When it comes to woolly crafts, I’ve always been much more of a spectator than a participant – though I admit to harboring a steady curiosity (or maybe envy is a better word). At county fairs, I always seek out the craft barn and – okay, I’ll admit it – I get excited when I see that the spinners are doing their thing. It’s like watching a fairy tale come to life as fluffy piles of wool are changed into spools of rough-hewn yarn. Well, maybe it’s not quite as magical as spinning straw into gold, but it still impresses me every time!
So it was a real treat for me to attend last year’s Wild and Woolly Weekend, a fiber arts fair hosted by Six Loose Ladies and Fiber Arts in Vermont. Now, I’m looking forward to this year’s installment, on April 27 and 28 at the Pointe Hotel. This fiber arts weekend is 50% craft fair, 50% classes, and 50% social networking. No, that’s not careless math; it’s just that this weekend has so much packed into two days that it overflows! Veteran and virgin crafters alike really ought to swing by to check out the vendors and classes being offered by this energetic group of artists and crafters.
Those who are new to this sort of event may have the wrong impression. A weekend about yarn?! Probably a bunch of old ladies sitting around with knitting needles, balls of yarn, and maybe even a cat or two by their feet. You couldn’t be more wrong. When you look up the meaning of the phrase Wild and Woolly, you’ll find synonyms such as boisterous and unruly. And, based on the energy that is present from the moment you walk in the door, boisterous and unruly seem like achievable descriptors! (I mean, with a retail store name of Six Loose Ladies, you know that rowdy humor will be a part of the fun!)
The Wild and Woolly Weekend has classes available for the very beginner, like me, but they also have classes appropriate for those who are already pretty established in the crafting tradition. In some classes, you’ll go home with a finished product; in others you’ll go home with enough knowledge and enthusiasm that you can tackle a new project on your own. You can choose between three-hour classes or 50-minute ‘mini-classes.’ The topics range from spinning on a wheel or on a drop spindle; choosing and working with colors; making mug rugs (coasters), chair pads, animal pins, and mittens with needle felting; designing decorative boxes from paper collage; and creating sparkly bracelets using beaded knitting.
Whether you’re still a latent crafter or an admitted junkie of all things wool, this event is well worth checking out. Entrance is not only free, but there are door prizes galore. The costs of classes are $5 or $10 for the mini-classes and between $30 and $45 for the 3-hour classes. Class listings are available at the Six Loose Ladies website.
(This blog entry was submitted by Samantha.) – Recently, my dad and I went to the Weston Playhouse to see Mary’s Wedding. Mary’s Wedding was set in post World War I England. The whole drama was a dream that Mary had the night before her wedding. With a cast that consisted of only two actors, and with a total running time of 90 minutes, I thought that the play was going to feel extremely long, but every time I got that feeling, the actors did one more thing that amazed the audience, keeping me enthralled until the last line.
Mary’s Wedding was very enjoyable and I recommend the Weston Playhouse to anyone that enjoys the theater, whether you are a theater fanatic or just someone looking for something fun to plan while on their vacation!
(This blog entry was written by Sadie.) Last week, we went blueberry picking at Goulden Ridge Farm in Weathersfield, VT, just 30 minutes away from the inn. I went with Mom and some friends. The six of us arrived around 5pm and were greeted by a welcoming board with prices and bags and gallon jugs to hold the berries. The grounds were beautiful, signature Vermont hills in the background and a pond and a little brook marking the private property. There were so many berries on the bushes; you could see the clumps of bright blue from where we were standing, at the welcoming board. The sign asked anyone able-bodied enough to pick from any section but the closest section of berries, because those were marked off for seniors or handicapped people. We went to the section with what looked like the biggest and most abundant bushes to start. All of the bushes were enclosed in netting suspended to make a tent around sections of bushes. There were signs showing areas where the “Best Picking” was. The six of us had a berry eating contest on how many berries we could fit in our mouth. There was a tie at 60! We picked for almost two hours in that section until moving on to the slightly smaller bushes in the other. There we picked for about another half an hour until counting up the price of the berries and paying where we came in. When we got home, Mom and I weighed the berries we had picked and got 17 pounds! It was a great experience and we had so much fun. I would definitely recommend this place for a fun time and delicious berries!
Editor’s (mother’s) comments: I’ve done a lot of berry picking in my day, and I’ve never seen such bountiful bushes, nor such a scenic berry spot. This is well-worth putting on the annual traditions calendar! …and for what it’s worth, I came in second place with almost 50 berries!
On April 6, 2012, Ignat Solzhenitsyn will be performing an evening of Beethoven, Schubert, and Prokofiev on the piano as a fundraiser to rebuild Greven Field in Cavendish, VT. The field was absolutely demolished in August 2011 when Hurricane Irene flooded the area. Greven’s “Green Monster” (pictured above) was knocked down, chain link fences were lifted and mangled, bleachers and baseball gear literally floated downstream. (See some pictures below this post.)
The concert is on Friday April 6 at 7pm at the Green Mountain Union High School in Chester. Tickets are $25 each or $20 for students. Stay at Golden Stage Inn on Friday, present your ticket stub upon ‘check-out’ and we’ll deduct your ticket price from your room rate.
This weather is incredible! Spring warmth has arrived but the bugs have not. No better time for a Vermont hike. Here are two hikes we took this weekend that we loved…
Our own Backyard….
From the inn, we walked down Depot Street and up hill Pratt Hill. Pratt Hill Rd takes a sharp right deep into (and still heading up!) the Proctor Piper State Forest. If there’s a path here, we didn’t find it. Our team of pre-teen trailblazers forged a new path as we debated if lichen is a plant or a mushroom, identified deer scat in the leaves, and photographed stunningly green moss on downed trees. Our goal was to find our way back to the inn via the woods. When we emerged on Route 103, we realized we had overshot our mark by 1/4 mile. Not so bad if you ask me! We backtracked slightly, found our bridge to cross the creek and were greeted by welcoming bahhs from Shayla the sheep. The overall hike was probably 1.5 miles and other than the incredibly steep entrance into the woods (on a dirt road), I would rate it as relatively easy.
Eleanor Ellis Springweather Nature Area (15 minute drive from the inn)…
Ironically, we learned of this hike from a guest (who grew up in the area). She and her boyfriend hiked these trails on Saturday and saw two bald eagles! We didn’t even see a Robin or a Chickadee, but this might have something to do with the fact that we were rambunctiously traveling with a dog and a gaggle of kids. Nonetheless, what a great place to hike. Located on the Connecticut River Birding Trail in North Springfield, Vermont, these self-guiding trails are clearly marked and offer phenomenal diversity (forest, meadows, pond, flood plain). The literature offered by the Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society details the types of trees, birds and other wildlife you may see on your hike. We spent about two hours here and covered most of the trail system. Pack a picnic lunch, borrow our binoculars, and be sure to make this an item on your Must Do list when visiting Vermont.