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The Wool Gathering Festival 2017

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It’s been a couple years since I’ve been to this show and its grown even more!  The Wool Gathering is near Yellow Springs, Ohio and is held in middle September of each year. The show runs Saturday and Sunday and there are no classes due to space limitations. It is on the grounds of a dairy farm and vendors are set up under tents. WARNING: Picture heavy post.

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I went with several friends and we got there right about the time it opened on Sunday at 10am.  By noon it was crowded and hot (hot being almost 90 degrees in mid-September).  We shopped, ate, then shopped some more.  I had a couple items I was on the hunt for but otherwise wanted to spend time looking at yarns from vendors I hadn’t seen in a while.

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The non-fibery stuff:

  • Chocolate Cherry Lip Balm from Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium.  This stuff is like dessert for your lips, minus any calories.  Goes on smooth.  Go check out her website for some amazing photography and cool products.
  • For Feet Sake by BarMaids in the Peppermint Plus scent – This stuff is amazing for your feet, especially if your dry feet tear up your knee high hose (yes, I wear knee high hose with my dress shoes).  I like that you apply it like a stick of deodorant, leaving your hands mess free.
  • Lotion from Amazing Grace Farms – I love this stuff.  It is by far my favorite lotion.  No dyes and its very hypoallergenic.  The proceeds go to support her animal rescue, which makes it all the better.  Please check out her website and consider ordering.  The peppermint and lavender are my two favorites.  I bought one bottle of apple cider and have two more bottles of the peppermint cream coming to me via mail.
  • Pattern for Rookwood by Mindy Wilkes.  Ravelry pattern page is here.

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One of my favorite vendors (of many favorites) at the show was Destination Yarns.  I met the owner, Jeanne, at Stitches Midwest the first year I went and love her saturated dyeing.  She also uses the most scrumptious yarn bases.

  • (left side) Suitcase base (a worsted weight merino yarn that I swear feels like it cashmere in it) in the colorway Underneath the Christmas Tree
  • (top) One skein each of her Note base in the Miracle and Stormy Skies colorways.  This is aiming to be a two-color shawl such as Quicksilver or Blackbird.
  • (right) A mini-skein set on the Postcard base in fall colors.  It’s a merino yarn and each mini (there are eight) has 92 yards.  This, and a solid, will become the Take It All shawl.
  • You might also notice I got a couple bags, including a Game of Thrones themed drawstring and a Destination Yarn tote.  I’ll just keep telling myself one can never have too many bags.

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Long-time favorite dyer – Kimber Baldwin of Fiber Optic Yarns.  She was really one of the first doing gradient yarns (as mini-skein sets) and I used to see her every year at The Fiber Event in Greencastle.  She has a background in chemistry and has a very good eye for color.

  • (upper left) Two skeins of her Kashmir yarn (merino/cashmere/nylon base) in Citron and Wicked Good.  This bright of colors is wayyy outside of my norm, which was my goal.  This is likely to become either the Cypri shawl or the Fallston shawl.
  • (lower right) A mini-skein set on the Footnotes base in the colorway Fire and Ice and a full skein of Footnotes in the colorway Ft. Knox.  I tried matching the mini-skein set with a gray but could not find a combo that made my heart sing.  The gold one did though.   This is for the On the Spice Market shawl.

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A new to me dyer – Ewetopia, out of Wisconsin.  The yarn base is called Pashm and is merino/cashmere/nylon and the colorway is Country Fair.  Given the cashmere content this will become fingerless mitts.

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A second new to me dyer – Betwitched Pigments.  I’m a sucker for tonals and her’s have a lot of depth.  I actually got an aran weight yarn (I know, not my norm) in the colorway Surprise!  These are pretty springy and soft so I’m hoping they will make good legwarmers.

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Last one, I promise.  A third new to me dyer – The Fibre Art Studio at Yarns to Dye For. This was the last yarn I bought, even though I had been looking for a bright rainbow gradient with over 500 yards of yardage.  The base is Fifty Shades of Gradient (funny pun) in the United colorway.  This and some black will become my Lambton Panes shawl which I’ve been lusting over since Sarah of Yarn Geek Fibers finished hers.

