Thursday, May 17, 2012

Off to the Upper Valley Fiber Festival

Rowdy in the Peonies
Yet another shot of Rowdy in the flowers.  But the peonies are blooming and they can only be improved by Rowdy's presence among them.

And yes, I am off to the fiber festival, but not until tomorrow.  However, I have been busy tagging items and loading my car.  Sam and I decided it would cost no more to drive the Honda CRV than it would to drive the pick-up, even with the natural gas in the pick-up since I would only get one way on the natural gas (not even all the way) and then I would be on gasoline driving home.  The problem was, could I get everything into the Honda?  

 Here is a shot looking into the rear passenger side door of the CRV.  The biggest item I have to take is a 5' shelf unit and you can see, it made it.  The nice thing is, the roving and yarn etc are soft items and can be squeezed in just about anywhere, which they are.  I don't have to take a table as one is provided with the booth rental.  I think one table will suffice.  I have my yarn tree and my rug rack and shelf unit.  So one table is fine. 

I still have my front seat empty and I hope to have room for my spinning wheel along with my small suitcase.  There is a spin-in type event at the festival, but hopefully I will be too busy to participate.  My mother has been busy making quilted project bags  to sell and she is planning to meet me tomorrow to help set up and she will attend with me Saturday.  Not sure about Sunday.  I am looking forward to the weekend.

We got some more shearing done Saturday.  Some friends came over to help out.  Unfortunately, we have had trouble with some of the blades for our shears.  They were improperly sharpened (long story) and improperly sharpened blades make shearing very difficult.  They just don't cut right and the animals look ragged instead of smooth.  So we are holding off on shearing more until we get combs and cutters back that are correctly sharpened.  I am dropping some off tomorrow on my way to Troy.  We do have about 1/3 of the alpacas shorn.  Can you spot the shorn ones?

These 5 males were some of the first shorn since they are sold and are going to Tennessee next week.  That's Yosemite Sam in the foreground.  A couple years ago all my crias got Yosemite inspired names due to the fact that both my sons were living there at the time and we had just visited.  Of course, our son, Sam, is now back there.  He does not care for that moniker, however.

Tuesday I added a new box to the bee hive.  The original box was incredibly full of very busy bees and as the hive grows, they need room to expand so they got their second box  this week.  I always take the camera up with me when I go to get into the hive, but then I find my hands are too busy to take any pics while I have the hive open.  I guess I need Sam to go with me next time so you can see into the hive.  It is really intere"sting"!  We need to use the weedeater around the hives, but Sam wants to be wearing the bee jacket when he does that.  He did do quite a bit of mowing yesterday close to the hives, but not too close.

This is the field close to the hive.  The fence on the right of the photo encloses the male alpacas' pasture and the fence on the left encloses our small orchard we are trying to start.  The bee hives are around the corner by the orchard.  

Speaking of mowing, Sam is planning to mow hay today.  The forecast is perfect for it.  The only problem is , it will be ready to bale either Saturday or Sunday and I will not be there to help get it out of the fields and into the barn.  Wait, is that really a problem?  Not for me I guess.  It really is hot, itchy work and is best suited for teen-age boys.  But we no longer have any!

Sunday was Mother's Day and I got phone calls from both the Grand Canyon and Yosemite.  That's all I need, just a phone call and I am happy.  Both boys sound good.  Ian and his girlfriend, Michelle, will be departing the Grand Canyon next week and making their way north to Portland Oregon with stops in Las Vegas,  Yosemite and Lake Tahoe, among others.  They are looking forward to the move.  Sam/Zac is enjoying being back at Yosemite and says there are a lot of climbers working at the lodge this year, so he is in good company.  His girlfriend Maria likes it there as well.

Here are the rugs I took off my loom last week.  They are now fringed and ready to go on the rug rack at the festival this weekend.  I really like how they came out.  

I finished the socks I was working on last week and am happy with them.  Now I am back to work on the dog and cat satchel for the Country Store at our Basket Bingo next month.  I am working on the front flap of the bag which has the actual dog/cat pattern on it.  It is knit "in the round" and then cut when finished so it will be flat.

The cutting is called "steeking" which is a technique I have never used before.  The first time you cut your knitted project is very nerve-wracking as it brings to mind unraveling sweatersI will be cutting on the right side of the knitting where you see the kind of checkerboard pattern.  I won't likely have this done by next week, but I will let you know how it goes. 


  1. we had shear problems this year too, only 5.5 of our alpacas are shorn :) This weekend we hope to fix that.

    I love how the rugs turned out!!


    1. Thanks Cara,

      Yes, I saw the shearing problems. Nothing worse than being all prepared to shear and things don't go right for whatever reason.....who sharpens your combs/cutters?