Smack dab in between two 12-day shifts at work was the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival, and you can bet your stitch dictionary that I made sure to have both days off! I ended up going on Sunday, and from what I heard about Saturday's weather, that was the good choice!
My friends with sheep were kind enough to let me tag along with them. They went for the learning and I went for the shopping, so it worked out well for everyone. I had a budget of $130 and I spent all but 16 cents. I'd say it was a success!
My pictures are few, far between, and extremely boring, so I'll share a few that were interesting and then show you what I bought.
I walked around first to try to scope out what I wanted to get. I chatted with a very nice lady who saw my Ravelry pin, but I didn't get her name. Darn! She was part of the Mountain Fiber Folk co-op, and she was the doll-maker. Anyway, they had a really cool display and she let me take a picture of it. If I'm remembering correctly, they did everything in the process, not just the dyeing.
It's a hunting vest! They also had kits for hats and the orange yarn for sale on its own. I was sorely tempted because it was awesome, but my husband doesn't hunt. But what a great idea! I hope they sold a lot of their stuff.
In my wanderings, I found Green Mountain Fibers, and they were kind enough to take the 3 granny squares I had made for Irene quilts. I live close to the store in Rutland, but I never manage to get there since I work into the evening, so it was great that they were willing to take them. I know it must have been a hard fit into the car, but it was appreciated! Of course, I didn't take pictures of my first granny squares, because I have -- what did we decide the word was? Camnesia? Yeah, camnesia.
More wandering was mixed with intermittent rain. I ran into Mary Lee from Stitchy Women (another pal), and it looked like her booth was hopping! She started telling some of the women there about my Boneyard Shawl and how she watched me at multiple guild meetings trying to bind off! I'd actually brought it with me, so they ooh-ed and ahh-ed over it and told me to tie it on, so I did. I think it was helpful for my friends when they were trying to find me! Plus I kind of looked like an awesome superhero. One lady even told me that I looked like "a rainbow in the storm"! Perfect!
I stopped by the Good Fibrations tent, which actually had a few vendors sharing the space, and the nice spinning lady whose card I apparently forgot to get gave me a spinning demonstration on her drop spindle. I have a drop spindle and I use it sometimes, but I'm not very good at it, so the demonstration was much appreciated. Then -- and this is one of the things I love about fiber people -- she suggested I go check out another vendor who was selling something I might be able to use when drop spindling. So few people are willing to lose your business by sending you elsewhere, but she was fabulous! I hope to see her next year and buy lots of her roving!
The booth she told me to check out was Ball and Skein. There were some gorgeous drop spindles there that the guy took the time to tell me about, but I didn't get a picture. They were modular spindles, and when you ran out of room on one, you unscrewed it and screwed on another one! He was selling boxes that you could put the used spindle shafts on and ply that way. I thought it was ingenious! Unfortunately, I couldn't afford the spindle AND the box.
However, I did buy a Wristaff, which is what the woman at the Good Fibrations tent told me about. You put it on your wrist and wrap your roving around it so it doesn't tangle or get caught while you spin. You can also put a center-pull ball on it and knit from the outside. Yep, sold.
They also had these fabulous beach buttons, which were natural stones that had been drilled to make buttons. I almost bought all of them, because hello, Storm Coast? Instead I settled for a skein of their Super Sock 416, which is 450 yards of fingering-weight, 75% merino and 25% nylon. I am really enjoying making shawls this year, and wait until you see this color. It's called Riverstone.
The second picture is kind of fuzzy, but you can see the colors better. Guh, right? I know.
There was a man outside one of the buildings who was making drop spindles. Like, right there, at that moment. I watched for a while but forgot to ask if I could take pictures. Oops. Anyway, it was very cool. This trio of gals next to me started talking about how they were thinking of buying some, so I slipped away to check out the booth. It turns out I had already been admiring the spindles before I knew they were hand-made! Yellow Dog Farm is a husband-and-wife team. She spins on her wheel and he makes and uses the drop spindles. I bought a gorgeous heavy spindle. I don't know what it will be good for spinning, but it just felt right in my hand. I know I'll find something.
The spindle wasn't labeled, and of course I forgot what the lady said it was made out of, but I think it was cocobolo. Nobody quote me on that.
Brilliantly, I am going all backwards on my shopping, because the first skein I bought was in the same building, and I haven't told you about it yet. Remember that green skein of yarn I bought at last year's Sheep & Wool? Yeah, they're doing variegated now. Mountain Vewe Coopworths, who still doesn't have a website.
This is a bit different from the yarn I bought last year. It doesn't have mohair in it and it's a bit heavier, so it's 150 yards. Remind me to take a picture of the hat I made with the green yarn. (Yes, I made a green hat, sort of. It's complicated.) I LOVE the colors in this yarn. All oceany!
Well, I think I've mostly rambled on enough, so I'll show you the last thing I bought. I'd looked at this booth last year and not bought anything, and this year I'm glad I stopped by and did. The booth was Dyenamics Yarn, I believe, and I bought a skein of The Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors Sock Yarn in Thunderstorm. How could I not?
I'm a terrible photographer, so trust me when I say it's gorgeous. 460 yards of fingering-weight in a 75% merino/25% nylon blend. Hello, shawl yarn.
Funny story -- I recognized the purple sheep on her card, and it turns out she's one of the moderators in the Stash Knit Down group on Ravelry!
That's not everything I did, or everyone I visited, but I think it's enough. I wouldn't want to give away ALL my secrets, after all -- I want there to be some yarn left for me once I get more money!
As for the diet, obviously I blew it. 1060 yards. But you know what? I love them, I got some great tools to use with them, and I earned it. What a great time I had at the 2011 Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival! See you next year!