2008 Sedalia Spring Fiber Festival

took place last Saturday in Big Island, Virginia, at the Sedalia Center, which used to be an elementary school, was bought by the county, and now hosts various events. Not a large festival, very cozy and friendly. Look at this setting! at the foot of a few gorgeous peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

sedalia center fiber festival

My friend Denise and I drove up on a last minute whim, and had a wonderful fibery day. I’m still upset that I didn’t win the drawing for the Kromski 16″ Harp loom, but look at this loot!

Sedalia FF loot

Furthest left there is honest to goodness combed Cormo top from Overlook Manor Farm, so wonderfully soft, most likely spins like butter, though that sounds very messy, doesn’t it? Spins like a dream? Better. Then a pattern for a swirly shawl, and jojoland melody yarn to knit it in. Then the Holiday 2007 issue of IK, which is sold out everywhere, what a find! A beautiful skein of potential socks in colorway “cherry blossom” from rock creek yarns. A tool for making braid, and a book to learn how, from Lacis, by way of I See Spots Farm. Last, no photograph could do it justice, because you really have to stroke your face with it to appreciate it fully, and the colors are complex and beautifully blended, but that roving is 50% Polwarth, 50% angora from Woolybuns by way of Greenberry House, in Meadows of Dan, Virginia. What a glorious Stash Enhancement eXpedition (that’s yarn SEX to you). I’m so proud of my self-restraint in coming home without a new spinning wheel or drum carder. When I go to SAFF in the fall, an intervention may be in order.

Today’s flowers for you include:
1st hydrangea bloom

The first hydrangea mopheads of the year. This is an endless summer original, which bloomed pink it’s first year, and a beautiful light red-violet since, and:
clematis 1

white clematis henryi with flowers the size of dinner plates, and:
clematis 2

this lovely blue clematis on my front lamp post which might be variety rhapsody, but I never can remember. It has a profuse habit, and a long blooming season too.

I think I may have just topped my personal record for most links per post.


Fiber Fun Day at Little Meadows

I believe I’ll start with a recipe. I made tropical island slaw to share at a fabulous event which took place on a local fiber farm. This recipe is my own, and you may print it, wad it up, paper the bathroom wall, ignore it entirely or post it to your whole mailing list, as you choose.

Tropical Island Slaw

toss together in a large bowl:

2 bags tricolor slaw mix
2 cans pineapple tidbits, drained, juice reserved
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup dried cherries

mix together in a smaller bowl:

1/2 pt. non-fat sour cream
1/3 cup of the reserved pineapple juice
2 tb cider vinegar
2 tb sugar (optional)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice

Pour the dressing mixture over the slaw mixture and toss lightly. Keep refrigerated.  Garnish with toasted walnut pieces just before serving.

There were many good things brought to Little Meadows yesterday, and many good things resident on the property as well. I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures of the animals. Liese has better pictures of them here, anyway.

I have some pictures of the visiting fiber folk:

fiber fun1

fiber fun 2

fiber fun 3

The two in the background there were both celebrating birthdays, and our charming hostess produced a heart-healthy and extremely yummy birthday cake:
birthday cake

carrot cake with coconut glaze. Nom nom nom. DH ( in tie-dye) was delightfully surprised and ate 2 very low guilt-index pieces.

The birthday girl made her very first wheel-spun yarn, and skeined it on a niddy-noddy. I’m such an airhead, or I’d have a picture of that too.

But I did catch:

a good hat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
a good hat

and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a good batt:

a good batt

The rain came when it was just about time to fold up anyway, but I made off with some really excellent chevre (the origins of which I scrubbled about the ears) and some lovely scented goat’s milk soap (likewise the scrubbling — delightful.)

And I leave you with a visual treat currently starring in my yard:
magnolia grandiflora

magnolia grandiflora. Just grand.

Mother’s Day Mountain Hike

It was my daughter’s idea to take me to climb a mountain for Mother’s Day. It was also my 23rd wedding anniversary. This turns out to be an excellent idea, though it had many opportunities to fail. We got a late start from home, arrived at our hotel in the wee hours, and didn’t get much sleep, but I used my Mighty Bright Xtra Flex Super LED Light in the car (use a rav link to amazon if you want to buy one) and got a lot done on my loksins here, and on rav
loksins 25%

On Saturday we slept in a bit, then mosied up the Parkway, stopping at the Folk Art Center so DH could go in and see if the road was open ahead, since it had been closed for maintenance all winter. He came back to the car, the wife, girls, dogs, with his shoulders bent, head hanging and miserably mumbled “You have to come in, it’s Fiber Day till 4pm.” He’s the best DH ever. We petted sheep, and watched shearing. I saw unique spinning wheels including a great wheel, and a Dutch wheel that had a skeinwinder, distaff, and lazy kate right on it. I managed not to buy anything just to thank him.

So we got back in the car, cruised up the parkway to the parking area we had in mind. We meant to wander around Craggy Gardens. Instead, we blundered onto what was probably the Snowball Mountain Trail (8 miles round trip strenuous) and got probably 2 miles or so straight up the mountain before we decided that might be enough for an old guy with a heart attack and an asthmatic old knitter to do. I think the snowballs were not quite enough in bloom yet, but they looked pretty anyway.
snowball shrubs

I found three different varieties of trillium as well. This one at the foot of the trail,
trillium 3

This one halfway up,
trillium 2

and this one at the top.
trillium 1

This low marker was at the top too.
foot marker

I can figure out that USDI is United States Department of the Interior, and NPS is National Park Service, but if anybody knows what the rest means, please tell me.

This is what we looked like at the beginning of the hike (minus me who took the picture, and Merlin at my feet)

I didn’t take a picture at the end, because we weren’t a pretty sight then. But there was one more treat in store for us–driving down the parkway on our way back to Asheville, right in front of us, a young bear nearly stepped into the road, paused, took a look at us, thought better of it and hightailed it back into the forest. I’ve been in those mountains so many times, and I’ve smelled bear before, but never seen one. And in broad daylight! The NC black bears are usually too shy to be seen by passersby. He must have been very inexperienced. We got a really good look at him. Close enough to see the alarm on his (or her) face!

On Sunday we shopped at the Grove Arcade. The girls created custom fragrances at Bath Junkie, and I of course, bought yarn.

I think there’s a pair of socks for DH in here somewhere. He certainly deserves them.

On the drive home, smack in front of us there was a glorious rainbow most of the way. I was too rapt to think to take a picture, but they never do justice to the real thing anyway. Use your imagination. And then we slept.

eyes by zack

Chalk on pavement.

My young friend Zack is a visual artist, as you can see. He’s also a newbie knitter, showing a lot of promise, and he’s got all the talent and inclination to be an outrageous designer. So when he’s all the talk of the knitting world, I’ll be remembering that I was the one who put needles and yarn into his hands. Yeah, that feels pretty good.