 

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Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2017

Second fiber festival of the year is in the books! I spent most of my time teaching, a little socializing, and a little shopping.  I was slowed down, just a bit, by my broken foot and made an effort to keep it elevated as much as possible.

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I had three wonderful classes with some smart and fantastic (and returning!) students.   Unfortunately, I was so focused on the classes I didn’t take any pictures. So here’s a sheep from the day.

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On Friday I taught Beaded Wire Bracelet and DIY Stitchmarkers and on Saturday I taught Cables 101.  One of my Cables class students from April took the Beaded Wire Bracelet class and I got to see two cabled handbands (a pattern exclusive to the Cables 101 class) she made. Saturday morning I got to Franklin early so I picked up my mini-rug hooking kit and sat at the edge of a friend’s booth working on that.

Of course, I did a little shopping. Yarny goodness:

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  • (Upper left) This actually just came – I loved the colorway but requested it on a different base (superwash merino rather than a merino bamboo mix) and they dyed it up this week.  It is a “shawl ball” from Brenda and Heather Yarns (aka BAH Yarns), a local dyer. This is 645 yards of fingering weight in a single gradient colorway called Sunset. 
  • (Upper right) Yet another large gradient, this time Arial Evolution (100% merino) from Twisted Fiber Art.  This is a new to me dyer so I’m excited to start on this soon.  Colorway is Downten.
  • (Lower left) This was a dyer I specifically wanted to buy something from this year as I’ve never tried her yarns.  This is sportweight 100% merino (superwash) in the Plum Drum Weekend colorway from Oink Pigments.  It’s actually not the softest merino but it feels like a very sturdy merino that won’t fuzz or felt so I’m planning to use it for socks.
  • (Lower right) Another yarn from Brenda and Heather Yarns but this is a self striping DK yarn.  I love self-striping for socks but given I’m a crazy slow sock knitter, DK weight yarn is perfect for me.  Colorway is Sunshine on a Cloudy Day (or as I call it, Grellow).

 

 

 

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The Fiber Event at Greencastle 2017

First fiber festival of the year is in the books, as well as a three new classes!

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I taught three classes, all new.  Of the three, I think the knitted wire bracelet with beads was my favorite.  Both students finished their bracelets in class.

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I also taught a class on making stitch markers and another on beginner cables. It is so fun to teach something that results in an items the students can take home.  The same classes will be offered June 2 and 3 at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival.  Class fee is $40 if you sign up by May 15th and you can see class descriptions here.

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After the classes on Friday I went to dinner with some friends where hijinx ensued.  One friend had dropped a skein while winding it (sans skeinwinder) and a mess bloomed.  While we waited for our meal we tried to help her untangle across the table.  No beverages were harmed in the process.

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Since I taught all day Friday and then Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon was my first chance to *really* get shopping.  Made some purchases from some long-time favorites, and some new.

The Yarn and Fiber:

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Working left to right (then the bottom)

  • The green yarn is 8oz of DK weight alpaca/merino/silk from Briar Rose Fibers
  • The blue/purple fiber batt from Stillwater Farm is a blend of merino, english angora and firestar
  • The rainbow yarn is the colorway Mr. Roy G. Biv on the Twist and Shout Base (DK weight) from BaH Yarns
  • The red yarn is the colorway Heart’s Blood on the Slightly Silky (merino/silk fingering weight) from Copper Centaur Studios
  • The fiber at the bottom is 100% nylon from Hello Purl

Notions and Accessories:

