Posts Tagged ‘fiber’

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The haul

15 July 2009

Looking back at what I purchased at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival, it doesn’t seem like much. But a couple of my goodies were big ones.

The basket is hand made and is quite large (13.5″ tall x 18.5″ wide). I loved it immediately and had to have it. I love that it has multicolored bits running through it. The handles are lime green leather, which I also love. My plan is to put my spinning stuff in it. With the handles, I can take it along with me if I choose.

The other thing in the picture is a big bag of hair. I’m not really sure what I was thinking when I bought this one except that I really loved the color – deep charcoal with bleached tan tips.

My adventures in spinning have been short and frustrating, so I am well away from the point where I can process my own fleece. I’m thinking of sending this one back to the farm where it came from for processing. They have a mill and can turn it into something I can spin.

Let me tell ya, when I brought the bag of hair into the house, the cats were all over it. Cleo spent a good 15 minutes sniffing every square inch. Once they had scoped it out I was pretty sure they were just leaving it alone. Then I found a hole in the bottom of the bag with a clump of fiber pulled out. I had to find a hiding place for the bag that the cats couldn’t get to so that they’d leave it alone.

Anyway, the other things I bought were 8 oz of a spring-y green Coopworth…

and two skeins of sock yarn…

That’s 430 yds of wool/nylon, each, by Sandy’s Palette. It’s a singles yarn, so should be interesting to knit up. When I saw that these skeins were $12 each, I told Wendy to pick out a color and I’d make her a pair of socks. The lighter blue is for her and the darker is for me.

So that’s it. Not much, but that basket is a nice souvenir.

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Iowa Sheep & Wool

22 June 2009

Weekend before this past weekend, my sister and I took a road trip to Iowa for the Iowa Sheep & Wool Festival. The original plan was for my aunt J to go with us (she’s a spinner and a weaver), but she ended up with a scheduling conflict. So, we sisters had a little weekend trip, just the two of us.

We both took Friday off, so we were able to leave town a little after noon. Wendy drove my car, as she loves to drive, and I love to make other people drive so I can knit. She had already checked the route and made some notes on where to go, but I set up the iPhone GPS to see how accurate it was. It did pretty well. Got us all the way to the hotel in West Des Moines without any problems. It took us about 4 hours to make the drive. A big rain storm hit right before we reached the hotel. Once we arrived, we ordered some Chinese food and hung out in the room until bedtime.

The next morning we headed out for the festival, which was in Adel, Iowa, about 20 minutes west of the hotel. Thankfully, the rain had stopped overnight. It was pretty cloudy but that meant it was nice and cool.

Having only been to one other fiber festival before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Turns out that though I thought this would be a large festival, it wasn’t. Not by a mile. The fairgrounds where the festival was held were not that big – there were a lot of buildings but not a lot of activity. One building was holding classes; one building housed the sheep-to-shawl competition; another building had the fiber vendors; and another one had some animals.

We walked around and saw some sheep. There were black sheep.

Horned sheep (okay, I know it’s a ram. I think. Right?)

Brown sheep.

Bald sheep.

And little baby cow sheep (Yeah, there’s no such thing. But they look like cows with the spots, you know?).

You get the idea. There were lots of sheep.

Anyway, after seeing the sheep, we had lunch. Or rather, we attempted to have lunch. The only food vendor was this one selling various lamb items – lamb burgers, lamb brats, lamb burritos, lamb jerky, etc. I decided to try a lamb cheeseburger and Wendy tried the lamb brat. Big mistake. Unless you like lamb. Very gamey. Not so yummy. Not sure I’ll get that taste out of my mouth any time soon.

Bad lunch got me in the mood to shop, so we headed over to the fiber vendors. I ooh’d and ahh’d over all the soft and pretty fiber. Wendy pissed off one of the vendors when she accidentally knocked over a rack containing pamphlets (the woman was not nice about it even though it was an accident – needless to say she didn’t get any of our business). After making the rounds of all the vendors and pricing everything, I made some purchases, a couple of which were definitely impulse buys. I’m hoping the buyers remorse stay away.

After shopping, we had pretty much done all that we could do there and decided to leave. It was a little after noon at that point. Our original plan was to stay Saturday night and drive home Sunday morning, but after finishing at the festival so quickly we decided to head home. Thankfully the hotel let us out of our reservation for Saturday night.

We did a quick bit of sight-seeing on the way home and I’ll share those pics in a later post, as well as pics of the fiber/yarn haul.