Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


acck - just did a whole long post and clicked the page off completely -- so ..... shortened version

You made it sound like such fun I want to go!!!

By Blogger rho, at 12:38 PM  

Nice purchases! Love that drop spindle. You know she chastised me for taking pictures in her booth on Saturday. I was somewhat deflated after that.

That Mountains of Hearts pattern is gorgeous -- I admire your guts for being willing to rip it out.

How did I miss the Tilli Thomas beaded yarns? I saw the bags, but not the yarns. Perhaps the booth was too crowded and I walked on by.

By Blogger Mary, at 6:23 PM  

As a contact lens wearer, I don't do mohair. I don't care if it's the most gorgeous yarn ever created, if it sheds I pass it by. No beauty is worth the pain of a little wisp of hair in a contact lens while driving on the interstate. Their Four Play isn't sheddy, is it? I am still thinking of trying it someday.

That spindle is gorgeous, and Jen's sock yarns are too! But I was a good girl and stayed home and bought Kureyon, which I love much more than I thought I would.

By Blogger Catherine, at 7:34 PM  

Amazing stuff you bought, there girl! I am so glad you found Mary Ann. She is a friend of mine. Her merino/tencel is definitely heavenly!

By Blogger Carolyn, at 9:42 PM  

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007  

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2007 part 2

*note - yep. You're the M, Meredith

Lordy, I hate it when I waffle about something and there’s been a knitting project I’ve been on the fence about for 2 years now. Some years ago I committed the Follie une Primo of Festival Going Knitters. I bought short. At the Brooks Farm booth there was some gorgeous mohair put up in 500 yard hanks. The hot color that year was something called Azalea - coral, peach, you know what color I’m talking about - an orangey pink - the only pink I can wear. The Brooks folks had made a gorgeous blue and azalea multi yarn in the same weight and together those yarns just sang to me. I can’t wear blue next to my face without looking jaundiced but knit around the wrists and hem of an azalea colored sweater, I could pull it off. Now - I know a lacy cardigan, for me, in worsted weight yarn is going to take about 1000 yards. I also had the strong suspicion that I’d need more than 500 yards of the solid color. But only a little more. And it was the end of the weekend. And to pop for a whole extra skein when I needed only maybe another 100 yards was so hard to do. You can guess what happened. I was pound foolish and didn’t buy that extra hank. Even though I know.. you know?

I cast on the Mountains of Hearts sweater on a frosty January and knit happily away for about 6 weeks. That sweater is half way up my shoulders and I’m almost out of azalea yarn. If I wanted blue shoulders I could finish it up but ... I hate the thought of a gorgeous sweater that makes me look bad. Besides, I’m really not built to wear a garment that is basically a huge horizontal orange stripe bordered by blue bands.

So this year I took a sleeve with me to see if I could find some azalea yarn at the Brooks Farm booth to finish this pretty garment. I figured - if they had some I’d finish it - if they didn’t, I’d rip it.

Well. Of course. They had some. Not an exact dye lot match, but something that I could work with. Only - it was in a different weight. Sport wt. instead of worsted. I stood there in their booth a long, long time, trying to decide. This is a lot of knitting and it’s really nice knitting, even if I say so myself. But as I stood there, teetering on edge of the frog pond, a single word wafted through my brain.


Yes. This yarn sheds. It sheds all the time. It is loosely spun 2 ply mohair. The soft spin is what makes it so delicious to knit. It shed all over my lap while I knit with it. It left little azalea and a few blue hairs all over my jeans, my skirts, whatever I was wearing at the time. For all Brooks Farm yarn is so popular, I’m amazed that nobody ever complains about this. It’s not as if knitters pretend it doesn’t shed. It’s just that the yarn is so beautiful, it’s so soft, it feels so delicious they have to buy it anyway. I noticed that the Brooks Farm folk have brought out new fiber lines with their same glorious colorways. But whatever direction they take in the future, I had to decide about this sweater now. And the decision is to frog it. It’s a good design. I can make it from something else. And I’ll knit up a pretty shawl with the beautiful Brooks Farm mohair - something that I won’t be pulling quite so tightly around my body, something that isn’t going to brush against my brown-skirt clad hips on a cold winter day. Instead I’ll have a cloud of azalea fibers clinging to my orange turtlenecks and it will just look like I own a cat.

Farewell oh pretty Mountains of Hearts sweater.

