Sunday, October 25, 2009
Two Weekends! Two Fiber Festivals!
My backside and the car seat have "become one" over the past 7 days! Susie and I traveled on the 17th up to Corydon Indiana to attend the Southern Indiana Fiber Arts Festival at the Harrison County fairgrounds. We weren't sure what to expect when we arrived 15 min. after the "opening bell" and we were the 4th vehicle in the parking lot! It was a cold and windy day but weather really hasn't any effect on TRUE fiber addicts. Our main reasons for going were to pick up an alpaca fleece that was being held for me by Willie and Kristen Ems from Flatwoods Farm in New Salisbury Indiana and for a class Susie was taking on working with Icelandic fleece. Last year I had looked at the same alpaca fleece at the same festival but by the time I got back to Willie and Kristin's booth, they had already sold it! I gave them our name and number and asked to be contacted when they sheared again this spring and was pleasantly surprised when they actually DID contact me. This fleece is from one of their "boys" named Francisco and is a much nicer gray fleece than my picture does it justice. (Apparently gray is a lot harder to photograph than I thought since they keep looking lavender rather than gray!)
The Icelandic class was rather interesting since Susie ended up being the only one to sign up. I think that normally they cancel a class with only 1 student but the instructor decided to go ahead and have it anyway so Susie was able to have a 1-on-1 session! While we didn't get all of our questions answered, Susie did make some great strides in understanding the wonderful nuances of this dual coated fleece. Now....with some more practice and "playing around" we should be able to REALLY understand what we are looking at when we clean out the vendor next April in Greencastle Indiana who sells us our Icelandic wool. (Oh yeah! We also WON a door prize!!! Believe me......we don't win anything so this was a rather big deal for me!)
Then....after a very hectic....or maybe I should say ridiculous to be more truthful...week at work, we decided at the last moment to drive yesterday over to North Carolina to attend the second day of SAFF. We had missed this festival for the past couple of years so even though my knee is all but nonfunctional at this point from being injured and all the driving, we left at 3:30 AM and made the trip. While there, we met a wonderful breeder named Lynn Michael and purchased another Shetland fleece from Clarabelle to add to our pile of grays we are amassing. In case your wondering what the "pile" of wool is in the above picture, that is our gray pile that we plan on transforming into a pair of matching sweaters for Susie and myself. What is shown there in the lower picture is the gray alpaca from the Ems, 2 Shetland fleeces from Princess Di that I purchased from Pam Kinnaman in Bloomfield Indiana, another gray alpaca fleece from Baby purchased from Annette Browning at Blue Note Alpacas in Crestwood Kentucky, the other Shetland fleece from Clarabelle, and 2 crossbred fleeces we just purchased from Carolyn Kiminski at Memory Lane Farm Woolery up in Dryden Michigan. (The Michigan fleeces look more brown than they really are mainly because they haven't been washed yet.) The top picture is Francisco's fleece. One bag is the prime fleece that we still have to wash, the other bags contain the hand picked fiber that we had already washed and the seconds, that they gave me in case I could use them. All told, I think I have put together about 32# of fleece that I will process and blend before Susie starts spinning and knitting. The only thing left that I may try to find is some nice gray mohair to add to the blend to give the yarn a little more drape and halo. Gee....that would make it in the neighborhood of 35# plus! I wonder if that's enough fiber to make two sweaters? (Just kidding!)