spinning our road trip wheels

before i talk about anything else, here’s the news we’re all waiting for: the lucky winner of this glorious basket of briar rose yarns and goodies goes to emily!

once again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this year’s booster campaign for claudia’s ride for MS. and a special thanks to chris at briar rose fibers for providing this delicious incentive to the cause.

what a weekend, whew.
friday feels like a week ago, really. after i wrote my last post, i did indeed head outside to stretch my legs and shake off some of the friday ansty-pants that some of us are prone to.

i decided that since i wanted to spray the next day, i should collect all the produce that was ready for picking and that way, i could let the spray and fertilizer dissipate for a couple of days before i pick again (though it is an organic product made from plant roots, it’s a good idea not to eat it directly, heh)

uh, yeah, there were a few things to gather out there. i pulled up all of the rapini—i estimate about 4-5 pounds from just a 10-foot row (have i mentioned how gratifyingly prolific rapini is??)
then i picked some chard, some zen greens, and quite a bit of bok choy. i also took some more squash in because the plants are so loaded with small ones that i thought it would be a good idea to thin them out. i want a few squash to grow bigger so i can have freezer amounts.

i spent the next couple of hours cleaning and blanching everything, then packing it in bags for the freezer. i ended up with four heavy bags of rapini, two chard, and two of cubed squash, plus a HUGE bag of bok choy and another of fresh chard to eat.

and that’s just the first picking really . . . i think we have enough rapini—i’m not going to plant more. it was good to know that before i headed out to reseed on saturday. i planted more chard instead, since that’s something we like enough to eat every week—we almost can’t have too much of it. the chard i saved out for eating this week is a european variety called erbette, which is a leafy chard that has a buttery, delicate texture and flavor and i very good eating. mmm

yesterday i got the aphid situation under control out there, applied some seaweed fertilizer, and reseeded the areas where i pulled up plants.

i worked at my desk for a little while in the afternoon until david asked me to go out for a bike ride, which was really excellent—perfect weather for a very fast, hard ride to clear the head. nice. when we came back, i made a quick stir-fry

with the bok choy, squash, and peppers from the garden along with shitake mushrooms, shrimp, ginger, etc over soba noodles. that hit the spot.

i know—i haven’t mentioned knitting at all yet, but i’m getting there.

i’m making good headway on my dark regatta sock and the pattern is working out well—i think we’ve got it nailed. barbara is enjoying her test knit and even worked her first short-row toe and heel without a hitch (THANK YOU barbara!)

i admit, i’m not getting as much knitting accomplished as i wanted this weekend (for lots of good reasons) but i think i still have time to finish a scarf, at least.

this morning i was supposed to be up bright and early (however, i actually roused myself just in the nick of time, heh) to head out with my spinning class to the woolfest at lake metroparks farmpark in kirtland, OH. this event takes place each year at a working farm which is run by the lake county metroparks commission. when we purchased fleeces at the wooster show in may, jamie from wooly knob fiber mill mentioned that he could have our fleeces done if we’d pick them up at the festival—a road trip was born.

on the way up i worked on pompa and added several repeats to the length; i tried to pick it up again on the way back but opted instead to rest and talk. sometimes, you gotta . . .

we arrived at the park around 10:30 am or so, just a little ahead of a rain shower. the grounds are beautiful there; just past the gate we found ourselves walking through gardens and exhibits featuring park projects. all the way to the main barn where the fiber show was exhibited, we were able to stop and see sheep, alpacas, and lamas.

once inside, the main arena was a-buzz with vendors and attendees, many more than in previous years that i’d gone

the photos aren’t as great as they could be, but they’re passable; i used my iPhone camera for this trip because it’s so easy to slip inside my bag and use on the road.
we met up with some of our favorite vendors

linda bought some of catherine’s classic merino sport to knit up an ondule sweater. linda seems to have done a wonderful job of hiding from the camera all day, so anne marie takes her place in this picture.

we picked up our fiber from wooly knob—scary, isn’t it?? actually, the fiber susan (left) is holding is ALL hers, but the other two bags are two fleeces that are getting split amongst the rest of us, so not too bad. anne marie and i are splitting a blend of brown finn that is perfectly delectable. our stunning, blue-ribbon white coopworth fleece (below, right) which we had blended with some nylon to spin sock yarn turned out very well—we’ll be splitting that one six ways (it’s about ten pound i think).

and yet, i was coveting susan’s gray BFL (left) anyway. this was our second choice for the sock fleece and we waffled over it for some time, but decided on the white one in the end. whereby susan snapped up the gray anyway. you know—to go with the dark brown shetland fleece she bought a day earlier, hahaha.