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  • The canvas and fiber is a mini rug hooking kit from Breezy Manor (aka Donna Jo Copeland aka where I got Winston).  I’ve always been intrigued but a large project is a little overwhelming.  So I got the little kit.  It will have a bunny on it and Donna Jo gave me some white fiber so I can make a white bunny like Winston.
  • The two “pouches” in the upper left of the photo are yarn keepers.  You put your yarn ball in (the bottom opens up square) and close the snap.  I’m hoping it’ll protect my yarn when it invariably hits the floor.  These two are from The Felted Garden (on Etsy as thefeltedgarden).
  • The soap is from Simple Soapworks and I buy some every year.  I love the oatmeal in the soap because it really does exfoliate.  This year I got two scents – lavender rosemary and oatmeal.
  • The pouch in the lower left is a yarn keep from a different booth.  I like this one a lot because the fabric is heavier and it has a d ring on the side.  It has strings to cinch close but I might replace those with the little plastic stoppers you squeeze.  These are made by DC Bags and she will be be opening a shop May 1 on Etsy.  She also has a lot of nice wedge project bags.
  • The white stick on the left side it a goat milk lotion bar in the lavender scent.  The maker is Gentle Meadow Goat Farm but it was sold by Midwest Fiber.  They had a lot of nice alpaca yarns and fibers as well.
  • The tubes on the top are handmade lip balms from Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium.  I got chocolate cherry and strawberry vanilla although there were many more options.  This vendor also has a podcast which I’m going to give a try very soon.
  • The odd looking contraption on the right is a ball holder.  You put the base of the V up the center off your yarn cake and the ring on your wrist/forearm so you can carry your yarn.  Usually I can clip a project bag to a belt loop but that doesn’t work for my skirt.  Hopefully this will! I bought it from Mother of Purl, although the website listed is www.barnhart-studios.com.
  • Last but not listed I found a stemless wine glass from knitbaahpurl, sold via a different vendor’s booth.  I got the one that says “Three Sheeps to the Wind” (which I have on a t-shirt already) and may order another that says “Sheep Faced.”

That’s all folks!

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Knitting Pipeline Retreat 2017 – The Goodies

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As I promised last week, here are the goodies from the Knitting Pipeline retreat! I have included  links to the vendors (ok, I’m enabling you) so you can check them out. Now to try to go through these in a semi organized fashion.

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Oh, bags.  People keep telling me I have a bag problem.  I can’t help it!

Upper left – teal and white circles – I bought the bag at a LYS booth (it was a retreat sponsor) but the bag was actually made by Trappings and Trinkets (available on Etsy). I actually squeeled when I unzipped the bag because the interior fabric was so cute (teal, pink and white kitties).  If you want a peak, take a look at my instagram feed!

Upper right – arctic animals on a gray background – this bag is from Fat Squirrel Fibers.  She actually made a bag specifically for the retreat but I loved the animals on this one even more (see the little narwhal?).  The bags are nicely made and she picks out fabrics that are fun but not necessarily loud and crazy.

Lower right – these two little notion pouches are from RainStorm Studios.  I toss them in my project bags that don’t have pockets.  I really like the one on the right because it has a circle base but opens up wide enough you can include a pair of small scissors in there.  Very functional for me.

Lower left – this is the gauge ruler from Ann Budd knits. KnitCircus carries them and they’re all of $5. You line up the stitch symbols on the ruler with your stitches such that the with of your stitches matches the symbols.  Whichever set of symbols it lines up with tells you your gauge (not the most elegant description).

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Oh, the yarn! If you saw my post about found patterns you know I went into the vendor market with some projects in mind.  So I can happily say I did buy most yarn with a project in mind.

Upper left green and purple skeins – The slightly variegated green skein is Strong Stock (80/20 merino/nylon) from Another Crafty Girl in the colorway Numerical Vampire.  The purple next to it is Tenacious Sock (75/15/10 merino/nylon/tencel) from Dyeabolical Yarns in the colorway Ever After. I plan to use these in a two-color shawl together.

Upper center gold and black skeins – Both of these are from Sun Valley Fibers in the merino/cashmere/nylon fingering base.  The two colors are called Golden Harvest and Onyx.  I also plan to use these in a two-color shawl (see a trend yet?).

Upper center gray variegated skeins – These are from Yarn Geek Fibers in her Rocketeer (merino/cashmere/nylon) base in the To Boldly Go colorway.  Yes, a Star Trek reference.  This yarn is super soft and squishy.  So squishy I can’t describe. This doesn’t have a project planned for it – maybe a cowl? a shawl? There’s a lot of yardage (962 yards of fingering) so maybe a shawl? Still can’t decide.

Top right dark green skeins – These are included in our Knitting Pipeline bag from Quince and Co.  100 grams (total) of fingering weight wool.  I think these are going to be boot toppers.

