Posts Tagged “festivals”

This post will probably be less exuberant than it might have been as I appear to be coming down with something again. Combine that with needing to work on Saturday and you’ve got yourself one grumpy Jessica. Perhaps I can pull myself out of the funk by reliving my Rhinebeck finds. We shall see.

My shopping list was pretty specific this year. I really wanted to get a few certain things and get them early so I could spend the rest of the festival enjoying the sights and sounds with HWJF and the gang. I really wanted this Rhinebeck to be less about the “stuff”, but I certainly wasn’t coming home empty handed. :)

On the yarn front, I had a few specific needs for future holiday gifts. I was lucky enough to find these two skeins:

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They are Oasis Yarns “Seduction”. One hundred percent silk and about 300 yards a piece. They are already on the needles but that’s all I can say since the recipient does read the blog now and then. ;)

There was some serious restraint in the sock yarn category this year. Only one skein!

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Aussi Sock, which I used for a pair of socks for my Grandfather for last Christmas. It’s a nice wool yarn with a good nylon content. It’s also intended for holiday gift giving this year.

The only other yarn I purchased was for myself. Seven skeins of this yummy stuff:

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That would be Green Mountain Spinnery Maine Organic. I do believe this will become “Portland” from “A Fine Fleece” sometime down the road. It’s a really lovely yarn and I’m glad I made my purchase early because it was all gone on Sunday!

There were two purchases for the benefit of my spinning wheels. The higher speed whorl mentioned in the previous post and this:

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The bug and the matchless should be nice and shiny when I get done with them with this stuff. And lord knows they could both use it.

Next there was the fiber. I must have carried one of my new drop spindles around in my hand nearly all day on Saturday looking for something I was dying to spin on it. After consulting with Christine, I finally decided to give silk caps another go.

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These two will get spun and plied together, mostly because there was a third one that was spun and became a victim of my first attempt at Andean plying. I got the plying going fine, it was the silk sticking to itself that made it a disaster.

I also picked up a two pound bump of a dyed wool at the same booth. Don’t ask me to tell you what it was at the moment or show you a picture because I just couldn’t seem to do it justice. HWJF and I both liked it so much that there may have to be a his and hers sweater from it. Maybe I’ll be able to get a better pic for next post.

I needed a couple of things for the shop as well. I bought a few bags of silk for dyeing and blending into future batts.

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I also found a good deal on some Corriedale roving.

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These will probably be going into my first fiber club. More details on that soon!

As you saw from the photos in the last post, I didn’t make it out of the fleece sale empty handed. I had gone in thinking I’d try to find a nice chocolate brown polworth for myself. Unfortunately, there was no polworth to be seen, but when I came back to this beauty three times I figured it was trying to say “Take me home!”

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Sorry for the amazingly craptastic pictures, but this was the best I could do with the time I had. It’s a Romney/Border Leicester cross (if I remember correctly) from a farm in PA. Very clean and very healthy looking. The color goes from a lovely black to a bit of a chocolate brown toward some of the tips. At 6 lbs. 10 oz. (despite the fact that some of that weight will be lost in the processing) I think it’s going to make a lovely sweater or two. Check out that staple length!

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That’s at least 4 inches if not more. And yes, despite the grand plans I had of dropping this and the two Shetland fleeces that I bought earlier in the year at a processor, I’ll be doing the whole deal on my own.

Going back to shop needs, at the end of the day on Sunday my mission to find some washed, undyed mohair locks seemed to have been thwarted. Until I decided on this:

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That would be a 5 lb. mohair fleece from the mohair fleece sale. I figured since I couldn’t find what I wanted, I’ll just do it myself. And since it had a second place ribbon on it, I figured I couldn’t go wrong! Even my Mom thought it was lovely. I think the color variations will be very interesting when complemented with some dye.

My final purchase of the day, as we walked toward the gates and I discovered there was a little cash still burning a hole in my pocket was this:

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Sairy had gotten one earlier in the day and I just couldn’t resist. It’s got a black sheep and a white sheep on it and a skein of blue yarn. What could be more perfect?

But of course, I have saved my first purchase and the very best purchase for last. The two Golding Spindles that HWJF bought for me as part of my Christmas present for this year! First up:

1st spindle

This is the Celtic Ring #2. It has a 2 3/4″ handcarved Cherry Whorl with a walnut shaft and weighs 1.3 oz. This is one of their more standard designs.

1st spindle and silk

It’s seen here on 2 oz. of dyed silk from Chasing Rainbows that I picked up at the Carolina Homespun booth along with my faster wheel whorl. It’s a fantastic spindle as far as I’m concerned and I’m really enjoying spinning up the silk on it.

