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Bay Colony Farm
Fibers and Rabbits For Sale at Bay Colony Farm
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Another Day at Bay Colony Farm
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Ooooh, my aching back!
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: The Time "Jungle Love"
Don't forget, Saturday is the Franklin County Fiber Twist in Greenfield, MA and throughout Franklin County at various farms. I'll be vending at the Guiding Star Grange #1 and doing a bunny shearing demo at 1:00 p.m. So stop on by, and say Hi!

No fiber production to report here. None, nada, zero, zilch. So if that is what you are looking for, then you might as well stop reading now. This post is about hard, physical work.

I've been in meetings for the past several days, and last night worked, running an edge bander, which puts the plastic taped edges on melamine. This isn't my full time job, but I do this to help out at my husband's company when they are on a time crunch to get a job done.

Running an edge bander looks way easier than it actually is. It is like playing "Beat the Clock". You need to have the next piece line up to go into the machine by the time the red light turns off. It looks easy. At least I thought it did. Then I actually did it. Ha! There is a lot of exercise in doing this type of labor, something that my body isn't exactly used to. And waking up in the morning with sore muscles, and a sore back is the norm. ;-)

I'm going back there later today to finish up what we started last night. And then tomorrow night is the Halloween party at the Holyoke Soldier's Home, and I promised I'd take my boys to it. If I get the chance, I'm hoping to pick up the knitting needles sometime soon; I'm anxious to be working on a fiber project, not just work. :)

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 8:40 AM EDT
Monday, October 24, 2005
It's nice, but.....
Mood:  rushed
Now Playing: Alice Cooper "Poison"
Topic: Yarn

Yesterday we took a trip up to VT to do a bit of shopping in Brattleboro. There aren't many fiber things happening on Sunday, as Brattleboro's only yarn store is closed on Sundays (which seems to be the *only* day we get up there!). However, I did get to stop in at Green Mountain Spinnery to check out the latest yarn offerings. Mountain Mohair has been mentioned as a nice yarn for Rogue. So I check it out. And the Spinnery even has a slight sale going on; something like 5% off the yarn. But even at $11.15 per skein for selected colors, that makes Rogue into a sweater costing $129. Too rich for my blood at this time. So I think I'll stick to swatching using the Valley Yarns Berkshire and the Cascade 220 for now.

Now I'm off. I have a busy day ahead, with 4 different appointments between 9 and 3 today. What on earth possessed me to set up so much stuff for one day???

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 7:41 AM EDT
Friday, October 21, 2005
A wish for the day
Mood:  celebratory

To my wonderful husband, Dale;

May you have a very Happy 44th Birthday! :)

Nothing fibery to report today. Perhaps tomorrow.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 5:29 PM EDT
Thursday, October 20, 2005
What I did today (besides almost sit on the cat)
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Hall & Oates "Family Man"
Topic: Knitting

See this?

I hit Webs today. I needed to talk to Kathy anyway, but I wanted to check out the Berkshire yarn after reading about it first thing this morning in Knitters Review. So between taking coffee to my husband, and visiting my dad, I headed off to Webs.

Yesterday I had asked for comments on yarns that would work for the Rogue, and Teresa suggested several including Cascade 220. So I go into Webs and start looking around. I am directed to the Berkshire and the Cascade 220. Color choices abound with these two yarns. But I decide that I really like the tweedy looking turquoise blue Cascade, so I pick up that. And then get some #5 Addi Turbos for the Flower Basket Lace Shawl pattern (yes I bought another one, which I forgot to add to the photograph), the Yarn Harlot's book "the secret life of a knitter", and some jumbo tapestry needles for sewing in ends (that white yarn in the picture is the Alluring yarn which I will use for the FBS). I leave Webs and head to visit my dad. An hour later, I'm on my way back up to Webs after realizing that I need a crochet hook to start the FBS. So in I walk and get my crochet hook, but also go back to the Berkshire yarn. Yes, it sucked me in. I'm going to swatch that too along with the Cascade 220 and see which one I like best for fabric. The colors I'm equally in love with, although if I do the Rogue in the Cascade, it will look more summery than it is probably intended. We'll see; I might decide that it looks very cool.

I'll keep you posted.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 2:25 PM EDT
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Special Day and Projects Galore!
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: Michael Sembello "Maniac"
Topic: Knitting
First off, I want to wish my husband a very happy 9th anniversary! Life has been more colorful with him in it and certainly richer. Dale, thank you for the support you've given to me; it hasn't always been easy, but life without a few challenges would be boring. ;-)

Now, on to fiber!

When Teresa came by on Sunday, she was wearing a Rogue sweater. Now, I've looked at this pattern for over a year now, and lusted after it. But, because I have a fear of complicated projects (I know, I know, I must get over that!), I've shy-ed away from it. But Teresa convinced me that the pattern was so well written, that anyone can follow it and do it well.
So, now I'm on to make Rogue. But my question to readers who have made it is what is a good yarn for this? I know you need an aran weight yarn, and I would prefer a 100% wool one that won't break the bank for me. Cottage Craft has some lovely colors and the yarn is really nice, but even their heaviest yarn might be too light for this. Any ideas that people can send to me on what yarn works best for this, or something that they used and really liked? I'll take suggestions though Friday night, so that I can buy the yarn on Saturday.

