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.