Saturday, October 31, 2009

happy halloween

our pumpkin crew 2009

Our spooky hallway.

spooky hallway

The boys hand out candy and pretzels.

After serving the masses, Logan and Owen suit up and hit the street for their own treats.

Friday, October 30, 2009

pumpkin night

Two boys and four pumpkins collided in our kitchen this evening. Logan favored the tall and skinny variety this year while Owen went for the large and round. Afterwards, we made caramel apples for a special treat.

pumpkin carving 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

gooseberry sweater

When faced with a self imposed deadline, I can usually muster up some extra special knitting mojo and whip through the stitches quickly. Despite a few hiccups (necessary pattern modifications, stitches that mysteriously appeared or dropped), this year's Rhinebeck sweater was cast on and finished in thirty three days (never mind that I was weaving in ends and sewing on buttons in the festival parking lot). I am very pleased with this sweater; it fits rather well, the color is exactly what I wanted, and it kept me warm while traipsing around in damp weather. Despite my success, I think that I should cast on for next year's sweater by the end of 2009--what's it going to be?

Sunday, October 25, 2009


This afternoon, the boys and I had the opportunity to attend the Pirate Extravaganza in the Great Hall of the Depot. It was well attended by young and old, and we sat on the floor during most of the presentation. Scott Mitchen and his pirate crew entertained us with sword fighting and led the kids in a pirate parade. While my guys are pretty interested in all things pirate, they were ready for a change of scenery as the lecture/slideshow neared the one-hour mark. After escaping to the Children's Museum Moneyville exhibit for a bit, we checked out the real pirate treasure and headed for home.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the real stars of rhinebeck

rhinebeck resident

No post-processing on this one; the smile is genuine.

This chocolate colored Icelandic ewe was sheared during a demonstration, providing Deb and I an opportunity to purchase her fleece "fresh off the sheep" (talk about knowing the origins of things we buy!)

Isn't it just lovely?

The colors really vary from light blonde to chestnut to chocolate brown and its dual coated fleece is super silky.

icelandic fleece 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

pumpkin perfection

Something to aspire to in Halloween carving this year? These are the work of master pumpkin carver, Hugh McMahon, whose entire display at the NY Sheep & Wool Festival was simply impressive. Sheep Gal captured a few more, if you're interested.

spinning wheel pumpkin

sheepy pumpkin

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

scenes from a wooly festival

This year, my cousin Colette joined Aunt Deb and I at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck. Despite the chilly temps and rain, we had another amazing visit--we chatted with farmers, learned about different sheep breeds, checked out the hundreds of vendor booths, and squeezed many a skein and fleece. I was particularly thrilled to find a beautiful black fleece from an alpaca named James Brown and a bag of washed Leicester Longwool locks, the featured breed this year. We were only an hour out of Rhinebeck when talk turned to attending next year's festival... Or, maybe we'll try the one in Vermont... Or, maybe the one in Maryland...

giant knitting needles

These canine rescue dogs were amazing frisbee athletes.

The Red Hook Spinners group competed in the Fleece to Shawl competition--carding, spinning, and weaving a shawl in just three hours!

rhinebeck yurt

inside yurt

rhinebeck ride

Monday, October 19, 2009

a trip to harrisville

With just under 2000 people, Harrisville, New Hampshire, has been a National Historical Landmark since 1977. It is one of those old mill towns that comes to my mind when picturing typical nineteenth-century New England: picturesque, narrow roadways, and old red brick buildings built adjacent to the water.

Harrisville Designs opened in 1971 to preserve the area's textile heritage, and every time I visit them, I want to spend the whole day. The shop and studio space are open and welcoming, the designs unique, and the yarns beautiful and easy to knit. While in the shop on Friday, we had the opportunity to observe the warping of a loom. A time consuming process, this will then be handwoven, cut and attached to cardstock as samples of Harrisville's Classic Line yarn.

harrisville designs

harrisville nh

harrisville loom warp in progress

harrisville classic colors

Sunday, October 18, 2009

school playground

On the weekend lately, we have made multiple trips to Logan's school to play on the new playground. Today the boys were excited to take Grandma and Grandpa there and a fun afternoon was had by all.

owen climbs the web

Saturday, October 17, 2009

boo at the zoo 2009

Mid-October means it's time for Boo at the Zoo. This annual event lets the kids trick-or-treat at the zoo and is the zoo's largest fund-raiser of the year. The weather was sunnier, warmer, and drier than it has been for years so it was very crowded and a lot of fun. Both boys recycled costumes from previous years - Logan as a kangeroo and Owen as a bumblebee. We went through the haunted house several times, collected a bunch of goodies, and even slowed down long enough to view a few animals.

boys at boo at the zoo

After a week of overcast days and lots of rain, this lemur was lazily sitting in the window, barely able to keep its eyes open while soaking up as much sun as possible.

Monday, October 12, 2009

halloween surprise

The boys received a surprise package in the mail from Great Grandma - a remote controlled flying witch. After a quick charging up of the battery, a series of crash landings, and a bunch of belly-laughs, we finally obtained our broom pilot's license.