Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fiber Festivals and other fun things

What sounds boring to some folks and fabulous to others? Why, Sheep & Wool Festivals, of course! Mention a S&W fest to a knitter or a spinner or other fibery crafter and you'll see the transformation take place from a mild-mannered fiber person to a rabid fondler of fibers and stash-enrichment-seeking human missile! Maybe it's not quite that bad, but close, honey, very close!

I've been to several fests this year and fortunately, I have a husband who actually enjoys coming with me (!!), even if only for the lamb-burgers, and he even finds things for me to buy! We went to Clermont State Historic site in NY for the Chancellor's Sheep & Woolcraft festival in April - the weather was fabulous - and I didn't buy much, but that's a very small fest (no lamb-burgers, either) and there really was not a lot of things that I happened to be interested in this year. I mean, I have tons of wool, both pre- and post-production if you know what I mean, so unless something really jumped on me and begged me to take it home, I wasn't going to.

Then, in mid-May, we went to the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool festival in Contoocook, NH. I got my English-style 5-pitch wool combs there; they are hand-made by a gentleman named John A. Meck, who I was told has since passed on, and they are a really nice set of combs. At least I think they are; I'm still kind of new to this, remember...

And yesterday we went to the Massachusetts Sheep & Woolcraft fest in Cummington, Massachusetts. We got there about 11:45 and stayed until 4:00 or so and had such a lovely day! It was not too hot or too cold, there was a nice breeze to cool us off when it was feeling a little warm, and it didn't rain. I saw so much stuff and met nice folks and just had a wonderful day. I ended up buying a sack of carded Shetland batts, all ready to spin! It's lovely stuff, too, and so soft. I have over a pound, so I should be able to make something nice from it, if it's as nice as I've heard others say it is. I've never worked with it so thought I'd give it a shot. I also bought some kid mohair locks (never worked with this fiber either) that are dyed a fabulous fiery orange. They look just like a sunset to me and I can't wait to see what I can do with it. I bought some Cushing Dyes to experiment with, since I've recently begun thinking about dyeing my own fibers for my own use. Right now, I have a crock pot full of a lovely green fleece and if it turns out the way I'm hoping it has, it is destined for a project I should have plenty of time to complete (more on this another day). I bought some sheepy earrings, just because I thought they were adorable. They look like members of Shaun the Sheep's flock, so I had to have them to match my tattoo, of course!

What else is new? Nothing I'm anxious to discuss right now, but I'm sure I'll be talking soon.
Until next time, wear natural fibers, hug your cats!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Call me a sore loser, but...

I really hate the Penguins and they just beat the Capitals to get into the Conference Finals. I'm talking about the NHL Playoffs, just in case you don't follow hockey, and I'm sure most of you don't because it seems to me that almost no one I know follows hockey. Anyway, the Capitals beat my NY Rangers so I guess I don't feel that bad for them, but the Penguins!?! That's another story altogether. I just don't like Sidney Crosby; I think he's a whiny little puke whose head snaps back when he's touched just like he was a human Pez dispenser. Whew....hope I've got that out of my system!

Back to the real stuff here; knitting and spinning, right? Anyway, Mike and I went to the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool fest at the Contoocook Fairgrounds in Hopkinton, NH. Nice little festival, though it took us so long to get there that we only had a couple of hours to shop. I did find the combs I've been looking for and they are really deadly looking! I can't believe how sharp the tips are and how easily they can scratch you if you aren't being careful. You really have to be paying attention when you're working with these tools.

I also looked at some natural dyes; the lady at the booth was very nice and I'm sure she had some really nice products, but I'm so new to dyeing (haven't done any at all - does that qualify as 'new'?) that I was afraid I'd be wasting her time by asking all kinds of questions. I figure it'll be better for me to learn a little more before I start messing about with expensive dyes.

I took lots of pictures, but since it was so late in the day there weren't a lot of folks around to even take pictures of. I met a nice couple whose 'Honeybuns' booth had the most luscious angora fiber. Unfortunately, angora rabbit is not my favorite fiber, and I did have a limited budget, so I didn't end up buying any. One of the lovely women in a group I belong to (HandPreparedFibers) asked me to stop and say hello and they were such a nice couple. Mike and I enjoyed talking to them very much.

Well, I'm off to bed for an early night. Remember to wear natural fibers; hug your cats!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

In a good mood

It's Tuesday, May 5, and I'm officially in a good mood. I went for a follow-up visit to my gynecological oncologist (yes, I was scared) and got good news and not so good news. The good news is I do not have cancer, and believe me, I was worried for while there. The not so good news is that I will probably still have to have a hysterectomy as other issues are making my life difficult enough that it will be better for me to do this now than to live through all the mess and end up still having to do it later anyway.

The best news about the hysterectomy is that it can be done laparoscopically and there will only be a 2-week recuperation so my whole summer will not be shot because of a long recuperation.

So, let's see, what else has happened since I signed in? I was invited and signed up to make an item out of my own handspun wool from a CVM Romeldale sheep for possible display at Rhinebeck! How cool is that? All I have to do now is finish spinning the wool, finish working out the pattern, ply the wool and wind it into balls for knitting, knit the swatches, knit the project, and send it in by September 1. Whew! Thinking about it like that scares me, but I'll get it done. I can just imagine going to Rhinebeck in October and taking a picture of my work on display at one of the biggest Sheep & Wool Festivals on the East Coast. Better get cracking!

Don't forget, wear natural fibers; hug your cats!