Thursday, September 26, 2013


Finally settling down after an amazing weekend at the Fingerlakes Fiber Festival.   The drama preceeding a "sheep show" can be daunting, between my "other job" and arranging transportation (that is sadly total drama around here) and getting product ready.  I always whine about needing help, but I can't imagine anyone putting up with the chaos and lunacy in this crazy barn of mine.  Once I get there I have all the help and support any shepherd could ask for, with Kimmie Cornerstone and other shepherd friends standing by.  It's getting there... I am still high on the weekend and seeing all the folks who follow me through this journal.  I adore the Fingerlakes festival, sponsored by the Genessee Valley Handspinners.  Friday was brutally hot, with people sweating like crazy while unloading and setting up.  I always feel sorry for the poor animals in tow, taken out of their cool grassy pastures to be hauled in a frightening noisy hot truck then poked and prodded by little kids all weekend.  The heat was only to last one day, with rain pouring all day Saturday.  It was expected but not anticipated to come down all day long.  I was once again thankful for my building with the good roof.  Only a tiny drip or two.  The faithful patrons came out in droves.  I love those Rochester people.  They come to see me every year.  Sales were brisk and Kim and I were hopping around like jack rabbits.  Saturday evening came and there was Libby Llop, inviting us to come home with her and spend the night in her carriage house.  We slept fine in Kim's ample van Friday night and were ready to do it again, but this was too good to pass up.  We followed Libby further west through Geneseo and Avon, to Caledonia where her beautiful 500 acre horse farm is located.  I've always wanted to visit Libby's farm and catch a glimpse of her charmed life with sheep and horses.  Libby's son, Quentin Peter, cooked a fabulous meal whie Libby and her husband, Quentin, played a duet on flute and violin for us.  We retreated to the apartment/tack shop in the carriage house and settled in for a good night's rest.   I awoke at the crack of dawn and was delighted to see the first streaks of sunrise way off in the distance as the land in that region is very flat.  Libby's farm stretches as far as the eye can see, with horses munching on fallen apples and sheep baaing.  Libby sent us home with several luscious fleeces which I have already cooking in the dye pots.  Sunday turned cool which was great for wool sales.  Kim and I wandered alternately through the festival and I caught up with many friends including my dearest Lisa Merian, the shepherd friend who found this farm for me.  Carol Crayonbox brought me many goodies from our fiber art friend, John, who sadly left this life last week.  He gave me the greatest gift he had to offer - his industrial Singer sewing machine with the beautiful and sturdy butcher block table.  I will think of John every time I sit down to sew.  He was a master textile artist and I hope I can make his spirit proud of what I produce with his machine.  I journeyed home Sunday night in clear weather incident free.  No deer jumped in front of my van.  Everyone was ecstatic to see me and I was much inspired by the time spent with my shepherd friends and fiber art sisters.  We are a dedicated and unique community, those of us who raise our own natural fibers.   I am extremely grateful to the Western New York patrons who came out in the extreme weather to support us.  It was back to work on Monday, dragging my behind to be sure, but with happy wooly visions floating in my head.  I've spent every afternoon this week walking the sunny hillside after work, knocking down apples for the sheep and playing with my dogs.  Life is good.

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