Wednesday, May 30, 2007

end results

Again, I'm sorry, but I haven't got any photos today. The wedding photos were numerous, but since I was very busy helping as the "older sister" (in-law) I didn't take any of them.

Good news:
Ben and Ilana are married. As big weddings go, theirs went very well. Moderate amounts of religious confusion/conflict between the secular family members and the Orthodox ones,(no, not all Jewish weddings are exactly the same, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox Jewish weddings all differ, and those all differ from Christian ones quite a bit) lots of love, excitement, and cooperation, and an enormous amount of food. Meanwhile, since it was a Long Island wedding factory with multiple weddings happening at the same time, we got to eavesdrop on an amazing Indian wedding with colorful saris, a nearby wedding with loud rap music and flashing lights, and a variety of other excitements. As two of the teenage girl cousins said, "That other wedding is amazing. I didn't dance or eat anything though. We just looked." That's good, since eating their food or dancing with complete strangers wouldn't be uhh, kosher...and your moms would really not approve.

As the cool older cousin-in-law, I especially had fun when the band played Middle Eastern music, the Egyptian Jewish uncle and the Israeli uncle got out their finger cymbals, and we all did belly dancing. The aforementioned teenage girls with whom who I danced were thrilled at my moves. One of the mothers came to me later and said something like "Well, now we know another of your skills!" (is that good or not?)

After the wedding, I was grateful to take off my heels--7+ hours in high heels, mostly standing, is rough. The silk sweater I knit for the event --pictured poorly here, looked very good in person with a long black skirt and everyone enjoyed touching the silk. In the evening, we went out for enormous ice creams with the bride and groom and a couple of friends. We drove. They nearly collapsed of exhaustion in the car on the 2 minute ride home to the hotel.
The professor enjoyed telling everyone about my book. They all seemed impressed by "a division of Random House" and then, just like the Yarn Harlot predicted, their eyes glazed over immediately upon hearing it was about fibery things. Oh well. That's why I didn't bring up the book on my own!

Our travelling (3 flights there, 2 flights home, roughly 200 miles of driving, too) went fine. That is mostly because the professor didn't tell me that his pants split in the middle of the trip home. When we got home, at the kitchen table; he of the split pants inadvertently flashed me, and I blushed so hot that I am blushing even now as I remember it. This is a good sign, Ilana and Ben. If your partner can still do this to you 9 years after you got married, well, things are OK.

It's about being married. Not getting married.

Have a great honeymoon in Hawaii, guys! We're off to Missouri for the Heart of America Sheep Show and Fiber Fest tomorrow. One day home for the laundry, and another 500 miles in the car each way.

PS: I appreciate all your comments regarding dogs that roll in poop...although I still find the dead things harder to take. More good news--Harry seems to have outgrown this. Perhaps that's because both times he did it, the bathtub seemed too good for him so I tied him to the back porch and gave him his bath with a garden hose in 40 degree fahrenheit weather. He seems cured of this habit....I hope.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sally's squirrel

Just a brief story with no photo. (you'll thank me, believe me.)

Friday evening, I'm making dinner and the dogs are out in our yard. Harry comes rushing to the back door and from his behavior, I sense something is amiss. I leave him in the house, rush out to our big, overgrown backyard and call for Sally. No answer. I start getting nervous. Then I see that the dogs have somehow pushed over part of the fence to the carport that blocks off access to our busy street. There is a Sally sized hole in the fence. I am worried, and calling for Sally. Barely a moment passes.

Sally trots up when my back is turned. In her mouth is a very dead, desiccated, flat as a board squirrel. She is standing on the back porch of the house. While I yell "NO!! NO!!" and flail my arms, trying not to uhh, vomit, Sally carefully lays the squirrel down on the welcome mat; an offering to her human. She cooperatively goes inside the house. Later, she tries to appease me in other ways all evening. Yuchhhk!!! Squirrel breath!!

