Monday, August 29, 2005

My trip to the Michigan Fiber Festival

I have returned from the Michigan Fiber Festival a happy, but surprisingly not poor, woman. It was a wonderful trip! I was a passenger for the entire ride up, and I managed to finish a prayer shawl for charity, minus the fringe. Once in MI, my hostess Jan took me to shop at the Threadbear Fiber Arts store in Lansing. Holy ****. All of our local LYSs pale in comparison. They had a wonderful selection of yarns and all kinds of sample items knit and hanging from thewalls and ceiling. I restrained myself from getting too much there, as I wanted to save my money for the MFF that weekend. (I couldn't justify spending $75 on the 100% silk yarn from Fiesta for the LMKG tank top. *sniffsniff*) What I did end up getting was a skein of Koigu for the little cabled purse in LMKG and 2 skeins of Madil Kid Seta in a lovely coppery rust color for a windsock style hood/scarf. I managed to finish that up last night and I love it. So soft and cozy, and such a bold shade for my color-timid self! I can't wait for the temperature to drop.

Friday was workshop day at the MFF. The morning session was the handpainting class taught by Nancy Shoyer. The class divided up into groups of three and we each took turns adorning tables with plastic wrap, wringing wet skeins, picking colors and helping to paint said skein. After the yarn was painted, into the microwave it went and came out steaming in beautiful color! It was great to see the variety of colors and styles everyone chose for their skeins. I decided to do mine in (Country Classic) Persimmon, Chestnut, and Desert Sand. I usually don't care for pink, but in this case it's not overwhelming. I was a bit scared at first because the colors were quite a bit darker while the yarn was wet and the skein looked like a muddle of browns. As it dried, the yarn was magically transformed into something much nicer! The yarn we used was Henry's Attic Kona, meant to be sock yarn, but I still haven't gotten around to knitting socks yet. So I might just make a stocking cap for myself, hat freak that I am. I fear I've added another component onto my already addictive knitting habit: dyeing. The afternoon drop spindle class was fun, also taught by Nancy, but not as productive for me. We'll just let the picture speak for itself.

Jan and I spent a little time at lunch perusing the vendors who had set up early, but again I excersised restraint and didn't buy anything just yet. We came back again on Saturday to do our shopping. I think I spent most of the morning just taking stock of what was for sale. Thankfully not all of the vendors were selling yarn, or else I would have been there all weekend! Dave, dragged along not entirely against his will, went around with his dad and they looked at all of the wood constructed items: spinning wheels. I can only hope Dave takes a serious interest in spinning so he can supply my yarn habit! (Dare I dream on?) While we were in MI, he managed to spin up some slightly uneven, but perfectly useable yarn. I'll probably end up making mittens or yet another hat out of his first spinning effort.

So what did I buy? From Skaska I bought a lovely skein of merino/silk (50/50) for a shawl, (If you are interested in lace and/or enjoy sumptuous fibers, I strongly recommend taking a look at their website. They have some delicious blends and colors, and they've even got qiviut!); a bargain bin skein of steely gray wool/mohair yarn shot with lavender for a cabled hat; a skein of 100% alpaca in white for Faina's scarf (to be dyed!); 5 skeins of mixed breed wool in natural colors for the Old Way Gansey in Interweave Knits (possibly to be dyed); 3 skeins of a rich purply-red fingering-weight wool for a Pi shawl; and a single skein of Elsbeth Lavold's Angora for a cabled headband. I also picked up a couple colors of dye, one of which is going to overdye my horrible green llama/wool blend yarn so I can rip the crocheted shawl out and reknit the whole thing as a circular shawl in three colors. At least that's all I can remember buying.

The rest of the MI vacation was spent collecting honey from Jan's bees, taking Luna (a Haflinger) out for a drive with the buggy, fishing -- and catching my first walleye, eating lots of good food, and knitting (of course). It was far too short, but I have a feeling we'll be going back again this year, perhaps for hunting season.

As I mentioned earlier, I finished my windsock scarf last night, so I had to start a new project. Juli had donated a skein of Filatura di Crosa Gioiello to me so that I might make something for the auction to benefit Bev's poodles. I began Knitty's Branching Out last night, and signed up for the Knit Along that Nederlass told me about. I've never done one of these things before, but I'm looking forward to the company. And speaking of company, it will be good to get back to my Wednesday night knitting group... I missed three weeks worth of meetings! But it was all for a good cause.


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