Monday, October 24, 2005

Works in Transition

My little Swedish Swift

My roving lies under the spinner!

Waiting for it's big ruffle and a real close-up!

Lucy's Paradoxical Mittens

It's been a few weeks since the sheep and wool festival and I'm still recovering from the overload of stimuli. This is the third year I have attended and I admit to being less stimulated than in previous years but that's not due to a lack of great vendors or stuff -- it is just that I'm beginning to feel overloaded on "stuff". The fibers are just as beautiful, the vendors just as prolific and the stash of goods just as plentiful. I'm in a different place as I try to define my relationship with the craft and the amount of material out there.

This year there were even more spinners in the group. Spinning interests me, but I admit to being a bit scared at the thought of undertaking it. It's just one more craft (or interest) that I don't feel I have the energy or time to undertake fully. Nonetheless I did allow myself to buy some wonderful roving (at Stitches East) so there's something happening that is beyond my common sense boundary. At the wool festival I was lucky enough to find a small swedish swift so my habit of using my knees as a holder for skeins of unwound yarn has gone by the by unless i'm in the car - as a passenger, I might add.

A little digression here: It seems as if there's a constant tug of war inside me that prompts me to go beyond any parameter of control I might have. I have an on-going dialogue between common sense and willful creative energy. Ms. Sense tells me to behave and be disciplined while ms. energetic force tells me to go full tilt toward everything and see what comes naturally - or what sticks. Ms. Energy, so far, has won the battle of the stash - I am beyond reason in the amount of material I own - She's also responsible for a boatload of patterns. Ms Sense at least got her to forego buying individual skeins of beautiful fiber and insisted she stick to enough of each color so that she could make something viable. It slowed the process down a bit, at least, since economy of purse and space reared its sensible head.

Over the past few years I have begun to collect books and things of limited historical interest. I did score this year with a book - the Agricultural Report of 1862 - in which I found marvelous plates of sheep breeds. The book is beyond the pale in terms of condition, but the illustrations are still viable and will make a wonderful addition to my collection of sheep prints.

Last weekend, we had an adventure in a similar vein - this time, food related. We love the countryside as much as we do the city and there is a cool facility in Sleepy Hollow NY called Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture ( The site is dedicated to the preservation of a beautiful farm owned by the Rockefeller Trust. Dan Barber who owns a restaurant called Blue Hill here in NY, opened another, equally fine restaurant, at the farm. They strive to raise as much of the food as possible on premises - including all the poultry and meat. It's a wonderful, valiant effort and is paying off in terms of quality and purity. They also hold educational classes, discussion, demonstrations (cooking & farming), give tours and have a wonderful assortment of activities for adults and local school kids.
We attended a special weekend luncheon with a tour of the place and a terrific lunch - conducted through the Institute of Culinary Education ( one of my favorite food-related places here in New York. I urge everyone who loves food to check this place out - it's a treasure trove of inspiration and a class there makes a great gift for the holiday!

Back to knitting: currently on the needles: The Hannah Falkenberg sweater (mermaid) has been begun! Given the fact that in order to obtain gauge I have had to down-size to size 0 needles, I figure it should be done by next Christmas. This is because of my habit, i might add, of working on 5 projects simultaneously. I have also just started Lucy Neatby's Paradoxical mittens (size 2 dps) and am finishing up a beautiful lacy little shawl which still needs its second ruffle, as well as a jacket for my niece. It's the old problem I have with the discipline thing - with energy and curiousity triumphing, once again, over common sense.


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Blogger Mary deB said...

I love those mittens!
Mary de B

3:58 AM  
Anonymous Shirra said...

Thanks for the Stone Barns Center link. It looks amazing. My kids are little farmer-wanna-be's and we are all itching to get out there!

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