Well-bred yarn

Saturday could not have provided more glorious weather for the 101st Connecticut Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival.  A sunny, breezy 70-degree day to squeeze and sniff to one’s heart’s content.  That’s right – I belong to the tribe of wool-sniffers, who derive great pleasure from the way yarn smells as well as how it feels.

KnittingKittens and I were joined by our KRR pal Hipparchia, who left her too-busy life behind for a day with us, and our extended gang o’ knitting pals.  Or, as Darling Bebe refers to them, “The Ladies.”  Once a week, we “go to the diner with The Ladies,” which is how DB describes our SnB nights.

Since I don’t get the chance to talk about Hipparchia much, let me say that I’m often in awe of her – well, her boldness, or her self-assuredness – about life and knitting.  She was thinking about finding a knitting trip.  Where does she go – by herself – the first time?  Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp.  Talk about hardcore!  Yikes!  Lest I fail to mention it, she is a kick-a** knitter who has mastered flawless fitting.

We return you now to our regularly scheduled festival programming:

Mohair in your eyes?

Goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas and bunnies all made their seasonal debut, many left shivering after shearing.  One of my favorite things about this festival is that many of the vendors are from local farms that do not participate in other larger festivals. This is their chance to put their micro-batches in front of hundreds of knitters and spinners.

Fox Hill Farm Romney

These batches were decidedly different this year: for the most part, the labels saying “100% wool” were replaced by actual breed information.  While spinners have always experienced better disclosure of the breed of the fiber for sale, this was not the case for knitters, with

Long Ridge Farm CVM/bombyx

the exception of Navajo Churro has always been well-represented at this event.  But for 2010, we saw beloved BFL, Cormo, Coopworth, CVM, Jacob, Romney and more.  Sellers marked the breed of their sheep on their labels far more prominently than they ever have before.  Some made mention of the Knitter’s Book of Wool as one of the reasons.  In a couple of cases, we were asked if we knew what the next month’s breed for the wool-along would be.  (Alas, we were of no help – that’s strictly up to Clara.)  Be that as it may, there were some just-in-case advance purchases in anticipation of a month dedicated to ____(fill in the blank)____.

Oh – and stay tuned for Thursday’s post.  It involves prizes.

One of my favorite things about the day was seeing a bobbin lace demonstration in person.

Bobbin lace

This stuff is not for the faint of heart.  Having recently read The Lace Reader, I really wanted to see the physics of this.  It is rather extraordinary.  See the dots on the blue paper?  Pins are moved into position in those positions, then the bobbins are wound around one another in a sequence that resembles sleight of hand.  I’m still not altogether sure I understand how it all holds together.

I’m sure given more time, I would think of some sort of parallel construction involving lives being intertwined or something.  Let’s just skip that part and be glad for a lovely day.

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3 Responses to “Well-bred yarn”

  1. Mary Says:

    I got light-headed reading the list of fiber breeds! Sounds like it was a wonderful day.

  2. Jane Says:

    Swooning here.

  3. Nanci Says:

    Could a day get better than that???

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