Friday, August 15, 2014

Baa Baa Black Sheep Have You Any Wool

I just came home  from Michigan's FiberFest.  I love going each year...well, most years.  It's such a tactile event.  I walk along running my fingers through fleece still smelling of sheep and lanolin and the field.  Still groaty with dirt and snarls.  but oh, I do stand there and inhale.

I try to go every year.  One year I hobbled along on a broken foot wearing that big boot,  some years it's oppressingly hot,  some years PH even accompanies me holding my purchases and following along behind me as I search.  Each year I have a mission, something I know should be there and I need to find.  Roving for my daughter or the yard art in the front of the house.  Felt balls.  Last year it was the French knitting spool.  Each year I get an idea about something and file it away in my brain till mid August when I can go to FiberFest and look and ask.  This year is was information on dyeing with indigo. I did find people to talk to and came home with information.  And a skein of yarn.  Just one.  I want to see if this works before I invest in more yarn.  My main project will be fabric but that's cotton.  I wanted to see what wool would do.  One plant, one animal.
Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?  Yes, sir, Yes, sir, three bags full.

The animals were not all in yet but they were arriving and some sheep and goats were having lunch as  I wandered through the animal barns.
 Wool on the hoof. Isn't this gorgeous?
 Wool off the hoof
 And transformed into all the colors you can think of.   There was a lot of information on dyeing with Kool-aid.  I'm too much of a purist for that.  I want to do it the hard way.

 This will be a beautiful shawl when it's finished.
 Don't you love these baskets from Ghana?  I'm a sucker for them. I now have three.
 Oops.  Four.
 But the one I bought today was just a little one so it doesn't count, right?
 Bangs must be in right now.

Yesterday when the girls were here we went to the orchard to pick peaches.  It's tough picking peaches and apples because we're just getting into the fun of it when the basket is full.

 I asked Adelaide to count the ones she was putting into my basket.  I told her to put them in gently like eggs and she counted - starting from 1  with each new one she added.  Atta girl!
 They filled mommy's basket in record time and didn't want to leave.  Peaches come ripe all at once and you have to get creative about using them  up.  Pies, juicy chins, my daughter heard of a process where you make a simple syrup, put the peaches into a zip bag, pour in some syrup and freeze them.  We're both going to try it.
There is nothing  like the peach you picked yourself.   I think I said that about strawberries and cherries and blueberries and raspberries.   We're picking our way through summer.  But it's been such a cool summer things are ripening later.  Tomatoes are still not ready, not even close.  Early apples aren't ready yet. U-pick places aren't opening during the week, saving the ripening fruit for the tourists on weekends. 

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