we discovered a wonderful new-to-us fiber producer from western NY state at the longmeadow farm booth (sorry, there does not appear to be a website). sandy has some seriously beautiful fiber blends available in gorgeous colors and almost all of us succumbed. linda bought a stunning intense rose blend, while barbara opted for ocean blues, and susan for greens.

anne marie and i resisted—she’s on a fiber diet and my workspace can’t take any more until the construction is over. plus, there’s always a next time . . . in fact, sandy will be at the finger lakes fiber show in hemlock, NY in september.

we definitely took some time to watch the animals today, too

i thought this partially-shorn lama looked really interesting (ok, i thought he had a special, showy haircut, but no—just not done).

and for me, no good fair is complete without pigs—i just love ‘em.
we visited the sheep too and were completely smitten with this little finn lamb—about the size of a terrier—just adorable (hand added for scale).

but its sibling was the one that really stole the show for me, giving mama a little hoof love

in the middle of the afternoon, we headed back back to the car via the horse-drawn trolly, trying to figure, i think, how the heck we were going to spin up all that fiber.

good thing it doesn’t go bad . . .
at the end, the horses did a little posing for the camera, just like the nice lady asked them to

how could i not take a picture of that?
well, it’s late now, this post is WAY overdue, and i’ve got knitting to do—i’m going to toddle off and see if i cna stay awake to put some more inches on my scarf.
see you in a couple of days.

17 Responses to “spinning our road trip wheels”

  1. Ellen Norman says:

    Great pictures….lovely sock and drooling over your garden…

  2. Kim says:

    Wow, it looks like you had a blast at the fiber show! Lots of beautiful looking fiber!

    I didn’t realize that you could blanch and freeze greens…..I always learn something new here. :)

  3. Lorraine says:

    Anne- Mmmm- Swiss Chard and Bok Choy- yummy.

    I always want to grab an alpaca or a few sheep and bring them home.

  4. Hattie says:

    Oh that little sheep is sooooo cute!

  5. Geek Knitter says:

    “hand added for scale”… not because somebody wanted to scritch the widdle nose!

    Looks like you all had a wonderful time.

  6. Deb says:

    All that fibre makes me wish I was a spinner.

  7. Teyani says:

    looks like your road trip was great fun – and that little sheep so very cute. Ours used to do that “jump on Mom’s back” thing. It always made me grateful I wasn’t a sheep LOL
    Your garden is amazing this year!! Perhaps I need to get myself some fertilizer. (grins)

  8. Romi says:

    OMG. Beautiful. Delicious. Fun. Everything I expect from Anne. :)

  9. Vickie says:

    Does chard have a cabbage like taste? I recently tried a recipe for oven roasted kale that was great – the kale gets crunchy like a potato chip – and wonder if chard would work as well?

  10. Sharilyn says:

    Sandy from Long Meadow farms comes to our guild meeting (Genesee Valley Handspinners Guild). Can you imagine trying to resist her beautiful fiber almost every month? Honestly though, I don’t try to resist too hard. :-) It’s lovely to spin. On another note, could you share how you control aphids? I lose my lupins every year to aphids but I don’t want to spray anything toxic as our dog wanders through the gardens frequently.

  11. Ellen says:

    Yummy, what is your recipe for your stir fry? I’ve not tried some of your “greens” and would like to know what they taste like? Like “rapini?”

  12. Jody says:

    Oh that looks like so much FUN!! I’m looking forward to the Midwest Fiber Fest, but last year was 2 alpacas and a rabbit. More animals would be great! I guess I’ve got to get out to OH…

  13. Debbie says:

    I have to tell you, that I loved the animal pictures almost as much as the pictures of the food and knitting! So cute!

  14. Lorraine says:

    I thought I saw you at Woolfest. Should have said hello, but you were looking at a scarf and headed outdoors in better light.

    I’m not a spinner, too many other hobbies and work.Did you see the rainbow sheep? I wrote about that on my blog.

  15. Liz T. says:

    It looks like your Woolfest was just as much fun as Woolfest in the UK (also last weekend). Looking forward to seeing how you spin up that fibre.

  16. Theresa in Italy says:

    I just loved all the photos—the fiber goodness, the garden’s offerings, and the animals! What fun! And you’re right, erbette are delicious—here they are considered to be a more refined pasta filler than spinach because of the delicate flavor.

  17. Tara says:

    Not only am I now hungry (that stir fry looked ‘lish), I also really, really want to go to a fiber festival. Right now. *sigh*