Taos Wool Festival – October 2009

Finally, over three weeks since the event, I’m writing this post about the Taos Wool Festival!  I took so many pictures, it took forever to go through them and decide which ones to use.


Taos Wool Festival - October 2009

The Wool Festival seemed a bit bigger and busier than last year, it seemed like there were more booths around the sides and more in the middle area, too. Of course, last year it was rainy and cool for the Wool Festival and this year the weather was gorgeous – sunny but not hot and just a hint of a breeze.  The Ravelry Meetup was in the center area of the festival, there were quite a few people there – Mary Heather from Ravelry was there and I recognized a few others from the Ravelry Meetup in Santa Fe in September.  The highlight of the Ravelry Meetup was meeting Stephanie Japel and Paula from the on-line class with Stephanie for the Fitted Raglan Shawl.  You can read more about that in this post – Finished With Mirth . 

Ravelry Meetup at the Wool Festival

Ravelry Meetup at the Wool Festival in Taos

It is always fun to look at the various fiber producing animals – alpacas, llamas, sheep and goats.  Some of the goats are so tiny and cute. 


Very Soft Bunny

This year there were also a lot of rabbits shown at the festival.  Some of them were so soft, it was a treat to stroke them.  Some of the rabbits looked like little, furry dogs.


Fuzzy Bunny

There were many booths selling yarn – lots and lots of yarn in millions of yummy colors! 


Beautiful Colors

 It was really wonderful to see all this beautiful wool.  It looks like a cheerful yarn rainbow.


More Yarn

All this yarn for sale was just the tip of the iceberg.  There were also many booths selling fleeces and roving for spinning and spinning equipment as well.

Yarn 3

Even More Yarn

There were also booths selling finished goods made with wool – rugs, hats and many other unique things.


Unique Things

Some of the booths I enjoyed from previous years were back – I love the knitted animals that are for sale in this booth.  The patterns are available, too.


Knitted Animals

Lots of interesting people were there, too.  It was fun just to sit down and watch.


Spinning Lady

One of the nicest things was meeting up with three young women from our La Jara Knitting Group and looking around the festival with them! 


Nicole, Joanna and Mary Jo at the Wool Festival

 Afterwards we went out to a late lunch and had a fun time looking around Taos.


Joanna, Mary Jo and Nicole at the Taos Plaza

My husband managed to maintain his patience while walking around the festival – he was even gracious enough to carry my lime green Namaste knitting bag for a while without getting (overly) embarrassed!


My husband with my Namaste bag and our dog.

All in all, it was a very fun day.  It would have been EASY to spend a lot of money on all that beautiful yarn but I managed to restrain myself and only bought three skeins – one worsted weight, one DK weight and one sock/fingering weight.


Purchased at the Taos Wool Festival

You can click on any of the pictures for a larger view.


Busy Birdfeeder on a Snowy Day

It snowed a LOT here on Wednesday (October 21, 2009), that didn’t stop the birds from coming to visit the birdfeeder in our back yard though.  In fact, it seemed like there were more birds than usual.

Lots of birds at the feeder despite the snow.

Lots of birds at the feeder despite the snow.

Along with the usual House Finches there was one bird that was a similar size and had a similar beak to the finches but had yellow markings instead of red.

Is the bird with yellow markings a Goldfinch?

Is the bird with yellow markings a Goldfinch?

I’m not sure what it is – it really doesn’t look like a Goldfinch.  I’ll have to look it up in the bird book.

House Finches and one mystery bird with yellow markings.

House Finches and one mystery bird with yellow markings.

The birds were bickering with each other over the last seeds in the feeder.  We fill this feeder with black oil sunflower seeds every single day and they eat the whole thing before noon.  House Finches are the most common birds at our feeder but there are a few other types once in a while.  A group of five Ring Necked Doves hangs out under the feeder eating the seeds that get dropped.  Every once in a while, Brewer’s Blackbirds hang out underneath, too.

Bickering Birds

Bickering Birds

Our front and back yard looked like a winter wonderland in the morning.

Snow in the back yard.

Snow in the back yard.

It kept snowing all day!  The snow built up to 8 inches deep towards the end of the day.

Snow in the front yard.

Snow in the front yard.

 You can click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

Carrot Ginger Cookies and a New Knitting Project


Carrot Ginger Cookies

These Carrot Ginger Cookies I made today turned out very well. They have lots of finely grated carrots in them along with freshly grated ginger. They are very light and delicate tasting – the fresh ginger gives them such a nice flavor. Even though they have LOTS of carrots in them – they really don’t taste like carrots. I think they will go very nicely with a cup of tea.

I rolled the balls of dough in coarse Demerara sugar before baking – next time, I will use a finer sugar. The crunchy, strong taste of the Demerara sugar kind of overpowered the cookie.

Carrot Ginger Cookies

1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 egg + 1 egg white (if you double recipe, just use three eggs)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup finely grated carrot (about 3 normal sized carrots)
1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger root (about 1 small root)
3 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Stir in the carrots and ginger until well blended. Mix the cream of tartar, soda and salt with the flour. Stir in the flour a cup or so at a time and mix well.

Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. If desired, roll balls in sugar before placing on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 – 14 minutes until slightly browned and top springs back if touched.

The dough is quite soft, it might help to refrigerate it before rolling into balls. I usually make a double recipe (or even triple) of cookie dough and only bake one or two pans and then put the rest of the dough in the fridge in a tightly sealed container or bag. That way, you can bake a pan or two every day or so and always have fresh cookies on hand.


