My First Fiber Festival

Well, September was certainly a crazy month. There is much that goes into returning to school after a long, lazy summer off. Most of which has been lots of energy and time. It hasn’t left me much time to post here on the blog. I also haven’t made much progress on my knitting, though my spinning is getting there. Right now, it is easier for me to find time to spin.

Last Saturday saw me at my first ever fiber festival. It was a new festival too, and it was just great. It was the First Annual Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival. The day started out with Cris of Into the Whirled meeting me at my house. My place is about half way between hers and the festival, so it worked out well. It was also a good excuse to leave the boys at home and have a girls day out.

We got there and hit the ground running. We did a circuit around the grounds before stopping for a much needed lunch. We then went back and purchased things that we had waited to purchase until we had a chance to see what other vendors had to offer. It was a beautiful day, and we had a ton of fun. We shopped, we talked, we ran into other friends. I was good and stuck to my budget – I even left with money in my pocket. I came home with some awesome memories and some wonderful treasures. I really can’t wait to go back again next year!

Here are the fiber treasures:

The first two are both from Into the Whirled. This is what my day started with! 🙂 I had purchased them from Cris and got in person delivery.

Minotaur 56s Falkland Batt

Minotaur 56's Falkland Batt

56s Falkland Wool Top

56's Falkland Wool Top

 

My very first purchase of the day was from Mountain Fiber Folk Cooperative, and is a lovely, lovely blend of 60% wool, 30% alpaca, and 10% silk. The color is just stunning and it really does look like its namesake, the moonstone.

Moonstone

Moonstone - 3oz

 

Next up was a beautiful, natural caramel and fawn colored alpaca. This came from Quarry Ridge Alpacas.

Soft and Lovely Alpaca - 4oz

Soft and Lovely Alpaca - 4oz

 

Last, but certainly not least is my favorite purchase of the day. I fell in love with this yarn the second I laid eyes on it. I passed it by on the first round to see if I could find something else I liked. Nope – I ended up going back, and I do not regret it. It is so beautiful and soft. It is a mix of natural colors and is truly stunning in person. It is 100% alpaca and came from Times Remembered (no website).

Chocolate Twist - 8.2oz - 600 yards sport weight

Chocolate Twist - 8.2oz - 600 yards sport weight

TDF 09 Update #2

I guess I have been bad at posting my Tour de Fleece progress. Then again, I wasn’t making much progress, to be honest. I am getting faster with the drop spindle, and I am able to spin for longer periods of time. I am still amazed how fast the last bit of Shetland went, it seemed to just fly out of my hands! A special thanks to Jen, of Contended Butterfly Farm for such well prepared roving. It really was a joy to spin. Give Celebrian extra love from me for donating her lovely fleece. 😀

I hit more great milestones, I finished my first batch of roving (total of 4 ounces), and I plied my first skein of yarn. This skein was navajo plied. It really came out great and I am proud of this one too. It is soft, squishy, and the color is great. It is going to make something lovely for me, that is for sure! The stats on this are:

  • Name: Celebrian
  • Colorway: Moorit
  • 148 yards
  • 56 ounces

Did I mention that I really loved navajo plying?! It is a lot of fun, and was so easy to do on the spindle. I liked that I only had one strand to worry about, and that I had no leftover bits at the end. I will be doing this technique again, and I may even use it on what I started to spin last night at knitting. I will have more on the new stuff Friday. For now, here are some pretty photos. Clicking on any of them will bring you to larger versions on my Flickr page.

Close up on the spindle, after plying.

Close up on the spindle, after plying.

Spaghetti, anyone?!

Spaghetti, anyone?!

The finished skein.

The finished skein.

Mmmm....Detail

Mmmm....Detail

The Best Laid Plans…

Ah, yes, how grand my plans were for the shetland I have been spinning for a while now. Well, ok…maybe not grand, but I was excited about them anyway. 😉 I originally had 4 ounces to work with. I took that and split it into 2, 2 ounce sections. The first 2 ounces has been spun and resting on its uber-fancy tp holder bobbin for a few weeks now. I wanted to take that 2 ounces and navajo ply it. I was going to spin the second 2 ounces into 2, 1 ounce balls and then ply those together andean style.

I started to navajo ply the first 2 ounces yesterday and was immediately unhappy with how thick it was. I just did not like the way it looked. So, like a true artist, I made a decision on the fly. 😛 I decided to leave this as singles, because it is so thick as is. That led me to another decision, and that is to keep going with the second (and MUCH thinner) half and navajo ply that. I think the second half will look great plied that way, and I seem to be getting a lot out of it. I love the way it is coming out and would love to use it to make something.

Since I decided to leave the first 2 ounces as singles, they went into a nice, hot bath with some lavender wool wash yesterday. I let it soak for a bit, and then hung it to dry. I am amazed at how wonderfully lofty this came out. It is soft, and beautiful, even if it is a bit uneven. This is my very first ever finished skein of yarn. So exciting!

Here are the stats:

  • Name: Celebrian Singles (after the sheep that graciously donated her fleece)
  • Colorway: Moorit
  • WPI: 11
  • 83 yards
  • 46 gram skein
My FIRST Skein of Yarn

My FIRST Skein of Yarn

The Close-Up

The Close-Up

 

I also finished my niddy-noddy, and it came out really nice. A simple oil rubbed finish and it really brought out the color and the grain. All I used was mineral oil. It doesn’t get much easier!

Unfinished

Unfinished - Bone White and Boring!

Finished - A Nice Golden Color

Finished - A Nice Golden Color

I Made Yarn!

Over the weekend, Tina gave me a most beautiful drop spindle to borrow and learn with. I quickly order some lovely shetland roving to use on said drop spindle, from Contented Butterfly Farm. Well, the roving came in today – it is so nice! A pretty natural chocolate color. I took it out of the bag, looked at it, and tucked it back in thinking it might be better to wait until I go to knitting again and have someone help me. I didn’t quite know where to start.

I picked up my trusty laptop and decided to look for videos. I found some really good ones. It didn’t look terribly hard so I got my roving out again and gave it a go. It worked!!! I was making yarn. I am SO excited. 🙂

Without further ado….photos!!!

 

Roving from Contented Butterfly Farm

Roving from Contented Butterfly Farm

Sweet Touch -- This was attached to my receipt. :)

Sweet Touch -- This was attached to my receipt. 🙂

 

The lovely spindle with MY yarn on it!

The lovely spindle with MY yarn on it!

Pretty

Pretty

 

Look at that yarn. :)

Look at that yarn. 🙂

It may not be perfect but I feel like I am getting the feel for it quickly, and more importantly it came from MY hands! 🙂