This weekend is Maine Fiber Frolic at the Windsor Fairgrounds, about an hour and a quarter away. I have been looking forward to it for a long time, but I got really excited when A gave me an early birthday present – cash. Added to what I had been saving, it meant I could really go wild. 🎉
And I did. But before I show you what I bought, I want to tell you about my day. The second part of my gift was that A did not go with me. 🙂 I
tried to coerce invited my mom, sister, and sister in law to go with me but they were all otherwise occupied. So I got to go by myself and ogle and feel fiber to my hearts delight with no sense of having to hurry because a non-fiber person I love was bored out of her mind.
I started out in the fleece tent, per spinning teacher’s instructions. It was pretty amazing. Fleece feels nothing like yarn. 😀 I thought the merino looked cool, all kinky. But I could see the staple was much shorter than I have worked with yet. And the alpaca was not as soft as I expected. I resisted buying a fleece but only because I have no idea what I want yet. Maybe next year, or in the fall. Plus there is SO much in a bag! Yikes.
From there I peeked over into the used equipment barn- lots of things there but lots of people, so I skipped it for this year. Saving my money for vendor tents.
That’s where I went next, with my very strict lists of things I want to make and the yardage. I wanted some sock yarn, dark colors and bright red. One of my first stops was String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns where I snagged some caper sock yarn. I have used it before but gave all the socks away!! This pair will be for me. As will the neon and black striped socks I will make with another find. (Black is dark, right?)
I tried to stay away from blues with little success. I did get some other colors but it was so hard, everyone had such gorgeous colors, how do you choose? When overwhelmed by choice, I naturally gravitate toward the blues.
I found a couple of vendors I frequent every year and got yarn for hats and shawls. And my favorite glass button lady had something I had on my list – an orifice hook! So I splurged on a pretty one. I looked and looked at gorgeous hand painted braids, and was nervous about getting one, but finally found a reasonably priced Corriedale, which I know I can spin. It is green and periwinkle which isn’t really blue, right? There were some gorgeous ones of yak and silk, but without my teacher at my elbow to tell me staple length, I didn’t dare spend the astronomical amount of money (relatively speaking) that they wanted for that lustrous thing. Ditto for camel/silk.
And I had a good time with the owner of the Bead Biz, who is from my home town in Connecticut, it turns out. Small world. She was impressed with all my tiny snips of yarn to choose beads to match. I was so prepared, I am telling you. Turns out they all look great together, and so I was able to get three colors of beads that will go with 6 or 7 different skeins of yarn I have. No need to choose now. And she has a website – ut-oh.
I did not get any sweater quantities, which I sort of had hoped to, but I got some beautiful skeins to knit up things for me and for sale, and I got some pretty wool to practice spinning with.
I did see this, which made me smile- Ella Gordon’s croft house has made it to Maine!
People seem to be putting more kits together, which I think is great for those of us who have trouble deciding. Pine Star Studio had some nice kits with mini skeins, a Leftie shawl kit, and a linen stitch scarf kit which REALLY tempted me, as I have been wanting to make something similar for a while. But I stuck with individual skeins and will keep these ideas in my head. There were lots of mini skeins around, which were on my list, but it was too overwhelming to chose them in this venue. Even though I got there nice and early, by about ten, it started filling up and that’s not my best shopping scenario,
I spent my lunch money on yarn – shocking, I know – so had to settle for just an ice cream for lunch. It was a real hardship. Then I headed home and had oodles of day left for admiring my purchases. 😍
Here they are:
A nice corriedale braid from Highland Handmades in the color way bearded iris. The purple is really more of a periwinkle. She had some amazing colors and fiber blends, and when I get to be a better spinner I will go visit her again. ( She was fun – her phone kept buzzing. It was her husband over in the fleece barn, wanting permission to buy more fleece. She kept saying no. She already had two fleeces tucked away under her table. He buys them, but she cleans and spins them, and she thought two would keep her busy for a while)
Also from her is this fun sock yarn.
I show you front and back so you get the full spectrum. 🙂
Here’s the handle of my new orifice hook – hand-made lamp work glass by Shipyard Point Glassworks. You have seen Bev’s buttons here before, and I use her stitch markers all the time as well. This was her last Fiber Frolic but she says I can still call her if I need something. (Need ? Do I need any of this?) I guess she is semi-retiring, which I completely understand but still am sad about.
After a huge amount of deliberating at Pine Star Studio, this is what I came away with. It will likely be a simple shawl for sale, and a happy me if it doesn’t sell, as I think I will like these colors worked up. Even though it isn’t blue. See how well I did in this booth? 🙂 the colors aren’t quite right here, but it is soft roses, a bit of purple and pale green.
Here is a skein that is definitely NOT blue – and another booth where I really struggled to choose colors. Jan Marek Raczkowski Studio (no website, but he is listed as a vendor at shows across the northeast) had loads of colors, fibers, weights, yardages, and the prices on most were decent. I wished I could afford a sweater’s worth from him, but it would have cleaned me out and then some. I got this thinking baby sweater for sale, or shawl for sale…or not.
Next up I found Hidden Brook Fiber – always glad to see her and her affordable angora/wool blends! She never has as many colors as everyone else, so I had to get blue, lol. I was tempted by some of the natural gray, thinking I could over dye it, but this turquoise color called me. Since I already have two skeins of a soft blue and one of a white, I probably could have walked away, but it is so soft! This is actually more turquoise than this shot shows.
String Theory Hand Dyed Caper sock – I told you how I love this yarn – who could resist this beautiful blue? Not me! I am calling it “dark” and want no arguments, please. If she had a bright red I would have gotten that too, and I walked away from so many luscious colors and yarns, but I know I can just go to Blue Hill any time and get all I want or need. Thankfully, she sells at that Farmer’s Market, and that is much closer to me than the Fiber Frolic is…plus it is weekly! She has a cool display – a box truck outfitted like a yarn store – you go up some steps and there you are surrounded by bins of neatly organized skeins – just like a tiny shop. Loads of fun.
Don’t worry, I am almost out of money. Here are the beads I got – the white is a matte finish, the gold have one faceted side, so they really sparkle. The pale pink/blush are silver lined, so they also sparkle nicely. I wonder where they will all wind up?
That is all my purchases for today, but I have to warn you, before I left, I did set aside some money to buy fiber at my next (and last) spinning lesson and I might have gone over to theKnittingSarah’s de-stash. More on that next week.
So all in all, I had a lovely time, and am seriously wishing I was done with tiny cotton hats so I could start on some of these things. But I will be good, because I am hopeful that tiny cotton hats will bring in money that I can save for September when I go to the Common Ground Fair.
Which reminds me – something I noticed at the Fiber Frolic – it may be the Maine Fiber Frolic, but we had vendors from the whole northeast, and so it had a very different feel to it than does the Common Ground Fair, which is Maine only. Not better or worse, just different. You won’t find yak/silk blends at the Common Ground Fair, for instance. Unless someone somewhere in Maine is trying to raise yak and silk worms, which seems unlikely. So I enjoy them both and try to spend enough to keep them all in business.
Leaving you with another pretty – the sky when I took the bird feeders in last evening was just beautiful, these photos don’t do it justice. I think I see where Pantone got it’s inspiration for this year’s colors.
To the west:
and to the east: