Sunday, August 21, 2011

Busy bees

We took Tadpole to her first fiber festival on Friday! I've been keeping an eye out for a local festival ever since she was born and everything was just a bit too far away. But the Michigan Fiber Festival took place this weekend and that was perfect - only a 3-hour drive away. Of course, we met friends there and had so much fun that I didn't take any pictures at all.

Don't worry, we brought a bit home to play with.

So what did we get?

Starting at the bottom left and moving clockwise we have a) Knitting Notions Classic Merino Sport (sweater for Tadpole); b) Knitting Notions Classic Merino Lace (scarf for me); c) Briar Rose Legend (sweater for Tadpole); d) Briar Rose Abundance (maybe a Hemlock Ring?); e) Briar Rose BFL top (spin 3-ply and knit something for Tadpole . . . or me); f) Miss Babs Northumbria DK 4-ply BFL (something for me).

This was a good weekend for fiber pursuits. I've been getting more spinning in lately since I no longer have to wait until naptime to sit down at the wheel. Tadpole likes doing her tummy time on the play mat where she can watch me spin and that lets me get 5-7 minute sessions in while she's awake. And if she's in the right mood, sometimes we even do this:

It never lasts more than a minute or two before she starts grabbing the fiber and I declare spinning time over.

I've even been getting a fair amount of knitting done and I'm always amazed at how quickly the baby items knit up (especially now that I'm not working with thin sock yarn on size 1 needles anymore).

This is a baby version of the Leaflet cardigan that I made for myself (and haven't blogged about yet). I'm using Quince & Co. chickadee - their sport weight yarn - and I think I like the baby version even better than the grown up one. We'll see after I get around to washing and blocking the one for me. Right now it's a bit bulky feeling and adds more pounds than I would care to wear at the moment.

I also caved and cast on for Simmer Dim the other day using some malabrigo lace from the stash. I could knit even garter stitch all day long with this yarn - it's just that lovely. But I have one small problem: I brought this project for car knitting when we went to the fiber festival on Friday and I haven't seen it since we unpacked after getting home that evening. I'm sure I put it somewhere clever but for the life of me I have no idea where that is.

Back to the fiber festival for a minute (that was rather circuitous, wasn't it?). What did I think? And, more importantly, will I go back? I certainly enjoyed my time there but I think that was more because of the people I was with than the festival itself. In all honestly, I was going to get my Briar Rose fix and that was great. There were a number of vendors whom I'd seen in previous years at the Midwest Fiber & Folk Festival outside of Chicago and there were quite a few new-to-me small producers. But I must confess I was a bit underwhelmed by the offerings in general. Some of the dyers had beautiful work but either had fiber blends that I wasn't interested in or charged too much for too little yardage per skein. There was a nice variety of handpainted spinning fibers for sale but not much selection of undyed fibers or raw fleeces (not that I know anything about starting from a raw fleece at this point in my spinning career).

I think my biggest gripe lies with how the festival was physically organized at the fairgrounds. Everything was spread out over a wide area and it was difficult to see what other vendors were out there or where they were.

And there weren't many animals to look at and pet. But there was a gorgeous camel who let my 4-year-old companion feed him some straw. Oh I wish I had taken a picture of that!

So will I go back? Maybe. It's a long drive to take with a small person but I'd love to see her pet that camel!


kristenmakes said...

Sounds like such fun! I love all you buys, and really hope you find that Simmer Dim wip soon! I can totally understand where you are coming from about the fiber festival, too.

Jacey said...

I'm glad you got to take Tadpole to this event, although I'm sorry it was a little disappointing. Your fiber choices are lovely, though!
The picture of spinning with Tadpole is adorable. Love!

elizabeth said...

I LOVE your purchases, particularly that fiber! It will be so much fun to spin! I can't wait to go to SAFF in October in Asheville, this year I'm bringing the husband and it'll be interesting to see his take on the whole thing.