maryland wrap-up

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.

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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.

Ladies night out.

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.

Corespinning class in action.

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!

MD here we come!

Ana and I are heading out to Maryland tomorrow afternoon. When we first planned this adventure back in February, it seemed so far away. But here we are. Scrambling around to get ready for the weekend. The forecast earlier said rain, but now it’s just 60s and clear, so hooray! I won’t need shorts, which I hate fervently. Or an umbrella, which is awkward.

In the end there are only two washed and ready fleeces. The last one, Tootsie, will have to wait for Great Lakes at the end of the month. I can’t say that I won’t go bonkers at the fleece sale and snag a few more for good measure. I have to bulk up for the fall season and next spring (hint: my business takes a lot of planning ahead).

Last week I had Rock the Vote sitting outside on the porch to dry, but every time I went out to check on it, the Mama Robin who is now living out there would get agitated, so I tried not to bother her. And then of course it rained, causing everything to feel damp, so I left it out a few days more to really dry out. The locks are incredible! Such beautiful little curls, I almost hate to process it. And quite soft too for a Romney cross. But I need some roving and this fleece, despite it’s lovely structure, has a lot of tiny VM that I don’t want to deal with on my own.

rock the vote

To be honest, I don’t know what to buy this weekend. Not sure if it’s better to go there with or without a list. Probably with. If you don’t have something in mind, you might just buy everything! But the thing is, I don’t really need anything. Believe me, I have heard the “I don’t need anymore fiber/yarn” line plenty of times and I always think that it’s a stupid thing to say when you came all the way out to a fiber show. Nobody needs any of this stuff. We all have crazy stashes and yet we keep going. I’ll probably buy something unrelated like maple cream or cheese. However, I’m not just there to browse, I am attending a class  and dropping off fleeces. Plus it’s just awesome to get out there and see all that stuff! It’s a great way to feel insignificant and lame and unaccomplished and lame.

a collection of things

Third event of the year behind me already! I spent Saturday with Ana (Wren & Rita) at A Knitter’s Fantasy and it was a really great day. Usually the market is rather quiet during classes, but this year it seemed that we had traffic evenly throughout the day. My lack of inventory was painfully obvious as I set up, and now after the show I am very low. The next couple of weeks are going to be very busy so I don’t embarrass myself at the Great Lakes Fiber Show. In between now and then I’ve got two camping events, a visit to Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, and major dental work. I need to do some serious scheduling.

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Remember how we bought a house three years ago this summer? We worked so hard to get it ready before we  moved in, but there were a few projects that had to wait.

front view

For instance, the bathroom is still weird (no mirror/cabinet, unfinished floor, bathtub without a shower head). The plan was to finish off the mudroom first since it needed insulation, drywall, flooring, basically a lot more stuff. However, it’s been a very sloooow process. We are now to the stage of putting mud on the drywall, so I decided to take a picture. Soon we will be ready to paint! And then eventually put in the cabinets and storage this house so desperately needs. Someday…

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And just in case you haven’t had enough updates from me, the latest issue of the newsletter is live.

a knitter’s fantasy

8363983It is happening this weekend!

Market is open from 8 am to 4:30 pm. Stop in to visit with me and Ana of Wren & Rita. We will be located in the same spot as last year.

Check out the website for more details.

After selling out of spindles at the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival last month, I had to put in an order. I decided to get 20 this time around, so it should last me a little longer. Come by to give one a test spin.

Hope to see you there!

on the calendar

It looks like I will be adding a new event to my schedule this fall. A week ago I received an invitation to the Eastern Great Lakes Fiber Conference at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY. After Googling the address and finding out it is only 2 hours northeast, I decided to go ahead and give it a try.

The conference itself is rather small. You can check out the class list on their website. However, on Saturday, October 12 they will have a marketplace that is open to the public.

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pgh knit & crochet festival

Oh, what a weekend! With a four day commitment, this is definitely the longest event I take part in all year. And I have to say, today I am exhausted and sore. My throat hurts from talking (shouting) and all my muscles are aching. But I had a lot of fun with Ana from Wren & Rita, with whom I shared the booth. Thanks to her excellent spinning demo, we got 14 spindles out into the world — many to brand new spinners.

