than never, right? I assembled this picture the day after my last blog post, intending to post about it. Then, we lost internet again. boo. hiss.
Then there was life. and nanowrimo, and time passes. Has it been a month? I’ve been off to a rocky start with this whole blogging thing. I thought surely I could commit to blogging once a week. And yesterday I signed up for Nanoblomo which has me promising to post everyday. everyday? yeah. I’m going to try my best.
This post about the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival 2013, is well past long overdue, but better late than never right? The sheep and wool festival was amazing. I remember it like it was yesterday. The day was bright and sunny and I got to spend it with my mom. Spending time with my mom is truly special as she lives in NYC, where I was raised, and I call Ottawa home. We are both creative types. I feel very strongly that I owe my passion for art ad being creative to my mom and my father’s mother. I have great memories with both of them, making all sorts of projects, often when I was home sick from school. I was sick a lot as a kid, too, so there were many many days home from school. My mom much prefers going to quilt shows, fabric being her preferred form of fiber. She learned how to knit as a kid, but didn’t pursue it much, so it was actually me who taught her how to knit again as an adult. I didn’t learn to knit from my grandmother either. My grandmother was an amazing seamstress. She made clothes, often without a pattern, and for a time, even repaired lace for a living. Sewing was a big part of her life, even as a senior. I looked on as a child as she pain-stakingly sewed projects by hand, her vision mostly impaired by her cataracts. I guess it isn’t much of a surprise that I came to love the world of fiber as much as I do now.
Sharing the experience with my mom was lovely. She and I have both been told that we have an eye for color, and she asked me loads of questions about how diferent things in the wool-world are used. I am no expert, by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve learned a lot, from many great teachers along the way. I realized in our conversations, that I am as much fascinated by the science behind why wool ad fiber works the way it does, as in the beauty of it all. Chatting with her and sharing my knowledge with someone who could appreciate it, made standing in the long lines for almost everything a little more tolerable. There were lines to pay for things, lines for the washroom, lines for food, and lots of crowds. I’m not a big fan of big crowds. It was nice to sit and chat too and take breaks. Having such a beautiful autumn day made the experience that much nicer.
We didn’t get to see everything. There was more yarn and vendors than any one person, or two people, as the case may be, to see in one day. I had read before we went that it was the biggest wool festival in the northeastern united states, and they weren’t kidding!
In the summer, the barns are filled with animals. During the Dutchess County Fair which is on the same grounds every August, you can go in the stables and pet animals, sometimes feed them and see the ones who have won prizes. Those same stables were filled with vendors selling their wares. Booth after booth of mostly yarn. Maybe it was in the areas I didn’t see, I did expect more novelties like ditty bags to hold knitting projects, buttons, shawl pins and things like that. From what I did see, and I feel like it was well over half of the show, there weren’t very many vendors selling these things.
Now, it may be that I am hard to please, that the yarn all starts to look the same, and it is hard to find something new and different and truly special when you can spin your own yarn, dye your own yarn, and also when you have worked in your lys (local yarn store), and also that I found a lot of the yarn expensive (I saw nothing under $20 in the way of yarn), so it took me a long time to find some pretties to bring home. But I did find them.
(from left to right, top to bottom)
1. Canvas ditty bag (sold by the festival)
2. A pound of silk hankies/mawatas from New England Felting Supply & two Kumihimo discs (I can’t remember the vendor I bought them from, she was a nice lady who used the wheels to make jewellery) – my plan is to dye the silk hankies and knit them into silk mitts without spinning them first, a la the Yarn Harlot. The Kumihimo discs I bought to use to make jewellery and also to do another version of making an I-cord for more interest in knitting projects.
3. The book Feltlicious, by Kari Chapin – because I love needle-felting, miniatures and fake food.
4. I made this! It’s a zafu (a meditation cushion). the top and bottom are potato printed with pebeo fabric paints, and then I made the zafu and matching zabuton using my mom’s awesome sewing machine while I was staying in New York.
5. A hitchhiker spinning wheel from the Merlin Tree. I’ve been looking for a 2nd wheel for some time to compliment my ashford joy. I chose this one because of the design. I fell in love. It was love at first sight, actually. After talking with the owner, I learned that the wheels were designed to be compatible with the bobbins and flyers for the joy which meant I was sold twice over. The price is significantly less expensive than other wheels on the market, which was another selling point for me. Both wheels also have folding/removable parts to make them more compact, but truth be told, I leave mine assembled. I find them pretty to look at.
6. Also pretty to look at? and touch, and squeeze, and pet? Yarn! All of the yarn pictured except for the natural coloured yarn is from Brooks Farm, in Texas. The natural colored yarn is from Bijou Basin Farm, and is really special because it is 100% yak. I’ve been looking for yak yarn for over a year and found it at the sheep and wool festival. finally. at last, my love has come along. . . . . you get the idea. it was expensive, but in my very humble opinion worth every penny.
I took more pictures at the festival, many many pictures of sheep. When I came home and put the photos on my computer I was really disappointed. Most (or maybe, all) of the photos are overexposed. I’m not sure what happened, because my camera settings were all where they should’ve been, and it was overcast while I was taking photos. I decided they were better off not being shared. I usually take much better photos. that’s fine though, because it’s just one more reason to go back next year. . .