I step over squirrel, lock the back door with the dogs inside, and call the professor. He has to fix the fence, bury the squirrel, and make this seem humorous. A tall job, but he manages it! He points out that Sally brought me the most tasty thing she could think of! She'd scouted out the squirrel on our walks (3 doors down from our house) and waited several days until it was properly aged. She came when called, AND brought a squirrel treat. What else could I want?

Well, uhh, I'll think on that after I've stopped feeling sick to my stomach. Good thing the professor knows how to think like a dog. Somebody's got to be on Sally's side. It wasn't Harry. From a dog's point of view, he "told" on her. She growled at him for an hour in retaliation. Everyone is friends again now.

Poor squirrel though.
Definitely dead. At least we gave him a decent burial.

Friday, May 25, 2007

weddings and funerals

This is a photo of my roses last year. They are still growing in approximately the same place, and I've been busy lately, so I'm reusing. If you feel bored by this re-use from May 2006, please--look away now!!

Right, we've gotten that out of the way. It's Memorial Day weekend and we're going to two weddings. #1 is the wedding of one of the professor's research students. She is so beautifully physical that she's like a model; she's so beautiful inside that it shines right through her...a brillantly intelligent light to remind us that wonderful students (and people) still exist. We've known her-and she's worked with the professor- all four years of her undergraduate degree. The small town nature of this place is such that I think the professor's taught her fiance, too!

Then, we will fly away on airplanes to New York. The next wedding, on Monday, is the professor's little brother's wedding. Ben is not just a brother-in-law, but my web designer, foodie and business consultant, and friend. His beloved, Ilana, the Brooklyn lawyer who defends kids, always brings us dog toys and treats for the guys. She wants to learn to make jam. She's already a member of this family in so many ways. When we moved to Kentucky, Ben explored the place, walked through this rose-laden doorway to the second "room" in our back yard, and said, "Wow. You could have an amazing backyard wedding here. Or a great hammock." He promptly moved one of the plastic Adirondack chairs out there, and settled in.

How things change. Perhaps my harangue about cut flowers isn't right. I cut flowers from my yard, I sometimes even buy them. However, our wedding industry is an entirely different phenomenon. Relatively low-key, rational guys like Ben who like to wear Hawaiian shirts? Well, even this poor guy had a small tizzy over a problem with the wedding florist. It is amazing how this life event becomes such a production at a Long Island wedding hall! (no wonder why I got frustrated about cut flowers, talking to him) At this point, our poor chatan (groom) is getting nervous and clammy, and it's hard to blame him. In each daily conversation, we try to remind him--it's about being married, NOT getting married. He repeats it after us. It's going to be fine, guys. You're going to be married. That's the good part.

Now, with the funeral bit. Memorial Day in the USA? Time to open backyard pools, go to parades, have picnics, catch fireflies and oh...right-- remember all the folks in the military who've died...and to remember all the people, everywhere, who are dying unnecessarily for just a moment. I don't just mean the military who keep our country safe and democratic, although gosh knows we've lost enough young,valuable lives. I'm also thinking about Sudan, about civilians in Lebanese refugee camps who lost their lives or the many Iraqi civilians who've gotten killed in their country's chaos.

In Jewish tradition, when someone gets married, the couple steps on a glass and shatters it at the end of the wedding. It symbolizes many things...the sacred glass that symbolizes the union of the two people drank wine from it, or the fragility of life and marriage. Another of the symbols is that, even at this happiest of times, we remember the destruction of the first and second Temple in Jerusalem. Even in our happiest moments, we take time to remember sadness and destruction, to make it a part of who we are and what we care about. Modern Judaism isn't about Temple sacrifice or worship, but even so, we take time to remember what was lost long ago. We're celebrating life and weddings, but Memorial Day is about remembering those we've lost, too.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Primrose Path

I'm learning something new: when you don't have time to leisurely spin or knit on your own, it's nice to read and write about it. I'm getting a lot of pleasure from others' blogs, from my work with designers, and the small amount I do each night before collapsing in a heap! I also accomplish a lot of knitting on planes while travelling. Right now, I'm waiting for some yarn to arrive for yet another design.

