Tuesday, October 7, 2014

festival, fiber, and goats

Thanks for all your good wishes for Sunday - the weather was perfect! The Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival was worth the long/short trip: lots of cashmere goats, lots of friendly folk, lots of yarn and clever fiber-y creations. A perfect opportunity to prepare an entire portfolio of images for you, my readers, right?

A hank of handspun in apricot and muted greens caught my eye right away, and I asked the vendor if she minded photographs. Not at all! she said. I turned on my camera, focused, pressed the shutter release, and nothing happened.

Because the memory chip was still in my laptop. At home.

So, I'm very sorry I can't do a fiber fair picture post. I feel like such a dunce...I finally went somewhere interesting, and I can't bring you along!

Tell me about it! Not only did I miss a fair
where I could have shown those crazy Border Collies
a thing or two...but today I had a BATH!

Since I couldn't take any pictures at the fair, I decided I'd better bring that hank of handspun home, and photograph it here:

It's cormo/merino and only 49 yards, so it may become an element of a larger piece of knitting: a brim on a plain hat, or cuffs on solid mittens, or an accent of some kind.
Or it may continue to function beautifully as a display:

Purty, no?

And just like that, as smoothly as
a pebble falling into water,
my Yarn Buying Moratorium has ended.

And I'm okay with that, because the knitting? It's back.
Remember the orange half-a-sock?
The first long-neglected project reactivated for the WIPCrackAway KAL?


I'm already on to the next WIP.


And now, instead of pictures of the goats at the show,
how about a couple of familiar goat faces?

Yesterday afternoon, I dragged my chaise to a sunny spot on the Upper West Side, to spend a little time snapping pictures of my gang browsing on a newly-fallen leaves.

An odd thump on the back of the chaise told me Campion was up to something, so I just leaned forward, held the camera over my head, pointed it backward, and clicked:

Don't mind me!

Campion is standing on his hind legs, front feet on the back of the chaise, mouthing the top.

Maybe this is why people think "goats can eat anything" and "goats eat tin cans." They don't. In fact, goats have specific dietary needs and can be extremely picky about their food. But they will explore just about everything with their mouths. And I do keep things out of reach that could be dangerous to ingest, like scraps of paper or plastic feed sacks, or bits of wire, just as you would for any animal.

In fact, despite considerable caution on my part,
Piper has found and ingested more noxious items
than all of my goats put together.

That's still no reason for a BATH. You overreacted!
And besides, I didn't "ingest" anything this time,
I just rolled in it!


Remember Dara?
When he saw me sitting in the chaise, he trotted right over.
So did the other three kids.

I told the kids that they must not jump up on the chair.
Three quickly returned to browsing, but Dara waited.
He was very quietly disappointed.
He didn't jump, but he waited, politely.

I relented, and said, "Okay, Dara, you can't jump up here, but I'll try to lift you. I don't know if I can, and I don't know if you'll fit on the chair. And if you do, you'll have to be perfectly still or get right down."

I don't know what I was thinking.

Dara is a big boy now.
And even though he was a very unusual baby,
it's been a long time since he could climb into my arms
and completely relax, chewing his cud and dozing.

Like this:

Dara, 6 July 2014


Dara, 6 October 2014

He sat perfectly still.
(Believe me: this is not something you'd have seen at the fair, even if I'd been able to take pictures of every goat there.)

Time passed, leaves fell. The sun went down. I don't know how long we would have been there if I hadn't eventually had to get up and start evening chores.

All my goats are individual characters, some easier than others to get along with. And at this point, I think all four of the 2014 babies are developing what I hope will be pleasant, sensible temperaments.

But Dara is...unique.



  1. The socks are wonderful! I'm very impressed. And with the camera: yes, ready to take pix for a festival for my township's website and my own blog, I find after two pix, ach, card full! another time, ach, battery dies...since then I have a backup card and battery and hope to remember to have them with me when needed. And hope not to get so engrossed in the doings that I forget to take pix at all...

    I do like the goat pix, and your comments on their behavior, very interesting to one whose total experience with goats was bottle feeding a baby one at farm long ago, and being butted by another!

    1. Yes, wanting an empty card was exactly why I downloaded shortly before leaving for VT. And it would have worked out perfectly had I only remembered to put the clean chip back in the camera! ;) Back-ups are indeed a good plan.

  2. I say, Unique for sure. Dara is lovely. Great pictures. Beautiful socks. It amazes me they are knitted by a real person.
    Extra memory cards. There are inexpensive digital cameras that have a small internal memory for when memory cards are full or forgotten on the main camera.

    1. I think that may be my favorite knitting comment ever! Thanks - glad you like the socks :)

  3. I thought Miss Piper looked all fuffy. Roobarb looks like that when we manage to brush her face, She hates it, but will let her Dad do it under sufference.
    Talking of ingesting things, out girl has made some urgent dashes to the garden, so I expect she has been bin-dipping again LOL

    1. Piper looks a different dog when I pick her up after her trip to the doggy spa, even though the wonderful groomer does nothing but give her a thorough bathe, and add a neckerchief. I am always amazed at the transformation!

  4. Get OUT!!! I would LOVE to have that goat sit on my lap - it's kind of like having a little child that figures out they are too big for that, and you wish they wouldn't. LOVE IT! And how cool are those socks?! And the yarn you brought home - SWOON! AND ONE-EYED, WINKING PIPER! Love this post - looks like your week got off to a fabulous start...hope it ends the same way! XOXO

    1. Haha! And Dara is beginning to grow his winter undercoat, so it was like having a cashmere lap blanket. (A 50-pound lap blanket!)

  5. The photo of Campion made me laugh out loud. And Dara as a baby in your lap and then now - that was just plain sweet. I think I like Dara a lot. He reminds me of Shyla, who insists that she is still a lap dog ;)

  6. Lovely goats and cute dogs (why do they love to roll in nasty stuff?). But fab handspun and gorgeous socks. The socks are the exact colour of pumpkins, perfect for the season

  7. Oh Quinn, I MISS my sheep! When I get where I'm going, I'm going to buy 2 wethers as pets. Then, I'll put into my will money to take care of them should I die first.
    Love the photo of Dara in your lap; it's how it should be...all'ls well in BOTH your worlds!

  8. Awe how incredibly adorable! Don't you just love it when a really special animal personality comes along and graces your life? I love your goats and so wish I could handle having some...
    Thanks for the comment over at my newly named blog on those little velvet pumpkin wonders! My knitting has been side lined for a while... things just weren't turning out right and I kept having to er, un-knit :D I'm thinking of selling off a lot of my knitting needles! I'm also thinking about making some of those velvety pumpkins... I just love the fall!
    Hugs my sweet blogging sister,
    Beth P


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