on the road again

This weekend I am heading to WOOSTER! Yes, it’s time again for the Great Lakes Fiber Show, one of my favorites. It looks like the weather for this weekend is going to be superb. Last year it was cold! And the year before I could barely function in the heat. I think this time around we’ll get it just right.

I don’t have anything wildly innovative and new for this event. I’ve got some dyed roving in a new breed, Romney/Border Leicester, plus locks, freshly carded batts, and a larger selection of Companion Colors. In addition to the fiber, I will have two sets of wool combs from Valkyrie. One is the larger Viking comb and the other is a smaller, finer set. And my new logo buttons will be available! These were made locally by a friend and fellow small business person. I am going to pick them up today, in fact. If you want one, it’s just $1 or free with $30 purchase.

buttons

Since the month of June is surprisingly vacant, I suppose I feel the need to continue to add in other events. In that spirit of panic, I just added something else to my schedule at the last minute: Festival on Phelps in Youngstown. It’s a community event/benefit headed up by some friends, so I thought it would be a good thing in which to participate. It’s next Saturday, and the night before I am doing a fiber workshop at Greyland Gallery. You could make a weekend out of it! Oh, it’s going to be another busy one. That’s the job though, right?

shots of the booth

Finally getting to share these photos from Great Lakes. I used my new “check-out counter” for the first time. It is also from Woodland Marketing, so it folds/stores/transports easily and it matches the other lattice shelving that I have. I love that I can hang yarn from it and attach my sign with no problem. Once I get a shelf in there, it’s going to be even better.

Overall I am very pleased with this layout. There is more room for expansion if needed in the future. Having a spot for Rich takes up some space, but I’d really hate to be there alone all day (not to mention the weekend)!

Great Lakes Fiber Show

Great Lakes Fiber Show

I used the “in-between” shelves again this time for the batts. We cut those last summer, but I didn’t start using them until last month. Once I get the spacing down, it will look less tweaky. Guess I didn’t realize I was still a bit low on inventory – the bottom shelves aren’t full. Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me to get ready for Woolfest.

Great Lakes Fiber Show

Sitting there during the day, it felt like the traffic was slow. However, after counting everything up, it came out fairly average. It’s always interesting to me to see how the different items move. At some events I won’t sell any Eucalan, like last month. But this weekend I sold several large bottles. The locks weren’t popular at all, but other times I sell loads. I’m definitely seeing that it’s good to have a variety!

Great Lakes Fiber Show

heading to wooster

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

GLFS Booth

GLFS Booth

home from wooster

Taking a break from the accounting side of the business today to share a couple photos from the Great Lakes Fiber Show this weekend. I didn’t get out too much to get a lot of fun pictures, so it’s just shots of my booth.

GLFS Booth

I had a really good time this year. Attendance and sales were up, so I can’t complain. Also, I met a lot of interesting people. Some were returning customers and others had seen my ads on Ravelry! While I was there I picked up two lovely Shetland fleeces from the same fellow I bought from last year. Sadly I have no pictures of them because I immediately dropped them off to get processed. And I got an alpaca fleece that belongs to an alpaca named Gwen. How could I resist?

I had fun! Hope you did too.

GLFS Booth

Great Lakes Fiber Show!

Yes, friends. It is that time again if you can believe it. We are on the brink of Memorial Day weekend and that means GLFS! Be sure to head over to their website and read up on their classes, competitions, and vendors for this year.

Wander the marketplace on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. It looks like it’s going to be a hot one, so be sure to bring something to drink and take your time! You will find me in the same spot as last year: building 39, space 22.

For the remainder of this week, I’ve got a few things to finish up.

  • Bagging buttons
  • Updating & printing pattern for Squares Sophisti-cuff
  • Labeling new Romney roving
  • Labeling new yarn
  • Making a few signs
  • Pricing stitch markers
  • Unloading the car (went camping last weekend)
  • Loading the car for the show
bagging buttons
Bagging buttons.
roving
Freshly dyed Romney roving waiting to be labeled.

 

new fleeces

As I predicted, my fleeces arrived from Zeilinger’s this month. October to January seems to be a standard turn-around, about 2.5 months. And it’s perfect timing, since I’m getting geared up for winter/spring festival season. I had three fleeces processed this time. Each one is a different breed and came from a different place.

Shetland – I bought this fleece in May at the Great Lakes Fiber Show. The man who sold it to me has a small flock of Shetlands in Ohio and he is a skilled woodworker. All of his fleeces were beautiful. I decided on a very light grey and white fleece. When it went through the carding machine, the colors were blended quite uniformly. The overall color now is white with grey strands throughout. I’m curious to see it dyed. I’m not sure whether the grey is pronounced enough to impact the finished colors.

