Monday, September 18, 2006

Back to the Fair and step on it!

Another friend wanted to go to the fair and twisted (not) my arm. Weeee! This was a chance for me to pick up missed business cards, see things I missed during yesterday’s sensory overload and chat with more folks.

I followed along while today’s friend and fiber enthusiast wandered through the vending barns. We stopped at Just My Yarn to see the Turnstyles spindles a friend purchased yesterday. Dianne was just as great and patient with today’s friend and soon she was coming home with two Turnstyles spindles. I have my mind set on getting one as soon as I can afford to...I'm now a huge fan :)

In an attempt to get yesterday’s friend a few things she missed, I got into a conversation with the super friendly and helpful owner of Golden Oak Alpaca Farm. I believe her name was Barb Green. See yesterdays’ post to about needle felting we did at their booth. Fun! In chatting we came to find out we both know the same person. She promptly invited us to their open house in October and to participate in their “name the alpaca” contest. I’m SO there!

Also met the absolutely fabulous owner, Elizabeth McLelland of Yorkshire Meadows, a shop in Mansfield, PA. We chatted and she taught me a simple way to do I-cord. I thought it was this terrible thing that everyone hated and took forever.

And there was Dianna of Hand Crafted Heirlooms, also in PA, who had a gorgeous silk wool stole in mahogany tones that I wish, wish, wish I could have taken home with me. It wanted to, but the wallet was not willing. Some day...

One defining moment came when I took my friend into the smaller building to show her the silk worms. She wasn’t into it but when we turned around, something caught my eye. There were three spinners working on wheels and one woman had the exact same roving braid on her lap that I bought yesterday. Great! Now is my chance to see what this will look like spun up in the hands of someone more expert than I. The ladies were all helping at the fair and were part of the Genesee Valley Guild. They talked about their spinning and their experiences, preferences of wheels and even gave me a good place to search out a less expensive option. See, they knew that I was destined to spin. One of the ladies named pat let us pet her handspun, hand knit, cashmere capelet. I said cashmere...need i say more. It melted in my hand. She told me that we were destined to meet and I agree. I love the universe...*sigh*
It was a great weekend and I’m so glad that I had the chance to spend time with my friends and share the fair.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Fiber frolic! Finger Lakes Fiber Festival 2006

I have wanted to go for AGES. Studies now complete and it was time to have a bit of well-deserved fun so off a friend and I went to the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival in Hemlock, NY. It was an easy drive and only took a little over an hour. We both vowed that we would not enable each other (yeah right). But soon we were breaking into our stowed away money that the other did not realize we brought. It was officially on! This is photo intensive so hang in there!

First, we hit this lovely vendor who I can't recall the name of (have to let you know in another post. I would recommend friendly! My friend bought a gorgeous fleece determined to learn to spin today. She's a knitting goddess so I'm confident she did not waste $$. Having never spun anything, I thought I would just head home with three little bags of very sheepy fleece in lovely variegated shades. I wonder if carding this with the cat's brush will work. Yes? We will see. I managed to not pick up any wool wash the entire day. Brilliant...I can still feel the lanolin on my fingertips.

We passed or more correctly this passed us on the way into one of the big tents to see the llama and the great folks who took the time to chat with us about llama wool, guard hair, etc. It's true, guard hair content is very much dependent on the animal. Some had almost none were others had more than I cared for. I tried to collect business cards and names along the way, but I think a few were misplaced. Sorry!

We made our way to the Oak Meadow Alpaca Farm and I bought this from owner Nancy... lovely puff of alpaca roving. SO soft! I had to go back and get a baggie of it to try. Spinning is starting to call to me, scream actually.

An then there was the lovely green scarf at Winterhaven Fiber Farm called a Nuno scarf. I'm not mush of a wrap person, but this I just could not ignore. (scarf on left) The owner, Jenny, was a just a fantastic gal. Chatted with us about spinning, felted flower making, etc. I had my heart set on making a few of the scarves so I cam away with the instructions plus some pretty rovings and some flashy stuff to add in to jazz it up a bit. All I have to get is the silk backing material which I have at home. I have to remember to email her to order the green fiber to make the green scarf. Must write a note....

Next we moved on to the fabulous gals at Just Our Yarn, Diane and Cathie. They have amazing cashmere yarn spun so finely and in such defined colors. It made me wish I were a better knitter. Some day... they also sold the most beautiful drop spindles made by Bill Hardy of Turnstyles. These were by far my favorites of the show hands down. Diane was very patient and talked my friend and I threw all our questions and was a very patient and encouraging demonstrator/teacher. Here is my friend giving it a whorl...she bought one and couldn't peel the smile from her face. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Then across the way we went as the fine ladies at Gold Oak Farm waved us over to try out needle felting. I can't tell you how fun and cathartic it was to stab that little needle into the roving. And soon we had something, well, my friend did at least. Mine is on the right (laugh) Can I help it if the kids at the table used all the cool colors and imagination?

With out new found love of spinning and needle felting off we went in search of fiber and found Steam Valley Fiber Farm and it's amazing owner, Phylleri.. She had the most amazing display of fiber and sweet little goats (I think goats, at least) I asked her if she minded me taking a pic of her stuff and she gave a big smile and the okay so feast your eyes. Keep in mind that there is a second side to that yarn rack. The colors were amazing. The booth was beautiful.

