Friday, May 25, 2007

Babies at a Fiber Festival

I apologize for not giving a report of last week's Rhode Island wool festival. Work has kept me extra busy this week and then we also had a Brownie meeting yesterday which needed to be planned. You would think that I would be better prepared for Brownies since we have 2 weeks in between meetings, but no - I always wait till the last minute. Anyway, I thought I would share with you some of the babies at the fiber festival.

3 1/2 week old Pygora goats:

3 week old Angora bunnies:

If you look closely, you will see that my daughter is holding one of the baby bunnies. This was what she did most of the afternoon. Yes, Carole, we ended up staying till almost 4:00. I couldn't get her away from those bunnies. I was grateful that they were too young to be taken away from their mama since I kept getting asked "Can we please take one home??!!".

This weekend we are off to Cummington.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Eye Candy Friday and Some Exciting News!!

This was one of our stops on the cruise we took in February. As I look out my window and see the rain coming down, it's nice to remember the warmth of the Caribbean.

I found out the most exciting news yesterday. This Saturday, May 19th, will be RI's first annual Sheep and Wool festival. It may be a soggy day, but I can't wait to go. The event will take place at Coggeshall Farm in Bristol. I've never been here but the website says it is a living historical farm and heirloom breeds of cattle, pigs, sheep and chickens roam the grounds. The wool festival will have demonstrations, contests (like sheep to shawl, spinning), hands on events for the kids, cute fiber animals, vendors and more. I'm so excited - it's going to be hard to sleep tonight!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Our Walk for the Animals

Spring seems to be a time for fund raising events such as walks and bicycle rides. Claudia is doing her annual bicycle ride for MS and it is a great cause. I first found out about the ride when a good friend of mine participated in it. She had done a 50 mile MS walk a year or so before and then did the ride another year in support of her Mom who has MS. I was happy to support her and now I can support Claudia. I just found out that Anne also raises funds in memory of her Dad and pledges the money to Claudia. There are great prizes and it's all for an excellent cause.

Our yearly walk supports our local animal shelter. It is a great resource for our area and also aids animals from around the country - helping out other shelters or aiding in emergencies when needed. We started doing this walk when my daughter was about 3 years old. It is one of the ways that I hope to teach her the importance of helping others in need. My Mom taught me that lesson by her examples and the way she lived her life and I hope that I can pass that on. This is the first year I have attempted to create an online donation page and it seems to be going well. Please check it out here and donate if you wish. We really appreciate it and I know the animals do too. Maybe I can even come up with some fibery prizes.

This year the walk means even more since we adopted our dog Bandit from the shelter about 6 months ago. She is really a wonderful addition to our family.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Socks For Me!!

I just love getting packages in the mail. Especially when it is a package from my Bloomin' Feet pal. I know you want to see what's inside so let's take a little peek. First there's candy - chocolates, some really cool looking sushi candy, oh, there is some soft peanut toffee drizzled with chocolate, but that got opened already and is now in the refrigerator so it missed out on the picture taking. There is also the most wonderful smelling soap - Black Tea Jasmine (my whole room smells great) and some body lotion. A great little journal and some blank notecards which I will be able to embellish to my heart's delight (did my pal know that I make cards?).

Then we have a beautiful pattern for a Seashell Wrap, size 6 needles (just the size needed in the pattern) and some beautiful rovings. One is dyed by my pal (merino, silk and alpaca - yum!!) and the other is from Lori Lawson of Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio (funny thing, I just heard of her today and then I get this in the mail). Both of the rovings are the perfect colors for me.

Oh wait, you really came here for the socks. Well, let me tell you that my pal is awesome. She actually dyed and spun the BFL for my socks. It's hard enough for me to believe that someone made me socks - but they also dyed and spun the fiber. Wow!! And the fit is perfect. See...

I'm wearing them to work tomorrow and showing all the girls at knitting group. Thank you, Sheree, for making this swap so special. And for making me feel so special!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Joy of Reading

We have a typical routine on those Saturday mornings when we are home. My daughter and I head on over to the local Michaels craft store for the craft being done at the Saturday morning Kid's Club. Then we walk over to Barnes and Noble to check out the books and have a snack at the cafe. This is what I picked up yesterday.

I will admit that I don't make as much time to read as I used to. The two books on the right are the latest paperbacks in two series that I have enjoyed. Every once in a while I will check to see if any new books are out by these authors and when I noticed that each series had a new hardcover, I found out that I had missed these two previous ones. They are both murder mysteries - the Sneaky Pie Brown series takes place in Virginia and involves 2 cats and a dog that help to solve crimes. I have a girlfriend who hasn't been able to get into this series - the animals do "talk" to each other - but I find them a light, fun read. The other series by Earlene Fowler takes place in California and has a great female character that is always stumbling onto crimes. Each book has the name of a quilt pattern as the title. I used to do a lot of quilting and was even a member of our local guild.

The book on the left is for my daughter. We read a lot together but it has been a little of a struggle to get her to read on her own. I loved to read when I was younger and would lose myself in my books. I was quite shy and maybe I even used books as a crutch. I used to always bring them to those big family gatherings so I could just plop myself down somewhere and start reading. Some of my favorite were Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, C.S. Lewis' series of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Borrowers - I remember buying books from the Ruth Fielding series when we would stop at flea markets. I hope my daughter finds this same love of reading. She found the first book in this series about the Weather Fairies and has been reading it to me every night. She needs help with some of the words, but I have been so impressed with her ability.

I realized something about myself - I can usually say no to buying toys but most of the time I will always be willing to buy books and crafts.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Too Many WIPs Mean...

nothing to show. There are several projects on the needles - the Moth shawl, 3 pairs of socks, Ariann - and consequently, I have not gotten too far on any of them. Add to that some of Amy's fiber on the wheel and I have more to do than I have the time to do it. And thanks to Margene, another project has jumped into my lap:
I liked Margene's choice of Louet Gems sportweight for the squares so I ordered a few colors from The Loopy Ewe. Sheri always sends out your order super quickly and includes some little extras. I love the blue/brown combination that is so popular now and thought I'd also add a pink/brown combo also. If I find I like getting back to crocheting, I'll order a few more colors for more squares. I remember really hating granny squares and chose to make those ripple afghans instead. One summer my mom, sister and I were all crocheting those afghans. I still have mine and one of my mom's is still over the couch at home.
Back to knitting - Has anyone made the Queen of Cup socks? Connie, a friend of mine in Utah whom I met several years ago through the Socknitters website, and I are doing a mini KAL together. I'm making the wider size (since they are for me) and using the 64 stitches on a size 2 needle (the pattern suggests between a 2 and a 3 for the wider size). The socks seem loose, but the pattern says they should fit looser than an average sock so I'm continuing on but I wonder if I should go down to a 1.5 for the foot since I wouldn't want it too loose inside of my shoe. Any suggestions?
For those going down to Maryland - have fun! And hug a few sheep and other fibery animals for me!