If you weren’t able to make it out to this event, Ana and I will be at A Knitter’s Fantasy on April 6. Check out their website for more information.

10x10 booth

10x10 booth

10x10 booth

10x10 booth

first show of the year

We’re already getting back into the swing of things here. I can’t believe my “catch up” month is over already! I didn’t get the bathroom painted and I didn’t get nearly enough yarn spun. But I did spend a week dyeing, a week making batts, and several days prepping for a big shop update. Of course, it’s never enough.

My first event of the year is something totally new. It’s basically an abbreviated version of Indie Knit & Spin. There will be five vendors in all, so you should have plenty of time to visit and browse. We are encouraging our fans and customers to bring finished projects made from our fiber and yarn. You never know, an impromptu fashion show may break out!

Indie Knit & Spin Boutique

Sunday February 10th, 2012
@ Cosymakes Studio
1406 South Negley Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: 12 pm to 5 pm

Vendors:
Burgh Baby Gear
cosymakes studio
Fibernymph Dye Works
SpaceCadet Creations
and me!

looking ahead

January is a going to be a busy month of preparing for what is to come. One event has been moved and one has been added, so things will be a little different this year. The Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival moved from February into March, so I will not be going to the Women’s Fiber Fest hosted by the Alliance YWCA. But if you are desperate for fiber in February, do not fear! I’ll be in Pittsburgh anyway for a new event hosted by Cosette Cornelius-Bates. For those of you in Ohio, you will find me in April at A Knitter’s Fantasy again along with Ana Brito Skalos of Wren & Rita. So make sure you put these events on your calendar, check out their websites, and get registered for any classes you make want to take. They will be here before you (or I) know it!

FEBRUARY 10

Indie Knit & Spin Boutique
@ Cosymakes Studio
1406 South Negley
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Open 12 pm to 5 pm

MARCH 15-17

Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival
@ Four Points Sheraton
910 Sheraton Drive
Mars, PA 16046

APRIL 06

A Knitter’s Fantasy
@ Cheney High School
731 South Hazelwood Avenue
Youngstown, Ohio

Open 8 am to 4:30 pm

year in review: part 1

Last year I did a photographic review of the year’s happenings. I can be weirdly nostalgic about certain things, so I wouldn’t mind the excuse to look through photos from the year gone by. Plus Flickr has a nice calendar function that makes it too easy to pass up the opportunity. I will try to select the two best photos for each month. One will be fiber-related and one will not be, when possible.

JANUARY

three bags full

cookie jar

FEBRUARY

festival booth

sun cat

MARCH

booth

wool room 01

APRIL

sophisticuffs with buttons

stitch markers

MAY

GLFS Booth

sorting

JUNE

poplar wool picker

stuffed peppers

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming tomorrow!

booth photos

We had a blast at Indie Knit & Spin last weekend. It was sort of a feeding frenzy, especially the batts. They were the hot item in my booth this year. We were able to expand from the 6 foot table to an 8×8 booth, so I had more room. However, since I brought new items and had new displays, it was a stressful morning trying to get everything to fit. In the end I’m happy with the result, though I forgot to take a picture until halfway through the day. It was fuller at the start.

8x8 booth

8x8 booth

8x8 booth

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Those pictures I thought disappeared from Rich’s phone a few weeks ago have suddenly popped up. So here is an overdue view of my booth from the Autumn Fiber Event in October. It was a roomy 12 x 10. I had so much space I hardly knew what to do with myself. At the back I set up a table for destashing. All of the looms sold and some of the fiber, so it was worth it.

roomy 12x10 booth

roomy 12x10 booth

roomy 12x10 booth

And here is a bonus picture of my bento box lunch from the Morikami Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida. Everything was yummy, except perhaps the sushi. Apparently I am not a fan. It’s the smell. I feel like I’m stuffing my face into an aquarium.

bento box!