Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival 2012

Yesterday was an adventure into all things fibery!  A couple members from the Frequent Fibers Club at my local library went for a drive to Rhinebeck, NY for the annual Sheep and Wool Festival.

Let me tell you there was so much to see, touch and even smell!  There were over 260 vendors, not counting the food.  That’s barns and barns full of yarn, wool, animals,  needles & hooks, spindles, hats, scarves, shawls, patterns, books and of course people…OMG I could go on and on…It was serious sensory overload.

This is just a sample of  the yarn.,  Every where you turned there were walls, baskets, bins, and tables full of yarns in all colors of the rainbow and every size you could think of.

Lots and Lots of Pretty Yarn!

We arrived at opening and immediately started shopping.   I decided before going that I wanted to try my hand at spinning my own yarn.  My friend Barbara who spins yarn for her online shop Kitty Mine Crafts makes awesome things and because of that I was bitten by the bug!   Rather than shell out a ton of money on a spinning wheel, I decided to try a drop spindle…I’d been advised to look for a top whirl one, but I’d viewed a video on Knit Picks with someone using a funky looking crossed one, so I’d already had that in mind.  In the first building, I ran across this kilted guy using that same funky looking drop spindle I’d seen in the video.

Kilted Spinner

He told me it was a Jenkins brand drop spindle and that I might find one a couple barns over.  Another pro to this particular spindle, which I later learned is called a Turkish drop spindle, is that if you wrap the newly spun yarn around the tines a certain way you can create a center pull ball!  Sweet!  My search was on.

In the second barn we found it filled with llamas, alpacas, sheep, their owners, and respective shops.  Here are some pictures of the more interesting specimens.

This guy was not happy about being the center of attention…no siree bob!  He gave everyone who got near his stall the stink eye.  I was just waiting for the spit to fly.

Unhappy Camper

This guy was pretty unusual.  He has a wicked under bite.  It just goes to show that you don’t have to have a pretty face to have pretty fleece!

Under bite!

These little sheep were playing shy.  They wouldn’t let me get a good shot of them.  I think the little brown one was too embarrassed to his his picture taken.

In one of the later rows of vendors we stumbled across a shop called Still River Mill.  They sold interesting yarns like yakaboo (combination of yak and bamboo yarn) and dog hair yarn.  I contemplated the yakaboo yarn, but decided it was too thin to make a hat (I was thinking something for Darling Hubby since it was a nice gray color) and ended up picking up a dark blue skein of the Seven Sammy’s dog hair yarn.  It’s made from the hair from a Samoyed sled dog team from Cambridge, VT.  It has a beautiful halo effect after handling and I’m partial to Samoyeds having had a big white one named Sheba growing up.  Her long hair would have been perfect for spinning.

Also around that area we came across this cute little knitted monster.  I couldn’t resist taking a picture of him.

Eventually I did find the spindle I was looking for.  It was indeed a Jenkins brand (hand made by Ed Jenkins) Turkish drop spindle, made from purpleheart at 2.22 oz.  I’m excited to give it a try.  I know I’m not going to be perfect right out of the gate, but a girl can hope!  Maybe I’ll take to it like I did to knitting.  The best thing about that purchase was the other customers there that I spoke with.  One was adamant about using a bottom or turkish spindle while her friend was all about the top.  They both were really helpful in giving me pros and cons about the different spindles and I think I made the right choice.  The one woman, Elizabeth, even gave me her card and told me to shoot her an email if I got stuck.

Now, before I could even think about trying out my new purchase, I had to get some fiber to practice with.  Having not purchased fiber before it was a bit overwhelming, to be honest.  There were so many different colors, feels, and blends…I really didn’t know where to start.  Barbara told me to look for something with a long fiber and I did my best…I ended up getting a 2oz bag of a mix of merino from Loop Fiber Studio in a gorgeous sea treasure colorway.  It’s got lots of greens and blues and a bit of sparkle.  I also found a merino and silk mix, from another shop that sadly I missed the name of, that is so soft!  I do remember they also had adorable 8 week old bunnies for sale.  They were so sweet!…Not that I need a rabbit!  lol  I fell in love with the black, blues and silver of this 2oz of dyed wool.  I know this will be rather difficult to work with out of the gate, but I’m holding on to it for when I get better.  It was just too beautiful to resist.  I think it will make a gorgeous yarn!

