Monday, October 17, 2005

Fiber in the Mountains

Much fun was had with bloggers, livestock, and friends this weekend, but I gotta say that the fiber took center stage for much of the time. Rhinebeck felt more fiber-centric than Maryland Sheep and Wool did -- I'm not sure if it was the location, all pretty in the fall and far from home, or if it was my particular focus on looking at fibers rather than yarns, but it seemed like there was less commercial yarn and knitting ephemera, and more spinning and weaving and handspun or otherwise artisanal yarn (i.e., from smaller dyers/spinners rather than the big companies).

I got to the fest on Saturday at opening, and braved the gloomy, misty/rainy weather to wander through the first few barns. I serendipitously ran into these lovely ladies of the Maryland blogger/Mayorga meetup contingent, and was able to connect them to their roommates for the night. Paula and I wandered around for most of the day, and I filled my big bag with 6oz fiber balls. By the end of Sunday, I was getting pretty good at holding balls of roving in my hands and approximating their weights. Another nifty party trick for me, I suppose! Paula picked up a drum carder, which means new ways for us to blend rovings! I got lots of fabulous merino and merino/silk and other fibers, and some other goodies that will remain a mystery until my sister's 21st birthday, if I can wait that long. I am pleased that the only yarn that I purchased was from Brooks Farm (2 skeins of Four Play, to make a nice, soft scarf). It was hard to pass everything else up, but I stayed within my budget (I had all of 78 cents left when all was said and done), and I will be set for spinning for quite some time.

Other highlights: enabling a new fiber geek; fried dough and irish creme coffee; a clear sky even for a brief period; a free pound of fiber; lots of beautiful shawls; apple wine that tastes even better warmed up. and the goat? He's made of cashmere. Mmmm...

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