Lower left red and black skeins – Both of these are from Leading Men Fiber Arts in the Box Office base (100% worsted weight merino).  The colors are called Poison Apple and Darkest Hour.  These are going to be a Themisto Hat and there might be enough left over for wristers or boot toppers.

Bottom left green skein – Also from Leading Men Fiber Arts – this is the Diva base, 150 grams of 80/20 merino/silk.  The colorway is Envy.  Definitely going to be a lace shawl.  I love the extra yardage – its great for shawls!

Lower right – black and blue skeins – All three of these are Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet (90/10 merino/nylon), which is squishy soft.  One of the blacks and the blue are going together for something brioche.  I got the second black to have as an extra because I frequently pair colorful yarns with black.

That’s a wrap!

 

 

 

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Holidays Wrap Up and Goodies

Welcome to 2017! Before jumping in my 2017 fiber arts goals I under to recap the holiday, and some new goodies!

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I know I went quiet in December – work was just crazy! I barely did any knitting, except for two small stuffies I’ll talk about in another posts.  I’m excited to say I’m going to the Knitting Pipeline retreat in February.  Is anyone else going?!?

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I went to my aunt’s in Illinois in Springfield for Thanksgiving, where I got her started on her first knitting project.  She bought a kit at Stitches Midwest so I wound the yarn and got the stole started.  She remembered how to knit from 4-H so we jumped right into purling, which she did great at.  We also went to a local yarn shop (and I bought yarn, duh).

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Then I went back home to Missouri for Christmas and my brother came back to Indiana with me for a week.  Our big outing was to the Indianapolis Zoo.  My parents came up for the New Years holiday weekend.   I’m ready for another vacation already!

On to the goodies (related websites are linked – check them out!):

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A holiday set of stitch markers by local glass artist Ann Tudor.  She has a ton of different stitch markers, which you can see here.

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Three skeins of Knitted Wit Victory Sock from the local yarn shop in Springfield, Illinois, called Nanncy’s Knitworks.  The colors are yellow, Orange you Glad and Turks & Caicos.  These are for Stephen West’s Doodler shawl.

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I received this beauty in black and lime green from my friend Patty.  It’s already decided it wants to be a hat.  The fiber is 50/50 Alpaca/Silk from Woolgatherings.  She also got me some llama socks.

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New Yarn and Fiber Arts Goodies

Several recent acquisitions!

ErinLane Collage

Erin Lane Bags.  I got two new project bags from Erin Lane Bags in two of her new Sheeple prints.  The one on the left is a sock size bag in the Harry Potter print and the one on the right is a Zippity-Do-Da in the Dr. Who print.  I had to wait to show it off because I got a matching Dr. Who bag for a friend for her birthday.  What can be more fun than nerdy sheep?

 

Ann Tudor Collage

Ann Tudor Stitch Markers.  I got these lovelies from local glass artist Ann Tudor.  She makes amazing stitch markers.  The set on the left is Christmas lights with a poinsetta as my round marker.  The set on the right are sheep with a black sheep (haha) as the round marker. I still plan to order her other Christmas set too.

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Knitting Pouch.  A cute little find at JoAnn’s (it was in an aisle cap if you’re thinking of looking).  Didn’t really need it, per se, but thought the definition was pretty epic.

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Chicago Yarn #1.  Bought this gradient cake from the LYS Nina in Chicago, Illinois.  It’s Apple Tree Knits Plush in the Tahoe Gradient.  560 yards of fingering weight merino squishy goodness.

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Chicago Yarn #2. This one is kind of unique so I’m going to take the time to share about it.  I bought it at Knit 1 in Chicago and its 100% handspun cashgora.  The picture appears black but its really a very deep, dark purple.  There isn’t really a brand, other than “Cashmere People.” Their website is here and tells their story in detail. I love that I can go and read about the woman who spun the yarn I bought.  Her profile is here.

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Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2016

Second fiber festival of the year is in the books! I spent most of my time teaching, a little socializing, and some shopping.

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I had three wonderful classes with some smart and fantastic students.   Unfortunately, I only got pictures of my raw fleeces class because I had a bit more time.  It’s so rewarding to see the moment a new skill “clicks” with a student.