Aside from knitted monsters we came across a knitted critter that looked like Eeyore and a knitted moose. Both were too cute to resist taking a picture of.

 

Other things we saw were a demonstration of needle felting and of someone using a circular sock knitting machine.  Personally, I think hand knitting is more fun!  lol

Circular Sock Knitting Machine

There was even this funky contraption below.  It was a spinning wheel created by this woman’s husband.  It was called a pendulum spinning wheel…it was a crazy looking thing.  Basically it had this super long arm that had a spindle at the very end that was spun around by the wheel.  It seemed to me to be a version of a drop spindle laid on its side.  Personally it seemed like there were many easier methods of spinning…and the amount of room that was needed was enormous…I don’t even think it would have fit in my living room!

Spinning Contraption

Later in the afternoon was the drop spindle contest.  There were approximately a dozen people signed up to see how much yarn they could spin in 10 minutes.

Drop Spindle Contest

It was interesting to see each person’s method of spinning.  Some preferred to sit, while other preferred to stand.

Drop Spindle Contest

Some preferred to drape their roving over their hands and others over their shoulders.  A few, along the back wall, were able to continue a full conversation while spinning…they didn’t even seem under pressure.  lol

Drop Spindle Contest

Some gave their spindle a quick flick with their hand to get momentum while other preferred to spin it down their leg.  I was a bit disappointed to only see top whirl spindles as I was hoping to see all the different kinds in action, but it did give me an appreciation for both types of spindles.  The winner of the contest was able to spin 16 yards of yarn in 10 minutes and there was a tie for 2nd place with I think about 13 yards.  I hope that I can one day be that good.  I also got to see this thing called the niddy noddy in action.  Apparently that is how you can wind your spun yarn into a skein and know how many yards you made.  I may have to get one in the future…lol

And the day wouldn’t be complete without a picture of me wearing a big fluffy, fuzzy wool hat.  I think it suits me!  lol

Here are a couple pictures of some of the other random animals that really had nothing to do with fiber arts…they were just there to keep the kids entertained in the kids zone  🙂  The red kangaroo seemed to be posing…He was sexy and he knew it…lol

This was a ginormous bunny.  I think it was a Flemmish Giant.  He was also in with a big tortoise.

Overall we had a fun day with beautiful fall weather.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day, especially at the end of October.  The sun was shining, the weather was warm and not too humid.  There was a ton to see and by the end of the day we were all a little overwhelmed and a lot tired from all the walking.  I’m looking forward to maybe going again next year.  Maybe by then I’ll be an accomplished spinner and can broaden my horizons even further!  One can hope, right!

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Video Games and Crochet

Today was a sleep in day…for me anyway.  Darling Hubby got up with Bug and let me stay in bed until 10:30!  He even did the dishes and made rice pudding and just after I got up, took Bug outside to bag the leaves that I raked up yesterday.  This is the last of the leaves off the tree so hopefully we won’t have to rake and bag until next year.  Fall is almost over and winter is on the way in.

Oh, a funny story.  Darling Hubby wanted to show Bug the little helicopter seed pods falling off the tree in mass quantities so he tossed Bug’s yellow plastic baseball bat into the tree, knocking some down.  I was in the house and he wanted to show me their new fun, so he banged on the window.  When I came to watch, Darling Hubby tossed the bat into the tree, knocking down some of the seed pods and I watched as the yellow bat sailed across the fence into the neighbors yard.  lol  Thankfully our neighbors don’t care if we need to get back into their yard so it was easy retrieval.  It was still kinda funny.

