fiber festival


This year, the weather was perfect – cool and cloudy, without any rain. I got to see Anne Hanson of Knitspot, Carin from Round the Twist, Leslie and Laura of The Knitgirllls, Stephen West, Ysolda Teague, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and many more. Some of my favorite vendors were there, and I managed to [mostly] stick to my list AND my budget.



This year, the Rhinebeck swag t-shirts came in v-neck and crew neck. I ended up with a v-neck, and I hope that other vendors pick up on it, too. I’m a busty girl, and crew neck is not my best look.


I’ve been eyeing getting a pattern protector for a while now. I usually keep my paper patterns in a plastic sleeve, but because of how my knitting has been going the past few years, I thought an actual protector might save me some of the heart ache of trying to remember where I was in my pattern because of the highlighter tape fell off. This one is from go Monkey designs. I have a few of her magnetic pattern holders, and the big bags she had this year were FABULOUS. I’m really looking forward to using this.


Matt convinced me to buy theses carbon double point needles because I am hard on the ones I own. The bamboo needles break and splinter, and I have actually broken/snapped a set of Addi double points. I have little more luck with small circulars. I’m not a particularly tight knitter, but my hands get very warm, and it makes the needles bend. The vendor [who was very nice, by the by, and I was able to spend some time talking with her] said that she’s had a lot of success with the carbon not bending or breaking. As you can see, the ends are not the pointiest ends ever, but I think I can use a bit of fine grain sand paper to sort that out.


I don’t think that really needs a lot of explanation, no? [It was a toss up between this one, and the on that said “I’d rather be hooking”. Ahem.]


My favorite thing from Rhinebeck, however, is the Tsock Tsarina kit for the Vintage Socks. I’ve been hemming and hawing over getting this kit ever since the Yarn Harlot knit it in 2008. They had it in my size AND in purple, so into my bag it went. I have to finish the socks I’m knitting now, and a pair of socks as a Christmas gift for a friend, and then these, these are mine.

I really hope that I get the opportunity to go again [it usually falls on my wedding anniversary, and funnily enough, Matt doesn’t want to do only a fibre show] sometime in the future. Rhinebeck really is my favorite festival out of all the ones I attend.



Last weekend was the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival.
Last year, I said I wouldn’t go on Saturday again, but there was just too much awesome going on for me to miss it.



Many a podcaster gathered in the 90+*F heat to do a meet and greet. Jasmin and Gigi from Knitmore girls were there. I only managed to get a picture with them, and I’m about ….a foot taller than them in real life. I was bending down in the picture above. Guido from It’s a Purl Man was there, and so was Meghan from Stitch It Podcast and Jackie from KIPing It Real.






The swag was AWESOME. Pins, a ruler, samples, sniffies.

They did a drawing for prizes, and Matt won a lovely crochet hook roll, that I’m using for my DPNs, and I won a prize for a fibre club! He’s rather lucky; I’ll have to keep him around.

Everyone was really nice, and so gracious about being the the horrid heat. I’m so excited that I got to meet some of my favorite podcasters!


The goodies! Creatively Dyed Seawool, in I’m currently obsessed with this shade pink.


Socks That Rock Lightweight, in Cattywompus.


Socks That Rock Silkie, in Valkyrie


A Golding Tsunami, in Purple Heart Wood.

I’m so glad I went this year, and was able to take my friend Meg with us.

I can’t wait until next year.

The first weekend in October is the Fall Fiber Festival and Sheep Dog Trial in Montpelier, Va.  Matt and I made it down there on Sunday, in the late afternoon. I ran into a few friends from my knitting group, saw all the vendors, and watched the sheep dog trails. [The only reason Matt goes with me to these things is to make sure that I don’t buy anything yellow, and for the animals.]

I came away with this beauty, 8 oz of Screaming Wild Monkeys from River’s Edge Weaving Studio. It’s 70 Merino/15 Banana Tree/ 15 Seacell impregnated with silver, and oh, it’s so, so pretty. This is high on my to spin list.

The next weekend I went to visit my parents for my birthday. I was told it was to be a ‘working weekend’, so I didn’t bring my shawl to work on, but this pair of socks and yarn to start another pair [I had originally intended Leyburn socks.]