As you've suggested, I'm taking to take breaks to cook, eat lunch out with friends, and do errands. It allows me to enjoy the sunshine and get away from the computer for just a little while each day.

Janet asked what this book thing had to do with the festivals. Ahh, well, the book is about fiber festivals and other fiber-community events (relating to sheep and other fiber producing animals, spinning, knitting,crochet, rughooking, weaving--fiber arts). Plus, the book will also include 25 or more projects, contributed by a variety of designers, including me. If all goes well, Fiber Gathering will appear in a bookstore near you in Spring 2009.

What's the deal with all these flowers? These are Missouri Primroses that started growing in our lawn a while back. The professor carefully mows around them, and each year we have a bigger patch of flowers. When we were first married, I asked the professor to invest in planting flowers around our house instead of handing me dead ones. (did you know that most florist flowers travel long distances, wasting lots of energy to reach us?) I also buy locally grown flowers at the farmer's market on occasion.

Now, in our third house, (we've moved a few times) he's still putting bulbs and rose bushes into the ground and mowing to save lone blossoms. Today, I got out of the car after running an errand and I saw he'd left one lone primrose in a new spot. This is the subtle romance of being married to a biologist!
(We've reached that warm time of year. Sally's favorite sleeping spots include this one--under an old church pew and behind my spinning wheel in the coolest room in the house.)

Monday, May 21, 2007

secret knitter

Just like Rosemary, I suspect I will be doing much stealth knitting over the next few months to make this big project work. Since I can't show you exactly what I'm knitting, I'll leave you with sneak peeks. This is some Barefoot Spinner superwash wool yarn that knits up at 7 sts to the inch. I suspect one might be able to ask about it at Millicent's, a yarn shop my mom likes in Western Maryland. What I like most about this yarn is that I'm not working from two different balls to make the colors even out--they are balanced, and absolutely rich. (hard to see in the photo.) I also like that the colors match my clothes perfectly, although I am not sure I'll ever get to wear this item myself!
(Let me preface this next part by mentioning--the exchange rate for Americans in Britain right now is very bad, the pound is worth over 2 dollars.) The professor came home from Britain yesterday, after having subsisted completely on fish and chips, take away Indian and sandwiches and the kindness of an old grad school friend and his wife. I suspect that he ate them out of house and home when he visited them overnight! I say this because I picked him up from the airport, offered him a granola bar, and worried that he might eat my arm on the drive home. We finally stopped at a Japanese restaurant in our neighborhood for a late lunch. The sheer amounts he consumed left me astonished. I will spare you the details or any photos of this experience. At least it was healthy food. Now I realize why he lost a lot of weight when he lived in the UK. The portions are small, the exercise opportunities are greater, and well, the man really likes to eat. I imagined him thinking "Here, fishy fishy fishy fishy..." as he hoped to attract more sushi to the table. He was seriously beyond hungry!
One last note in the life of a secret knitter. (note, this is NOT like a private dancer...) For anyone remotely local to my area of Kentucky, there is a not so secret, very public Sunday Spinners group meeting at the Kentucky Museum. The dates for the 2007-2008 academic year have been set:
The Sunday Spinners will meet the second Sunday of the month witht hree exceptions, August 19, December 16 & May 18. So Aug 19, Sept 9,Oct 14, Nov 11, Dec 16, Jan 11, Feb 10, March 9, April 13, May 18 from 1-4 in Felts Log House outdoors if weather permits, or ed room (inside the museum) as an alternate.
If you're a spinner,y'all please come, y'hear?
And Now, after this public service message, back to our regularly scheduled, secret knitting program, with interruptions for regular and frenetic emailing...!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

No, really...

