And I am pretty sure I will say it again. I adore living here (when it's not snowing, and even sometimes when it is), and a lot of that has to do with this:These hills above me and the valley I live in are such a part of who I am. Both of my parents families lived and farmed here; my mother's on the mountain and my father's in the valley. Over time farming became a liability and gave way to the modern era of the "day job", but my soul really yearns for the labor of a farm. It's been that way since I was a child, making these long and detailed lists of what I'd need to get started in my farming endeavor. The biggest item, "land", I never thought to add to the list. Somehow I think I just assumed it would come, and maybe someday it will. I have not given up the dream. Then you'll find me chasing goats and wrangling chickens and planting and weeding and hauling hay. But for now, I live vicariously by visiting other people's farms!
This weekend we were privileged to attend Foxfire Fiber and Design Open Farm in Shelburne, Massachusetts. I got to rub sheep chins and bury my fingers deep in wooly necks, which is among my favorite activities. I got to buy a bit of yarn, some Cormo Silk in a lovely mauve color. And I got to introduce Mr. Wonderful and Mary and Ed to Guido "It's a Purl, Man" Stein, and have an impromptu interview, at which I am pretty sure I stank - although you'll all find out eventually when it goes live! If I did suck, we're going to blame it on the cold wind. It's worth a listen, anyway. There's a great discussion of condoms. No, really. There is. And also some talk about yarn and wool and sheep. It was kind of funny to watch Mary, Ed and Mr. W. start backing up as soon as the words "Would you like to do one now..." tripped out of Guido's mouth, followed by my "Sure!" By the time he had his mic out of the car, they were a good 30 feet away and beginning to back away faster. (BAAWWKKK!! BUK,BUK, BUK, BukAwwwk!)Guido is awesome. Guido has got a huge guild out there in the Boston area, which I would love to visit, although it might involve public transportation. I can probably figure it out, thought, right? I mean, it's just a train. In short, Guido rocks, and I'd do an interview with him any old time, even if I turn brain-dead in front of a mic. Which I suppose means he'd probably be more likely to find a rational person to interview, or maybe he's a glutton for punishment? We'll see if he ever asks me back, or politely requests that I stand well away from him in the future when he's recording.
We saw a lot of peaceful sheep, which is always a highlight of a visit to any farm, though you'll go a lot further and not find such a happy flock.Barb's sheep are the most contented and comfortable I've ever met. They're friendly, and a few positively seek human interaction. They have a lot of ego integrity for sheep.
I have a particular fondness for non-white sheep, but there's always a few up there that make me question my loyalty.
I probably spent ten minutes with my fingers buried in Calvin's neck while he positively purred at me to continue. Made me want sheep. I've always said I was a llama person, or a goat person, but not so much an alpaca or sheep person. Barb's sheep make me change my mind. It's not just their personality, it's their desire to interact, their comfort level with people. They're loved, and they know it, and they're willing to share the love.
Then last evening the moon rose in this perfect crescent over the house, flanked by two planets, Venus and Jupiter. The picture does not even come close. it was unbelievably beautiful out there. And I know why!! It was welcoming the beginning of Knitting Contrissmas, of which I am VERY excited to be a part. Yesterday was the first installment of this really awesome glimpse into the lives and thoughts of various knitting/quilting/cooking folk. Cirilia Rose, was the kick-off artist. Today continues with Knitterella, Jill Zielinski, an artist with some really lovely note cards and tags available. I don't know about anyone else, but I can't wait to see who's next. I'll be checking in daily. I loved this last year, like an advent calender all for me, and I was so excited to be asked to be a part of it. What day will I appear? Well, that would be no fun for Tina, now would it, if I told you? Or you either, really!! It's CHRISTMAS! It'll be a surprise!
About the Canadian hat. Yes, I will post a pattern, but not for a little bit. I need to finish up a few things, and then scribble it down. This won't be a hard and fast and full of details sort of a pattern. It'll be written the same way it was knitted. So if you think you can handle that, yes, I will surely put it up for you!