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On Friday I taught Lace Knitting 101 and after talking about yarn and needle selection we worked through a couple swatches to learn some common lace stitches and how to read lace charts.  Saturday morning I taught raw fleeces and I talked about selecting a fleece before we hand processed some samples of wool and alpaca.  Lastly, I taught Bead Knitting Rockstar Saturday afternoon.  We talked about bead selection and worked through different ways of adding beads to knitting.  If you took one of my classes I’d love to see what you’ve done!

Around teaching I did a little shopping. I also ordered two skeins from Copper Centaur, which Lucy is dying up for me this week.

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Non-Yarn/Fiber Goodies

Combing Spray – Something new to try!  I’ve seen recipes/formulas for combing spray but didn’t have easy access to all the supplies.  When I saw this I wanted to give it a shot. The idea is it will decrease the fly-aways when combing.  I bought the lavender scent.  The seller is Twistery Fiber here.

Soap – I’m a sucker for natural soaps since they are a lot less likely to make my skin itch (and I can recognize all the ingredients).  I bought lavender scented goat milk soap.  The soap is made by Gina’s Essentials here.

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Two 3oz DK weight skeins of merino from Knitted to a T.  The deep blue color is called Sapphire.  I think I might knit another Curl shawl with it.

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Hand-dyed self-striping yarn from a new company – BaH Yarns (Brenda and Heather Yarns).  This is the Mr. Sparkle Base, a blend of superwash merino wool, silk, nylon and glitz.  The colorway is Winter Sunset, stripes of yellow, orange, coral and purple.

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Lastly, from A Good Yarn, is handpainted 100% superwash merino.  The first skein is a gray with spots of teal.  The second skein is dark gray, nearly black.  I plant to use these together in the form of stripes.

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The Fiber Event at Greencastle 2016

First fiber festival of the year is in the books, as well as a couple new classes!

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I had five students across three classes.  All very lovely and smart and engaging which makes for a wonderful experience.   I switched the raw fleece activity to allowing students to look at the samples in the bags to identify, rather than just feeling.  Still pretty challenging.  The beading class may be my current favorite.  It is so fun to not only teach a skill but to see the opportunities it opens up for modding existing non-bead patterns.  And I didn’t drop a single bead on the floor. And, I had everything I needed! The same classes will be offered June 3 and 4 at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival.  Class fee is $35 if you sign up by May 15th and you can see class descriptions here.

I taught all day Friday and then Saturday morning so Saturday afternoon was my first chance to *really* get shopping.  There were a lot of changes to vendors this year and with my old favorite gone (miss you Fiber Optic) I focused on discovering new to me dyers.

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My only Friday afternoon stop was at Bur Oak Studio for these flattened knitting needle bracelets.  I’d seen them online but given my itsy-bitsy wrists I needed some help with resizing.  Jen helped me adjust the size of the bracelets and I bought three.  Fun to wear and I love “upcycling.”

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I kept to buying only one bag, which was hard.  This Harry Potter print of this bag by Supernatural Yarns captured my attention (she has more bags on her linked Etsy site). The funny part of this was who I bought it from.  I saw the name of the vendor, Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe, and recognized the name, but knew I didn’t know it from prior years at the event.  I knew it wasn’t local to me either.  Then it dawned on me – it’s one of the local yarn shops back in Columbia, Missouri where I used to live. Doh! I talked with the owners, who recently bought the shop back from a prior owner and am excited to see the changes.  They had some hand dyed yarns from Missouri/Kansas based indies, as well as other fiber tools.  I’m going back home to Missouri in June so I’m hoping to stop by there.

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One of my first booths to visit on Saturday was Copper Centaur Studios, which is where I bought the yarn last year for my newly released Grace Fryer Shawl.  I was excited to show Lucy the shawl and after they took pictures of the shawl actually displayed it for the rest of the afternoon, which was lovely.  I knew from last year they carried fine thread and was able to pick some up to use for plying with beads in my spinning.  The thread is on the black cones in the top picture.