But if you think that one is fabulous, take a look at this:

2nd spindle front

This is the Celtic Ring style with a vintage sterling silver ring. The entire spindle is handcarved from walnut and weighs 1.31 oz. What you see on it is my first attempt at spinning a silk cap since my previous disaster and before I ruined it. ;)

2nd spindle side

We talked to Mr. Golding as we were checking out and he said he’s only made one like this because of what a pain it was to make. The ring is set into the whorl and that space had to be carefully carved out for it to fit.

2nd spindle back

As you can see here, even the underside is beautifully carved. This baby likes to spin For-ever! It’s awesome! I adore them both and they will be the perfect memory of a perfect weekend for a long time to come. Yes friends, I’m finally a spindle convert! :-D

And now I must return to the real world rather than my fiber induced dreams. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

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As always, I find it difficult to put Rhinebeck weekend into words. It’s a glut of fibery goodness and stash acquisition what with all the fantastic vendors and things to see, pet and buy, but it’s also so much more for me. It’s a home coming since I get to stay with my folks, spend a bit of time with them and visit the area where all my childhood memories were made. It’s officially fall for me as I discovered again this year and we traveled over the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge Saturday morning for the first time and got to take in the breathtaking early morning view of the Hudson River and the fall foliage in full display. And this year, it was even more special since I got to share my love of everything this weekend offers me with HWJF and got to see him experience his first Rhinebeck.

My first stop of Saturday was the Golding Spindle booth. It was a little early and they were still setting up, but once I was able to get in I started trying to make a decision. HWJF had told me in advance that this would be my Christmas present.

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(When the heck did my hair get so long?)

It wasn’t an easy decision and I probably drove Kristy, Sharon and Sairy crazy as they waited for me to make up my mind. Once I finally made my selections, it was on to the rest of the show.

We got to meet up with Anne and her son and watch him start to experience his first Rhinebeck. He got to pet some Alpacas! Lucky kid.

After that things become a blur of intermittently meeting up with friends and drooling over the good stuff with the occasional infusion of a hot cider or some other fair food (I finally tried the artichokes. They are as good as reported. HWJF even had some.) to keep us going. As you can see from the picture of me in the Goldings booth, the weather was rather cool which sadly kept my sweater, despite it’s alpaca content, hidden under my coat for the majority of the festival. I was asked by fellow NJ FiberFanatics Laurie, Marilyn and Linda to show the sweater at one point and HWJF comment at how wrong it looked for me to be opening my coat in that manner. ;)

At one point rather early on Saturday I sent two new spinners off to find their perfect wheels. Lucky for them Carolina Homespun and brought two lady bugs with them for the festival or there may have been a fight. ;)

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I think those smiles say it all. Yay for new addicts spinners!! :-D

Speaking of gateway drugs, I hear fleece is one of them.

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Not that I would know anything about that. ;) While I waited in the line to get into the fleece sale HWJF brought me food and ran some of my stuff and Kristy’s to the car. The women behind me on line commented that “He’s good.” and “You better hang on to him!”. Yes. Yes I plan to. :)

We even got to see friends from a different context at this festival.

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That’s our friend Will from Bassoon Camp in the lovely green and white sweater with some of his friends and relatives. The sweater was made by the very nice woman to his immediate right. Yay for knitters and bassoon appreciators!

When we were all shopped out and quite tired of the cold on Saturday we made our way out of the fairgrounds (in record time. Yay for knowing back roads!) and across the river to Panera to have dinner and get the new spinners set up on their new wheels. It’s not every day you see three ladybugs in Panera!

three bugs at panera

I also got to try out my new high speed whorl. Now I don’t have to treadle like a mofo to get the laceweight I’m making for shop orders done! Whee!!

spinning with sairy and sharon

We made our way over to the Ravelry party later on only to find a scene of chaos as far as parking when. Sairy and Sharon decided to skip it but Kristy, HWJF and I stayed for about an hour, during which time the cops were called and HWJF had to move the car. Fun times. At least there was beer and food. We also got to see Sarah, Chris and Carolyn as well as run into Kim for a second time (we saw her and Yvonne at the Fold in the morning).

After a long day we headed home only to stop in our tracks about two miles from home when we found a loose horse on the side of the road at 10pm. I jumped out of the car to secure it before it got hit only to find myself standing on the side of the road freezing my ass off with a strange horses’ halter in my hand and no clue what door to bang on to find the owner. Luckily, one of the locals who knew where he belonged came along and woke up a neighbor who took him off my hands. I still can’t believe how many people kept driving and didn’t stop. As my Dad would say “The country ain’t what it used to be!”

Sunday found me driving to the train station to send Kristy on her way fairly early and then back to the festival on my own while HWJF and my Mom dealt with the car trouble that could have made this a very short weekend for us (luckily it was just a bum battery and was replaced without issue, but getting it jumped twice on Friday was looking dubious for a while). I met up with Sharon and Sairy again.

