Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sheep, and goats, and yarn - Oh my!

IMG_0571.jpg Baaaaaa...
IMG_0525.jpg Maaaaa?
IMG_0619.jpg Mmm... yarn.

Guess what? I haven't fallen off the face of the planet after all! My excuses for not blogging (and for being an exceptionally poor blog reader/commenter) since late September include:

1. Having a cold that seemed to go on and on.
2. A week-long visit from my parents (Hi, Mom and Dad!).
3. Being hog-tied and locked in a cupboard by Bug and Moana for several weeks.

Ok, that last one is a bit of a stretch, but... um... uh...

Look! What's that, over there?


Why, it's a guy in spandex riding two horses at once... standing up!

NOTE: This is where I distract you with the news that I went to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY, over the weekend. Surely, the title of my post gave you no hint of this : )

It started with a wonderful dinner Friday evening at The Artist's Palate in Poughkeepsie (about half an hour south of Rhinebeck) with Amy and Marlena. It was so nice of them to invite me!

It was the first time I'd met either of them in person, but I recognized them right away from the photos on their blogs. I'm sure it was a surprise for them to finally see my head (I seriously forgot they would have no idea what I looked like... at least I was wearing my Central Park Hoodie, so they knew I was a knitter... or, um... I'd mugged one.)

From the left: Amy (in her lovely shimmery Tulip), Catherine (a blogfree friend of Amy's), and Marlena (in her wonderfully tweedy Puff-Sleeved Feminine Cardigan. (As always, feel free to click any picture and select "all sizes" for bigger)

Saturday morning I started out a little after 9 am at The Fold booth, as I wanted to check out their Socks That Rock. Many others had the same idea : ) So many gorgeous color combinations... I found Amy and Marlena in the Moving Mud booth, where Amy was perusing the lovely glass buttons to find some that would complement the beautiful gray-blue Tangled Yoke she's working on.

We spent the day visiting the different buildings and tents, checking out vendors of all kinds, photographing sheep (and goats!), and taking breaks to sit and knit or people watch. It was a beautiful day, much warmer than expected for this time of year, so I didn't feel so bad that I hadn't been able to seam up my Minimalist Cardigan before the festival. Instead I wore my Mystery Stole for the first time (and got a few nice comments about it).

(The Minimalist Cardigan is currently blocking. I still need to find some sort of clasp to close the front -- I'll have photos when it's dry.)

Oh, yes! For lunch, Marlena and I had chicken pot pies. We had seen people wandering around with them, and they looked so good! There was a long line, but it moved quickly. Right after they handed us our pies, the folks at the booth announced that the next batch of pies wouldn't be ready for 15 minutes -- phew, talk about lucky! (and don't worry, they were still nice and warm)


The crust was buttery, flakey, and tender, and the filling was delicious, too (I loved the red skinned potatoes!). Amy had a very tasty looking lamb sandwich.

Unfortunately, the Ravelry lunchtime meetup completely slipped my pie-addled mind, and I really didn't check out spinning equipment or fiber much at all, but I had a great time anyway!

Alas, nearly all of my Rhinebeck photos are of photogenic sheep and goats (I missed the alpacas and llamas, though I heard they were around somewhere). I'm still not entirely sure which ones were goats (I've attempted to label the ones I think are goats, but feel free to let me know if I'm wrong). How I managed not to photograph any of the colorful yarn and fiber filled vendor booths, I will never know.

At any rate, here's a (rather large) selection of fleecy critters for your enjoyment.

Fuzzy Angora bunny! Not really fleecy, I know, but pretty impressive. Can this little guy see anything? Quick, somebody pluck and spin up some of his/her facial hair!

Head shots for the new show "America's Next Top Fleece Producer":
IMG_0517.jpg goat?
IMG_0509.jpg goat?

More stunning specimens of sheepitude (and goatitude):
IMG_0560.jpg Some were newly nude...
IMG_0502.jpg goat?
IMG_0498.jpg Angora goats

There were sheep getting a little trim (before being shown, I assume):

And sheep being shorn. This poor ewe was clearly not happy about the situation:
The indignity!

I loved seeing all the different colors and textures:
close9.jpg close8.jpg close7.jpg close6.jpg
close5.jpg close4.jpg close3.jpg close2.jpg
close12.jpg close11.jpg close10.jpg close1.jpg

What's that? The sheep are great and all, but you're wondering if I got any yarn?

Well, yes, I did, actually. Here's my haul:

An Alligator scarf kit from Morehouse Merino Farm:
IMG_0602.jpg IMG_0610.jpg

A Rat Race scarf kit from Morehouse Merino Farm:
IMG_0601.jpg IMG_0611.jpg

Nine skeins of lace weight yarn (~1100 yards deep orange-red and about 220 yards each of 4 different earthy tones) from Morehouse Merino Farm, on sale for $2 a skein (!) due to breaks (hello, spit splicing!):

One skein of color grown organic cotton lace weight yarn (1650 yards) from Skaska Designs:

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock (Mediumweight) in "Rose Quartz" and "Covellite" (for a Syncopated Cap) from The Fold:

Two skeins of "Peridot" Sylvan Spirit from the Green Mountain Spinnery:

Two skeins of Soft Touch DKW in the subtley variegated "Evergreen" colorway from Shelridge Farm:

One big, blue skein of Solo (400 yards) from Brooks Farm:

And lastly, two lovely buttons from Moving Mud that I may make into earrings:

Moana was impressed with the new yarn, but she wondered where the catnip fiber she requested had got to (sorry, Moana - maybe next year).