So I made my very first trip to a fiber festival over the weekend. Having done the AQS show in Paducah I had an idea of what to expect. A lot of things to fondle, a smoking credit card in the end and a treasure trove of new pretties needing a home in my stash room.
Wisconsin Sheep & Wool did not disappoint.
I’ll leave it to you to decide whether it was good or bad that I did this by myself. I think it could honestly go either way. There was no voice of reason, but also there was no voice of encouragement. AS you may have guessed from the picture, I probably didn’t need the encouragement, but it was fun. The only possible flaw in my festival going plan was that I went of Friday which meant I missed out on things like the sheering demonstrations and auctions, but the trade off was easier shopping in the market place. Or at least I’m assuming it was easier. There were times when one vendor or another’s booth would be pretty crowded but a few minutes later you could navigate easily enough without feeling rushed or claustrophobic. And clearly handing over the money was easy.
I did go in with a shopping strategy that, for the most part, I stuck with. I made an initial pass through all the vendors to see what caught my eye. The only exception to the no shopping rule on pass #1 was that pair of Signature Needle Arts needles at the top center-ish. For a while now I’ve coveted the size ones that are not currently offered through the manufacturer so the only way to get them was a used sale or stumbling onto a shop that carried the needles and still had them. Thursday night I ALMOST bought a pair of them on a used sale. But I decided to wait and see what happened at the festival. And it turned out I found them new in the point style I prefer (the used sale was for middies, I love the stilettos.) Two different cable lengths to boot! So as much as this trip was all about the fiber, the needles are probably my winner winner chicken dinner purchase. Expensive but I’m worth it. And so are the needles!
Second trip through the vendors was for the shopping. And you might have noticed I did a fair bit of that. Part two of my shopping strategy was to seek out fibers I haven’t used before. In some cases this was just breeds I haven’t spun, in others it was blends. I came home with natural roving in Tunis, CVM and Jacob. I bought dyed rovings in Superwash/Merino/Silk and Superwash/Merino/Nylon. I bought the most heavenly bump of Alpaca/Silk that I started spinning over the weekend. I bought a carding kit that has 6 or 7 different varieties to blend together with my hand cards to see what I can come up with. And, more of my favorites, I bought a few gradient dyed braids to play with either keeping the gradient in tact or to break apart and play with more fractal spinning. And then there are a couple of items in there where 2 complimentary bumps of fiber were packaged together. I might spin them as is or I might give a mashup a try for the first time. We’ll see how I feel this Season of Doom when it’s time to spend more quality time with my wheels. No matter what, I think it’s safe to say I will not be bored! And I probably should get at some serious knitting, too, because my pre-yarn stash has officially exceeded the size of my yarn stash which was none too small either! Gotta make room for more, right?