not exactly a knitting post . . .

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, spinning and fiber

(i think i found a good thing for david’s next BD gift; i just hope i don’t forget)
i spent a good part of the last couple of days out at the great lakes fiber show which is our largest local annual sheep and wool event.

i HAVE been knitting, but i’ll show you that tomorrow . . . today i have luscious fiber to look at.

yesterday i managed to get out of there with just one bump of fiber from maple row stock farm—i buy one every year of their au naturale blend (tunis/shetland/silk noil/flax—at left in the photo below). it’s different every year and the first time i bought it, i spun it into a fine, lightweight yarn that eventually became david’s beloved hypoteneuse.

but then today i went back with my spinning class, and closer inspection of all the fiber led to a bit of a fall-down (though i did NOT succumb to a whole fleece, even though there was a coopworth one that was sooo pretty and a second place winner).
i found some orange crosspatch creations that i couldn’t stop looking at (above, right), a small bump from three bags full, and some heavenly merino/alpaca that was prepared in an italian mill and feels like it dropped from heaven (bottom, center).

i just got small amounts of each so as not to overwhelm myself with obligation to it. good thing we plan to continue the sunday spinning class for at least two more weeks (maybe more); i’ll at least have that weekly session to spin some of it.

it is one of my great heartbreaks that my spinning time has been so limited this year. i definitely need to make some changes in my practically-maniacal work life. and believe me, they are coming. i don’t want to miss out on the fun stuff.

this is bob, from that maple row stock farm whose fiber i love so much. he’s one of the nicest people you will ever meet, as is his wife deb. they appear at lots of fiber shows, including rhinebeck and i HIGHLY recommend their goods.
bob is carding wool here . . . actually, he is carding some nice border leicester that deb is spinning from rolags, into yarn for her mother to knit a sweater from. how cool is that??

a sweater with sweat equity from the entire family . . . what a treasure.
(i’m sorry i did not get photos of deb and her mom; they were right there, too, but i started talking to “mom” and forgot my blogger duties.)

karen shopped for a wheel all weekend because she has not really bonded with the ashford joy she owns. here she is with the lendrum, which was a top contender. but the majacraft suzie pro won out in the end and she came home with a new wheel. way to spend that economic stimulus check karen.
i haven’t thought about how we should spend ours—i’m still waiting to see the actual check. i’m trying to think of a way NOT to spend it on the money pit drain house, but having a hard time coming up with something.

we spent some really good time today over the table of show fleeces, examining the different breeds and colors (and trying not to give in to buying one). matt and jamie from the wooly knob fiber mill offered much humor and information as we grazed the offerings. susan and karen both went home having purchased fleeces and sent them of for preparation.

by the time they get them back in a few months, they will have had time to spin up a variety of fibers and practice a lot more—they’ll be ready to start a spinning project toward a sweater’s worth of yarn.

i spent some time talking to catherine from knitting notions; it’s SO good to see friends that i mostly communicate with in email, especially ones whose yarn we love. i brought along the new mitts which she heartily approves, especially on her hands, and while there i bought some yarn for debby to knit some scarves

she said to pick for her and i hope she likes these (they are even richer in person).
catherine’s daughter meredith was along for the weekend; apparently she is a big help on these trips, and even has her own little enterprise going

she makes these beautiful turned shawl pins from all manner of exotic woods. meredith is about to graduate from high school, and i think she has a bright future, with such an industrious streak to rely on.

at the end of the day beckie and i went off to share a relaxing dinner with our dear friend chris (AKA briar rose) and her family, including baby dillon. chris gifted me with a bag of yarns to knit up into new designs . . .

. . . some angelface aplaca laceweight and some grace bamboo/merino that she dug up.

i always enjoy these evenings and afternoons with chris—we have become such good friends and collaborators over the two years we’ve known each other. it’s so good to catch up on family gossip, business news, and yak, yak, yak, about fiber and yarn (no pun intended there). chris is learning to spin, and has two new grand-babies this year. we got so involved with talking that of course, i forgot to take pictures . . . next time!

i have been honored to be included in several family outings with her husband roger and her children, nate, christy, and amy. i feel so close to her in so many ways . . . all because of knitting, fiber, and the internet. she is a wonderful gift and i treasure our friendship.

i really do have lots of sock progress to show, so i’ll be back soon with that.

29 thoughts on “not exactly a knitting post . . .

