Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday errands

Every Monday morning I start the week the same way, by taking a nice drive into Sinking Valley to a wonderful Amish farm to get milk. Depending on the time of year and what I need in the house, I will also stop at the produce stands (spring - end of Oct) or the dry goods store.
Its my time to think, and enjoy the slower pace of the valley.

I love the valley. I even have a farm picked out that someday I would like to live at. Its so quaint that part of my time is spent on the drive thinking of how I would decorate the house inside. Now, mind you, I have never been in that house. But,that doesn't stop me at all.

I can picture one of the 2nd floor rooms overlooking the meadow, with looms and a wheel. One of the side windows in the downstairs living room, I would have a bobbin lace pillow set up on a frame beside a wing back chair. It would be one that received alot of morning sun for good lighting in the morning.

(Yes, you have caught me, I have mentioned another craft. One I am itching to learn, but trying to be patient, and get things done that I have already started. So technically I haven't started any, so I am not actually adding another craft to my arsenal. YET)

If you have never seen Bobbin Lace being made here is a picture of some being worked at MD Sheep & Wool this past spring:
My daydream of the farm with sheep in the pasture, is one I visit every Monday, as I have for the past several years.

This week as I drove past the pastures with the sheep, horses and cows grazing, I enjoyed the colorful falling leaves drifting in front of the van as I drove. The fields have all been harvested for the most part. I shall have to work at remembering to grab the camera and get pictures of the corn stalks stacked up in the fields. It almost feels like I have stepped back into time on this drive. As I get closer to the house, I see the faint thread of smoke from the chimney and can smell the wood fire. Clothes, freshly washed, are already hanging on the line behind the house.

I finally pull into the drive, and park beside a buggy, and am greeted by the smiling faces of the children peaking out the window and waving. The smell of bread baking drifts from the house as I approach the door. The children are used to me coming to visit and chat with their mother, before retrieving my milk and heading back to the fast paced world we all live in. I think they are as curious of me as I am of them sometimes.

Occasionally there is a sheep near the driveway, that runs back and forth as I drive up. The chickens are out scratching and looking for bugs.

Life is simple there, all the problems of bills, appointments, work seem to disappear when I am in the valley. I could spend all day there.

Of course Chey is wondering why I came home, she is, after all, comfortable!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It was 2 mos till Christmas, and all through the House;

Its 2 Mos till Christmas!
I am coming up from my pile of yarn to report what I have gotten done so far.
I have been knitting a bit lately, trying to get caught up with everything. So far I have finished a few items that were custom ordered:
1 pair of blue mitts:
2nd, a pair of black, grey and brown mitts:
3rd item: Brown shetland handspun socks. Pattern from the book "Handknit Holidays", with some modifications:
I am now in love with this pattern. Its fast, and I really enjoy the rhythm of the knitting. I am starting a pair of handspun one for myself. I will have to get pictures tomorrow when the light is better.
I can't believe its almost the end of October, I am still wondering where the month went. I know I keep saying that every post, but this year is really flying by. Last Saturday I attended my nephew and niece's birthday party, where we pulled names for the Christmas exchange. I went about my whole week in a nice delusion of having lots of time till Christmas, so no big deal. I have projects planned for the person I got. Lots of time - right?
Then Saturday I was at Delightful Ewe, admiring the beautiful designs of Lisa Carnahan of Lisa Knits, and chatting with her and the other customers. When it dawned on me.

Christmas is exactly 2 mos away!

Panic has ensued. I am trying hard not to fall victim to what the Harlot terms as "IT". For those not in the habit of reading her blog or books, "It" is the delusion I will get all the items I want done for gifts done by December 25th. Note the word DELUSION.
Enough said.

So, in the delusional state I am currently residing, I decided to make a list and then to do what any sane person would do. Devote a certain amount of time to each project every day.

That will work, yep, it really should.

Can someone let the family know I will be in seclusion for the next 2 mos? Please?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bedford Fall Foliage 2008

That time of year has come and gone again, and I was once again at Bedford Fall Foliage spinning on a wheel. This year we had a change of location as the Church from whom we rented the hall for the last 27 yrs decided they wanted to do something new this year. So after much looking, and debate we rented the Old Bedford Jail across the street from the school building we had been in.
Its a interesting building, having been built in 1800's and is still in pretty fair condition after being used by county for several years.
The windows are original, but some of the walls need fixed, as there are cracks showing. I had a strange type of a booth, one that stretched across a doorway.

Now all of the yarn on that table above is hand spun and/or dyed by me. The exception is the small amount of yarn in the wire basket on the table by the yellow rose doily. The doilies were made by Carla's mom Peaches.
I spent most of the weekend in that spinning chair working on the Majacraft Rose wheel. Much as I enjoy demonstrating, it was a cramped space to work in this year.
One could also tell that the stock market was in trouble and people are worried. While we had alot of lookers, not alot of the people were purchasing items it seemed.
I managed to do only fair this year, and am a bit disappointed at the lack of sales I made. However this is a boost to most here in on the Internet as all of the items here will soon be listed in my Etsy shop.
I am going to prolong the fun and only add a few items each day, so keep checking back to see what will be added next.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Congrats Sarah & Andrew!

Today I had the honor of watching a young lady I have known for years, my "adopted daughter" Sarah:

Become a married woman:
She married a wonderful gentleman, Andrew.
May they have a long and wonderful life together!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

What have I been working on?

This past month has had me working in the kitchen a bit, making grape jam. I figured I would share some pictures of the fun with you. I started with a bowl of concord grapes:

I removed 1/2 of the skins of the grapes, but set them aside:
I then simmered the rest of the grapes in a pan. Finally after removing the juice and adding the saved skins, I left it cook until it jelled:
While all that was happening, I also worked up some salsa for the winter storage too. You start with some fresh tomatoes:
Wash, peel, dice, and add the spices , and cook until it is nice and thick like this:
Then using a ladle, pour it into the hot sterilized jars :Finally after a days work you have this:
That is just a small shot of all the canning that has been done. I also did the green beans, and several other items.
Now its the week between Bedford Fall Foliage Festival, and I have been knitting like mad on some moebius cowls to have for sale this week:

There are 5 in that photo. If they don't sell you will see them soon on my Etsy shop. I go tonight to get the items I placed in Hollidaysburg Farm Show. I haven't been back to see if I got any ribbons, but I was more interested in showing that knitting is alive and well. Speaking of Knitting, don't forget to stop by Delightful Ewe and check out the new class list for fall!

Its amazing how fast time flies if you are busy. Soon it will be time to start baking biscotti for the Holidays!
I will try to update again next week, or sooner if I get the chance to!