So much has happened!

Let’s get the Administrivia out of the way first:

Changes to Vendor Options

We have made a change to the Vendor Registration, giving our vendors three options for participating in Spin-U. Please check out the Vendor Application Details page for more information

Vendor registration is ending soon!

Spinning Handpainted Fiber

On Thursday, 5/3 I traveled to Maryland to teach a class in Spinning Your Handpainted Fiber at the lovely Kate’s studio. All those samples that I had been spinning were laid out for my students, and we talked about different plying structures and how different styles of handpainted fiber would look in each.

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A small display of samples

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Even more samples

Kate had packaged up small braids of fiber in Polwarth, Merino/Silk, and Sea Monster for my students to play with.

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And play they did!

Spinning Handpainted Yarns class

They weighed out fiber

Spinning Handpainted Yarns class

They spun like the wind

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We even had a spindle spinner!

I had such a good time, and my students were fantastic! Thank you so much to Kate and the Dragonfly Fibers team for making this class possible!

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Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

The next day was the start of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I had so much fun that I didn’t take any photos of my actual visit!

I did buy some great things though, and talked to a ton of fantastic vendors.

Fleeces

My first stop was at the Fleece Sale. If you’ve never been to a fleece sale, picture this: It’s an area set aside with lots of bags on display. If it’s a good fleece sale, and Maryland’s is, they have the fleeces sorted into groups. The fine wools tend to be grouped together. You’ll see all the Shetlands together, all the long wools are clumped on a table, bags packed together. The best fleeces go really fast so you have to get there as early as possible. I arrived at 9:30, and found that the fleeces had already been somewhat picked over.

I gravitated towards the fine and medium wool fleeces. I stuck my hands into bag after bag, feeling the lanolin content, plucking out a lock or two to see the crimp and fine-ness of the fleece, and looking at the color(s) found in each. My friend Kendra kept a running commentary over my shoulder as she eyed the colors. Kendra’s a color person, but she keeps resisting my attempts to aspinnerate her.

I finally stumbled on a huge bag of silvery grey Cormo/Corriedale cross. It wasn’t a heavy lanolin fleece, and the sample lock I pulled out and spun was lovely. I  had to take it home. Purchase number 1 was this 11lb fleece.

<insert photo of 11lb fleece here>

I’ll do a post on how I pick a fleece soon. I promise.

Spindles

And then there were the spindles. I fell down a couple of times on Saturday (twice at the Bosworth’s booth).

First there was the pretty Russian supported spindle and a bowl from The Spanish Peacock. I’ve been slowly learning to spin on a supported spindle, and already had one of his and it was so lovely, and the wood was so pretty…

Oh who am I kidding. I fell down and couldn’t get back up again. The spindle and a new bowl came home with me.

Then there was the foray into the Bosworth’s booth. Kendra followed me in, and her commentary sealed the deal for me. I came away with a lovely curly maple top whorl Midi. Then I saw the small herd of moosies that needed homes. This is bad. I already have a Moosie. I didn’t need another Moosie… And yet another one did come home with me. *sigh* at least I know they get used.

<insert photo of spindles here>

Vendors

I talked with so many wonderful vendors this year.

Tuatha was doing a brisk business in gorgeous jewelry and hand hewn walking sticks. My personal disclaimer is that Brooke and Mary are part of my chosen family, so I am somewhat biased towards loving their goods.

The Tsarina of Tsocks was at the festival from my home state of NY. The artistry behind Lisa’s sculptural socks has to be seen. The Tsarina booth also held Moose Manor Handpaints and Gnomespun yarn and fiber. It was a delicious sight to behold! Lisa (the Tsarina herself) handed me a piece of fiber *coughcrackcough* that spun like Buttah! It was a silk/wool blend that they’ll be offering in their first spin your own sock kits. Get ready to race me for one!

I chatted with the Bosworths (mentioned above where I had a bit of a fall in their booth), and with Jenn at Spirit Trail Fiberworks. Jenn offers some of the most fantastic fibers around from rare breeds that are really hard to find elsewhere, and her dyed fibers are top notch!

So many vendors had such delicious stuff!

All told, I had a FANTASTIC time at MD Sheep and Wool. I promise photos later.

 

 

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