And, now that things have calmed down here quite a bit, I'm also thinking of knitting the Fiber Trends Flower Basket Lace Shawl. I've been eying this pattern for a while now; I think I even bought the pattern this summer. But the question was what yarn to use with it? And then I had a "Doh!" moment. The Alluring yarn would be perfect for this! So now I have to find the pattern (or a trip to Webs would also suffice), and figure out how much yarn I'll need. I think I'll dye the yarn too, keeping with a single color, as I think that a multi colored yarn might detract from the pattern a bit too much. I'm thinking that a nice blue color would be good, don't you?

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 10:24 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:25 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Sock Yarn Anyone?
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: ZZ Top "Legs"
Topic: Knitting

Here is a portion of the yarn that I plied today, from those two bobbins shown yesterday.

I still have 2/3 of a bobbin of the Magical Roving left, but used up 2/3 of the bobbin with the Border Leicester roving. Why? Because the BL roving is a much loftier yarn than the Magical roving, which is really a combed top.

I like the way this is looking when it is plied. I don't mind the barber pole effect, and think that it will make some stunning socks; subtle yet colorful.

Unfortunately, the rest of the black BL roving is in the trailer, packed at the front, so it may be a while before I can finish spinning it up. Two weeks until my last show of the season, which is when I'll actively try to get the roving back out.

Until then, I'll satisfy myself with spinning another Magical roving, this one a cream/orchid/peach combination. And get to work on dyeing silk caps too. :)

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 8:42 PM EDT
Monday, October 17, 2005
Rhinebeck, part 2
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: The Cure "Just Like Heaven"
Topic: Fiber Friends

No work for me this evening. When DH came home to pick us all up, DS1 was sound asleep on the couch; worn out from his exciting weekend at Rhinebeck. So I'm here for the evening while DH and DS2 head back to Hamp.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

I met a lot of wonderful people this weekend. Many people read this blog, which makes me happy. One woman told me I was an inspiration to her. Who knew? :)

The one thing I really wanted to do this weekend was take pictures of the people that came by to say Hi. I even had my camera in the booth, but when I realized that it might be a bit obnoxious to be photographing people left and right, I gave up on the idea.

Norma stopped by with LauraJ (whom I've know for years now). They wanted to take a picture for Sandy of the roving that I had made from the contest winning photo:

Teresa's Evening Sunset, photo courtesy of Sandy Hurley:

Fooled you, didn't I? I showed a picture of it earlier last week calling it "Mixed Berry Pie". I couldn't very well give it away that this was the roving colorway from the contest before unveiling it at Rhinebeck, now could I? The angora/wool yarn will follow, probably at The SPA Weekend in February. The colors were trickier to get with the yarn than with roving, which is why it wasn't available.

Teresa came by a little later and saw her roving. She went home with a bump of it as her prize for the winning entry. Sandy will be sent her prize, as I had thought I could give it to her directly at Rhinebeck, but she was unable to make it.

Cassie and Claudia came by, as did Joe. Joe and I had a nice conversation about his curly maple
Robin wheel that he picked up on Saturday. I'm seriously jealous that he has that curly maple one; it is stunning! And Joe was so nice to meet too. I love reading his blog!

Elisa from NJ came by and picked up her Bobbin Log and I saw some of the NJ Fiber Fanatics, including Laurie, who had to have more Rhinebeck soap.

So many other people came by and talked to me, all of them wonderful. Each person had a different story to tell; how they got into knitting, spinning, crocheting, or were just enjoying the day being out of the rain! I enjoyed talking to each and every person that came by to say hi. I can't name everyone here, but this is one reason that I adore vending; meeting old and new friends, and sharing a passion for the fiber arts.

I want to give a special thank you to Linda from Grafton Fibers. If it weren't for her encouragement and thoughtfulness, I wouldn't make it through half of these shows. :) She's an inspiration and epitomizes what is the very best of vendors, helping where she can and selling fantastic products which make these shows wonderful.

I'll leave you this time with a picture of the yarn I spun up this weekend. I'll ply those tonight for the sock yarn.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 6:02 PM EDT
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
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
How is this for Wool P0rn?
Mood:  party time!
Now Playing: Def Leppard "Hysteria"
Topic: Fiber
My fabulous processor got everything back to me in time for Rhinebeck.

Want to see a sneak preview of what I'll have in the booth? Check out the photos below:

Pioneer Valley Autumn - Icelandic and German Angora Wool

Winter Night Sky - Corriedale and German Angora Wool

Mixed Berry Pie - Border Leicester

We'll also have our new Magical blends too, but no picture of those right now. :) I might show those later this week, after I've weighed up all the above blends into 2 ounce balls of roving.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 6:11 PM EDT

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