After lunch we just watched some recorded tv and then we played Ultimate Alliance on the Xbox.  I think I drive Darling Hubby nuts because I end up beating up everything in my path, which takes away from running around dealing with the villians.  My fingers are so sore from the last big battle.  We had to give up because I couldn’t feel my thumb anymore…typing this is difficult.  lol

I’ve been working here and there today on the afghan for Darling Hubby’s Grandpa for Christmas.  It’s coming along nicely.  I like how the 3 colors work well together and it’s going to be so warm.  I’ll have to take some  pictures of it soon.  It’s very thick and fluffy, too.  It will be so nice to curl up under on a cold winter day and watch some tv.  I think I may want to make one for me at some point!  lol  I’m loving the Q hook, too.  It’s so easy to manuver.  I should probably have it done tomorrow or Tuesday…depending on if I have the time.  Tomorrow is craft night, but I don’t know if I want to drag it with me.  I may just work on a scarf or something simple.

I also don’t know if I’ll be babysitting tomorrow.  A friend of mine asked if it would be possible to watch his kids as his normal sitter is being investigated by CPS for an incident and isn’t allowed to watch kids during the investigation.  I’ll also be watching Baby Girl on Tuesday since it’s a holiday and her regular daycare is closed.  It should be a fun week.

Back to crocheting.

Halloween – Past and Present

My friend Shannon posted some pics of her daughter Cassie in her Halloween costumes over the years and it made me a bit nostalgic of Bug when he was littler.  I dug through my old pics and pulled out some of his past costumes.

Here he is October 2005 about 9 months old. I whipped this costume up Halloween day in a few minutes from some red Christmas felt I had floating around (after I insisted for months that he didn’t need a costume cause he was too little). It worked out well that I had a pair of red sweatpants with a hole in the tush that was the right place to add a little devil tail. I think this is my favorite costume of all!

Devil Bug

Devil Bug & Mommy

Here he is dressed in his “Purple Paloo” costume in 2006 at 21 months. He was some sort of little monster and he was most adorable!
Purple Paloo & Mommy

Purple Paloo

Last year he was on a big superhero kick and wanted to be Superman. Here’s my little Superman at 33 months in 2007.

Superman and Mommy

Superman and Mommy

And I know it’s not Halloween yet, but Bug has been dying to wear his costume so we’ve taken him to a couple Halloween events so he can wear it. Here he is at 45 months (again – since I’ve posted this picture once before) donning his Spider-man costume. We are still on the superhero kick…and I have a feeling he’s going to want to be a superhero for the next few years…we’ll see.

Spider-Bug!

Don’t worry, I’ll have more pics from Friday of Mall-o-ween at the mall and maybe some trick or treating at the neighbors if it’s not too cold and rainy. (Hopefully I’ll get them uploaded and edited this weekend so I can start NaBloPoMo!)

Still Chugging

Here are some more pictures of our train ride on September 28th.

Cemetery

Cemetary

Some wet cows

wet cows

This is the view from the back of the train at the Roxbury station.  It’s rather blurry because it was taken through a wet and foggy window.  I think it’s rather artistic looking…lol  I love the colors and the leaves strewn over the tracks.

View from back of train

There were old signs above the seats in the passenger car; ads for old products that are no longer available.  I thought this one was funny.  A camera for $5 was probably a bargain in the old days.

Sign

This is one of my favorite pictures.  I love the colorful trees and the water and even the falling rain.

Train and trees

You can see the train rounding the corner.

Rounding the corner

This is the old engine that pulled the train back in 1989 when I rode with my parents.

Old Engine

This is the view from the back of the train at the Arkville station.  Bug took this picture through the same wet and foggy window I used before.

Other trains

Bug decided to take my camera and run around snapping pics.  He snapped this one of Grandpa.

Grandpa in museum

And then had to run find Grandma and take her picture.

Grandma in museum

My picture wasn’t far behind.

Me!

Overall, I think we all had a great time, despite the rainy weather.  I loved taking Bug on something that I did with my parents and I’m so glad that my parents were able to come with us and experience Bug’s enjoyment.  I’m hoping that in the future we’ll go back again for a new experience.

Chug Chug Chug

Sunday, September 28th was a special day.  It was Bug’s very first train ride.  We’d been trying to make this trip to the train for some time, but the weather always seemed to be against us.  We’d hoped that Sunday would be an exception to the rainy day rule that was in effect, but despite the decent start to the day, the afternoon was filled with dripping drops.

