Friday, May 30, 2008

Spinning...or as my friends would say, sucked into the vortex

Either you view it as crossing to the dark side...
or I've gone Little House On the Prairie...
I've just discovered a whole new way to blow
a yarn budget and a whole new stash to acquire
to excess...
I have roughly half a sheep stored in --my soon to be home --
college son's room
(so just where do you hide your new yarn purchases,
other than your car trunk of course)
Note: not my trunk, see haldechick's post on Flicker for this one

........raw merino wool
which now only needs washing,
carding, spinning, and plying oh my....

For anyone in the Boston/central Massachusetts area,
I would recommend Fiber Loft in Harvard, MA...
as they teach all day classes and have you start with
wool straight off the sheep...and teach carding of the wool,
spinning in the grease, plying, etc...there are also many
wheels to try out to see what fits best...with loads of
valuable advice as to easiest fibers to spin, how to wash wool,
use of Niddy Noddy, etc., etc. We also tried spinning fiber
that was all ready to go had been carded & cleaned,
a ready to knit once spun fiber.
Great spinning books were reviewed
and a list given of must-have books for new spinners.
A really thorough and incredible class.

I would recommend a spinning class for any die hard knitter/crocheter...
it is a whole new take on the whole process...
whether you continue on with a more natural and less expensive way of producing your own yarn
or at least learn how your stash became a skein,
essentially from sheep to shawl...I truly recommend it.
For me, I have discovered I am a process crafter,
and consequently far more interested in how
and why things are done, rather than the end result...maybe that's why I have so many UFO'S...sounds
good in a sentence here, but then probably not a really good reason.

For me, there's something rather unique in knowing
my next knitting project has been contributed directly from Molly
the part Merino/part Corriedale...who grazed tranquilly
in the fields of NH.

So yes, I think I am hooked...
Oh and if you have read the past two blog entries...
you will note no real roving for spinning purchases so far...
But recently attended yet ANOTHER
Sheep & Wool...Yes, call me obsessed,
it's true, that makes 4 wool festivals...
and now have lots of lovely fiber pix from that one too, stay tuned...

Oh and from my prior postings, finally...the spoils of
the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival...or at least the ones I am willing to acknowledge and post for anyone in the world to see...

The annual T-shirt design (it changes every year here)...
actually had to wait 1 1/2 hours in line for this one,
as well as for my other
souvenir goodies from Maryland
and by the way, that line never seemed to get any shorter all day-
they just ran out of popular t-shirt sizes over time.

Button, button, who's got the buttons. some from Maryland,
and some from elsewhere...the collection is growing...

My 3-cool sheep ceramic coaster

Of Course it's not a sheep & wool with out a sheep purchase
for my own personal collection...
like any of you could pass
this cutie up

and here's a close-up...

And The Yarn Goodness that came home with me in my car....

my first Socks That Rock... and yes...those hand-dyed colors rock my world...
wow and it's so soft....

Ellyn Cooper's yarn sonnet hand dyed yarn. could not get a good photo..
It has strands of sparkling glitter type yarn within the skein.

2 skeins of JaggerSpun Superfine Merino from Australia for my new summer shawl project in a gorgeous teal... Yum

and finally
Tilli Thomas beaded silk yarn sprinkled with glass beads...oh yeah...this one is exciting...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ohio Fiber Fest...another wool festival?

Yes, I am finally back from Ohio with hundreds of photos, loads of knitting and knitting related news...if I post daily....hmmm...I might catch up.
I am starting out with most recent photos/adventures.
Saturday I borrowed son's car and found my way to Wooster, Ohio
and went to the Great Lakes Fiber Show....much different
than Maryland, Rhinebeck, and NH...this was mostly Ohio and
surrounding states & lake area businesses
with a few far-reaching vendors. This was more about the sheep, buying and
selling, and a big focus on 4-H as well and local contests of wool and sheep themselves. Indie sellers/dyers were plentiful.
amazingly, there were only a couple of traditional food vendors...
no fried artichokes aka Rhinebeck,
no lamb burgers, lamb kabobs, lamb u-name-it aka Maryland.

There was a skein competition among the area locals

There was a 4-H animal contest for children and met two adorable girls with
their animals patiently waiting their turns. also a boy showing his animal.

A few of The Animals

Mama and just to be seen in back of her the baby.

There were outdoor stalls and indoor stalls

There were oldtime antique looms

Sites and Sounds around the Fiber Fest

a felted denim skirt

cute mini spinning wheel

But the largest part of the fiber fest, seemed devoted to buying and selling
of the animals. there were several barns of sheep all numbered and ready to be sold.

I personally would have been quite happy with any of them,
like #20 or #237 for instance

OH yes and my personal LOOT...

Briar Rose Fibers ~ ~
Hand Dyed Fibers

were there, and yes, I asked-- they are the same company
that sponsors none other than Cast On, Brenda Dayne's podcast.
I just looked and looked and could not choose, please see their website
for they capture the yarn colors much better. Oh and did I mention
it is really really soft...

Creatively Dyed EXTRAORDINARY Indie dyer
of unbelievable talent...
Please visit her blog, she is a really cool person, as well as an awesome
hand yarn painter.

Buffalo spinner & dyers were there, complete with a
motorized tabletop spinning wheel

I bought buffalo yarn, hand dyed and a ceramic buffalo button to accent
whatever I knit.

oh and bought a really comical t-shirt, nope that's not milk,
just a cute way to display their t-shirts:

clay button found in 50% off bin and cute ragwool sheep, and a little roving
for doll hair, a great color.

and finally, the reason I was in Ohio, my son's graduation from
Oberlin College...