Thursday, October 31, 2013

Things an Alpaca Farmer's Grandson Says

Happy Halloween!!!!!!!
This is one of my favorite holidays. 
Time to be creative, have fun with your friends, laugh, run around neighborhoods and get free candy!!! What's not to love???

My kids are all set with their costumes.
This year we have a zombie, Jack Frost from the movie Rise of the Guardians and, a cowboy.

I needed a few last minute things from the party store yesterday.
Chase LOVED all the creepy stuff in the store. So strange.

But the thing that made me laugh so hard was this...

He found the devil forks and told me that it was for
cleaning alpaca poop.  He then proceeded to "rake" the floor.

I laughed so hard and the sales girl that was helping me looked soooo confused.
Once I explained that his grandparents have an alpaca farm and he thought the pitchfork was
for cleaning up poop, I thought she would find it funny too. Nope. Just looked at me even more strangely. I guess you have to live on an alpaca farm to find this funny.

This is my Jack Frost. Well, part of it. He'll put the costume pants on after school.

The zombie picture will come later.
For now, Chase keeps looking at the blood splattered clothes I made and says,
DD Died. (he calls Dalton, DD) Hope he's not too creeped out later!!!!

Oh, one more funny thing. Sorry, rambling...I know.
While at the Halloween store, Chase picked up a fake broken nasty leg with bones and blood coming out of it, said, "broken?" kissed it and hugged it to make it better.
Most 2 year olds would be scared. Not mine. He's a different one!!!

Ok...that's it. Have a happy Halloween!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Helping and Other Random Bits

This past weekend, my parents and sister Andee headed up to Syracuse for an alpaca show.

That left me to clean the poop. Oh joy.
I can't complain though. With some helpers, it's not all that bad.
And you get to spend some quality outdoor time in this beautiful weather with beautiful animals.

My poop cleaning boots sit outside the door and Chase keeps telling me,
Alpaca Poop!??!!! He loves to help. Can't wait until he is old enough to really help.
Won't my mom be happy??!!

We are participating in a Nature Box Exchange.
I read about it over here and joined right in. We were matched up with a family in Oregon.
So we took a walk around home, Allaire State Park and the beach to collect
things from nature, identified them, packed them into an egg carton and we'll be mailing it off this week. The family in Oregon is doing the same thing and will be mailing us a box.
My kids are looking forward to see if they have any of the same things as we have here or will it all be different and new?

Pretty view of Spring Lake....drove over for some design inspiration.
 Nature collecting.

New alpaca/silk yarn dyed by Liz!!! Isn't it beautiful?!! It will be on sale at the farm.

 Mr. Wade playing in his "fort"

Little buddies. Cousins that are like brothers.

Andee's starfish hat pattern! I knitted up one in some Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn in the Faded Quilt color way. So cute! Pattern link Here: Squishy Starfish Hat

So, random things all in one place....

I also want to mention that today marks the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.
I remember it all like it was yesterday as I'm sure many others do. I am thankful for our house, the fact that the giant tree fell the other way...this day a year later...our heat being on, electricity, phones, computers, hot showers...all the things we didn't realize we cared so much about!
I know that many people are still out of their homes and there is constant rebuilding going on around our towns. Things are very different this year for good and bad...and hopefully we'll never see a storm like that again!!!!

Fair-ly Obsessed

I have always like fair-isle. The way it looks...the fun of using different colors...the freedom to change a design every few rows...what ever you're in the mood for...and the "classic" look that it has.

After meeting Mary Jane Mucklestone at Rhinebeck, my obsession grew.
I am on a roll....can't be stopped!

Here are the latest creations of my needles.

I used a blend of handspun yarn by my mom (the dark blue), alpaca yarn, wool,
some left over Shelter yarn, some Spud and Chloe...all good stash busters.

Garrett and Chase helped me out with the modeling :)

Most of the patterns are from this book by Mary Jane Mucklestone.
200 Fair Isle Motifs: A Knitter's Directory

Mostly, I just do what ever I am feeling at the time.

But sometimes I use a larger pattern like this hat...
The dark blue is handspun by my mom. The pink is a left over wool in the stash and the light blue is from our alpaca, Tsunami blended with blue merino.
This hat is a toddler size.

All of the hats are on sale at the farm store.

On to more knitting!!!!

Joining in with Ginny and the yarn along folks :)
Also wishing Ginny good luck with the new baby that should be arriving soon!

Happy Knitting.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Yarn Along Day

Knitted up a fair isle hat using yarn from one of our alpacas and handspun yarn made by my mom.