On our drive down to the train, we took a spur of the moment detour to the New York State Power Authority’s Gilboa Dam.  It was a nice place to stop and rest our legs even though we hadn’t been in the car long.  The leaves on the trees were just starting to turn leaving the mountains dotted with color.

Gilboa Dam

Here’s Bug showing off his dandelion that he found.

Bug's dandelion

Bug and Daddy

Bug and Daddy, Gilboa Dam

This bench was great fun.  What better place to “hide” behind and jump out hollering “boo” at “unsuspecting” parents.

Bug Bench

After our quick break, we hopped back into the car and headed down to Arkville to the Delaware and Ulster Rail Ride.  The last time I was there was in 1989…I have the old pamphlet to prove it.  My parents found it and gave it to me (My family is such a bunch of pack rats!)

When we pulled into the parking lot, Bug got so excited.  He kept saying, “We’re here!  We’re here!” and as soon as we got out of the car he wanted to ride the train…despite the fact that we arrived around 12:30pm and the train didn’t leave until 2…poor dear had to sit through a torturous lunch and then another wait after the train arrived until the allowed us to board.

Bug and Daddy watching the train pull into the station. The train was returning from it’s earlier run and was dropping passengers off. Bug wanted to get right on and go, right then and there.

Bug and Daddy watching the train pull into the station

So Excited

To kill some time before we were allowed to board, we went into the Arkville station’s museum and gift shop.  Bug found a hole in the wall and kept peeking thought it to make sure that the train didn’t leave with out us.

Peeking

So after what must have seemed like utter eternity to a three and a half year old we boarded the train.  He decided that he wanted to sit with Grandma and Grandpa rather than Mommy and Daddy.

Bug and Grandpa

Bug and Grandpa

My Mom and Dad (aka Grandma and Grandpa)

Grandma and Grandpa

Looking out the rainy window.

Bug and Daddy looking out the rainy window

We stopped at the Roxbury station, while the engine switched positions, and braved the rain to see the small train museum inside the original station.  They have a few displays of how the trains looked back in the day and some old pictures.

Model trains

These buckets and barrels made a good photo opportunity.

Boxes and Barrels

Bug and Mommy.
He was getting tired…a long day without any naps…so he ‘nuggled with Mommy for a bit.

Bug and Mommy

This was Bug on our way home.  Poor thing crashed.  Must have been a good day.

Naptime

Stay tuned for my next post with pictures of the train and some of the things we saw.

It Must Be Fall

My clothesline is dotted with warm pj pants, sweatshirts and lots of socks rather than shorts and tank tops.  We’ve started curling up with blankets and drinking hot tea and hot cocoa (the homemade stuff with milk, not that watered down powdered mix made with water – blah)  And I’m thinking about making some soups to warm us at the end of a long day.  There is a crispness in the air that wasn’t there a few weeks ago.  Then there are the apples.  Lots and lots of apples.  It’s one of the best things about living in NY state.

This past Friday we took a trip to our favorite apple orchard to pick our favorite apples.  Bug was super excited to go.

Warning!  This post is photo overload!

The first apple of the season – a macoun.

Taking the first bite of the season.  Yummy!

Bug loved picking the apples and putting them in the bags.

He also enjoyed running up and down the rows of apples.

With Daddy’s help he was finally tall enough to reach those top branches.

“Yeah! I did it!”

My strong men carrying the apples to the car.

Outside the bakery with a fresh quart of apple cider and a warm cider donut.  Yum!

Playing on the playground at the orchard.  Bug loved the wooden train.

The tire teepee was lots of fun, too!

Isn’t he adorable!

He’s the apple of my eye!

There were even little goats to feed.
There was also a sheep, some pigs and 3 alpacas, but they were anti social.

Their tongues tickled!
(Don’t worry, we all washed our hands afterwards)

Bug was very interested in this water spigot.

We had to have one more train “ride” before heading home.

On Sunday, Bug helped me make our very first apple pies of the season.  Course, we do all our baking wearing our pjs.  😀 His favorite part was turning the handle on the apple peeler/corer (which I don’t have pictures of – drat)

Oh, and yes, those pies were delicious!

Fall is just one of my four favorite seasons!