Thursday, July 29, 2010

Troy Fair 2010

Each year I look forward to the 4th Wednesday in July. Why?  Because each year it is Wool Day at the Troy Fair in Alperon Park, Troy, PA.  

Jim and I packed up his van on Tuesday, dragged ourselves out of bed on Wednesday to do chores before it was light and headed south at 6am.  Troy is only 57 miles away so the trip is easy, especially with a stop at Dunkin' Donuts in Elmira for sustenance.  Arriving so early meant we could set up at a decent pace instead of a major rush as has been in the past.   Even though the fair did not open officially until 9, we had customers at 8:30.  Early customers always rattle me.  I like to have everything set up, give it all a once over, adjust a few things and then devote myself to the customers and the day.  Starting early, while excellent in most ways, doesn't allow for that once over.  I got over it.

Even with temps in the 90's, the day is so relaxing and laid back (there's almost always a breeze coming through the barn).  Folks are in great moods, spinning on wheels and spindles, visiting with each other, getting fresh peach cobbler or apple turnovers, lemonade and new fiber to spin.  Kids from local camps come through as well as whole families.  The organizer, Eve, told me that Wednesday is the best attended day of the fair and, even though it is also bull riding day, WE make the difference in gate attendance.  Spinners ROCK!    The Fair is so grateful they give us the arena for free, so the vendors are not charged either.  However we do donate the prizes for the contests.

Most of the spinners set up right across from me so I got to watch them and all the various wheels too. Next to me, each year are alpacas.  Such sweet animals.  These are 3 babies brought for petting.

Besides vending there are several contests.
One is for the longest single spun on a spindle in 10 minutes. Amy, on the left, beat out Jim by 3 inches.

There are also spinning wheel contests, plus skeins of hand spun entered, finished objects and something I have only seen at Fiber Fairs - a basket containing hand spun yarn, sometimes fiber too, plus the beginning of a knitted or crocheted object and the pattern.

Sharon G won for her basket this year.  She really beat out the competition by felting her own basket using some of the fiber included in it.  On the right is Ellie, one of the judges, awarding her a Spinning Bunny knitting kit.

For 3 hours starting a bit after noon 3 teams competed in a sheep to shawl contest.
The Cat's Cradle Team won.  One of their members found some kitten chasing a ball of yarn buttons which they wore on ribbons around their necks.  Great carders, spinners and weaver they are.

Each year, our arena is right next to the one housing the jersey cows.   I think we perform an amusement service for them. The girls are on a short rope getting to go next to nowhere all day, except when being shaved, or milked.  When we were leaving this one looked so forlorn.

Sharon and Michelle won the two Best in Show prizes.
Sharon for her basket of goodies and Michelle for her hand spun hand knit Orenburg lace shawl.  Look for more details about this shawl in my next newsletter.

And the Best in Show for youth was Paige with her Brown Swiss Miss.

We celebrated the day, halfway home in Horseheads, at Red Lobster, which has become our annual after festival treat.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tour de Fleece 2010 is done, sigh

To recap my Tour yardage
from the top going clockwise.
120 yards of 2 ply: cashmere, fingering/sport weight
2 skeins, 192 + 466 yards of 3 ply: angora/merino plied with merino/silk and thread, 
fingering/sport weight 
144 yards of 2 ply: merino, silk, mohair, wool, soy silk and firestar, lt bulky
44 yards of 3 ply: merino  /bfl/thread, bulky weight.

By the next to the last day, Saturday, I still had not finished what I set out to do, which was to complete the spinning and plying of the fulled angora/merino.  This meant, alas, spinning more merino/silk.  Instead of knitting a swatch sample for a pattern being submitted to a popular knitting magazine ( I cannot say more or I will have to eliminate me or you) I spun spun spun all the merino silk I had in my possession, thinking it would be more than enough to pair with the angora/merino.

On Sunday I began the plying process.  I don't know about you but I find that so boring.  I listen to books, talk to anyone, including the dog and cat, but by 9 that evening I was nodding off at the wheel.  Not as serious as nodding off at the wheel on a road but........

So I had a little discussion with myself.  How bad do I want a virtual yellow t-shirt?  How bad do I want to be able to say I completed my challenge?  Would I feel like a failure if I didn't?

I don't like to fink out.  I take my promises seriously.  And that includes promises to myself.  However I was kind (realistic?) and let myself off the hook, got myself ready for bed, ablutions, vitamins, jammies, etc.   By then I was more awake so I sat behind the wheel again.