I also knitted more of my Guernsey Wrap.

Joining in with Ginny.

Happy Knitting

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rhinebeck Perfection

The New York Sheep & Wool Festival...better known to knitters simply as Rhinebeck, was this past weekend. We all wanted to go but when we looked at the possibility, it seemed slim.
Kids, life, sports, work, etc looked as though it was stopping us from enjoying a trip
up to the festival. We moped around...sad and depressed. 

Then on Friday night, we made a last ditch effort and figured it out.

So with some kids in tow, missing Lizzie :(, Andee, Brady, Shea, my mom, Chase and I packed into Andee's car early Sunday morning and took the drive up to knitters heaven.

Here are the pictures to prove what an amazing day it was. I'm so glad we figured it out and made it up there. The weather was picture perfect. The trees were amazing. The animals made Chase's day.

 We made it!
 Waiting in line to get in. A very nice lady gave us each a coupon. :) Knitters are nice people.

Kids immediately wanted to see the alpacas. Shocker.

Yarn. Oh the yarn....everywhere you look.

Chase broke out in his "Phoebe from Friends" run when he heard the sheep!
This kids loves sheep.

Taking the boys made me slow down at this festival. No mad dashes to yarn tents, just a nice slow pace, enjoying the sights, events and sometimes a really good puddle jump.

 We met a nice rescue border collie.

One of the main reasons that I wanted to make it to the festival this year is because my artwork was chosen as a finalist for the 2015 cover contest. People were able to vote on them. Mine is the top right #4. I don't know if people could see it was sheep. Just looked like pretty colored things from afar. Fingers are crossed....we'll see! It gave me a thrill to see it up there.

A magician shrunk our kids :) Chase and Shea were so confused.

Besides seeing my artwork, this was my biggest thrill of the day. Many authors of popular knitting books were there for author meet and greets and book signings. I love Fair Isle. I taught myself and don't do it very often, but I love the chance to use so many colors and create designs that are unique.
I read that Mary Jane Mucklestone would be there so I brought along my copy of Fair Isle Motifs for her to sign. I also purchased another book of hers. She was so nice and it made my day. I will treasure these books and I can't wait to learn more and create new designs.

The hat you see here is what she was working on at her table. Very cool.

Another favorite thing ( I had a lot of favorite things. It was a good day, what can I say?)
The Leaping Llama contest!!!!! So funny! Llamas and alpacas had to jump over a pole that was raised. Think of limbo in reverse. Who know a llama could jump so high? The alpacas weren't the best...but we really enjoyed watching. Next time we'll have to get there earlier so we can sit in the stands instead of looking like peeping toms through the fence.

I liked this team's shirts in the contest... "The Spitters"

A little zoo was set up for the kids. Chase posed by this wooden kangaroo and made me take his picture. This kid is something else...

I couldn't get over how much there was for the kids. And they were so good.
Well, Chase had a few moments, but he's 2. So I guess that is to be expected.

Lots of hill running

 Gorgeous. No other words.

Another fun thing....the blogging world connects!!!!
My sister Andee and I follow "The Crazy Sheep Lady" Blog
She drove up from Kentucky with her husband and her big stuffed sheep "20". 
Sara "the crazy sheep lady" contacted Andee and we met up.
It was a pleasure meeting her in person.

Then Chase got a little tired....the busy walkway seemed like a good resting spot.

The zoo was fun. Chase is a turtle fan, so this kept him happy.

 Not too sure of that kid's entire face painted like a tiger.

I admired so many hand knits. Anyone know what this pattern is????? I love it. 
The great thing about the fall festivals is that it's cool enough to show off your knits.

 MomMom and some of her little boys :)
 Lots of leaf playing.

An attempt to get a picture of me and Chase.....

 Another sweater I was stalking. 

 Dog frisbee throwing and catching!!! Another hit with the kids and the adults.

Mental note for next time....follow the yellow line if you have to pee.

A scene that is not strange at a yarn festival. 
Caught this woman knitting while she waited for her food.

End of the day....time for cider and donuts. 

 Apple cider donut sugar lips :)

I didn't go for yarn...BUT I HAD to buy some.
Picked up these four skeins of wool at a cute booth. 
I plan to use them for a fair isle project out of my new book.

Aunt Andee and Chase

And then we fell in love with a llama. Previous to this day I feared llamas. 
But this gentle giant changed my mind. He was very cool.

A day never to be forgotten.

Thank you Rhinebeck. We'll be back.

Next time, with a cute hotel room and wine :)