Shropshire – This one came from the fleece sale at the Lake Metroparks Woolfest in June. It was the first time I attended the event and the sale. They were selling fleeces from their own flock at the farm park. There was a wide range of breeds to choose from and I wanted to get something I’d never tried before. You could say I selected this one at random. It seems to be quite spongy! I am interested to see how it spins.

Columbia – This fleece was purchased at the Mahoning County Fair in September. Each year they have a fleece competition and certain fleeces are available for purchase. I had bought a Columbia there a few years ago and decided to try it again. It was a big fleece and it came from a farm in Ohio. In fact, the man who was in charge of the fleece sale owned that particular sheep. Unfortunately it came back to me with a bit more vegetable matter than I would like.

new roving!
They all came in that box, but they don't fit in there now.
three bags full
Left to right, Shetland, Columbia, Shropshire.

2011 Revisited

While everyone else out there in media-land is doing year end countdowns, recaps, reviews, and best-of lists, I thought I’d try that myself. So, what happened this year? I can’t remember off the top of my head, so it’s a good thing I’ve got Flickr to help jog my memory. I’ve gone through all my photos for the year and selected one or two of the most meaningful for each month (so, lots of pictures to follow). How was your year?

JANUARY

blocked shawl
My first shawl. Knit from handspun/dyed BFL. I use this almost every day at work.
birthday cake!
The most amazing birthday cake I have ever put together. It was for Rich.

FEBRUARY

table set-up
Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival.

MARCH

Olive
Olive, our little black cat.
weaving with roving
This is Rambouillet that I hate spinning, so I wove a giant rug.

APRIL

Table set-up
A Knitter's Fantasy, Youngstown, OH.
April & Dad
April & Jeremy's wedding in For Lauderdale, FL.

MAY

new mitts on new hand
The new hand model with Vertical Veins mitts.
Great Lakes Fiber Show
Great Lakes Fiber Show, Wooster, OH.

JUNE

matched set
A matched set knit from Cosy-dyed Falkland.

JULY

wool room
Organizing the wool room.

AUGUST

front gate & sheetwall
Gryphon's Rest camp at Pennsic XL.

SEPTEMBER

helios
Helios, handdyed Corriedale roving.

OCTOBER

me & my table
Fall Festival at the Apple Castle, New Castle, PA.
spinning
Showing off the Wristler.

NOVEMBER

booth at Indie Knit & Spin
Indie Knit & Spin, Pittsburgh, PA.

DECEMBER

gwenerin logo
New logo designed by Erin Flynn.
craft sale booth
SAA Fine Art & Craft Sale, Youngstown, OH.

remember me?

I’m hoping this once-a-month post thing isn’t going to become habit, but I guess this spring has been a busy one!  Let’s start with two weekends ago when we went to War Practice at Cooper’s Lake.  While Rich and I were meandering through the merchants, we came across a good find.  First I saw the drumcarder.

drumcarder

Started scoping it out, asking the guy questions, turning the crank, thinking… It’s got a nice little handle for carrying to spinning group and it’s a bit lighter than Whiskers. Then I turned my focus to the charka.

charka

I don’t know much about these or spinning cotton for that matter.  But I figured it was there and I’d never had an opportunity like this before, so why not?  That’s when we started thinking about a price for both.  We made an offer and the merchant accepted.  We walked back to camp and set to putting the charka together.  Rich basically got it working without instructions.  But that’s because he’s an engineer.  I haven’t had a chance to really turn my attention to either of these yet, but that’s what summertime is for!

The following weekend we found ourselves in Wooster, Ohio for the Great Lakes Fiber Show.  I had originally been signed up for an outside space, but at the last minute an inside space opened up so I took it!  I decided to try a different set up than usual with the tables on either side and we sat at the back.  It was a really nice weekend, though a bit too warm on Sunday.  I was able to pick up some new fiber including BFL roving from an Ohio farm, a pound of Rambouillet/Mohair blend and a Shetland fleece.

Great Lakes Fiber Show

Great Lakes Fiber Show

And I also entered a few items in the Skein Competition.  The light grey is Romney from my new fleece, spun from the lock.  It won 2nd place in the fine plied category.  The dark brown-black is an Alpaca/Romney blend I bought at Knitter’s Fantasy.  That was spun on a drop spindle.  I brought it on a whim and it won best in show for Group A (bulky plied category).  I was pleasantly surprised.

ribbons of 2011