Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival 2006

On Sunday Kathy (Kathrows) and I went to the Wisconsin Sheep and Fiber Festival, where we dyed merino roving, ate lamb hotdogs, got rained on, and bought stuff:

From top left: Corriedale and silk roving dyed in osage, indigo and madder, pygora roving, dyed silk hankie, camel down (for my sp), and two dyed blends of alpaca, llama, silk and wool. I had vowed to only spend cash and quit when my wallet was empty. Only the fact that the ATM machine was out of money and most of the vendors didn't take credit cards stopped me from seriously running into debt.

In the morning, we took a dye class called Hot Rainbow Dye. Little did I know it was to be taken literally. Here's our dyed merino rovings, 28 ounces worth:

The first three are handpainted and set in the microwave (by Kathy, by us collaboratively and by me, respectively). The next two are from a round pot with a divider in the middle, supposed to keep the dye from blending together and the last two are from a rectangular pan, supposed to blend the dyes more. You can see a lot of undyed fiber, especially in the last two.

How will they spin up? We'll have to wait to see! Right now I'm busy with this:

Pygora--from the pygmy angora goat. It's soft as kittens. Literally. It spins up hairy and smooshy and unevenly--I'm loving it, despite my decided preference for smooth yarns.

Here it is on the bobbin. I think I will ply it as it is so soft I'm afraid a singles might not be strong enough on its own. I can hardly stand to go to bed or eat supper while it is sitting there waiting to be spun.I'm going to start saving now for next year. I think I'll double the amount I have to spend.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hooray for Spinnyhead!

I hit the Fiber Motherload today! A deceptively small box arrives via Sheep Express:

Inside, a veritable bounty of spinnables! Can you believe: wonderful (purple!) mohair top, dyed silk bell (purple too!), ingeo (in, you guessed it, purple!), bleached linen top, bamboo top, recycled soda bottles and denim (???), and silk cocoons! Not to mention a make your own sheep kit (tee hee!), chai and cinnamon tea (the kettle's just about to boil!), yummy Giradelli chocolate with toffee, and two little mice for Nellie and Chester.

Nellie promptly stuck hers in Mom's shoe. She's been playing with it non-stop for an hour. That cat sure likes a new toy!

Chester inspected his, went for a bite to eat, and by the time he returned, Nellie had stuck his in a convenient shoe, so he went back to sleep.

Spinnyhead went above and beyond with this package! My hands are itching to try that mohair. Or maybe I'll start with the bamboo. Or the silk cap.... I'll keep you posted! Thanks so much Spinnyhead!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Batty Rocks!

Just look at this fab-u-lous final package I got from my super SP7 secret pal, Batty! The haul contains some great-smelling--mmm vanilla!-- shower gel and body cream, Burt's Bee's hand cream (don't you love Burt's Bees?), a rubber ducky :), dark, dark chocolate (the good stuff!), wonderful, soft, springy, cheerful, colorful sock yarn from Lucy Neatby that is a joy to pet, and that will be my next pair of socks, and a handknit, beaded swirl hat!

Here I am modelling the hat. It is wonderful! A lovely mulberry that I love, exactly the color I gravitate toward in the yarn shop. It's a great stitch pattern, and the beads are a perfect addition. It fits me really well, and I haven't taken it off since I opened my package, except to take the photo above. Batty is super-talented. I can't say enough about it--I just love it! Thanks so much Batty!

I've had a busy weekend, since I went to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival yesterday. That will have to wait for its own post. Suffice it to say, my wallet was completely empty at the end of the day, and only the fact that the ATM machine was out of money stopped me.

Finally, on a more somber note, it's the fifth anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I still remember every detail of that day--what I was wearing, who I was with, the e-mails I exchanged with friends across the nation. I expect you can remember too. It was a day of both hazy unreality and utter clarity. For those who lost loved ones, I wish peace. For those who planned the attacts, I hope for them to be brought to justice--whether in this world or the next.