  1. Sounds like you had a great time & such a joy to spend time with friends. I wish we have shows like this here.

  2. What a wonderful sounding day! I tried to buy a new cell phone. They no longer tell you what they do in the store. How are you supposed to know which one you want if they don’t post the specs? I’m not the sort of person who enjoys having to listen to a sales weasel so I may yet end up not getting a new phone yet.

  3. OK, I want to just reach in through my monitor and fondle those Briar Rose skeins. You are a cruel, cruel woman.

  4. What a wonderful day! I love the roving (that Italian wool/alpaca could have been plucked from a cloud, couldn’t it?) And the purple Briar rose? Can’t wait to see what comes of that!

  5. I don’t spin (yet) but that roving looks so luscious, it may push me over the edge. I’m drooling over the yarn, too. And the shawl pins are wonderful! (Does she ship to Italy?)

  6. Here is a feather for your hat. I was in line at knitting notions with a fist full of sock yarn…persimmon and storm something…and the woman in front of me said…have you seen “the designer”…catherine looked puzzled and then came up with your name…I smiled into my wool. Again later I heard your name…twice. A growing fan base! I wish they sold time at those booths.

  7. Well you did mention knitting and you showcased fiber sop I think that qualifies as a knitting post. Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. OK who else saw those moccasins and immediately thought “I have to have those!”? And those shawl pins would make neato mosquito hair sticks too if they were sold in pairs. I need a good wooden set of hair sticks – I keep breaking all the acryillic ones – that’s what I get for having thick hair I guess. Sounds like you had an awesome time.

  9. One of these days I’m going to this. I can plan it around one of my visits back home to Ohio. I have been wanting a Triple Picker and was wondering how to creatively finance it. Totally forgot about that Economic Stimulus check. Thanks for the reminder!

  10. Thanks for the tour! I think the shawl pins are really exquisite. I can wait to see the fiber evolve!

  11. I think it would be loads of fun to follow you around one day, meet your friend, buy yarn, receive yarn!, meet new people, spin!! Oh, this is going to be fun clicking on your links! I’ve had my eye on some Lady Slipper fiber from Crosspatch too. (Sigh!) Not enough time to do everything one wants right? (love those slippers, sooo warm)

  12. I cannot deny that I have missed seeing your fabulous handspun (to say nothing of the wheels!) But if the unbelievable quantity of designs you’ve been producing lately is what keeps you away from spinning, I’m not going to complain much. 😉

  13. I have to confess – I was at the fiber fest yesterday and recognized you from the blog but decided saying hi would seem a bit stalkerish. I did point you out to the friend I was with as the woman who designed the fabulous mitts I wear constantly. (and as a side note I loved loved loved the knitting notions yarns as well)

  14. I love that maple row stock farm fiber. And those shawl pins…wow. I just got my first spinning wheel last week (I’ve been using spindles prior to that), and I have been spinning like mad all weekend. I wish we had local fiber festivals, although my bank account is probably grateful that we don’t!

  15. What a lovely way to spend your weekend! Friends and fiber — does it get better than that? I love the spinning fiber you picked up — that orange is so warm! I don’t know that I could have resisted, either, and I don’t wear orange very well 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  16. looks like you had a marvelous time.
    My spinning has fallen behind as well. I’m seriously considering making a weekly ‘date’ with my wheel 🙂

  17. I’d like to see you spin more too. With pics as I am still learning and its nice to watch others.
    I love the orange fiber you bought.
    I just bought over 2lb of merino to dye and spin into a boyfriend sweater. I am maybe insane. (the curse didn’t work with the last sweater, maybe I am pushing my luck with a second)

  18. It was definitely my economic stimulus check that got me my Suzie P. I spent a good amount of time spinning yesterday and almost have a full bobbin (and those bobbins are big). I’m so in love with my wheel! Sigh.

    P.S. I miss you too, Kim!!

  19. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your spinning around here! I need to get back to doing it more regularly, too, and your spinning has always been inspiring.

  20. Thanks for the mention 😉 and it was just so great to see you again!

    I totally agree with you about Deb Kline’s wool, it is delicious! I sent my daughter over to get some since she is learning to drop spindle.

  21. I also spent some time with Bob and Deb. They were so nice. I about tackled a man walking through a different building to find out where he got his backpack/basket, and he led me to Maple Row Stock Farm’s booth where I succumbed to not one, but two balls of roving to ride home in my new basket. I took my family (one husband, two small boys) and we all had great fun. I think we’ll have angora bunnies sometime in the next year or so! The small boys fell in love, but it may take some convincing for the big boy! I always enjoy your blog (and love your designs) so I decided to de-lurk and say “hi!”

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