It Almost Killed Me!

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For the last few years, I have made an annual pilgrimage to a nearby fiber festival, A Wool Gathering. The first year was when I was pregnant with my son and my daughter was very young. It was HOT and being in the tents was miserable! The second year, my husband stayed with my daughter and I brought my sister along, along with my son, who was still a nursling and was easy enough to wear in a sling around the festival. The two years past, the kids have stayed with Grandma and it has been a great outing for my husband and I. We had planned to continue that tradition, but Mom had foot surgery 2 weeks ago and still has a pin sticking out of a toe. So, the babysitter was out. We almost skipped the festival altogether, but, at the last minute, I brought it up. I thought the kids would enjoy it and it was going to be a gorgeous fall day.

We decided to get going around lunch. We all piled in the van, buckled up and… nothing. The battery was dead! There was enough power to open the power door and for the warning chime to sound that I had the keys in the ignition while the door was open, but that was it. Thankfully I have a great husband who knows enough about vehicles that he could remove the old battery and install a new one without calling AAA. So, we removed the dead battery, stuck it in the trunk of the car and moved the kids boosters over and headed to the festival!

It was GORGEOUS! Young’s Jersey Dairy is huge, so even with the parking lots packed, you never felt overwhelmed by the crowd. And I was so excited to see that the festival has expanded! Now there were three huge tents, plus the outside vendors. We had talked about eating first, but the tram we caught in from the parking lot dropped us off at the doors of the festival.

We spent some time watching a sheep being sheared (Australian method – so funny to watch!) We checked out some sheep and had one stick his nose right up to the kids to be petted. The kids got to pet an angora bunny (if anyone is curious, angora bunnies produce angora, but angora goats produce mohair.) Then we wandered around the festival. I had my hands in many types of fibers, looking longingly at all of the beautiful hand-dyed roving and even the raw fleeces. My daughter and I fell in love with the cutest pink and brown HitchHiker spinning wheel (my husband marveled at it’s tiny size.) After wandering, we finally headed over to the kids’ area where my kids made their own jump rope with yarn and twine on a cool contraption that twisted 12 strands into one. And we topped it off with a yummy dinner at The Golden Jersey Inn. It is wonderful comfort food! Then we headed home, stopping to buy that new battery first.

Normally at this point in my blog post, I would showing pictures of all my treasures from the festival. So, here it is:

Yea. Nothing. I came home empty handed. And it nearly killed me!!! I usually use some money I get for my birthday in August to pay for my shopping trip. But we have a family vacation coming up early next year and I chose instead to put that money towards bills so we can actually afford that vacation. I promised to not buy anything today. And I kept to my word. But I didn’t like it ONE BIT!

The hardest part for me was that my daughter was going crazy of some of the yarn and a lot of the roving. I had pictures popping into my head of the yarn I would spin and the items I would knit for her. She was in love with the purples. I also loved the bright pink and green and the mixed bag of gold, green and orange. I love looking at colors like that and trying to imagine what it would look like spun up. But, this year, I will continue to just imagine!

I have vowed to come back next year (without the kids – they whined too much!) and finally get my hands on some of those great colors! And even though I didn’t bring home anything to show for our day except some jump ropes, I did bring home some inspiration. I hope to pull my wheel out, dust her off and do some spinning soon. I have tons of fiber from fiber festivals past, so I am certainly not short of materials. And maybe I can spend a few dollars and buy some dye in those great colors and dye some roving of my own. Maybe one of my next creations will be some handspun yarn. Only time will tell!

Welcome Autumn!!!

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Consider this post a bit of CPR for my blog! Time to revive the blog, get her off the ground and humming again!

We here in Central Ohio, as many others across the country, have had a long, hot summer. I think we were being paid back for our very cold, very snowy winter and then our non-existent, very rainy spring. And I hated it! I am a cool weather, jeans and sweater wearing kinda girl. That is why I love knitting!

Unfortunately, being faced with such hot weather, my crafting comes to a stop. I can’t bear to pick up any yarn, especially wool! Even fabric seems too hot to handle. I even had a difficult time thinking about craft projects I might want to do when the weather cooled down! My kids and I spent the summer days inside many days, just trying to stay cool, or outside enjoying the sun. I have the best tan I have had in 10 years! There were visits to the zoo, the local parks and lots of days at the pool. I managed to get a lot of reading done.

And then the last week has brought us a wonderful respite from the heat. After 97 degrees with 85% humidity on the first two days of September, we settled into a much cooler weather pattern. And by the end of this week, we are supposed to have highs in just the 60’s! And amazingly, I am starting to plan projects again!

While I want to do some knitting, most of my projects for now are focused on sewing. I have a ton of items on my to-sew list. I have everything from hats to American Girl clothes to PJs for the kids. I am actually just starting to work on a rather large project this week, but I will reveal more once I get something more to show for it. It is a special, heartfelt project that I want to make sure gets done right. In the end, the project should help a lot of people I love in a very special way.

So, consider me back from the brink. I am going to aim to post much more often – perhaps aiming for once a week, if not more – as I get back into crafting. And since everyone loves pictures, I will show the only items I made this summer. This used very little wool, was fast and easy and not something that required dealing with amounts of material that covered my lap. Sometimes, needle felting is just the ticket! And yes, I was dreaming of wintery weather when making these!

A pair of sweet snowmen with their little pine tree!

And Mr. Frosty!

These were all needle felted. I used wool I had on hand. I got the idea for the first two from the Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Crafts magazine. (This is a great issue, by the way! Some great stuff in here! You may see more from me using the ideas in here soon!)

Now, time to get crafting!