It’s hard to believe, but this weekend is the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster, Ohio. Seems like only yesterday it was January and I was plotting out my spring events. Now I just have two more to go before a few months break. This is a wonderful show – not too big and not too small, but plenty to keep you occupied for the day. We don’t have any graduations to go to this year, so I’ll be able to set up Friday night and take my time. The part I dread the most? Packing my car. I’m back to using my sedan, so I have to be careful.
If you are planning to attend, pop over to my Facebook page and get a coupon. All you have to do is claim it, and then bring a copy via cellphone or print-out to my booth, #22. It is good for this event only and will not be accepted by any other vendor.
Some shots of the booth from last year
Sometimes things happen differently than you imagine. Sometimes you don’t have anything in mind and something unexpected happens. Sometimes things work out in a way you wouldn’t have guessed simply because someone else is lame.
So, here’s the story. And you know how I like a good long-winded story!
Many years ago I bought a bottle of Kookaburra wool wash. It was one of my first purchases as a new knitter. I used it a few times and then I bought a bottle of Eucalan wool wash (because you have to try everything, right?). Then the Kookaburra disappeared. Seriously. It just vanished from the laundry room. No one knew or even now knows what happened to it. Although I was upset about it, I just went ahead and used the Eucalan since it was there. Then, as a merchant, I decided to inquire about carrying the product since I enjoyed it so much. And now I do.
When I first began washing my own fleeces, I used Dawn dish soap, just like I read on all the blogs. It seemed to work fine. But then a new product came out! Unicorn Power Scour! It was expensive, but I was quite impressed until I tried to make it last a little longer by using less. That is when I noticed my fleeces were still tacky after they dried. However, after making a few adjustments — like not cramming 9 lbs of fleece into my washing machine with only 3-4 squirts of soap — things were coming out clean again. I began to wonder… maybe I should investigate the wholesale aspect of Unicorn products? Sadly, as a small business without a store front, there is a limit to the companies who are willing to work with me and Unicorn appears to be the “brick and mortar required” type.
Eventually I decided to invest in the big 64 ounce jug of Power Scour. It was one of the three things on my shopping list for Maryland. I searched and searched, but only found one vendor with the product and no big bottles at all. Booo! Then something totally unexpected happened. On Saturday afternoon, just at the end of the day, after I had been crabby all morning, we ate fried pickles and walked around the booths at the far end of the festival. I wandered into the Kookaburra tent. There they had a 64 ounce jug of Kookaburra wool scour. Even though I have never tried it, I took the plunge and bought the big bottle. I also got a small bottle of “Power”, their household cleaner. The woman I spoke with is part of the family who owns the business and she gave me information on wholesale. Awesome! I didn’t even think about that going in, but it was pretty cool to make a contact for the future. You may see Kookaburra products in my booth sometime in the future…
We made it home from the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in one piece. It was an interesting weekend followed by wisdom teeth extraction on Monday morning from which I am still recovering. It is going to be difficult getting back into the groove.
At four hours, the drive was quite pleasant and the weather couldn’t have been better. We stayed at a fancy golf resort complete with schmaltzy piano music blaring in the lobby. Saturday morning we headed out to the fairgrounds early to get a close spot and even though the event officially opened at 9 am, no one was stopped from milling around before that. My first stop was Zeilinger’s tent to drop off fleeces and the fleece sale to find a few more. Ana took the photo below while standing in line.
They let in 25 people at a time so we wouldn’t be crushed or elbowed, but it was still close quarters. I had to crawl under a table at one point just to get to the other side. With 800 fleeces to look at, it was basically impossible to see everything and incredibly hard to decide what to buy. After searching, I found two that I was ready to take home. One a Bluefaced Leicester/Shetland cross and the other a Border Leicester cross. However, after waiting in line to pay, I was told I couldn’t take the BL because it was supposed to be in the silent auction. That left me with one fleece and a very bad mood. By that point I had no interest in going back into the chaos and just left.
I moped around most of the morning, feeling overwhelmed by the crowds and disappointed by the fleece debacle. Eventually I came out of in the afternoon, but I didn’t really buy much all day. One jumbo bobbin, one gallon of Kookaburra wool scour, a pound of random fiber, and soap.
In the evening we met up with some friends and had a great dinner. I have to admit that was my favorite part of the weekend. Cosmos! Hummus! Sunshine! Laughter! It was a good end to a somewhat rumpled day.
The next morning I was ready to start over again. Corespinning started at 9:15, so I was there at 8:30. Things went well enough that I didn’t feel utterly crushed or hopeless. Not to say I am an expert, but I am excited to keep trying. My yarn was incredibly lumpy, while all the other ladies made theirs so even and relatively thin. I don’t quite know how they achieved that. Also, I thought this was sort of an “art yarn” technique and the point was for it to be funky. Whatever. If they are happy with the results and so am I, it doesn’t matter.
Over all it was a good weekend. I just can’t see myself making this event a regular stop on my schedule. Honestly, I don’t need that much selection, especially when you can’t get in the booths to look at anything! It did successfully keep me from thinking about my impending oral surgery the following Monday morning. Now that is over too and soon I will get to experiment with corespinning!