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Bay Colony Farm
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Another Day at Bay Colony Farm
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Fiber Twist!
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Cheap Trick "The Flame"
Topic: Show

Wow! I am completely amazed at the turn out for yesterday's Fiber Twist. Yesterday's show exceeded the volume of people compared to other one day shows I've done which have been in existence for 3 or more years (and to be honest, I think they easily compared in turn out to the Wool Tour, which is held in NH every year)! Diane did a fabulous job of advertising; I even saw large full color postcards at Clarkdale Orchards up in Deerfield a few weeks ago, which advertised the Fiber Twist and Cider Day through MassVacation.com.

I met lots of bloggers and list members alike (If I fail to mention you here, give me a shout at Baycolonyfarm @ aol.com and I'll edit this so that you get a mention). Carole and blogless Sharon were some of the first bloggers I met. O.k., so Sharon isn't a blogger yet, but I think she's bound to be soon. Diane was also there. We discussed Rogue and our potential yarns. I'm waiting to see if she made it down to Webs and checked out other possibilities on the way home. Dharia was there, making an appearance after having missed Rhinebeck. She was even wearing the felted mittens she purchased from Leslie Samson back in May at MAS&W. I let her know that Leslie will be coming back in late winter to teach another hats and mittens class. Sandy came by from the NETA list. She is a delightful woman, and I was surprised to learn that we live so close to each other (I'm thinking YEAH! Another knitter nearby!)! She brought her lovely daughter and granddaughter with her; her daughter already knits and it looks like her granddaughter is on her way especially after getting SO excited over being given a piece of fleece from a vendor. ;-) Sandy purchased the Wings Shawl kit in the natural colored yarn. I was wearing my Wings shawl all day, because of the lack of heat in the building and I was toasty warm. People kept coming up and petting me (grin). Cate came by and said Hi, stopping to chat with Deanna and I. She was wearing an absolutely gorgeous shawl spun from Indigo Moon roving. I also got to meet Kathy who's blog I'm a faithful reader of.

And before I forget, I owe Deanna a HUGE thank you for helping me out yesterday. She booth sat for me while I was giving a bunny shearing demo (more on that later) with one of my bucks, Spatlese, who is only 6 months old, but a lovely guy. Deanna also helped me get a bit farther on my sock yarn spinning. She spun up some of the black Border Leicester I was working on at Rhinebeck to go with the Magical Roving I spun. I think I have enough now to ply and start on the socks. :)

Now, the bunny shearing demo was lots of fun. People always ask interesting and intelligent questions when I do these and I had quite a crowd of people watching the demo. Spatlese was the model bunny, lying on his back and side as I was shearing him. What I really like about doing these demos is that it is a chance to educate people on angora rabbit care. Like how the scissors should be held at a 45 degree angle away from the rabbits skin, which helps to prevent cutting the rabbit. Or on how you really need to shear down the rabbits at 90 day intervals, or else you run the risk of wool block. The big one I like to tell people about is how German Angoras need to be shorn, and not plucked. That one always surprises people. Spatlese came home and was happy to see his brother, with whom he shares a cage.

I was exhausted when I got home last night, but also inspired by spending another day with like minded people. The energy the surrounds a person at a show is electric and the sharing and camaraderie is amazing. And I think we taught people some new things and got a few more people hooked on knitting or spinning. And isn't that what it is really all about? :D

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 3:10 PM EDT
Friday, October 28, 2005
Looking for a Fiber Fest this weekend?
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: A-ha "Take On Me"
Topic: Show

See this?



This is where you'll find me tomorrow! I'll be located at the Marketplace, which is at the Guiding Star Grange #1 at 401 Chapman Street in Greenfield, MA. I'll be giving a bunny shearing demo at 1 p.m., so if you are interested in getting a rabbit, or already have an angora rabbit but are afraid to shear it, stop by. I'll be giving tips and showing techiniques to make the shearing go easier for you and the rabbit. :)

And I'll have lots of rovings, including the angora blends and the Magical rovings, the Wings Shawl kits and the angora blend yarn in the booth. If you are interested in a rabbit, you can check out the rabbits for sale page, and see what I have available. I'll only be bringing one bunny with me (but I'll probably bring one that will be for sale), but if you want another one, please let me know and we can make arrangments for delivery.

So stop by and say Hi! The festival goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (and we close at 4 p.m. sharp so that the grange can have their hall back by 5!). For more information, check out the Fiber Twist.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 9:18 AM EDT
Monday, October 17, 2005
Rhinebeck; the flip side
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Elton John "The One"
Topic: Show

I've been sitting here today, eagerly anticipating the next time Bloglines tells me that a blog has been updated. See, I live vicariously through you shoppers at times like this.

I bought *nothing* at Rhinebeck. Yes, you heard right. The only thing I purchased was food, and that was necessary. But I didn't buy one single thing for myself.

As a vendor, leaving the booth is difficult at best. Vendors usually rely on each other to "spell" or booth sit, so that running to get lunch, coffee or the bathroom is possible. I did have my DH there, but he was watching the boys (most of the time) and he would run and get things for me. But retail just isn't his thing. He prefers to help build the Bobbin Logs and Tree rather than sell them. :)

I did get out to visit 3 barns on Sunday morning, before the show opened. I talked to Gil from Robin Spinning Wheels. We have a running joke that I've had a wheel on order for longer than anyone else, because I originally placed my order in 2000 at MAS&W. Due to tight finances, when he's called me twice to tell me that he had a wheel ready for me, I've been unable to take delivery. So, last year at Rhinebeck, I paid off the wheel. Gil is just waiting for some cherry wood to come in so that he can make more. I'll be high on the list of getting a Robin wheel when it arrives.

