear makeup

I don’t usually wear a lot of makeup, but as I’m doing more modeling for my own patterns I’m starting to feel like having it available wouldn’t hurt. But I hate the idea of all the chemicals in regular makeup, so I’ve been exploring alternatives. I’ve been using, and loving, burts bees shampoo for years, and so I tried their tinted chapstick. It’s awesome. Suddenly I own it in three different colors.*

I got a free sample of Sweet Libertine mineral eye shadow in a package from the Sanguine Gryphon yarn company. The purple and rose seem to go together pretty well, and I’m getting a (free) larger set from them soon – in fact it looks like they still have some free packs left. (you do have to pay shipping) Most recently I picked up some mineral foundation at my local hippy/health food store where they carry Christina’s Natural Qualities.

All of these versions of makeup don’t contain chemicals like parabens or phthalates which was my goal. But they also have the benefit of being very light and not feeling all clingy. So that’s good enough for me! Along with all that, I’ve been wearing Black Pheonix Alchemy Lab perfumes for quite awhile. So that’s nothing new for me, but also on the “no weird ingredients” cosmetics list. The best thing about them is that they don’t make my mom sneeze. She’s highly sensitive to most commercial fragrances – except it turns out it’s the carriers she can’t handle. The natural oils and scents don’t bother her.

And finally, I’m wearing my home made deodorant. I got together with some friends and had a “not a stinky hippy party” last saturday and we made deodorant using the recipe from Angry Chicken.


I love this stuff and am so glad to have more of it! Mine is scented with tea tree and lavender essential oils because that’s what my friend used when she made some and introduced me to it. But one of my friends had a bunch of other essential oils and since we were making 9 pots of the stuff:


we had lots to experiment on. She made some for her fiance with cedarwood, rosewood, and pine- and DEAR LORD I think all men should smell like that stuff.

*three might not seem like a lot to some people, but given that before I owned zero lip stick, this is new and different for me.

Bonfire party

We had a great bonfire party over the weekend, and I think I’ve finally recovered from missed sleep and too much fun. I had a horrible case of camnesia and I got exactly one good photo.


But trust me, there was much more fun than photography going on. We had a great pot luck meal, a little heavy on the protein maybe – there were two vegetarian chillis, a dish of baked beans, and my ham. But there was other wonderful food too – fruit salad and quinoa salad and yes, this was a very gluten-free friendly party, and no, I didn’t even plan it that way!

My plan to have a “dogs outside, food inside” party worked perfectly, and so I have no stories of dogs eating un-attended hams to tell you now. Instead the dogs amused themselves by finding the bones we’d hidden for them throughout the field.*

If you ever have a lot of large, heavy brush and down trees that need burning I highly recommend a bonfire party. Dragging blow downs out of the woods and burning them by yourself is hard work. Doing the same thing with friends is fun.** Having your friends’ large, strong boyfriends and husbands do it for you is even better still.

And on that front the party was a complete success, because the brush and downed trees are gone. And we spent sunday feeding the last of the logs into the fire so it burned for more than 24 hours…


*if by “hidden for them” you understand that I actually mean, “removed from my lawn so people wouldn’t trip over them, only to have the dogs undo all my hard work”

**We’d already built a pile as big as a VW bug before the party started. So these blow downs were added to that. It was a pretty big fire…

Root Cellar vest

Root Cellar is an earthy, comforting vest in the colors of yams, potatoes, beets, and onions. It’s rustic but stylish – just the thing to warm your core on cold winter days.

vest square

I really love this vest, it entered my regular wardrobe rotation the moment the photo shoot was complete. It’s warm, woolly, earthy, pretty much everything I want in my knitwear.

vest buttoned

You can favorite and queue Root Cellar on Ravelry. Or buy it right here if you’re not on Ravelry. The pattern is written in 9 sizes from 29″ to 62″ and works up quickly at 16 sts/22 rows per 4″. As always, thanks for the paypal and automatic downloads go to Ravelry. Tech editing was provided by Stephannie Tallent. The photo shoot was held at Fat Toad Farm and the lovely model is my good friend Calley (and her caprine friend is Flossie the goat)

vest side

The vest is worked in two different yarns. Plymouth Mushishi in their evocatively named “01” colorway gives the browns and beet colors in the vest. Malabrigo Merino Worsted “rich chocolate” colorway adds the burnt orange (hey, I don’t name the colors, clearly). If you’re having trouble finding them both, my LYS Kaleidoscope Yarns has them for sale online!
I also think this vest would be a really great way to show off a single skein of handspun. You only need 180 to 380 yards of the CC colorway, which should be just about perfect.

mood with goats

Brown is rapidly becoming one of my favorite clothing colors. Is that weird?

what’s going on here?