The photos are just for entertainment--(yes, that is an alpaca from New England, with a part of his neighbor in the photo. Oops, they moved while I was shooting this.)

So, I see or email people, and I tell them about what's going on with this book thing. Well,I get a wide range of responses. It's sometimes genuine pleasure, support and excitement--that's most of the knitting and spinning folks. I'm grateful for that support and excitement, it's buoying me up. I've also had strange looks from people who say, "WHAT are you writing about?" (psst, they don't know about the 50 million knitters in N. America.) Also, I'm very familiar with the green monster; I know some of it is jealousy. That's ok. As long as we can all be polite, well, hey, I've been outrageously jealous of other writers, so who am I to comment?

Part of me is barely treading water, unable to stop. As of today, I'll have the "deal" part of this thing for two weeks. Yup, that's all. Two festivals. Two weeks.
I'm madly trying to set up the book's projects, and burning up the keyboard, communicating with people. I take "breaks" (hah!) and email with friends. I (mostly) remember to eat. Since the professor is away this week, I even remembered to take out the recycling and trash.

(Note: this is a Tunis sheep, I wrote an article about them here but I don't think I'd ever recognized one until I saw it at the NH festival.)

I'm trying to keep up with everything as the goal posts shift (along with travelling to write about a lot of festivals, and 25 projects, apparently writing a book is not like writing the two theses I wrote for college and grad school, there are more style rules than the Cornell and UNC universities theses' requirements...and I have an editor, too!! who knew about editors in grad school?)

Anyway, in the last 24 hours, I've hit a level of complete blood boiling anxiety. Perhaps it's because I want to treat everyone I've asked to contribute honorably, but I don't have the budget, or the information to do that right. I don't know how "we" are going to hit all the deadlines. Or maybe it's because yesterday, I got a call about a hotel reservation and I wasn't sure if they were talking about Denver or Sedalia, MO. (really.) I'd lost track of all the places I'm travelling.

I'm not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me. I've heard that already and it bothered me some--"I can't say I feel sorry for ya!" In thinking about it, I've worked very hard for months to make all this come together, and it's taken years to lay the ground work. It's ok to be happy, busy and be completely scared and stressed by it. It's work. I enjoy it, I'm glad that this is what I do for a living, but no, going to every festival is not like vacation...and truthfully, it's not much of a far, all the expenses?-- are on the credit card. Yup. I'm footing this bill, and my grass needs to be cut and the dustbunnies are taking over the house, and I don't know when I'll do that either. Moments at each festival are fabulous. Being on your feet two days in a row from 7 AM until 4 or 5 and talking nonstop at fairgrounds? Not always so fabulous, but I'm ambitious about this and I want to succeed.

In fact, I found out that an article that the professor and I wrote has been accepted for publication in a book, so it's all good news lately. No really, it's all fine, I keep telling myself. Some stress is supposed to be good stress.

I made jam today. I removed myself from the computer for an hour and a half, and had strawberry flavored fun. Taking a break from this work thing was such a relief, I can't tell you. If you want the best jam, you got to make your own...Then, in the mail, I got one of the fleeces I sent off for processing on April 30th. It is clean, lofty, chocolatey roving. It reminded me again why I love all this stuff. Now, I'm off to "relax" and work on a design for the book in front of the TV until the dogs and I fall asleep. No...really. There's no time for spinning tonight, but I might just bury myself in some roving for fun.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


caption: What me? In the spotlight?

