Maryland Sheep and Wool festival... if you don't go in with a plan you can lose a lot of money. A lot. My plan is to write what I want to buy and then assiduously ask for cards of all the places I would like to buy from. If I can get to a pen, I write what specific thing I loved from the booth so I can remember it amidst the freak-ton lot of amazing that is all over the festival.
Today I will present the FIBER FIVE! My top picks of holy-goodness wooly happiness.
5) The Spanish Peacock
Coming in at #5, the Spanish Peacock. I remember their beautiful wooden spindles secondhand to their books on Naalbinding. If they had some of the awesome (or disgusting, I've heard it both ways) antler needles... I would have remembered them a little better. As it is, I'll save money next year to buy a book from them.
The website, while a little dated in design, has nice pictures and is very easy to navigate. Sadly, they do not do custom orders anymore (My dream of antler needles wanes in this light. Curses!)
4) Fiber Optic Yarns
Everyone probably knows about this. If you don't, well... you will soon enough. These yarn and fiber sellers sell absolutely beautiful gradient dyed rovings. Their merino/silk gradients are in bright vibrant colors that are to die for. I have no idea what I would use the yarn for, but I would love to get a box of their rovings and go at it forever. I would never recover. They have a new colorway, Chocolate to Aqua.Hmmmm.....
3) Kate's Cauldron
Okay, technically, this should have been the fiber find of November when I went to the Alpaca festival. Oh well. Better late than never. Kate's Cauldron has some wonderful handmade spindles with the twist top or a t-notch. Also, they are very affordable. I am a HUGE fan of her short shaft t-notch spindles. I already had one and had to buy another. My current count is 3. That count didn't include the one I stole back from my sister since she doesn't appreciate it enough. I will probably buy a new one each show I go to from now on because these spindles (and the lady who makes them) ROCK!
Have you ever seen something that just makes you weep with jealousy? (I have several times, usually at the festival.) These spindles made me die a little inside. I guarantee one of these has gone on my Christmas list. (It's not too early!) Beautiful craftsmanship, fun designs, ingenious groove in the shaft for easier grip.... the only what I could be any happier is if one of them came with a t-notch design. Sadly, not the case. Either way... I strayed to that booth several times, dragged my friends, family and everyone else into the booth and just basked in the glory of it all.
1) Solitude Wool
Now, the #1 fiber find had to grow on me. I admit I didn't run into the booth oohing and awing over the goods like I did with other booths. (Fiber Optics and Golding, I'ma looking at YOU!) In fact, I skipped over the booth the first time and only looked into it as my friend and I were looking for fiber for her. They had bags of wool from particular species that didn't look matted or nasty. She was drawn to the brown Targhee wool. I was drawn in by the fact that they HAD Targhee. The YARN was separated by breed, not just the roving. On top of this all, the wool is harvested from local sheep... (I kind of want to be these people.)
The wool is beautifully prepared, by the way. Very good for a beginner or me... or more advanced.
Anyway.... These were my fiber finds this year. I only bought one spindle (from Kate's Cauldron), but I asked for cards and I will dream away until my budget recovers from the awful things I did to it.