In other news – I didn’t have to report for Jury Duty today (Friday)! It was such a relief – I was dreading it so much. I had called the phone number on the summons earlier in the day on Thursday and then again around 4pm to check on the status of the trial and the recorded message said the trial was still scheduled. So, I had started getting everything ready for the next day – clothes, charge cell phone, get purse packed up with the needed stuff, etc. For a couple of days, I had been trying to think of a small knitting project to bring along in the hopes I might knit to fill in the tedious hours of jury selection – finally decided to make the Shetland Shopper Market Bag. My friend, Emmy, knitted this bag and it turned out very well. So, I cast on for the bag with Adara (cotton/linen blend) from Elann and was happily knitting away on it when my husband came home from work.

He asked if I had called to check on the status of the trial, I told him I had and that it had not been cancelled. So, he called the number to check again and it WAS cancelled! I was in disbelief, it must have been cancelled at the last minute. I even called the number myself to make sure it really had been cancelled! What a relief – it seems like when you get all ready and prepared for something, then it never happens.

So, I shall think of the Shetland Shopper as my lucky knitting project!

Shetland Shopper Market Bag - Beginning

Shetland Shopper Market Bag - Beginning

I felt so happy and relieved today that I decided to bake the Carrot Ginger Cookies, had been meaning to try them for a while. It was originally a recipe for Bunny Carrot Cookies that I modified quite a bit.

You can click on the pictures for a larger view.

She Likes It

Well, I finished knitting the pet bed for my little Cairn Terrier, Gidget.  The pattern was for a felted bowl, I used a bulky wool yarn and worked more increase rounds to make it bigger.

Gidget's Knitted Bed

Gidget's Knitted Bed

Guess what?!?  She likes it………just the way it is!  It doesn’t even have the ends woven in yet and hasn’t been felted.   As soon as I finished binding off, I set it down on the floor to see how big it looked.  Gidget came right over and sniffed it and then stretched out next to it and put her head on it to see if she was going to get in trouble.  When she didn’t get in trouble for putting her head on it she proceeded to put her whole self on it! 

She really does seem to like it just the way it is- I’ve picked it off the floor several times when she’s gone outside to potty and the minute she comes in she looks for it and I have to put it down again.  I do need to get the ends woven in but, now, I don’t know whether I should try to felt it or not.  She has already put a couple of snags in it with her claws so I’m thinking that perhaps I will just felt it a bit – just enough to get the wool fibers sticking together so they won’t snag.

I think I’d like it better if it was felted very firmly – it wouldn’t look so floppy and messy when it’s on the floor.  Hmm, I just wonder which way it will end up in the end???

This week I have been so unfocused.  I wanted to get a post done with lots of pictures of the Taos Wool Festival but I took so many pictures I can’t even decide which ones I want to edit and put in a post.  On Friday, I have a summons to Jury Duty and I’m really not looking forward to that.  I’ve reported for Jury Duty several times and it involves many hours of sitting around while people are interviewed and a jury is selected.  Today, I tried to think of a simple, small knitting project I could start and then bring in a little bag in my purse to work on – I’m not even sure if you are allowed to knit.  I could see where it wouldn’t be a good thing during a trial but it shouldn’t hurt to knit during all that endless interviewing of prospective jurors.  Time will tell.

You can click on the picture for a larger view.

Finished With Mirth

The title sounds like I’m finished with being happy – but, actually, I’m very happy that I’m finished with my Mirth Fitted Raglan Shawl!!  In this previous post – On-Line Knitting Class – I talked about taking the on-line class given by Stefanie Japel for the Mirth Shawl she designed.  The class lasted for three weeks and I managed to get the shawl all finished during that three weeks.  It was really a good class, Stefanie is an inspiring teacher and I learned a LOT about knitting lace from charts.  I really like how the shawl turned out.

Completed Mirth Shawl

Completed Mirth Shawl

There was one minor glitch that almost made me unable to get the shawl finished during the three weeks of the class.  I ran out of yarn and had to order another skein.  Instead of sending worsted weight, the store sent me DK weight in the same colorway – so, I had to call and ask them to resend the worsted weight.  That meant there were four days with no knitting on the shawl – when the correct yarn arrived I really had to do some power knitting to get finished before the class was over.  It wouldn’t have been a big deal if I hadn’t finished within the time frame of the class but it was one of those things I’d promised myself I’d do.  Usually, I’m such a procrastinator that I never finish anything on time.  With this shawl, I made a concentrated effort to keep up with the class and finish on time.  I’m so glad I did!

One nice thing about waiting for the yarn to arrive – I received my ball winder from Knit Picks and got to wind up the last skein with a ball winder!  The Knit Picks ball winder is nice – it is just like the Royal Ball Winder (checked them out in two yarn stores) except less expensive.

Ball Winder from Knit Picks

Ball Winder from Knit Picks

The most exciting part of the Mirth Shawl Class was meeting Stefanie Japel at the Taos Wool Festival!  We had a Shawl Class Reunion type thing during the Ravelry Meetup on Saturday at the Taos Wool Festival – it was great meeting Stefanie and her family and Paula, who also took the class and with whom I had a lot of fun chatting on-line during the class!  Here is a picture of Mary-Heather from Ravelry, Stefanie, Me and Paula.

Mary-Heather,Stefanie Japel, Me, Paula

Mary-Heather,Stefanie Japel, Me, Paula

You can click on any picture for a larger version.  Hopefully, in a few days I’ll write more about the Taos Wool Festival.  It was really fun and busy this year.