Rosemary tagged me, so here it is:

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog. The facts:
1)I played sax and sang in the Cornell University jazz big band for all four years of college. I don't make music much now and I miss it.
2)I learned to drive as a teenager in 1989 on a '67 Barracuda that my parents bought new. It was 17 feet long and didn't have power steering...and yes, I parallel parked it.
3)I was born with kidney birth defects and had three surgeries by the time I was five. Thanks to our family friend and pediatrician (thanks, Uncle Bill!) and a very smart, cutting-edge urologist, I'm here today.
4)I love to cook. The professor calls me an "inspired improviser." I take recipes under advisement and read cookbooks for fun.
5)I grew up in Falls Church, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. and spent a lot of time in DC while growing up. I didn't understand why that was a big deal until I moved away from the nation's capitol and learned that in other places, museums aren't free and people don't like to talk politics.
6)I don't watch much TV. That said, Gilmore Girls was my favorite TV show and I'm so sad it's going off the air!
7)I value longterm friendships and relationships--I work hard to keep up with friends long distance and I love hearing from students I've taught.
Cory, Amanda, Sarah, Peggy, Barb, Marti and Terri, you're tagged, but if you don't feel like doing this MeMe, I'll understand!

Monday, May 14, 2007

I'm just...

...A girl who can't say no. At each festival, there is just something I have to bring home. Above, the Finnish Landrace fleece from Maryland as backdrop, handmade deer antler buttons from NH, a Corriedale batt from Grafton Fibers, a turkish spindle from Hodgepodge Handicrafts (more on this later) and a small skein of black alpaca I spun on the spindle from my $5 bag of jet black huacaya alpaca seconds. This fiber was from Champlain Valley Alpacas and even the seconds were stellar. (psst. They have more bags of 2nds and some prime blanket fiber. Just check out the webpage and give them a holler) We saw an enormous number of alpacas, llamas and some sheep--and had a great time at the sunny cool, breezy festival. Great weather, both days!

New Hampshire... What a wonderful place! Beautiful scenery and people were open, warm, brisk, and friendly. Straight-talking and clear, everything from signs to waitresses were easy to interpret. I mean, we assume that everyone in North America can just automatically understand one another, but that's not always true...I sometimes have trouble with Kentucky accents and slang, and I grew up only a state away, in Virginia! This weekend, we were bathed in a rich true New Englander accent and the history of its textile traditions.

I ate lobster rolls and Indian Pudding for the first time, too and went back for seconds. Indian Pudding is a mixture of cornmeal, molasses, and something like pumpkin pie spices, served hot with vanilla ice cream on top. Mmmmh. Good.

I managed to sneak in visits with several important people, including my best friend since I was 12, Anne, who lives in Vermont and is a doctor (should I say doctah?) at Dartmouth Hospital. I also saw my college friend and study partner Kate, who I've now known for 16 years! In fact, she knew my husband the professor before I did. I met my agent in person for the first time, too. So much smiling and laughter--it was a ball.

We couldn't conclude this serenade to New Hampstah (ok, the accent, I keep thinking about it!) without talking about two other things. The first? The town we stayed in, Warner, had an independent bookstore, a kitchen shop, and a great toy and rubber stamping store. They weren't big box chains, which we see plenty of locally..and we don't even have a kitchen store in our town. We thoroughly enjoyed the shops' character and style. A book and a couple of mighty fine layer cake pans were purchased in our celebration of small, quirky, fun retail establishments.

Finally, at the kitchen store, we found the professor's version of crack. No kidding. His drug of choice--locally produced maple syrup. 20 oz of that came home with us, too! The professor himself is winging his way to Britain at this very moment to go do professorly things like give talks at universities. I can't wait to find time to wallow in all this fiber--and take a seriously long nap.
PS: This is why I needed a new flat turkish spindle immediately. They lay flat in suitcases. My marvelous spindle from Ray's Spindles in Canada, bought for me for Valentine's Day a few years ago by the professor, got broken in my suitcase. It's all my fault, I was careless. Ray will be hearing from me as soon as I find more time in each day..

Thursday, May 10, 2007

it's time

It's nearly time to leave for New Hampshire and I know this because of my new watch...Last week, I saw my cool cousin Lauren (midwife and all around neat person) and she was wearing my watch. I mean, the watch I always wanted to buy myself but hadn't. So, sorry Lauren, but now we are watch twins. The watch was sized to fit a monster so I had to go get it fitted at the jewelers downtown. 'Cause you know, I had nothing else to do...

