Monday, October 29, 2012

Rhinebeck look back

Hurricane Sandy is barreling in tonight and this could be the view
in a few hours if driving. But rather it was the view
last weekend while Faith and I drove down to the
Rhinebeck show in New York to sell my wares.
It was a miserable, rainy Friday but promised to be
a gorgeous weekend regaling peak foliage along the Hudson River.
We set up the booth Friday afternoon which is always
a space challenge. How to get 4 times as much into a
pint-sized booth. Faith and I work well together
and after a few dress rehearsals we were ready for the show.
Rhinebeck is a monster of a fiber show, more than
250 vendors and record crowds every year. This was
the aisle by our booth Sunday morning just after opening.
Saturday was double the people. It is so busy
there isn't time to get to the bathroom with two of us working!
Mind over matter wins.
There is something about the maples on the fairground,
every year they are just perfect reds, oranges and golds.
And there are always the cutest babies
donning woolen knitwear...
and faces to die for. This is Oliver.
Faith captured a little Chihuahua mix.
A special friend, Nutmeg Owl,
created this beautiful shawl for me to display to showcase
my lace weight silk yarns. You can read more in the link 
above. She also wrote a great post about the show here.
Needless to say the yarns flew off the shelf!
Loved backing into our parking space Saturday night only to find
an easy-to-collect stash of black walnuts to take home. Perfect!
Saturday night dinner with Faith at Terrapin.
It's become a mother/daughter tradition to do the
shows together and a treat for us both.
I don't get a chance to shop this show as there
isn't enough time to get out and about but our booth
is fortunate to be very near the book signing area
so I swung through late Sunday afternoon.
There was one lone star author sitting with her new book.
Instantly I was drawn to the story she shared and the tale of her great-great-grandfather
"a nineteenth-century millionaire, William Skinner, a leading founder of the 
American silk industry, who lost everything in a devastating flood and his
improbably, inspiring comeback to the pinnacle of the business world."
From the first page this is a gripping story. Her writing style is
easy and captivating and it all took place
just south of here in Massachusetts in the late 1800's.
Put this one on your reading list and Rhinebeck
a destination next year!

Friday, October 19, 2012

look, see, run

Looking back a month, I guided a lovely group through the day
learning to dye with indigo. Beautiful blues.
A vintage dress that was a rather bland light peach
morphed. It was dyed with the indigo I grew this summer
which yielded a much greener blue. Love it!
It was a made to order September day here on the farm.
The pumpkins got harvested and they were huge 
despite the dry summer.
The flock finally in their glory with cooler
temperatures and less fences set for rotation.
A free for fall grazing time.

We got the last of the hay in, loft full, case closed for winter.
Kalie helped me while I loaded bales to the elevator.
Every blessed sheep coat from last shearing to date
got washed and sorted, finally.
Crystal is still with us doing it slowly
and calmly.
Early October Long Ridge Farm was on the 
artisan tour and it was a wonderful experience.
Luna was the official greeter!
I was delighted that right around the corner there
is a breadmaker and a new winery. 
Made for a great tour route.
Lots of people stopped to visit and shop while I let 
the fresh indigo vat simmer all day and dyed up a storm.
I gave people the chance to dip their own silk to watch
the magic happen.
The sheep modeled for the visitors. Good sheep.
And now it's time for Rhinebeck. Shoving off momentarily.
A very special delivery came
from a very dear Owl friend.
You can read about it here and see it on display
at the show. Just gorgeous.
Come visit the grand dame of the
wool festivals on the east coast this Saturday and Sunday.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

in the cover of darkness

Autumn as been short and lackluster in my corner of the world. 
I suspect the too dry summer stressed the trees and when the time
came to say goodbye to their canopies, it was without a fight.
The leaves have drifted down, mostly yellow, ever as lovely,
on the forest walks,
 giving way to my favorite view. 
I can see the flock in the near field now from the house. 
And they can see the lights of home come nightfall. 
Weather reports portend the end of the growing season
tomorrow night with a killing frost. I am behind on that count.
It can't be! I looked at the thermometer in the kitchen window
tonight. It reads 34. Too close for discomfort.
Luna and I swung about the gardens to cover anything
I am not ready to part with yet.
The indigo won. 
It will have a few days relief after
tomorrow night and we have work left to do
my indigo and I.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

about today

On this day in 2006, at this very hour, I was standing alone in the far field at the farm. 
My memory of that moment is as if it was yesterday. 
I felt an eerie silence. An aloneness I couldn't define.
Never did I imagine
what I would learn by nightfall.
As I stood in the field staring at the hills, 
waiting for the sun to come shining
through, an hour or so away in the heart of NH,
my big brother, Jim Walker, was logging alone in the woods 
with his horses,
and suffered a massive heart attack.
No one found him until late afternoon.
It was too late.
True, he died doing what he loved the very most with
his beloved horses at his side.
Somehow that consolation falls short.
Jim with Ted and Tony 2006
He was loved by so many people.
He loved so many in return and would give the shirt off his
back for those who he cared for.
 me and Jim at 6 and 10 on our farm in Amherst, NH
Jim Walker was a good man, taken too soon.
I am thankful for those who share this day with me each year
who also miss this guy immensely.
So goes October 4th every year.