I have ANOTHER photo shoot planned for this weekend. I truly do not understand how I’ve managed to do three photo shoots for three patterns on three weekends in a row. What’s even more crazy is that I still have one men’s sweater that need it’s photo taken. Anyone know a guy in my area willing to model a 40″ sweater? It turns out most of the men I know are a little shy of being called “models” Who knew?!

I’m beginning to consider a series of Vermont themed designs. I don’t want to say too much right away, but if you make yarn in Vermont (or elsewhere in new england) and you’d like to be involved, let me know! I’m still in the very early planning stages, but I’d love to put you on my list! If you don’t make yarn, but you know of someone who does – you could point them out to me. Of course I know the big players and some of the mid-sized ones, I don’t want to miss anyone good just because I don’t know they exist.

My whenever-we-get-around-to-arranging-it knit night is tonight, and I’ve been looking forward to it all week! I’m trying to resist taking 4 projects along. Seriously, why do I think I need this much knitting for just a few hours?

Harvest Market

Saturday after doing a pattern photoshoot with a friend* we headed over to the harvest market in Underhill. Yard sales, a flea market, barns full of books, and yummy fair food were the order of the day. At the flea market I applauded the folks selling hand knits at reasonable prices ($40 for felted mittens = win) and cringed at people underpricing their work ($90 for a SILK AND CASHMERE hand knit lace shawl? The yarn alone must’ve cost $70)

I ate fried dough while trying not to dribble powdered sugar on the silent auction. I had a chance to complement the wonderful ladies who made the green and white purse I’ve become so fond of. I also had a chance to ask the burning question I’ve had since spilling beef stew inside my purse (yes, they are washable)

I found some really fabulous steampunk glasses at the booth that was also selling hunting rifles and real animal pelts:
(it was an eclectic booth)
If you like steampunk, or are wondering what I mean, you should check out the Fall Sanguine Gryphon patterns. They’re amazing!

It was a gorgeous fall day. While the sky was cloudy and the wind blustery it didn’t rain on us at all. The harvest market is right up there with a good fiber festival and pumpkins and mums on front steps in the my-favorite-parts-of-fall category. A few weeks ago on twitter I learned that roasting chilies are a sure sign of fall in the southwest… Do you have a favorite sign of fall where you live?

*I can’t show you the project, but I wore something, drapey, to go with it:

Sterling wedding

Neil went to Sterling college and we’ve noticed a theme in the weddings our friends and his fellow alumni all seem to have. Sterling weddings are gorgeous, usually out doors, often pot luck, and always a blast.

Men in their best carhartts and woolen vests. Women in cute, unique dresses.


Striped tents with fluttering banners.


Seriously some of the best wedding meals I’ve eaten have been pot lucks.

And those are compostable wooden flatware pieces. Even the cups were compostable…

As it gets cold, the shawls come out. I love when all the ladies have a gorgeous woven or knitted shawl on hand. It makes me feel right at home.

too many parties

I’m suffering a serious sugar low, possibly combined with lack of sleep. In other words – I had a FABULOUS weekend! Allow me to sum up my first party photographically:






small happiness

A list of little things that have made me happy recently, in no particular order:

  1. Good beers with my friend Calley last night.
  2. Coming home to dinner waiting for me.
  3. Free yarn:
    From Yarn on the House. If you don’t read her blog, you should. Unless you don’t like free yarn…
  4. Jake caught the kitchen-mouse this morning (that’s right, not either cat but the 65lb retriever)
  5. The guineas perching on Neil’s car this morning.
  6. My home made english muffins with home made jam.
  7. Getting two freezer rabbits from the CSA.
  8. Used bookstores, and 3 new books for me for under $10 (Yarn Harlot- Secret life of a knitter, Princess Academy, and The One-armed Queen, if you’re curious)
  9. More Green Mountain Spinnery yarn. I ran out of the MC for my sweater knit along. Who knows what I was thinking, my yarn requirements clearly state I’ll need 4 skeins for the size I’m knitting, and I knew I only had 2. Somehow I thought I could make that work?