I also lusted after some yarn from Brooks Farm, also in Building A. But because I have 2 skeins from Rhinebeck last year that I haven't done anything with, I resisted the urge to spend on yarn.

The only thing I did do is spin one of the Magical Rovings. See the color down in the lower right hand corner, the green/black combo? That is the one I started to spin. I now have a bobbin full of that, and I spun a bobbin full of black Border Leicester (also from my inventory). I'll ply these and use them for a cool sock yarn

And speaking of Magical Rovings, look at what Vee did. Isn't that gorgeous!? Vee was incredible nice and I enjoyed talking with her on Saturday.

I met a bunch of other bloggers and non-bloggers this weekend. But because I have to run now, I'll blog more about whom I met later, either tonight or tomorrow. But I'll leave you with a picture of my booth. DH has made it his quest to build collapsible hutches for me. And since he builds point-of-purchase displays for living, I know he'll be able to build something really fabulous.




Posted by baycolonyfarm at 4:41 PM EDT
Thursday, October 13, 2005
More! More! More!
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: Billy Idol "Rebel Yell"
Topic: Show

We are on day 6 of rain! I kid you not. And it doesn't look much better for the weekend.

On the plus side; My booth location at Rhinebeck is A-16, which is in that nice, large, warm and dry building over by where they do all the demos of various NY state products. So, we'll be dry and warm. Stop by and visit! :)

Here is a picture of the Magical Rovings that I'll have in the booth:




And here is a (not so good) picture of the Wings Shawl.



Each shawl takes just two skeins of the Alluring yarn, and is easy enough for a beginner but a good, quick knitting project for an experienced knitter.

I spent most of yesterday turning the roving on Tuesday's post into 2 ounce balls. Today I'll be cutting soap and wrapping it (no soap cut to people's specs this year in our booth; maybe at SPA in February). And more dyeing. I have to finish dyeing yarn for the Wings shawl kits.

I hope to see a lot of you at Rhinebeck! If you can't make it, and see something you like here, just e-mail me from the website!

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 6:19 AM EDT
Monday, October 3, 2005
It's all about technique
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: Elton John "Philadelphia Freedom"
Topic: Show

Saturday's Spin-In was a huge success! I spent over an hour demoing at the Fiber Arts Center's booth, which was located inside the craft fair. I answered a lot of questions, and directed people over to the Spin-In tent on the north side of the common. For most of the day, we had at least one newbie sitting at a wheel, learning the basic techniques of spinning. Some people picked it up right away, like they knew what to do, even though they had never spun yarn before. Other people had a bit more trouble, and when that happened, we would switch them to a different tool; say from a wheel to a spindle.

I'm a wheel spinner. It is what I learned on first. However, that isn't the way it works for everyone. Sometimes people get so involved in treadling, that they forget to let the twist run up the yarn, creating something that kinks extremely fast. So when that starts to happen consistently, it is just time to try a different technique and tool. Spinning tools work differently for each person. I love spindles; the way they look, the sheen of the wood, the different types of wood that spindles come in, but it isn't my forte because I haven't practiced enough. And there are people that learn better on a spindle than a wheel. One of our last students was like that, and by the time she left, she was spinning a nice single on a Grafton Fibers spindle.

The other thing that I want to stress to people is never tell a new spinner that a fiber is too difficult to spin. That is negative thinking, and once that is in a person's mind, they get caught up in the thought process that leads them to believe that spinning something like angora is too difficult for them to even try. It's all about technique. If you can spin one fiber, I think that you can spin them all or at least try. Various fibers take different techniques, and even though you may not have mastered spinning one fiber, that doesn't mean that it is difficult for everyone. But telling people that something is hard to do leads most of them to believe that they can't do it either and what is the point of that? If someone said that Romney was too hard to spin, would you believe them? Probably not, because it is a great fiber with which to learn spinning. The thing we need to be doing is encouraging spinners to try spinning anything, even if it is milkweed silk. Isn't life more fun with a great variety of things to try, rather than sticking to one tried and true method? :)

And if you didn't have enough fiber pictures lately, here is my latest purchase from my friend Caroline of Falling Leaves Farm (e-mail me if you'd like her contact information since she doesn't have a website). It's a black suri alpaca fleece. Isn't this gorgeous???




The staple length is 5 inches. It will be washed later today and then carded with dyed angora for batts.



Posted by baycolonyfarm at 11:53 AM EDT
Saturday, October 1, 2005
Spin-In in Amherst, MA
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: The Hooters "And We Danced"
Topic: Show

It has been a week of working the other job; you know, the one that helps pay for this place and is my main money source. So therefore, no blogging was done as I was on some deadlines. But, I did get all the dyeing done that I needed to finish to send out my fiber for super quick processing (and no, don't ask who is doing it as I've been sworn to secrecy). ;-)

But, today I'll be over on the north end of the Amherst Town Common teaching wheel spinning to anyone that would like to attend. We'll be there (and by we, I mean Linda Diak from Grafton Fibers, Caroline Henriques from Falling Leaves Farm in Central MA (no website, but Caroline sells fabulous alpaca fiber!), and few generous people who have volunteered to help teach, and myself. Linda, Caroline and I will have a few goodies to sell there if people are interested in expanding their fiber or tool stash. This is hosted by the Fiber Arts Center to kick of National Spinning and Weaving Week. A portion of our sales will go as a donation to help support the FAC, which is a non-profit center.

If you would like to come join us, feel free to stop by with a chair and a wheel or spindle, and sit and spin for a while. Or if you'd like to learn how to spin, come on by! We hope to bring the joys of spinning to a few new people in the area. And if you have a spouse or SO, they can shop at the Amherst Farmers Market and the Harvest Festival Craft Fair, also on the Common.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 7:12 AM EDT

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