Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sheep and Wool

This past weekend we visited the Garden State Sheep and Wool Festival in Lambertville, NJ. Now that we've moved, we're a lot closer to the fairgrounds where the festival is held and no longer have to deal with all the crazy weekend traffic from the city-people driving out to Pennsylvania.

This year we spent a nice, leisurely Saturday petting sheep and alpaca...















watching Seamus get his face painted...



watching the sheep-dog herding demonstrations...



and of course touching lots of yarn and roving...





The highlight of our trip was when Seamus got to help one of the farmers with the sheep shearing demonstration. It was this particular sheep's first time under the clippers, and the farmer explained that if you get all four of the sheep's feet off the ground they'll go limp and won't try to run off.



Seamus got to keep a handful of the wool he shaved.



The Jacob Sheep are always our favorite with their head full of horns (four to be exact).





Seamus got to take one of those horns home.



I got to take home enough superfine alpaca wool to make both kids sweaters and hats this fall. I also purchased some felted soap from an alpaca farmer and soapmaker. I love it and have been felting some of my own soap lately.



Since we're poor now, this is probably the only fiber festival we'll attend this year, but it was worth it. These festivals always signal the beginning of fall to me, and the days since have brought much cooler temperatures. I'm totally ready for pumpkins and wool sweaters, Halloween costumes and changing leaves.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Yarn Along



On the Needles: I've just started knitting the Owlunder Baby Sweater for a friend's baby. So far it's been quick work. I hope to have it finished by the end of the week so I can start knitting fall and winter wear for my own kiddos.



Off the Bookshelf: Found T's copy of Franklin's Autobiography laying around the house where he'd been reading it on and off. I picked it up and have been enjoying it immensely. I've read bits and pieces of it before, but this time I'm going to read it the whole way through. I've also been making my way through the Sleep Easy Solution. Not too sure if this will help with Vivian's nighttime partying, but we'll see. Mama needs more than three hours of sleep a night. Check out the Small Things blog to see what others are knitting and reading this week.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lately

We've been outside a lot lately...



studying wildflowers...







knitting creekside...



catching toads...



and frogs...



looking for the rare American Ginseng plant, which seems to grow all over our township (don't worry, we didn't dig any up)...



hiking an old mining site...









and finding charcoal and iron ore on the trail...



enjoying campfire dinners and staying out late to watch the bats chase the mosquitoes...



and playing in the creek...




When we're not outdoors, we're in the garage, which T has turned into a little studio/work space for the both of us.





T's been learning to make bows using only hand tools and this book. He's learning the whole process from felling the tree to making the arrows. He'll be using every part of the tree. When I told T I was writing about his bow-making, he said, "Please don't make us sound like pretentious jerks." I really hope we don't sound that way.



I've been making all sorts of new soap (pictured here is activated charcoal soap and shea butter, coconut milk soap with calendula petals).



And we've both been learning to brew beer...







I've also been spending a lot of time in the kitchen making pounds cakes, sweet potato, black bean chili, vegetable pot-pies and these easy-peasy Dutch Babies...



Of course we've also been busy with the usual day-to-day. S goes to school until 2pm while I spend much of my day nursing Vivvers and grading papers. T commutes two hours (round trip) to work each day. And we all look forward to weekends and evenings when we can be together enjoying these last weeks of summer.
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