Needing water badly, we headed to the food vendors and saw sheep shearing.

After water and a snack, we sidetracked and entered a smaller building. Inside we found a fantastic display of any and everything you ever wanted to know about silk and silk worms. Here you can see the owner keeping the water hot as the fine filaments from 10 silk cocoons were gently wound around a wheel. Look closely to see the fine filaments. She also had live worms munching on mulberry leaves. The worms were so soft to pet too. Then I tried my hand at bobbin weaving with the ladies of the Genesee Valley Guild. Fun! i love being exposed to new things.

Next and final was the main and largest barn. Here I got in a little more trouble because I found Joan Berner and Cloverleaf Farms. Her color sense and colorways were reasonably priced and WOW! They were my favorite of the show....I loved the combinations. I have been dreading the coming of winter because it lasts SO long here and the sky is persistently overcast. Doom and gloom. It is the price you pay for living here in the gorgeous lake region. But I seem to find my mood changing enough to welcome autumn and it palette of colors. With that in mind I bought these two colorways. The first is a merino superwash and the braid is a merino silk blend. I had to lighten the first pic to show the colors of the darker superwash. The second pic represents the truer colors of the silk merino blend.

Further in the main barn we found Golding. Their display of gold-ringed spindles, zodiac spindles, amazing looms and a spinning wheel and chair were so finely done. A true craftsman and a nice guy to chat with as well. I have my eye on a spindle from these folks for the future. Any picture that I could manage would not do his work justice. Thankfully he is easy to find on the web and I encourage you to go browse.

I also came across other lovely folks like Lisa Ann who owns The Spinners Hill Shop. Lisa was so nice and tried to locate some silk/wool blend roving. Fortunately for her she was practically cleaned out. Rats! She was so accommodating and told me to email her about colorways she be happy to make for me. *smile*

There were also the kind folks at Ancient Textiles. Their booth was chock full of ikat clothing and textiles. They allowed me to take a pic if a gorgeous sweater but the owner was quick to point out that it was the work of a well known designer whose name I promptly forgot. So, I feel bad about posting the pic until I can identify the talented designer.

Maggie's Farm was there too and we had a chance to chat with the friendly owner about spinning and other fiber loving things. The hook rug and wheels both displayed at a nearby booth were a great final thing to see as we exited the show. Yes, I want to learn about this too...and weaving as i found myself VERY drawn to woven scarves and such all day. That goes on my wish list. Now, if I could just find that rich Vet I can marry and help me take care if the herd I want! Yes, I like to dream...

Ahh, fiber fest virgin no more. The day was good. Life is better :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Goings on

I woke up early this morning (3AM) to a huge commotion. Seems that the hated neighborhood cat hopped up on the bay window bump out just below my AC and began hissing and growling. There was a scuffle and a crash which sounded like it was directly next to me in bed. My two cats were terrified/curious huddled next to me and peering out from under the sheets while wimpering. Next thing I hear is desperate scratching, clawing and a few thuds at the livingroom window just a few feet from the bedroom. I tend to leave the windows cracked open a bit at the top to let air in for the warmer weather. Naturally, this hated neighborhood cat was trying to get in! I ran to the window to shut it and he jumped right up at me. I thought he'd break right through the screen. I love all animals, but this cat is just mean. I had to warn my new neighbors not to leave their caged cockatiel outside on the porch unattended because of this tyrant. I won't be sad to see him go...vicious little fur ball *grumbles*

Well wfter that little adventure, I managed to wake up all stiff and achy with my glands swollen and painful. I sneezed a few times yesterday so I knew something was happening. So, what's a gal to do? Chicken soup! Brewing as we speak. Hope it works ;)

Today was another home day. I managed to snag a friend's laptop for a week and so here I sit surfing the web and finally getting things done. So much to do now that the degrees are finished. God and the paperwork for licensing, credentialing, blah, blah, blah. Seems endless and what a s-l-o-w process. And the search for where to live still carries on. I have another month or so of travelling and attending this meeting and that conference and the other seminars. I love it but I'd really like to be closer to being settled. Have to remember to be nice to myself and breath. Doesn't help when a certificate program I want to take will be $500. * eyes roll*

On a brighter note, I made these stitch markers for Karen (cooknknit) for a swap. The camera was less bratty this morning so the pic is blurry but decent. New camera? I wish. Not yet. Not for a while. So if you have gotten aby from me and can take a better pic, by all means go ahead and send it to me. I'd love it :)

More surfing... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Back at it

Sooooooooo, I have been away for a while (and couldn't recall my password!) Not much knitting occurred in the last 10 months and I've been wanting to get back to it badly. But, there just was no time to be had.

I've been slowly getting back to favorite crafty things including making beaded stitch markers. I've made some for friends and made others for trade. So far, I've only received glowing compliments. Here are examples of previous sets. I'm toying with selling them so I'd love to hear what you think especially if you have received for you to share what you think :)

My appologies for the spaces and picture formatting. I just couldn't fight with Blogger any longer. *sigh*

Previous sets: Yes, sadly this is the same camera :( It is SO fickle! Can't afford a new one :(