I observed a weak moment.

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And a funny one.

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And many others before they had to head back to NJ. HWJF, my Mom and I continued on for a while. I finally made HWJF pose with his Cobblestone next to another.

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I definitely like my model better. ;)

Mom and I indulged in a little fried dough before she left. HWJF and I finally got to see some animals.

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We also finally got to see Kris at the Coopworth breed display and watch a future spinner get their first lesson.

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And there might have been another fleece purchase. ;)

By that time the festival had wound down and I made one more purchase before we headed home. Tired, cold and happy. When asked if he would ever come with me again, HWJF’s response was the title of this post. I think I got a little teary. :)

If all that wasn’t enough, on our way home on Monday we decided to go for a “little” walk at Mohonk.

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You’re going to want to clicky to biggie those pictures! Trust me!

I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. HWJF did not complain once and kept us all in stitches (ha!) most of the time. Yep. I think I’ll keep him.

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(Sorry for the lack of linky love but I’ll never get this posted if I don’t do it now. More on the stash acquisitions in the next post. Thanks for reading if you actually got this far!)

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Crazy crowds

Another Maryland Sheep and Wool festival is in the books and didn’t disappoint again this year. This was my second time at this particular festival and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Risa and I drove down Friday night (Thanks for driving again Risa!) so I got some bonus time to work on my new pair of socks (which I still cannot reveal for a bit). Our trip was uneventful (except for that little weasel incident at Cracker Barrel which we shall not discuss) and we settled into our hotel for an early morning the next day.

We arrived at the festival at 8:30am to primo parking and long lines for STR and the festival T-shirts which we avoided carefully. Tess yarns wasn’t quite ready yet so we went off and I did my usual stock up on fiber before 9am. :) We are power shoppers! After that it was back over to Tess where I picked up four skeins of sock yarn.

Tess sock yarns from MDS&W

The blue one is a new yarn called Peruvian Dream which is a blend of silk, alpaca and merino. Quite yummy! I’ve got colorwork sock ideas bouncing around in my head for these.

The next purchase was the most major for me of the festival. My first fleece!

Cormo Fleece!

It’s a 6 lb. cormo fleece and it is incredibly clean and in beautiful condition. It was a bit more expensive than I was expecting, but I think it was totally worth it. Risa is being kind enough to let me borrow her drum carder so that I can mix this baby with some angora when I have it. I think I should experience the process of bringing wool from sheep to yarn so I decided to make the investment. And check out the crimp in this baby!

Cormo lock closeup

Beautiful, no?

At this point details begin to get hazy. There was much walking and fondling of fabulous fibers and calculating of budgets. There were also wonderful people sightings! I finally got to meet Carole in person!


It was nice to be able to thank her for three years of SOS help in person! :)

I also ran into some of my old buds from CT, Sneeksleep and Jenn.

Bryna and Jen

Unfortunately it seems a seriously intermittent case of camnesia set in after that because I know I saw Elinor, Heather, Laura and probably several others throughout the festival, but there is sadly no photographic evidence. :(

I do have photographic evidence of the NJ Fiber Fanatics meetup on Saturday:

NJ FiberFanatics Crew

It was really nice to see many of these ladies again since I haven’t been able to get to a spin-in since I moved.

Somewhere along the line there was also a stop at Cloverleaf Farms booth on day one where I picked up some bamboo to spin:


and a little more BFL to add to my collection as well.

BFL for socks

After a long day at the festival we went over to Liz’s to say hello and relax for a few hours. I should have gotten pictures of her beautiful cat and dogs too, but obviously I was a bit fried by then.

Then it was off to the Ravelry party where apparently winning something will erase camnesia!

We won!

Kim and I both won woolwash! It was a nice party despite the crowding caused by being forced to move inside. If the energy level hadn’t been so low by that time I might have been more social, but it was still fun and rather nice to have something like that provided for all of us I must say.

Day two was much more low key. I finally bought some undyed merino that I had been thinking about all night since Little Barn didn’t have any this time out. It’s pictured here with the other fiber for dyeing.

Dyeable Fiber from MDS&W

The final purchase of the festival was four more skeins of sock yarn, Trekking XXL this time because I found a tiny little sign that indicated they were selling it for $3 less than the usual price:

Trekking XXL from MDS&W

At least two of these are for HWJF and I’m sure nearly all of them will be going on the CSM at the first chance I have to get to it.

Definitely a fun festival overall. I’m still trying to dig out a bit as there were many e-mails and postings for SOS while I was gone. I also came home to a boy with a horrible sunburn and a hell of a hangover from a weekend bachelor party in Miami, Florida. Yeah, when my household goes out to play, we play hard! :) Hopefully Wednesday’s post will be more punctual. See you then!

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