At 11:17 pm the last of the merino/silk was plied with thread and the angora/merino.  There is more ang/mer on the bobbin but since there is no more mer/silk to be had close by I made an executive decision.   
Fini!  Done!  Complet!

 189 x 2 yards on the skeinwinder for a grand total of 1036 yards of the pinky/ purple stuff.  I think that's plenty to make a vest with, especially since I want to use white for the edging.  White for the edging?  Are you nuts?  Maybe.  We shall see.

But here is the real prize.
I now get to spin bfl/silk in the colorway Tour de Fleece 2010, 
dyed special for 2010 Team Spinning Bunny members.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sea Shell Socks

In 2009 I designed and dyed the yarn especially for some lacey summer socks for Sock Hop .

This year I have been submitting patterns to Knit Picks. So far 4 have been chosen for publication -
#2 was the Linear Shawl
 and today pattern #3, Sea Shell Socks was put up on their site.

Once the yarn is decided upon they send it to me,  I knit the sample(s), then send it/them along with the completed updated pattern and contract back to Knit Picks.  I also submit photos.

  If the pics pass inspection, as they did for Sea Shell Sox, my pattern goes up fairly quickly but if not, then I have to wait for them to do a professional shoot as happened with the Linear Shawl.

In either case, they do a great job.  
You get a choice of downloading just the pattern (at $1.99 it's a fantastic deal) or of making up your own yarn kit from their yarn.
Their yarns are well made, of excellent quality and a pleasure to knit with.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tour de Fleece 2010 Days 14-17

If you have been following this saga (or if you have not, just look back a few posts) you know that I have been having issues, difficulties, frustrations with spinning cashmere.  I consider myself a fairly good spinner who has experienced many fibers from sheep to goat to bunny to plants and worms but for some reason cashmere stopped me in my tracks.

I tried it on the wheel and on a spindle but could only spin a few inches before it broke.  Granted I was trying to make very very thin singles from a fiber that is almost as fly away as angora but has a staple length of an inch, maybe less.  Also, hard as it is to admit, I was cocky.  Yup, thought it'd be easy, but it got my goat.

First I tried spinning on my Baynes with the faster whorl, no.  How about the faster flyer? Still not so good. So Jim suggested I use a light weight spindle.

He then gave me a beauty weighing only an ounce but still it was voicing its name about every minute or so - DROP spindle. DROP spindle.  I was getting incredibly frustrated until T suggested I go back to beginner's mode with a beginner's mind.  Breathe, spin, park, draft, breathe.

Yup that was so much better, slow but better.   After several hour's practice I got faster but still, 0.2 oz in 2 hours.  Yikes, it was going to take me until New Year's to get a whole ounce spun up!  I keep forgetting that the underlying challenge for me this Tour is to learn to be a process instead of a project spinner.  sigh

Then, on the drive back from State College last week, I had either an aha or a duh moment.  You choose.
Skinny singles are supposed to have something on the bobbin shaft to make it fatter, therefore putting less tension on those few fibers being twisted together.  Did I do that when I tried cashmere on my wheel?  No, I did not.  Sheesh! No wonder the singles broke constantly.

Even though I have some pipe insulation specifically for this purpose I just started by adding onto a partially filled bobbin and, wha la, almost instant success.

Jim then said, "So now you will do all the rest on the wheel?"
I thought about that and decided, "No.  I'll finish the little bit left on the spindle just to be fair to my challenge."

Of course I avoided that spindle for a few days, knitting on a project but eventually I realized I was not allowing myself to do any spinning because I wanted the cashmere done.  So, reluctantly, I picked up the partially filled spindle intending to spend a few hours being a beginner.  However my habit kicked in and before I realized it I was spinning cashmere.  Really spindling cashmere, not spin, park, draft.

I figured out that I had learned just how much twist (more than you think, way more) that fiber needs so payed attention and respun the spindle as needed.   Also as those of you who have one know, Jim's spindles, hit the floor and keep on spinning.  So it became a partially supported top whorl spindle.

138 yards of fingering/sport weight 2 ply cashmere is now ready for action. It should have been a little longer in only fingering, but hey, I am not complaining.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

no comments

As much fun as this sometimes is to do, it is also work added to my load - thinking of topics, taking pictures, choosing pictures, putting them through Photoshop, thinking of what to say, editing the writing, etc......  

 In the last 2 weeks I have received a total of 1 comment.  In the past 3 months there might be a total of 5.  Most of the comments are signed in as anonymous so that I cannot even reply.

