Thursday, May 29, 2008

An Overdue Shepherd's Harvest Post...

So much has been going on (Minnesota Homeschool Chamber Orchestra concert, piano recital, historic farm field trips, a friend having twins, signing up for the block-of-the-month quilt at the local quilt shop, spring cleaning, lots of baking, setting up the pool, trying to get the garden in...)- I don't think I could do enough backlog-blogging... but...

I've been wanting to get to a quick post about my afternoon at the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival on Mother's Day. For those of you keeping track of such things, yes, this event occured just after I and 3 of my children survived another stomach bug. The kids bounced right back, I on the other hand was on my 4th day with little to no food. I tried to eat that day, and it just hurt, so I stopped... except for a few nibbles of kettle corn, which, as any die-hard kettle corn fan knows, is worth a stomach cramp or two.

It was a fairly cold, and very windy day, I was rather weak and shaky, I had my 4 girls with me (boys hung out with dad...) but, after a couple years of trying to get to this event, and never seeming to be able to manage it, I was going to go to this event, or stay home whining like a baby. I had done enough whining in the previous days, so it was off to the festival for this fiber freak.

There were llamas and alpacas- so cute and tempting... (my husband once suggested getting a couple alpacas, I wonder if he still remembers doing that...)

Of course, there were sheep, some being shorn... we stopped for a bit to watch this one, then we got cold and headed for the buildings. It is pretty amazing how fast they do that with modern shears. When we watch it done at the Kelley Farm, it takes a lot longer... they use old hand shears and what must amount to a lot of muscle power, my hands ache just thinking about it.

There were piles of fluff... with little noses, ears, and eyes, if you look real hard... There was a woman holding a rabbit, while spinning, but not spinning directly from the rabbit- I was bummed to have missed that, I'll have to catch that next year...

This one was my favorite, of course, he wasn't for sale... my husband doesn't think rabbits are a good idea for our home, we have a very large dog, our friends call her our bear, she's part Newfoundland part Husky... and she's brought home some rabbits before... lovely... I don't know if she coud get her teeth on anything vital without choking on the fur of one of these things, but I don't really want to find out.

I already mentioned the kettle corn, no fair or festival would be complete without that. I'm sorry to have missed the pronto pups, hehe, no I'm not, they're not my favorite, and I'm pretty sure that even if they were, they wouldn't have agreed with me that day... well, pronto pups or no pronto pups, I had to get a pic of their sign- 'Military Order of Cooties'?!?! Cooties?!? Who knew?

My main objective for the day was to find a nice pair of sock blockers, a Nostepinne, and Fiber Trends' Felted Clog pattern. I must've missed them, but I didn't see any sock blockers... I scored a wonderful clear finish Kromski Nostepinne from Mielke's Fiber Arts. (If you're interested in seeing how a Nostepinne is used, here's a YouTube clip to check out- it's short and sweet, though not very descriptive, I may have to remedy that soon with an alternative video clip, eh? ya think?)

I found the Felted Clog pattern, in child's size- great for my kids, I might have to wing it for a pair for me this fall as I didn't see any adult size copies, no biggee, winging it is one of my favorite things to do!

I sighed heavily, thinking of buying this-

And was excited to find this, a Schacht School Loom, for a mere $10 more than the cheap smaller one I almost bought 10 minutes before spotting this. I could have waited, looked them up, comparative shopped, and ordered one online 'one of these days...' , but nope, I saw it, wanted it (it's for the kids, really, it is...) and slapped my money down on their table so fast I think I actually took the people, whose job it is to sell them, by surprise...

This is a publicity shot, not something my kids have already worked up... ours in still in the packaging... It's been a couple weeks, I know, but did you see the list of busy-ness that started this post? It'll come out soon, and I won't be able to resist showing off pics of my kids' wonderful creations...

As this event fell on Mother's Day, it's only right to mention the thoughtful gift my husband got for me, after I tell you the short story that leads up to it. My sisters and I went together on a ball winder for our mom, and when I mentioned it to my husband a couple weeks earlier, I dropped the hint that it's something I would really love as well, and I let him know that if he didn't know where to find one, he could always ask my mom or knitting sister where they could be bought. I didn't really give it another thought. We are not big gift givers. We have a rather tight budget. He knew I'd be treating myself to a couple of goodies at the festival. I figured he'd think that was present enough for me. Nope. He pulled a good one. It turns out he did conspire with my seriously good poker-faced sister, who never even cracked a smile when I mentioned that I told my husband that's what I wanted too...

That man actually went to a yarn shop that I haven't even been to yet, and chatted it up with the store owner after pointing out a pic of one of his daughters on a Blue Sky Alpacas pattern... he started brainstorming, thinking of new product ideas and ways to market them, always scheming, that fella, and so very supportive of my designing hobby! How lucky am I?! Lucky enough to have a great family and a new ball winder!!

No fancy swifts yet, but I happen to have 6 living swifts (7, including dear husband) ranging in age from 19 months to 14 years. They have young, strong arms, and so far they still think it's fun to hold skeins of yarn for me- even my boys! (Don't tell their friends!)

I'll leave you with some freshly wound Sport Weight... isn't it pretty?

Happy knitting-



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, all of those adorable animals. It looks like a great time. Those bunnies are just incredible. Thanks for sharing...

5/30/2008 7:54 PM  
Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

What a great post! You have a pool? Ok I officially hate you right now (kidding, but I'm still kinda bitter).

Did you know that the rest of the country calls those delectable treats 'corn dogs' and not 'pronto pups'? Can you even wrap your head around that one??

5/30/2008 9:27 PM  
Blogger Traci said...

i'm a corn dog kinda girl me-self. looks like a ton-o-fun was had by all. sorry we missed it :(

woo hoo! WTG hubby on the perfect gift! now you have 2 ball winders! just think of all those pretty little balls of yarn sitting in a sweet little basket...ahhhh...

6/02/2008 11:10 PM  
Blogger said...

really nice blog post from an Overdue reader!

1/16/2009 4:57 PM  

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