It is really amazing when people send pictures of their finished knits. She used a matching yarn for the complementary mittens. So sweet!
This year Rhinebeck Wool and Sheep was epic as usual. I went with my daughter this year and she took almost all of the pictures posted here. What makes this yearly event so special is that it is an explosion for all the five senses.
Sight – Yarns and fibers in a rainbow of colors. This is a wonderful way to gather ideas and inspiration for future projects. I purchased some unique fibers, like a Silk/Suri blend, in colorways I am not normally drawn to. I made myself a promise this year that I would break free of my usual color schemes. With that in mind I purchased some new acid dyes and also a set of Greener Shades Dyes.
Touch – My daughter and I ran our fingers over every yarn. We rubbed them on our cheeks to feel for softness and texture. We pet the animals, checked raw fleece for lanolin content and slathered on homemade lotions and salves made from various farms. One of the biggest opportunities is to try out all the wheels and drop spindles. After all the years I am still happy with my choice of a Lendrum.
Taste – Lunchtime is a chance to explore menu items such as lamb burgers, lamb sausage, lamb ravioli, or lamb stew. I never know which one to pick so every year I try something new. I ate the ravioli (as a last hoorah before going gluten free) and my daughter had the lamb burger. She loved it.
Smell – The breed barns are fascinating. I love being able to explore all the different attributes of the fleece. It is here that I discovered that the finn sheep has a much softer fleece then expected and that I was not really a fan of the lincoln curl. The barns have a familiar "farmy" smell of hey and animals that you grow accustomed to quickly.
Hearing – The wool and sheep festival is full of sound. The auctioneer rattling off numbers, the Peruvian style band playing music, sheep herding trials and demos using whistle calls and the amazing dog Frisbee display where people cheer with excitement. Thousands of people attend this festival, which makes for a noisy crowd.
We had a wonderful day exploring the festival. It is fun running into old friends and comparing purchases. Seeing what complete strangers are making and asking questions. Complimenting people on their fabulous knitwear or where they acquired something beautiful and unique. With so many people, it’s amazing that we feel like one big community with so much in common that we could all talk for hours.
*Some critters that nearly came home with us...
A few weeks ago I approached fiber artist Vanessa Yvonne of Nessaland about doing a fiber swap. I have always admired the look of her batts and finished yarns. From her posts on Facebook it seemed like we had a lot in common. If we lived closer, we would probably be very good friends.
We decided to swap a 4 oz. batt and 2 oz. of assorted locks and other add ins for spinning. We had 3 weeks to complete the swap.
This is what I sent:
The batt is mostly smooth merino, BFL and silk with added locks, tied up with strips of silk fabric. The add-ins are clouds of picked kid mohair/silk, combed cotton, super curly grey BLF, Dyed blue/purple gotland fleece, hot pink mini sparkly batt, merino top, two crochet iris flowers and silk thread.
This is what I got:
The batt is merino, silk and alpaca. The add-ins are merino locks, silk hankies, kid mohair, silk ribbons, fabric and a very thin yarn.
Drum roll please...
This is what I spun:
Batt was spun at an even aran weight and the the locks and other stuff are core spun over that yarn. The yarn came out really squishy, puffy and super soft.
This is the yarn that Vanessa spun"
Here the yarn is core spun with all the locks and goodies spun in tandem with the batt. The the yarn is coil plied.
Jellyfish are fascinating creatures.
I love how they glow.
Photograph by Jack Pierson
The water is a smoothly carded merino, silk and kid mohair locks in a gradient from turquoise through black
The jellyfish part is a chunky batt of merino, cormo, sparkle, kid mohair locks, hemp, and faux cashmere
I got this postcard during my time in Amsterdam at the Van Gogh Museum.
To show the texture of the bouquet of flowers, I core spun picked locks over the base yarn. The base is a smoothly spun mustard, brown and green to accentuate the background and foreground.