Thursday, October 13, 2011

Autumn Madness

I've been just a bit busy lately, dyeing, skeining, packing, unpacking, setting up, taking down, with five back to back shows and tours.  I've seen my faithful customers/friends at Knitter's Day Out, Shendandoah Valley Fiber Fest, Fall Fiber Fest, my own studio tour, and now I'm packing it all up again to go to the New York Sheep & Wool Fest in Rhinebeck. 

My darling mom came for a visit during all of this and I put her butt to work. She was such a trooper, hauling crates of yarn, mannequins, tables, fiber and she kept me company in my booth.

So she wouldn't have idle hands, I had her make my felt flower pins. She set up a little assembly line, cutting felt, picking out buttons, layering and sewing. As I was hobbling around, she sat diligently crafting away.

 The reason for my hobbling was two-fold. Back at my first show in Pennsylvania my knee swelled up for no apparent reason and put a mean hurtin' on me so I could hardly walk. I sat there trying to sell yarn with a big bag of ice on my knee and a grimace/smile on my face. I had driven our manual transmission car to the show and had a helluva time getting home. It's hard to drive when you have to pick up your leg with your hands to move it to the clutch. I only ground the gears a little bit! As you can see from the photo above, this is not my bad knee. This is my bad toe. I was bringing a new bottle of wine to a friend because she let me use her car with automatic transmission. Because my reflexes are not quick, I couldn't move my foot away in time for the bottle to smash my toe. I did say the f-word. A lot of times. So bad knee, bad toe and a show to do. I am not used to moving this slow, usually I'm zipping around in a flurry. But I had to go up and down and up and down the steps one step at a time. Eek, that takes a long time! And I have a lot of steps (cuz our downstairs bathroom still isn't done, whine), my dye kitchen is in the basement and my workshop is on the second floor of the studio. I do have to applaud my right knee for pulling double duty and doing a splendid job of getting me around. So, after x-rays, an MRI, a cortisone shot and 3 doctor visits, I found out..... I'm old. No sexy torn miniscus or feel-sorry-for-me ACL tear, just stupid Arthur-itis. No cartilage left around my kneecap. Too much Ultimate frisbee and mountain biking. It's good I've taken up knitting, a non-contact sport!

I do have such a good time at the festivals. The fiber, the sheep, the kettle corn, and everyone is just so happy to be there. The Fall Fiber Fest had lots of alpacas this year. They are just too cute, like cartoon critters.


Loved this woman's hair embelishment. Gotta do that.

At one of the fests, a woman was doing a demo of natural dyeing with onions, marigolds, indigo and other plant materials. Gorgeous colors.

 We just had our autumn studio tour and it was a fan-tabulous weekend. We ordered up perrrrrrfect weather and the crowds came out. It was so nice to see so many of you. I had a great time.


I finished this fun little shawl, the Chudnovsky Pi shawl, available on Ravelry. Knit with my Salsa, colorway, Brandywine.

 But now it's back to dying and trying to dry. I swear, this rain has about done me in. Can you believe this fall?! I've never seen so much rain. I just get the yarn out and it starts to sprinkle. I run out, pull it all off the fence, then the sun comes out. Out the yarn goes again, only to have it pour rain. I'm even using the chicken coop for drying. The hens are all curious and have to run over to see my new colorways.




 
Speaking of chickens, I had a little contest over on Facebook. If folks 'Liked' Dancing Leaf Farm, they were eligible to win a large skein on my hand dyed Salsa yarn. Rhoda (my Rhode Island Red hen) picked (pecked) the winner.

 
 The lucky winner was Eve, one of my faithful customers. She came to one of the festivals to claim her prize. She wore her Slubby Nubby cardigan that she had knit last year. She said, "I'm really exited about being picked by your chicken!"

 
When I get everything unloaded, back on the shelves, get my office office organized, my dye kitchen cleaned up, all the bookwork done, I'm going out with my sheep, to sit in the field and knit. If it ever stops raining!

1 comment:

sophieandmomma said...

Amazing! :) I am new at knitting and hoping to learn how to use the hook. My grandma has great crocheting skills that kind of filtered knitting skills to me.

I am at awe at the event you found yourself in, in New York! Looking through your stash for sale on Etsy. Oh How I wish I could live in Maryland and knit along with you all! Life seems so fun on the otherside of the continent! WA has their yarn days but not as big or fun as these pictures you've taken.