So, what did I buy? Ahh well. I couldn’t come home without some of Spirit Trail’s magnificent fiber and yarn. The advantage of helping to set up is that I got first pick of the colors and these came home with me.
The two sock yarns are destined to be knit together in different ways. Since there’s enough for 2 pair I will probably end up with 4 coordinating socks - instead of real partners. I may call them fraternal quads. The fiber is about 2 ounces of a blend that includes all sorts of sheepy DNA. I didn’t write it down for me - only for customers who bought it - but it’s from a flock of sheep that had been crossed and crossed again to create hand spinner’s fleeces. J had 3 different bags of these fibers and we got to calling them mutt sheep. Some mutt, huh?

Across from us all weekend was the magnificent Tilly Tomas with her beaded designer yarns. Honestly, when you’re working a booth you can get too busy to go see what’s going on across the way and usually when you do a walk about you head first for the bathrooms. Inspiration did strike in time for me to investigate her shelves and bins, though and just look what I found!!

This is destined to become that cap sleeved lace edged summer sweater. I’m going to knit the hem lace in that beaded solid brown and then switch to wide flat ribs when I start knitting the main body. What perfect colors for the little bit of suntan I’ll be getting in the next month or so. What gorgeous yarn. In fact - I can knit it with that ebony circular needle that’s been imprisoned in the Brooks Farm Mohair disaster for 2 years. All the more reason to bid that mistake good-bye.

Alas, it was so crowded when I actually shopped I never got to talk to Tilly herself. I’m feeling like a chump - but MS&W always puts you in the same booth space. I can talk to her next year - and maybe even wear my sweater.

Three Waters Farm is a familiar booth with the friendliest owners. Mary Ann is the first artist I’ve ever seen to do bold vivid handpaint colors with merino/tencel blends. This particular vivid bold handpainted colorway had to come home with me.
There are 8 oz. of it - enough to do something serious with it. And yet - can you imagine this colorway spun into a boucle yarn? ooo la la!

At Got Soap I picked up a bar of soap which I now can’t find, although I’ve yet to unpack my bags. It still might show up. But I also bought a bag of their cedar and herb moth repellent. It’s full of pennyroyal and lavender and even if it doesn’t really repel moths (and there are some who claim this) it will make my fibers smell so deliciously medieval. I can call it a sachet. I plan to make little bags of this and sprinkle them in all my storage places and yarn hideyholes.

By Sunday I still had a little money left. Of course I had conveniently forgotten the Visa stuff. That won’t count till next month. There was enough for one special purchase and both the Corriedale and the cashmere were whispering sweet nothings into my ears. I did a final walk about the fair around lunchtime and as I did so I remembered those hand drawn glass circular needles at Sheila and Michael Ernst's booth. Mind now, I had already picked up some buttons from them because it would be a sin of omission to go home without one or some of those magic kingdoms. I love these buttons so much I want to go live inside one of them.
When I’d been by earlier they hadn’t set everything up and as we were talking (me gushing compliments, mostly) I sighed that they’d probably be sold out before I could get back. Sheila said "oh, take them now" which I did - paying cash. The photos don't do them justice, but their website has good photos. The rest of the weekend I urged customers who bought Spirit Trail Yarns to find the perfect buttons for their future creations at the booth.

So. With a little cash still in the wallet I stopped by to gaze once more at their magic kingdom buttons and oh my oh.

There it was.

The special, unique, not something you find just anywhere, got to have it, had to bring it home purchase.

The Do Not Drop Spindle.

Yep. I know. Frivolity extrodinaire. Absurdly beautiful. Whimsy for woolen wandering. Just looking at it makes my eyes giggle and my heart flutter. It really does spin. It really is just about the prettiest thing. I could hang it in my window and forget about spinning on it. Or on days when I want to play fairy princess I can sit on my bed and pull out something silkenly magical and spin away.
Yep. Something I wouldn't be picking up just any old time or place.
And after that, my shopping was done.
The Sunday crowd was thinning out and long about 3:30 I packed up. Unlike the intrepid J, I am no night driver and I wanted to be home before dark. There were hugs good bye with the booth babes and then I was on the road again. There was a little traffic between Upper Marlboro and La Plata, but more than half the drive home was traffic free. Blue skies and big hugs were waiting for me at home and I am content.
Goodbye MS&W. See you next year.

posted by Bess | 7:21 AM