Playing with fiber…

The Blog Has Moved!

I’ve finally made the leap and moved my blog to a self-hosted WordPress blog.  What does that mean?  It means I’m now over at thepaintedsheep.com.  One site that will have my blog, info about my products and events and of course, a link to my Etsy shop.

Come on over!  Be sure to update your feed reader with the new feed – http://thepaintedsheep.com/feed/

See you there!

Fiber Twist 2011

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My booth at Sunday’s Fiber Twist.

It was a lovely day, perfect weather and a great crowd. Tent problem aside (loaned it out, got it back destroyed), it went off without a hitch. What a perfect start to the fall festival season!

Of course, I came home with a couple of treasures – a lovely wine colored skein of yarn from Tucker Woods Farm and a pair of earrings from Keith O’Connor Pottery that so perfectly matched my Tussah Shawlette that I couldn’t possibly resist them – it was meant to be!!!

As always, my favorite market day of the year!

ECF – Fiber Twist Edition!

BFL rovings in some of my favorite colors for fall – freshly dyed this week and ready for Sunday’s Fiber Twist at Coventry Farmer’s Market.  The event runs from 11-2.  I’ll have a booth in the flag field and will be doing a dying demo right at my booth, probably mid-day.

Hope to see you there!

Tussah Shawlette

Finished!  This is my first handspun shawl – done in the tussah silk from Corgi Hill Farm and spun this summer and last.  Full details and more pictures can be found here, on my Ravelry project page.

I love how this came out – the entirely unplanned striping, the drape, the size, the shape – all of it.  Forget a Rhinebeck sweater – this is what I’m wearing to the fall festivals this year!

Ten on Tuesday

Fun topic this week – 10 Things You Buy Every Week.  I have to think hard about my spending habits on this one – I’m usually so focused on what I don’t/shouldn’t buy, its sometimes hard to think about the little things I buy every week.

  1. Dunkin Donuts coffee – try as might not to, I stop by the drive through on my way at least once in most weeks.
  2. Mac, Jack and Sam – music to feline ears ’round here.   My picky Thumper loves this pouch style food from Weruva that we discovered by accident.  Of course, its sold in 8 packs and I’ve found it in exactly 2 nearby stores, who don’t sell enough to keep it in stock much, meaning that I have to find it weekly when it comes in – or get smart enough to special order a bunch.  The things I do for my boys…
  3. Gas – I have dreams of a more fuel efficient car that I could fill up far less.
  4. Groceries – gotta eat.
  5. Dinner out with the grrls – and if I don’t, my world is seriously out of whack…
  6. Something random from Target – I go in with a list every time, but I still come out with something unplanned.
  7. Flowers – at least every week in the summer.  Flowers from Windham Gardens are my farmer’s market splurge, especially when she has sunflowers.
  8. Fresh fruits and veggies from the farmer’s market.
  9. Dessert – my bad habit.
  10. Something from the vending machine at work – its right outside my door, so its all too easy.

This wasn’t an easy list to come up with – surprisingly so.  I wonder what others will come up with this week.

10 Years

One of the things that has stayed with me the most over these 10 years is the color of the sky that day.  It was intense blue, cloudless, perfect.  It was one of those days in which you stepped outside in the late summer sunshine and were happy just to be alive.  I remember how completely incongruous that felt, wondering how something so horrific could happen on such a perfect day.

On September 11, 2001, I was living in Baldwinsville, NY and had been married to my now ex-husband for just over a year.  I was working in Syracuse as a behavior specialist for day treatment programs.  I remember so vividly that I had started my day early at a meeting at one program, then headed to another for the rest of my day.  I heard the news that a plane had crashed into the first tower as I listened to NPR as I drove from one site to the other.  By the time I got to my other program, word had come of the 2nd plane.  Some of my colleagues heard the news first from me, having no TV or internet at our program.  We turned on the radio and listened as events unfolded.

From early that morning, I had been trying to reach my oldest and dearest friend in Connecticut.  She had called me on the evening of the 9th to tell me that she had gone into labor with her second child and was headed to the hospital.  Not having heard from her since, I was worried.  Even with everything going on around me, I kept trying to call her, finally reaching her a little before 10 in her hospital room.  I cried happy tears as she told me that her son had arrived on the 10th, healthy and beautiful.  We spoke of what was happening, as she watching it on tv.  And then, she started to scream as she watched in horror as the first of the towers collapsed.  When we hung up, I remember wondering aloud to one of my co-workers about what kind of a world that precious baby had just come into that someone would do this to us.

So much of the rest of that day is a blur.  I remember calling my family, concerned that my sister-in-law sometimes worked in the World Trade Center, my relief that she was not there that day.  I remember finally watching TV when I got home and sobbing at what I saw.  I remember being too upset to knit, feeling little comfort in anything.

Ten years later, I also remember the sense of coming together, of feeling united.  I remember that my colleagues, a group of people who hated their jobs and barely tolerated one another, came together to comfort and support one another and attempt to explain the unexplainable to our clients.  I remember a larger sense of community that I had never felt before, when people talked about it, asked about it, wondered about the future.  There was a sense that we were all Americans, that we were all impacted and changed by that day, that we had a common goal and purpose.

When I look back on it and consider the world that baby came into and how its changed in the years since, I feel safer and more secure.  My shattered sense of security is once more intact, granted not to the degree that it once was.  And yet, in so many ways, I worry more now about the world in which that 10 year old little boy lives than I did on the day after he was born.  We’ve lost that sense of unity, of coming together, of being one nation.  Our country has become so divided, so fractured, people so intolerant.  I’m often struck by the hatred I hear from people.  If this is what’s become of us, then haven’t those out to destroy us accomplished that?

My wish on this day, in remembering what happened and those lost, is that we all remember that sense of unity.  Its time we come together once again.

For me, each and every time I see a beautiful, bright blue sky, I am reminded just a little bit of that day, of what we lost and what I took for granted before.  I hope to never forget that.

Hittin’ the Sauce

No, not that kind – this kind:

That’s my 12 quart stock pot – the BIG one – nearly full of rich, tomato-y goodness.  I started with this:

27 lbs of canning tomatoes from a local farm stand.  I peeled and seeded them by hand (side note – I bought a food mill specifically for making tomato sauce.  I was skeptical of even the smallest-holed disk, as the holes looked big enough for the seeds to go right through.  Tried running one tomato through it, then remembered why the one I had before got tag saled.  We’ll see how long I keep this one.), then threw them in the stock pot with a good helping of olive oil, garlic and onion, oregano from my herb garden and local basil and let that baby simmer for hours and hours.  In the end, this:9 jars’ worth of sauce went into the freezer after I used some of it for the eggplant parmesan I made while it was cooking.  I ate that up too quickly to snap a picture of it.  Oh so good and so simple – I used this recipe to make it in the oven.   I also made my favorite fall dessert while the sauce simmered – maple apple crisp.  hmmmm.  hello, fall!

In the end, I cooked for 8 hours, stuffing my fridge and freezer with food for the week and long into the winter.  I wanted to use a fire hose on my kitchen when all was said and done but after 4 loads of dishes  (by hand mind you – feel free to send a dishwasher, preferably male, about 6 feet tall, dark hair and eyes, though the portable electric kind would do in a pinch), I crashed into bed feeling happy, exhausted and completely satisfied with what I had done all afternoon and evening.  Some snowy day next winter, I’ll be able to pull a taste of summer of out of my freezer – how wonderful will that be?

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