Sunday, October 18, 2009

October Days equal Autumn Daze...

October Day
Leaves changing on the farm in Meadows of Dan

As usual, things have gotten very busy around Greenberry House! With fall festivals, leaves changing and Pancake Days happening here in Meadows of Dan, I haven't had much time to think about writing. Spinning special orders have taken some of my attention, along with running the shop.

Handspun dog hair yarn
Ms. W's Komodor yarn

I have to admit that I'm not always thrilled when someone brings dog hair for me to spin. It doesn't always hold together well for spinning and sometimes it turns out coarse and lumpy no matter how I much I try to get a nice yarn from it. Adding sheep's wool helps a lot with some of the less cooperative dog hair, though, and I've successfully spun some yarns from a less than promising beginning.

This time, though, when Mrs. W brought in a pound of her beloved pet's hair to be spun, I almost couldn't believe it wasn't alpaca. It was a dream to spin, and I got four beautiful two-ply skeins from it. I think the customer was pleased as well! Now I'm spinning some coarser wool for a special order hat project and I miss the dog hair!

Last week was taken up with catching up with outside chores...mowing the yard, shearing rabbits, cleaning up the garden a bit. This week it rained on my day off, so I cleaned house a bit. Friend Chris is coming down next week to go to SAFF with me, and I really need to scrape off at least one layer of dirt. If the sun comes out this week I'm going to have a hard time making myself finish the house!

Karen Simpson
Karen Simpson, Master Felting Artist

It has been a fantastic time despite the rush of fall traffic to get together with friends, new and old. I saw Karen at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts in Galax, when we were invited up to see the new space on Thursday. Karen is a warm, talented artist and I love her work, some of which she made out of my fiber! She's teaching classes already at Chestnut Creek and her talent is just amazing.

The school is in an old bank building on the main street in Galax and I think it's going to be a wonderful thing for the artisans of the area. I met some interesting people there...some musicians, fiber people, potters and other artists. Some I knew already...Kathy was a member of the guild in Independence when I was and Mary is a neighbor.

I also had a lovely visit on Friday with Tammy, who brought a knitting project along that she's talked about on her blog. We had a good time talking about books, dear doggies, ghosts and the Wizard of Oz! Then Linda called on Saturday and we headed down to Christopher's Pizza for more knitting, good music and lots of fun chat. Oh, and great pizza! Linda sang at the Indian Summer Days Festival today with Sammy Shelor, Gale Shockley and Barry Collins. I think she had a terrific time, although she was a little nervous before the show. Today I also met some great people from Yarmouth, Maine, who had heard of the little town where I lived when I was in Maine SO long ago. It was great to talk to them about how things are in the North country and to see the pictures of snow they took up on the Blue Ridge Parkway north of here.

Last harvest
Last Harvest

I guess it's cold everywhere...I've been seeing snow on some blogs as well as in the pictures my visitors showed me. Yesterday morning I decided I had better bring in the watermelons, ripe or not! I cut one over a week ago and it wasn't quite ready yet. But it ripened in the refrigerator and I had half of it for breakfast this morning (quite a little one, by the way). It was really very good. The mountain is not known as a good place to grow watermelons!

Seine Scarf
Seine Scarf

Even though things are very busy right now my mind turns toward the slower days of late fall and winter. I'm looking forward to lots of spinning time in my warm and cozy room with sleeping dogs lying nearby, and a purring cat that is pretending not to be annoyed because he can't get into my lap. A stack of carefully selected books is awaiting my attention and I'm planning a special knitting project or two, along with lots of crocheting. Do you suppose I'll get half of what I plan to do accomplished before spring?

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