Tuesday, August 31, 2010

gale goes goat geeking

When my just turning 20 (today! and, really?) son Leo came home for a month this summer, he reprised his role as traveling photo assistant. We had great adventures shooting for the book Shear Spirit four years ago (Texas, fr'instance, here).  Since I can barely stand to pass up a field trip enroute to a job, and we were heading up to Montpelier VT for a corporate shoot,  I found the.perfect. sidetrip. Goats! Goat cheese ! Open to visitors any time, and they are one of the only places in the northeast that make cajeta- goat caramel- which really piqued our curiousity.0810FamVar_0244
Leo's in culinary college and  cooks passionately for work, so, you combine my appreciation of goat farms with love of artisanal foods and we are so there.
It's a self-touring kinda deal. If you're a photographer, this joint is hog heaven.0810FamVar_0263  
The resident pigs seemed to agree.
0810FamVar_0237 First stop : the tasting room/shop with a refrigerated tray and do-it-yourself instructions.0810FamVar_0240 Some of this came home with us.  I doubt I can make it last til Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. It goes very well with ice cream. Just saying.
We hiked the rest of the farm in scorching heat, if for nothing else than to thank the goats for their labors.0810FamVar_0269 
Freshly harvested garlic & onions drying.0810FamVar_0271 
Taking a breather by the chicken coop. We tease him that he's gone Mr. Miami on us.0810FamVar_0255 
It's my continuing disappointment that you don't get fiber from dairy goats, nor chevre from an angora. But if you did? wow.
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We were at Fat Toad Farm.  There is an official VT CheeseTrail, so you can find other Vt cheese farms, too. Seriously! Get the map from  Vt Cheesemakers

Thursday, August 26, 2010

the moral of the story is

Storm Cloud Shawlette by Hanna Breetz. I confess I bought Urban Silk while enchanted at  Loop & Leaf  when I was in Santa Barbara. Silk & cotton is perfect, just perfect for that charmingly temperate city, and this is my favorite shade of green. And, it was spring! Who needs wool in a world like that?  It's like buying kickass cowboy boots in Texas, they are so right when you're  there. Or big chunky turquoise & silver necklaces in New Mexico. Or shirts with flamingos on them in Florida.  Then you get home to your east coast beach neighborhood and natural toned wrinkly linen clothes and say, huh, what was I thinking?
 In this case, I was thinking I'd use it to knit Saroyan. Within a few inches I knew it wasn't working. With all the sheen and texture in the Urban Silk, the leaves disappeared into little crinkly sneezes along the edge.
Storm Cloud
So, I shifted over to the Storm Cloud, a simple semi-circle shawl.
yarn: urban Silk - 3 skeins
needles: size 9 us
modifications:  I changed it up a little, increased sooner than suggested, threw in two bands of stockinette. All good, it's a rock solid design structure and you can't really mess it up by improvising on the stitches.
my thoughts: Lovely yarn, wonderful simple pattern. But I was not truly feeling it. I'm an animal fiber kinda gal. I like wooliness. Storm CloudA short way in I realized it was, in essence, going to look similar to my Clapotis .  That is:  green,non-woolly, voluminous neck wrap, open stitch pattern. I lost my zip.  Until on a photo shoot for a dear friend. She loved it halfway done. I mean EL-OH-VEEE luuvvvved it and I am always thrilled to make something for her. I sped through the second half. So, happy ending, the Storm Cloud has been sent to New Jersey.  And if I can remember NO MORE shopping under the influence of geography, I'll be A-OK.
Although this example of shopping locally? No problem!13 pounds of August tomatoes etc bubbling away right now, to be frozen as summer sauce.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

she knits seashell at the seashore

Coquille (rav) on the needles on a cloudy beach day
I'm tickled by the colors echoing the sand, seaweed, driftwood, and coastal water. Do you know how happy this will make me this winter? Designer Mary Lou Egan nailed this fun project. Which explains why it's a hit since it came out in Knitty . Mine's more of a scarfy shawl, I snagged 4 skeins of Noro Chirimen while dashing through the Webs backroom a couple of weeks ago. I neglected to check yarn weight for the Coquille  pattern (um, fingering!) , so my interpretation is heavier in this worsted weight cotton, silk & wool blend. To love. If you click the Noro link, you'll see it's still on sale, btw. ( you're welcome).
So, speaking of Mary Lou (smooth segue, eh?), she and the Yarnery in St Paul have arranged for me to return to Minnesota for a Photography for Knitters workshop weekend. So psyched! It'll be Sept 25 & 26th, 2 days split between the store classroom, Grand Ave and a field trip to a historic farmstead to use as a setting for shooting FO's, fiber, sheep, the farmhouse, fall crops, and anything else we aim our lenses at. A 2 day workshop gives us time to really get a lot of work done, you will leave with new skills. And tons of images.  I promise.
Info is up here and also  at The Yarnery Visiting Teacher page.
I hate to have beach season end, but knowing we have the workshop in St. Paul to look forward to makes it a lot easier.

Monday, August 16, 2010

and the seasons they go round & round...

Taking the day off to enjoy a bigbigbig anniversary with Dave. It's not the endlessly sunny beach day we planned, but we're going to enjoy it anyway. 
(I swear, that's not supposed to be a metaphor about marriage.  Just a weather report).
Watch Hill, here we come.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

all we are saying

Give toast a chance?  At the Gathering of the Vibes last weekend, in an unusually idyllic Bridgeport CT.
Like a Grateful Dead concert circa 1979,  add many hula hoops. It was a rare family outing, which was both very wonderful and slightly weird. I mean, we used to go to lots of music festivals before we were parents, and here we are, years later, finding Sunday's lineup of Little Feat, Martin Sexton, Jimmy Cliff and Damien Marley+Nas as common ground for all four of us, and off we went. Don't get me wrong, we are not so groovy as to have a 16 & 19 yo who hung out with us there. They met friends, we created a small force field of uncoolness right near the stage for most of Sunday,  they'd stop by and visit once in a while. (I brought these socks to work on. Cause every time I look at them I think "the only place these belong are at a Dead concert.)
You could sit on the seawall to cool off and admire many Goldsworthy-esque cairns and a dude selling seashells by the seashore. But I think he was mostly giving them away.
There's nothing like live music.We kind of forgot the magic of listening in the sun with thousands of people, all in the moment. Our son is turning the same age we were when we met, the week of our 20th birthdays and here we are 3 freakin' decades later  enjoying  the same things together. (Big anniversary making us maudlin? I think so!). At one point, Jimmy Cliff was playing Cat Stevens,  all were grooving along. It's true. Baby baby it's a wild world.