The strawberries have mostly been frozen, except for this one bowl full that I am saving for lunch. It has a little sugar and balsamic vinegar sprinkled in, and I plan to put cream on top. I can't wait to eat it. It's my reward for the fleece, drying downstairs, all the other frozen berries, and the sheer quantity of hotel reservations, plane tickets, and other details I've covered since we last met. Btw, when you wake up between 5:30 and 6 AM and then stay up late, it's remarkable how much you can get done. I don't advise it, but it seems to work around here...and I fall into bed when I'm done!

A little while back, I bought a little book called Travel Yoga because I thought that maybe if I had a book like that, my own travelling book deal would work out. You know, change my karma. Last Thursday, as we were being paged by the airline (they were about to give our seats away) and we were trying to get through the enormous security lines, and then racing through the Nashville airport, I remembered that I forgot the book. As I squeezed myself into the second to last seat on the plane, between a lovely nursing mom and infant (who managed to share a bit of her seat with me) and a large man that made the professor look petite (and he couldn't help but lean on me the whole flight, yuck), I thought about the book and fumed. The professor sat next to a nice military contractor, in the last seat on the plane. He said it was a fine ride.

I'm budgeting plenty of time to get to the airport this week to go to New Hampshire, AND I remembered the book. I even read a part of it. It said to take one's time and smell the roses as you travel. Hmm. I'll have to think about that if we have to run through any more airports. Oh, and I'm leaving my roses in the garden at home, just for safety's sake. Do thorns count as a security risk?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Episode 23

caption: lettuce in our garden. How much lettuce can we eat in half a week at home, half a week away scheduling? Is it wise to eat that much lettuce?

Episode 23:
(In which our heroine realizes that she is bound by the same laws of physics, gravity, and other frustrating details as all other, for instance, the need to sleep.)

A week ago, I didn't know I was about to write a book or that everything work out to get a book deal. Since then, my credit card has just about run a marathon. I'm doing everything I can to set things up for the next few months--because, uhh, I'm going to 5 festivals in May and June. So far, I've got little things, you know, like plane reservations, hotels to stay in, cars rented, etc. through the first weekend in June. Today I also laid in enough dog food, wine, groceries, and other essentials to keep us going for the duration.

I've also had to make adjustments, which I am just now getting used to. I just bought a laptop and have to set it up this afternoon. That's because I'm some sort of jetsetter, at least through October. This conflicts with the old me, who stupidly bought a fleece (uhh, I'm also washing a fleece right now... Hello? Knock Knock-- Dumbhead Joanne?) and 5 pints of strawberries. You know, because they're in season so I should make jam. Did I mention that I started bread rising when I came home on Sunday night, and baked two loaves on Monday while doing laundry and my huge enormous new workload? Really, I should have a chaperone at all times until I adjust. So, I'm going downstairs to set up my new computer, wash and freeze all those berries for some other time, and ...last slip up... I invited someone over for dinner. Yup.

I'll work out the kinks soon. I hope. I guess I really thought that when I transitioned from a freelancer who wrote articles to someone who wrote books? You know, I'd just have magic powers or something. No sleep, eating optional, Mrs. Weasley knitting and cleaning powers, if you're up on your Harry Potter. Until then, I'm very sorry, but I've prioritized a little bit and I'm behind on reading some of the blogs I used to read. You're very important to me (whichever blog that is) and I'll catch up soon. Right after I finish the jam and the fleece is clean. Right. Whatever...I guess keeping up with everything just now is out of the question!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

the 1st festival

You may have guessed it by now...ok, it was hard to keep under wraps, especially after this weekend. I said this about 200 times, as I made connections at the festival: "Hi, I'm Joanne Seiff, and I'm writing a book about..." (Luckily, my friends knew my name already, but whatever, I had a spiel! I was so nervous I just repeated it over and over again!)

