Here in Minnesota there's a big fiber festival that you frequently hear about called Shepherd's Harvest. As I've only been spinning for a little over a year (wow, it seems like so much longer) and only really into the internet knitting community for a couple of years, I finally got to go this year for the first time. My fibery friend from here in town and I decided to take a dyeing class. Dyeing roving. It was great. As a part of the fees to take the class, you get to not only learn our wonderful teacher's techniques but you also get to take home a full pound of roving. Separated into two braids. As such, you can choose which dye bath to place those two roving into. I chose two different ones and ended up with:
Awesome aren't they? I may have started spinning the bottom one already. (Can you believe that pink is supposed to be maroon?! I laugh in its general direction.)
Also, as the weather here has been pretty rainy and drizzly for awhile and by awhile I mean "Please kill me". I apologize for the awful pictures I have of everything I brought home.
Of course there are also vendor booths and various other amazing things to look at and do. We saw the sheep dog show. Then we watched them shear sheep for awhile, we got to see live sheep of various breeds which was very interesting. Let me just say, they look very little like the wool you will get from them.
I was recommended to go with a "shopping list" as there is so much to look at, if you don't have SOME idea of what you would like to purchase, it can be overwhelming. I didn't have an official list, but I did have some ideas of what I would like to come away with.
1) One or more fibers I hadn't tried to sample.
2) A Turkish drop spindle for travel and general spinning for fun/in small quantities.
3) I wanted to look for the Cloudlover booth because everyone at my spinning guild had been talking about their amazing rovings.
I think I did pretty well. Here are my purchases.
At the top, you can sort of see the amazing Cloudlover roving I picked up. Its deep rich purples on Merino/Silk. AMAZING!
On the left is a large zippy bag of Merino Roving. 10 oz. Plain colored so I could dye it or just spin it plain. I already played with the next item my turkish drop spindle with some of this roving. I wanted to try out the spindle to see how it worked on the way home. Luckily, I wasn't the driver.
Next to the drop spindle is a small bag of tussah silk fiber to spin. 2 oz. Its very pretty but also dyeable if I would like. Then next to that is a bag of Ingeo or corn fiber. At the very bottom is a beautiful little wooden needle case.
Overall I had a great time. Its so weird to go and see that every booth is fiber and knitting and spinning supplies and beautiful. Usually if you go to an event there's a few things you want and so many booths you just pass by. Here, I almost wanted to walk into every booth and buy something from everyone.
I will definitely be attending again next year. Now that I know more what to expect, I also think that it will be much less overwhelming. It was difficult to make some decisions about what to purchase and what to pass over.