Thursday, October 23, 2014


So Larry and I drove away with the idea of spending two nights at Melissa and Tom Cragg's gorgeous home in the Berkshires (in Williamstown, MA), which would have put us within striking distance of the huge and ordinarily wonderful New York Sheep and Wool Festival at Rhinebeck, NY..... at which I would have been able to hug Ellen Minand (of Ellen's Half-Pint Farm) and a number of other good friends.    The house in Williamstown exceeded all expectations.  We arrived in the dark and had to call one of Melissa's neighbors (Suzi) because we couldn't find the driveway.  Here she is, and here is the driveway (can you find it? the visible pathway is the main road!). 

and here is our rescuer, the brave Suzi and her red Subaru:

But, after that, look at what we found! 

The latter, of course, is from Melissa's front porch, which has a round area suitable for deck chairs and mountain viewing..!  Here's a different view of porch, etc.:
but here is why you want to go to the Berkshires (THIS is the view from the porch):

But, in the end, Nature won out.  It rained cats and dogs on the Saturday of the festival, which was the only day we could attend.  So I got some editing  done, but the festival was out of bounds.  I have been at the Duchess County Fairgrounds in the rain.   You do not want to be there.  The parking lots turn to deep, deep mire (tractors pull out unlucky attendees), the many buildings turn into damp, dank death chambers, and you end up soaked to the skin -- in October, when it's not warm to begin with.  So, no.  Once burned, never again at the stove.  The weather report for Rhinebeck was especially grim (thunderstorms).  Instead, we went to a nearby alpaca farm, made the acquaintance of Dave and then, at the local farmer's market, Beth, both of the Sweet Brook Alpaca Farm.  We made the acquaintance of a number of individuals with names like Preston (he's a fawn alpaca, not pictured here) and I bought ten skeins of natural brown-vanilla alpaca with the names of the producing alpaca preserved on the label, which are now available in the shop.  When we visited the farmer's market, they had some of the same yarn in a basket -- one of them (the flecked one) is barely visible in the photograph.   THEN HOME.  No mud for me.  Trying to suppress disappointment, I have to say.  Along the way, of course, we bought a myriad of utterly amazing vintage buttons.  Who can resist?  We were especially taken with the supply at the Interstate Antique Mall in North East, PA -- yes, that's the name of the town, so-called because it's NE of Erie.  Dave, the owner, has a great eye.     
....and finally, this guy -- a puppet inside the Sweet Brook shop.   I almost bought him.
STAY TUNED!!!!!     svb

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