Friday, October 31, 2008


If you look closely at the photo, you will see the big tree branches that fell shortly after my last post, trashing the fence in the field.

We are just back on line this morning. Our power has been out sincethe 28th and only came back last night. The phone, internet and tv came back this morning. Very heavy snow and high winds hit while the leaves were still on the trees. Trees fell onto powerlines. Trees and branches came crashing down all over the roads. Route 6 was closed towards Milford for a long time Tuesday. The interstate was closed for most of a day eastbound Tuesday since wires were hanging down across it. Tractor trailers were being routed onto unplowed state roads and immediately closing them due to accidents or inability to get traction on the greasy wet snow. What a mess.

Eventually our volunteer fire company had to open a shelter for folks who had no heat and no electricity and there were still people in the shelter last night.

Our generator won't run our well pump so it was a hassle getting enough water for the house and the animals. But finally the power came back on last night and the tv, internet and phone – all via cable – were back this morning. Getting back to normal is a great relief. I was going stir crazy in severe internet withdrawal.

On the plus side, I finished the other fingerless glove and am nearly finished with Shrug This, which is a fun knit.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Friday, October 24, 2008


During the night after we went to Rhinebeck, a bear killed one of our sheep.
The PA Game Commission brought a barrel-type bear trap and set it up at the end of our driveway. The trap has been there for about five days now and … no bear.

This is disturbing on a number of levels. The road we live on has a lot of school age kids as well as some very small ones. Some of the houses they live in are set right in thick woods next to a swamp. Bears have killed our sheep before this, but this is the first time in seven years.

The bear climbed over 4’woven wire fence topped by two strands of electric fence and the fencer was working.

Okay, that was the bad news. But there is some good stuff. I finally got my son’s birthday present finished - - this Rune Stone. The inscription is in Old Norse. The runes say “a tree is not felled with the first blow (of the axe).” It was carved into our native bluestone – a type of hard sandstone - using a wooden mallet, steel cold chisels and a steel punch.

Another positive development is that I found a good way to hand paint my handspun.
I’d spun up a couple of skeins at demos during the summer from Carol Lee’s bargain roving and wanted to dye it.

First I wet the skeins thoroughly with a vinegar and water solution, spun that out so it was just damp and placed the tied skeins on a table covered with plastic. I made up dilute solutions of Jacquard spruce, sky blue and turquoise and used a foam brush to place the dyes in stripes along the skeins. Then I wrung the excess dye out of the skeins to keep it from puddling in the bottom of the container and put it in the oven to set the color.

I’m happy with the color - - not as happy with the way the fingerless gloves are going. The pattern is very nice and easy to follow, but my I keep making mistakes anyway.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival

We had a great time at Rhinebeck!!! The leaves were gorgeous on the way. Both sides of the Hudson were alive with color. The day was beautiful. There were a lot of people there. First we dropped off wool to be processed at Zeilinger's. Then we went to building A and said hi to Dave Paul.

In another booth was a signed Borduas Canadian Production Wheel identical to the one Fred is currently restoring. Building A was completely mobbed, so much so that it was hard to actually see anything.

A team of beautiful grey Percherons pulled a wagon giving folks a ride while musicians in brilliant handwoven garb played Andean inspired music.

We bought some spinning wheels from Lewis White and I wandered around admiring fiber on the hoof. There were beautiful natural colored Angora goats.
I got to see a Soay sheep in real life and even got a sample of the wool which is rued rather than shorn.

There were Teeswater sheep and colored Lincoln Longwool.
And then I caught a glimpse of a familiar fiber. I swear I am not stalking Stephanie . I snapped a photo of the back of her head at the SOAR vendor market, but didn't have the nerve to say hi.

This time I jumped right in there! Hi Stephanie!!!

Fred had been in line all this time to get something to eat, while I ran around looking at sheep and shaking hands with Stephanie, but started feeling faint after I had come back several times to see how far he had inched along in the line. So a mere few folks from the front of the line he gave up and we left.

Did I mention how crowded it was????

We had a lovely meal at the Beekman Inn in Rhinebeck.

The Inn is the oldest in the United States and dates from 1766.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


The fall leaves are at their peak here now. Our grey ram stopped on the way to shearing to visit with the ewes. His fleece was covered with mud, but luckily it washed out leaving me with lovely fiber.

Now all the sheep are shorn. The rams had to be separated because they started fighting due to the seasonal rise in their hormones. Romance for them is about a month away.

I have been madly sorting, washing wool and dyeing to get it ready to take to Zeilinger’s wool processing.

Zeilinger’s will be at Rheinbeck Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend. If I can get it all done, the house will be somewhat back to normal and there won’t be bags of wool all over the place.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Spin Off SOAR Gallery and Vendor Market

On this beautiful afternoon, we drove down to Pocono Manor to see the Spin Off SOAR

The gallery was full of wonderful, inspiring works.
The display of Peruvian hand woven bags, ponchos and other items caught the attention of people who inspire me, Sarah aka Phiala, Stephanie aka the yarn harlot and Abby.

Further along we found Cyndy mulling the purchase of a beautiful Golding spindle.