In the photo, check out my big splurge to celebrate. One of these crumpler camera bags...and a moleskine reporter's notebook--now I look like a real writer, right?
Yes, I'm writing a book about fiber gatherings. I'm excited about the community, the excitement, the color, the artistry, and the friendship I see at these events, and I can't wait to tell y'all about it. I'll give you tastes--an amuse-bouche or two-- on the blog. For the whole thing? We'll all have to wait until it's published in Spring 2009.

Now, about Maryland Sheep& Wool was cool and breezy Saturday, and so crowded that one's elbows had to be sharp to get the good stuff. The Socks That Rock merchandise at the Fold vendor stand sported a line about as long as any I've seen for a rock concert. It was that frenetic. About on par with the famous "T-shirt line" on the other side of the fairway, where the 2007 T-shirt design was making a splash.

I tried to restrain myself (what, I have only 12 more events to go to this year?) but it was hard. This superwash sock yarn from the Barefoot Spinner, from Romney, WVA, just hopped right into my bag. I couldn't help myself. The colors were screaming..."look at me! I mean, just look at me! I was made for you. Isn't it obvious?"

After many encounters of the sheep kind, (have you ever noticed that Karakul sheep are the most photogenic?) I broke down and got one fleece. Just a small one. One that I could put in my carry-on sized luggage....really, it was that small! It's a Finnish Landrace fleece, also known as Finn sheep. These are hard to find in the USA, and I've never had a raw Finn fleece before. (like I have time to wash fleece. Hello? I'm supposed to be writing a book now...!)

The professor's sweater is up to the first sleeve and it's languishing. It's just too big now to carry through airports. Instead, I'm halfway through a sock, the first of many, I'd guess. Harry and Sally are now home from the kennel and allowed me to borrow their toys for emphasis. The dude's got very big arms!Luckily, those arms are helping out by taking pictures for the book at each of the festivals. The professor is a talented guy.

Next week, it's New Hampshire...and soon: coming to a festival near you! Here are most of the public events I'll be covering. Please let me know if I'll get to see you at any of the following:

New Hampshire Sheep & Wool, Heart of America (in Missouri), Estes Park, Black Sheep, Michigan, Taos, Rhinebeck, SAFF, the Buffalo Knitter's Guild (TBA) and the TN state fair.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Yesterday the professor had several of his students out to our backyard to learn about how to catch moths and butterflies for study. He showed them how to set up a live bait trap. The traps are baited with a mushed up mixture of overripe bananas, beer, and yeast. This smell is enough to turn them off of beer forever!

I can see this one from my office window. I've been spending a lot of time in my office..getting ready for my big fiber festival project this summer. (More on that in another post.)

In my breaks, I've been spinning this blend of navy blue and cranberry colored 2 ply Cotswold. I dyed this last fall, and I'm combining the colors by holding the rovings together, and spinning as it comes. As usual, there is no real plan for my may go up for sale on etsy some day, or sold at the Log House gallery in Berea, or knitted up at my house. Right now, like me, its future is exciting and unknown....

Just a few minutes ago, I booked last minute plane tickets for the professor and me to go to Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. We're leaving a day early to see my folks in Virginia first. They'll provide us with a bed for the first of our festival adventures...this weekend, Maryland. Next weekend, New Hampshire. I'll try to keep my blog updated as I journey. The project's details will unfold as I know more!

Knitting for the trip? Not the professor's's huge! The sleeve I'm working on is now 20 some inches, and I'm doing the raglan shoulder was 21 inches until I started the armhole decrease! Instead, I'll bring a sock. Small, tidy, brainless knitting that weighs very little is just right for this adventure. I'll include a spindle too. No telling if I'll need to do a little spinning too, as it always calms me right down.