Moving on to yarn.  IceMelon’s Stash is a new to me indie dyer from Michigan.  You can check out her Etsy site here. I bought two different sock yarns, one of which I plan to use for a cowl.  That one is the colorway Darkle (blues, purples and gray) on the Oculus Sock base, a merino/cashmere/nylon base. The second one, which I think I might use for socks, is Vellamo, bright blues and greens, on her Alrisha base, merino/nylon/stellina. Yes ya’ll, I bought sparkle yarn.

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Not so new to me because they’ve been at Stitches before was Leading Men Fiber Arts.  Squishy stuff, ya’ll, and a lot of different colors.  I bought one skein which they are custom dyeing for me so it can be on a fingering weight merino base.  The color is OMG Squee and is pretty much the whole rainbow.  I also got the below skein of laceweight in the colorway Eternal Kiss.  It’s an 80/20 silk blend that feels amazing.

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Lastly, I bought some lace weight from A Good Yarn, which is a local dyer just south of Indianapolis.  I actually won the purple skein at the event’s get together Friday night and wanted to get some more in a complimentary color.  While she’s not new to me as a dyer this is a new base and is a lovely 80/20 merino/silk blend.  Apparently I had a thing for laceweight merino/silk blends – must be the weather.

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That’s all folks!

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Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2015

Another fiber festival is in the books! I had a wonderful class with two fantastic students.   I did some shopping, some socializing, some teaching and then some more shopping and socializing.
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Non-Yarn/Fiber Goodies

Happy Hands Lotion – This stuff is great for knitters and spinners because it dries quickly and isn’t greasy.  Today I bought the Clover scent.  I also like Mandarin Clove and Sweet Dreams.  Our local yarn shop, Starstruck Cat, carries the lotion and it is available directly from the Etsy site here.

Yarn Bowl – This is the second year I’ve bought a yarn bowl from this vendor, Beech Grove Clay Works.  The glaze jobs on their work is amazing, as well as patterning in the clay.  And, they are reasonably priced.

Project Bag – Another project bag from Unique Petites.  These have a flat bottom so they stand up.

Yarn Ball Pin – This was actually a gift from a vendor (Froebe Fibers) Patty and I both bought the same yarn from.  And she will be at Stitches (as a participant, not a vendor) – we hope to see her there!

Yarn and Fiber

021An alpaca/merino/tussah silk braid from Knitted to a T.  The electric/denim blue colors are deeply saturated.  The colorway name is Janie’s Got a Gun.

014Hand-dyed yarn from Froebe Fibers.  This is the Shady Leprechaun Lace, a blend of 70% superwash merino and 30% silk.  There are 1090 yards in the 100 gram skein.  The colorway is a silvery gray with bits of teal blue/green over it and she dyes using food-safe dyes.  Her online store is here.

019Lastly, and from a new to me dyer, is yarn from Copper Centaur Studios.  The dye on her yarns is a deeply saturated tonal, nearly solid.  The base for the yarn I bought is Slightly Silky – a very squishy fingering weight blend of 80% superwash merino and 20% silk. The colorway is “Intentional Tardis” and is destined to be a Dr. Who shawl.

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The Fiber Event at Greencastle 2015

First fiber festival of the year is in the books, as well as my first class!
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I had four people signed up for my class and three show.  I don’t want to give out in spoilers but I learned a few things.  Identifying fibers is challenging, I dislike yelling over heaters and I need to allow more time for the activity.  But, I had everything I needed!

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Shopping commenced right after teaching and lunch, of course.  I did most of my shopping Friday afternoon and ran into a lot of friends.What did I buy? Gray angora, undyed merino, undyed silk (all for blending), dyed black alpaca/silk from Spotted Circus and dyed alpaca from Fiber Optic and a card-it up kit from Hello Purl.

By the time I got home Friday I was *worn out*.  My family arrived that evening and Saturday morning I took them to the fiber festival – their first ever.  Chris was delighted to learn he could just about everything and his favorite question quickly became “what kind animal is this?”.  You’ve got to admit he has good taste – camel and silk.

My parents bought me this cute knitting tote from The Felted Garden.

003I bought my mom this bracelet as an early Mother’s day gift from Bur Oak Studio.
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