Without feedback, this becomes writing into the wind, pretty, but is it really necessary?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tour de Fleece- Day 13 on Tour

I took my Tour south to PA for a couple of days. 

A few miles into PA, south of Corning, NY is a brand new modern Welcome Center with gift shop, comfort area, displays on logging and a grand view over the Tioga Resevoir and Lakes.
They've landscaped the view incredibly.  I am always amazed at how once one crosses the border the hills of NY get higher, the valleys steeper and become a series of glorious mountains.

  A long time friend, whom I used to teach with now lives there, teaches at Penn State and also writes and directs plays.  It's always fun to get some time to play together.

Spent about an hour spindling this morning before the temp and humidity both climbed into the 90's.  Spindling this stuff is getting easier, not easy, but coming along.  Now I can actually talk at the same time.

So here I am in Happy Valley (a nearby town is named Fisherman's Paradise). This is literally the center of PA as the powers that were took the PA map, drew 2 diagonals and proceeded to build a town to house their state college.  Penn State really takes care of its people as I have heard wonderful stories over the years and the incredible numbers of delighted and giving alumni attest to. The town is clean, full of large pots of flowers and new construction.  Bunnies and squirrels hop and run about in the lanes of Elms. We went to the Nittany Lion Inn for lunch where many alum stay when they return. Pam's son, Andrew, is the head chef so we were treated like royalty.

After lunch Pam went to work with some summer school students while I went to the Palmer Museum.
Note the paws, one male, one female representing the Nittany Lion, Penn State's mascot.

The current show is a Bloomsbury collective with lots of paintings, graphics, books and memorabilia from the group that formed and flowed for about 30 years in England.  Most of the paintings were of one or another of the group and children and the home in the country they frequented.  Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf's sister, was quite the accomplished artist.

I am so glad the show drew me in since I was able to ogle a Dale Chihuly called Seaforms featured in an alcove at the bottom of a set of stairs.

I love this guy's glass work.  Mostly I have seen huge pieces

but his table pieces are breathtaking.

Since it was an HHH day we tried to go from AC'd place to AC'd car to AC'd place.  We stopped at Wegman's to pick up ingredients for a dinner salad and saw the poster advertising Toy Story 2 at 6 today. We called Pam's DIL to invite her and her 4 yo son, Jackson, to join us.   What fun!  Since I had just seen Toy Story 3 it was wonderful to find out where most of the toys came from and how they all came to be in the same toy box.

Time to leave Happy Valley and head back to organic Ithaca.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tour de Fleece 2010 Days 8 & 10

Day 8

I brought the samples of the white, grey, charcoal and black fiber to guild and asked other members to give me their opinions on which to use with the dyed angora/merino.  White was unanimously chosen as the best of the 4 choices.  It was my preferred color too so I was happy to start spinning some right away.  I was so psyched I spun up 2 ounces of 30 wpi singles in no time.  Notice how uneven the hand dyed singles are because of the fulling.

Meanwhile I am obsessing over my sudden interest in pinkish colors.  Am I going sweet?  Don't really think so but I have been choosing Butterfly Bush and then am in love with this Amelia's Choice too. hmmmnnnn.  Maybe it's my summer version of purple?  And then I am putting white with it.  I could understand black, but the colors are not clear enough to contrast well with black.  However in general black would have been my choice only a few weeks back.  Maybe the dragonflies that have been flying around are right and I am doing some changing.

Cathy brought the electrical tape as promised.  There are 5 or more spinners in guild spinning for Tour de Fleece but only 3 of us on Team Spinning Bunny as the other 2 don't want to formalize their participation.  We waited for Ruth but she got so involved demo-ing at the Scottish Games she didn't leave them until after guild was over. 
Finally we put on our racing stripes and took this Team picture.

Day 10

I am just in love with how this yarn is coming out.  It is a 3 ply at about sport/DK weight - one of the hand dyed previously fulled angora/merino, one of white merino/silk and one of a tonal thread. Notice how much more even the plied yarn looks now. 

I will be plying this for a few days, methinks and then resuming the tedious process of spinning the angora/merino again.  However I am so enthused with the results which should get me through the drafting and spinning of the last 2 ounces.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tour de Fleece 2010 Day 9 Rest

Although Day 10 is designated as an official day of rest for both races, Jim talked me into taking mine on Day 9.  Actually he lured me with a canoe trip on the Susquehanna River as bait.

