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A Big Opportunity

A while ago, I had thought to put in my application for a booth at Rhinebeck (formally, the New York State Sheep and Wool Gathering) because I had heard that it could take a decade to get a booth.  So I figured I’d just send applications their way for a few years while I put together a schedule of fiber festivals where I can sell my yarn.

So imagine my surprise when an email arrives on Monday from the Rhinebeck organizers saying that they have a need for some substitute vendors, and would I like to sell yarn at the festival?  YES!

So I am going to be a Rhinebeck vendor this year, provided the State of New York processes my application for a Tax ID.  But I will assume that that will happen and I’ll be on my way to put some sheep in the breed barn and then we will set up our booth in a location TBD.

Wish me luck!

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Going to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival

It is that time of year again!   We are headed to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival, where we have 350 skeins of Border Leicester yarn to sell along with many other fiber goodies.

For starters, both my Northern Borders and Derby Line yarns have been selling well.  Even though the Montpelier Farmer’s Market isn’t an ideal venue for selling an item specific to the small part of the population that knits, the yarn colors and the tactile joy of touching yarn draw visitors in.  In fact, I have sold enough yarn that I need to consider dyeing additional yarn to round out my color availability.  My concern is not having the right amounts of the colors people want most.  Sales at the farmer’s market have depleted some of my colors!

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Another significant offering this year is hats.  Specifically, this Kep design that my mother has developed.  Keps are a traditional slouchy Fair Isle hat that features our Northern Borders yarn nicely.  Mom has cranked out six hats, while I am still working on hat number one.  She is really a knitting powerhouse.

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I also have gobs of BFL wool that wants dyeing and final touches.  Good thing Great British Bakeoff is available again!

The to-do list for the sheep is no shorter.  Ten lambs ship on 9/27, breeding groups need to be arranged next week, and everyone gets a Selenium shot because our soils are very deficient.  That is a whole lot of work!

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Farm Truths

Just some fun farm facts that are on my mind right now:

Sixty percent of all sheep photos look like this, or the sheep are little specks in the distance.  They don’t like to be in any of the space between bonking into you and escaping your visual field.

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This is how your sneakers will look after 4 months of use.  I can’t wear boots for the time being, so I’m using sneakers well beyond their design parameters.  I won’t even start to describe how they smell, suffice it to say I leave them on the porch when I visit people.

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Everytime you see your fencebirb, you will think “I need to ID that bird” but you never will.  I can tell she’s a finch of some sort.  Another note to fencebirbs- do not waste your time moving two or three sections away when I am picking up fence.  If I am picking up fence, you will just need to find another perch entirely.  I hate “chasing” you down the fencerow while I do my work because I don’t like to waste your time.

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Sometimes, you feed your livestock and they still don’t want to be friends.  I haven’t yet held any of the newborn chicks from our mama hen.  They resent the idea that they are domesticated in any way.

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This sweet Border ewe is the only one of the lot who wants me to pet her.  So I oblige whenever possible.

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Fred lives for petting.  He and Matt have a special man-friendship.  I love Fred’s pretty eyes and sweet disposition, but I love his perfect build the most!

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Steven realized that he is a sheep, not a person, but he still loves a good hug here and there.  We are so glad for his improved health and progress after so many close calls.20180823_103748