Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Wool Gathering!

Our booth space at the Wool Gathering
Well, I think my first time vending at a good-sized fiber show was a success.  At least, I had a lot of fun!  And isn't that what life is really about?  It seemed that we had almost too much stuff to pack into our little 10' X 10' space, but we managed ok.  In the photo above,  you can see my hand-dyed yarns to the extreme right on the tree I made and Tari's natural-dyed yarns on the table to the rear.  We also had her rag rugs and my alpaca rugs on the table and various rovings on the shelf unit to the left with other rovings, Tari's homemade goat milk soap and natural dye stuffs and more on the table to the right.  Please excuse the colors in the photo.  I am not good enough with photoshop to make up for the hideous lighting caused by the light coming through the red and white striped tent!  Everything has a pink cast to it.

 Here are Tari and I in our booth early on Saturday.  I am wearing my Montague vest made from the alpaca/cormo roving.  I loved wearing this!  It was perfect for a cool morning and I was able to wear it all day.  I got many compliments and even saw another attendee wearing hers.  It was neat that it was cool, especially on Saturday morning.  I saw lots of awesome hand-knit shawls, sweaters and vests and got lots of inspiration, like this:

It just so happens I have a skein of lace weight merino/silk yarn I was unable to resist buying a year or so ago.  It has been languishing in my "stash" waiting for the perfect project to come along.  I think I found it!

We were located about mid-way down this tent and you can see it is quite large.  SO much temptation!  There were also 2 other tents and many vendors set up outside as well.  I was able to keep my own purchases to a minimum since we were very busy talking to customers and selling things.  But I did manage to buy some merino/bamboo roving, some hand made ceramic buttons, a fringe twister, and a FLEECE!  Yes, I bought a fleece.  I am a sucker for a very crimpy fine, greasy sheep's fleece and I found a gorgeous one and I even have the perfect alpaca fleece to blend it with.  This time I will send it to a processor I have used before.  This one is white.  

I was very pleased with my sales.  I sold 2 rugs on Sunday and I sold 19 of my 26 skeins of hand-dyed alpaca yarn, along with several 2 oz packages of rovings in both dyed and natural colors and a few skeins of hand-spun yarn.  

I can't mention the Wool Gathering without saying that it is at a place called Young's Jersey Dairy, which actually is a dairy farm.  But, they also have lots of things to draw people in and make it a nice family destination.  Of course, ice cream seems to be what they are known for.  Did I sample it?  You bet!  I am sure the cream in it came directly from those beautiful Jersey cows in the pasture.  Yum.

My mom spent some time with us at the festival on Saturday.  I think she may be interested in weaving.  I will have to encourage this.  My brother and his wife and their kids also dropped by after soccer games and decided they needed to come back to visit Young's Dairy when they had more time.  It was great to see them.   I also saw lots of fellow alpaca folk and an old high school friend.  All in all, it was a great weekend.  

Now that the Wool Gathering is behind me, I can look forward to fall.  I think it is about here.  The weather is changing and so are the trees.  It has been such a rainy September!  Not good because I still have an empty hay loft awaiting 300 bales of hay I don't think I am going to get, due to the rain.  I don't need to panic yet.  

I think I mentioned previously that I have a hard time sometimes naming crias.  Some are named almost immediately. Some take longer.  Well I finally came up with names for my 2 favorite crias born this past spring.  

This is Trillium, my only female.  She is from our female, B'Nita and a multi-champion male owned by a farm called Sunset Hills in PA.  His name is Citation.  I finally recalled that early this spring as I was walking through the woods I saw lots of beautiful white Trillium flowers growing and read that they are rare.  I decided then that I would use that as a name.  So, she will be Trillium.

Stormwatch & Booker
The fawn fellow facing the camera is from our female, Margarita, and a male from a farm in northern Ohio named Mr BoJangles.  This is a very nice cria and I may be showing him in the spring (we'll see).  I was pondering a name and again, nothing was coming to me.  I was thinking of the cocktail theme, but not too many cocktails are great names for male crias.  But then I realized I could use part of his sire's name and name him after a very fine, smooth single barrel Kentucky Bourbon, Booker's.  So, Booker it is.  If he matures as nicely as his namesake, he will be a rare indeed.

I hope to demonstrate this Sunday at the Soakum Festival again like last year.  Then the following weekend I will be attending another local festival, the Bethel Harvest Fest, which is a very small festival but always a lot of fun.  I have missed it the last 2 years and they called me to see if I would participate this year.  I take a pen with alpacas to this along with my spinning wheel and some items to sell and sit and chat with the local folks who are making apple butter and soup beans over open fires and eat lots of good food. 

I started knitting a scarf with one of the skeins of hand-dyed yarn I still have.  It is in nice fall  colors and I might be able to sell it at the festival. 

I also plan on getting my upstairs bathroom painted in the next couple of weeks and I have a laundry list of  outdoor chores to do which are best done in the fall when the weather is not too hot or too wet, like replacing a water hydrant at one pasture so I will not have to worry about the spigot being frozen this winter and filling in holes in the main barn where I scoop out part of the barn floor each time I scoop up poop and fixing fence.  I don't plan on being bored any time soon!

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