Jim is coaching Sabrina and DJ toward their rookie entry in the Adirondack Canoe Classic, a 90 mile 3-day staged race.  Jim has run it 13 times and won it 3 so we figure he is the local expert.  DJ invited us to come along with some friends of theirs for a nice day trip from Owego, 12 miles downriver to Nichols, NY.  Since the forecast was for relative coolness, (80's) and sunshine I gladly accepted. 

We rendevoused at Hickory Park in Owego about 10:30 but, as most group trips go, didn't get on the water for another 0.75 inches of a sock on size 0 needles.

The day was glorious --- sunshine, a few high clouds, a good breeze and folks in a congenial mood.

This river is not very deep this time of year in the Southern Tier so, fortunately, we had rain (well really a deluge for several hours) a couple of days ago.  The rain made the water a bit murky but deepened it enough that we only had to walk the boats twice over slippery green algae coated rock gardens that are often situated all the way across the expanse of the river as it lowers itself foot by foot on its way to Pennsylvania and the Chesapeake.

Jim and I paddled so well together we were often out ahead of the pack.  Leaving Basel home was a good idea for 2 reasons, the sunshine and the fact that he likes to move his whole body from side to side as he looks at the scenery.  Since I am in the bow, a 90 pound dog plomping himself on one side of the boat or the other without my knowing it makes for some tetchy moments while we find our balance again. 

Our party was made up of 10 people, two in solo kayaks and the rest of us in tandem canoes.
Being out in the sun without the intense heat and humidity of the last week was a distinct pleasure, although after almost 4 hours this north easterner had had enough sunshine for a day or two at least.

There is a huge Great Blue Heron rookery starting about 6 miles west of Owego.  Herons flying.  Herons wading.  Herons fishing for miles.

There were also more damselflies than I had ever seen on one waterway.  Hundreds of iridescent blue insects skimming over the surface of the water, feasting and mating.
I gave these guys big thanks for making sure our picnic lunch was bug free.

Why I thought we would be back by mid afternoon is a mystery. We finally did get home about 8, after a spirited social dinner at a local diner. Then I checked my email, caught up on Ravelry and tried to spin, really I did, but kept falling asleep.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tour de Fleece 2010 Day 7 Dilemma

I am struggling with the fulled angora/merino (it must have been bouncing around in the basket for years) learning patience and process in the process.   Each small section must be thoroughly pulled apart to get something to work with.  What with the pulling of the fulling sometimes it drafts easily and sometimes it drafts real hard.  This does not make for even even singles. 

 No matter, the colors are pretty and I am enjoying them very much.  I think I want to make this into a shawl so will not ply it on itself or I might get worsted yarn.

Therefore I want to ply it with a thinnish single but not thread.  Can't make my mind up between white merino/silk (too sweet?), black baby llama or silver baby llama. The merino/silk will add some shine and elasticity but the black may make a better contrast and the grey may just be too neutral. (I've also got some black alpaca/silk which reads as charcoal grey.)   hmmmnnnn
Think I'll take them all to guild and get some opinions.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tour de Fleece 2010 Day 6

My thoughts about this year were to challenge myself to get most, if not all, the started spinning projects in my baskets all spun up.  To that end yesterday I sorted the fiber in the baskets finding lots of balls of singles as well as balls of plied yarn.  Of course none of it was enough to knit something substantial with but at least I found it all.
In the top basket on the left is some Evening Star bfl and a started bobbin of Evening Star bfl Singles. Also a spindle with only a little fiber on it and no more near it. I am clueless as to what I intended for that one.   On the right in that basket in the baggie are items going to the Garage Sale at guild in September (yes, I will be parting with some UFO's that I finally admitted will never be finished) and the dark bag will be made into thin singles to add to Finger Knittin's Sept sock yarn.
Bottom right contains skeins and balls of yarn that were hidden for who knows how long.  At least now I can see it.  Need to spin the second Fairy Batt (see it peeping out of the bottom left basket in green/gold/maroon?) as the first one sits patiently waiting as does the Black Cherry singles it will be plied with.
Bottom left contains 4 oz of some fairly fulled/felted angora merino in Amelia's choice.

This one will be a challenge just to keep myself from tossing it all.  I have about half an ounce of tediously spun singles so far.  The colors are so pretty I really want to get it spun up to knit who knows what.  Have I mentioned I am a process knitter but a project oriented spinner.   That's another challenge for this year.

So all has been going along quite well.  Made a short 44 yard skein from the leftover Butterfly Bush bfl/silk and some leftover maroon merino singles I found in a basket.

Then I started the cashmere.  No sweat.  My experience includes spinning many sheep plus angora, alpaca, cashgora, camel, yak fluff, llama and silk.  How hard could this be?  De Nile is not only a river in Egypt, but a big crevasse spinners and knitters seem to fall in to.  The cashmere is from a Fondle This Kit and since the object of the club is to spin to spec, I thought I should spin the yarn to meet the specs on the pattern.  Needed is a 2 ply fingering yarn.

I started on my wheel. If I spun at 30 wpi I didn't have much trouble except to remember this darn fluff is really really really short stapled.  Oh and that in this heat, no matter that the house is a cool 75, my hand started sweating big time.  We know cashmere is warm but in July I like to ignore that fact.
But 30 wpi will not ply to a fingering yarn.  It needs it to be more like 40 wpi.  OK!  I treadled faster with bit of success but not enough.  Then I switched to the faster whorl and got a few inches before the whole thing broke down.  I tried this, I tried that, I replaced the brake band.  I tightened up the drive band.  I tightened up the scotch tension, then I loosened it. Nada would work for more than a few inches.

AHA!!  Why didn't I think of a spindle?  I always spin thinner on a spindle.  I looked at my spindle collection but sadly don't have one at 1 ounce or less.  Jim was amazed. How can the wife of a spindle maker not have one in almost every weight?  He then offered me a nice 1 ounce walnut and maple bowl spindle with a rosewood shaft.  Hard to refuse.

I started right in with my customary surety and immediately relearned the meaning of drop spindle.  Jim sat by me giving me suggestions and pointers.  Once I understood I had to spin that sucker really fast things picked up and I spun a few feet successfully.  Nice, then I packed it up to take to Knit Knite.

It was rather warm upstairs at Wegman's last night.  Really too warm to hold cashmere in my hand.  Plus with all the distractions I did not concentrate well and dropped the spindle more than I spun with it.  At one point T gave me an idea.  Why not spin and park?   That way there will not be any weight on the almost frog hair single.   Thank you T.  This method is working as long as I keep calm and concentrate.  It will be my big uphill mountain challenge for this year.

May the Fleece be with you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tour de Fleece 2010 Day 4

May the fleece be with you.

My first self challenge was spinning some bfl/silk in the Butterfly Bush colorway thin enough to use as a single for a pattern asking for laceweight or light fingering yarn.
On Day 1 I happily spun up singles at about 24-28 wpi.

On Day 2 those singles were plied with some shiny thread

Then on Day 3 the plied yarn measured out to 404 yards as my skeinwinder wraps in 2 yard repeats.

And here we are on Day 4 all pretty and ready to rock 'n roll.

Knitting is not part of the Tour de Fleece but I wanted to get the project started.  (Once I get this pattern from HeartStrings up on my website I will link to it.  Meanwhile here is the link on Ravelry).

My next challenge is a bit harder but certainly not onerous -- spinning pure cashmere.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Declaration of Independence

Have you ever read this in its entirety, not just the first 2 paragraphs?  Please do as this definitely gave me pause for thought in several sections.

It used to be common to hear this on July 4th but the sound of fireworks and barbecues have become too loud and the tapping on our cells and other hand held devices have taken too much of our attention so that this day has evolved into a habitual picnic with little meaning.  Perhaps a few minutes remembering where our country came from and its ideals would be a good thing to do.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A good time was had by all.

Thank you to everyone who came to our Open House last weekend.  
Folks came from Utica, Rochester and New Jersey to join us for some fiber fun time.

I enjoyed you all individually and in concert.   I love showing you the dye room, the Supercarder, the buns and playing with you in the little one skein dyepots as well as under the tents. Your enthusiasm is contagious. It sprinkled now and then but the tents kept us dry and the breeze kept us cool.

We entertained men, dogs, women, children, ants at the picnic with music, lots of snacks and drinks.

center right in black & jeans is 11 yr old granddaughter Amelia learning to spindle spin, Shira on the right spinning on her mom Sarah's, Baynes.

l->r:  Shira, Sharon, Sarah, Kristin, Ruth, Basel dog, Brendan, Jim, Pierre dog, Malinda & Charles

The dyeing workshop was a ball.  Everyone really listened and as a result, took home unique skeins of beautifully colored yarn.

and below -  Sarah, who came all the way from New Jersey, played around in Photoshop to give us this panorama.