This is how close I was to finishing before I ran out of yarn. A row + kitchener. I had thought to bring scraps in the same kind of yarn, but ran out the door without them.

Then [insert dramatic music here], the yarn I had brought was not compatible with the needles I brought.

No knitting, for the rest of the long weekend.

Victory was had! After a lovely bit of encouragement from Alison, and spending a Wednesday night whinging about the stinkin’ edging on this shawl, I sat down, determined to finish before last weekend.

It was on the floor blocking Friday afternoon, before I spent the evening with a friend, spinning and catching up.

This shawl is huge and pretty, and I will have a detailed post up soon.

I spent Sunday afternoon outside in the lovely autumn weather staining.

I spent this morning taking the above to this:

I’m four screws and a tack short of a wheel. I did this as a favor for a friend, and really enjoyed the process. The smell of wood stain reminds me of the garage of the house I grew up in, and spending weekends refinishing things with my dad.

It’s an Ashford Traveler, double drive, Scotch tension, double treadle. I stained it with two coats of a cherry stain.

And… that wraps up October for me. Only 1 pair of socks finished and another on the needles.

I plan on spending tomorrow morning doing the final tweaking for Dad’s sweater. [No, really, I am this time. Promise!]

A lot of people talk about the festival, myself included, but this was the first year I’ve made it up. I missed it last year as one of my good friends from high school called me two weeks before to tell me of her impending nuptials, and to assure that I would be coming. I figured that MDS&W is every year, and that the wool would still be there.

Waking up 3 hours earlier than usual was hard, especially on Matt since he had finals this week. We picked up my friend Laura and headed up to the fairgrounds in Howard County, MD. [ We missed you Sheryl! Wish you could have been there with us!] We got there just as the vendors were opening, and managed to get a really nice parking spot. It drizzled on and off in the morning, but stayed cool and slightly cloudy all day, for which I was thankful, as there were a lot of people there.

Misty Mountain Farms was there, so I was able to say hi to some of the ladies from my spinning group. I saw all sorts of people in the wild, including Nancy Bush, that I’ve only seen in blogs.   I was a bit too shy to go up and say hello. Maybe next year?

I had a really good time looking around with Matt, and listening to the live music. If I go next year, I’ll head up on Sunday to miss the crowds and get a real feel for what MDS&W has to offer. There were a lot of vendors, but I felt a frenetic rush of having to see everything right now.

Enough of me grouching, yeah? Here’s the good stuff.

I was able to see and speak to Walter Turpening, the man behind the fantastic custom spinning chairs. I have been drooling over them for a few years, ever since I saw them on Anne’s blog. I really like the idea that he hand makes the chairs, as well as weaves the surfaces. I didn’t want to put a deposit down until I tried them out for myself, and was pleasantly surprised to find Mr. Turpening there. I tried all of the chairs he had there: the moving and stationary weaving stool, the rocking chair, and the spinner’s chair. They were some of the most comfortable chairs I’ve ever sat in. He answered all of Matt’s questions, was friendly, and knowledgeable. I’m going to start putting my pennies together, as I really, really want one of the chairs.

I didn’t actually buy much, but I am really pleased with the things I did purchase. I picked up two more bobbins for my Ashford, last. I’m going back and forth between the SeaWool and the Angora/Silk, but more about that later.

My first fibery purchase was from Tess Designer Yarns. I had heard about the microfiber ribbon on the Knitmore Girls podcast. I have to say, the idea of knitting with water is appealing. I poked into the booth and felt the ribbon, and had to have it. I was torn between the aquamarine and the copper, but someone snatched up the aquamarine. I can’t wait to knit something with this stuff. It’s my reward yarn for finishing a large birthday gift.

After tooling the Sheep Incognito booth, where we almost bought this, we headed over to Diane from Creatively Dyed Yarns.

I love Dianne’s color sense, and I love love love her SeaWool. I was surprised to see her there, as her Ravelry group had indicated she wasn’t going to get a booth. I’m glad she did, as Diane is a sweet, warm woman.

I rounded out my purchasing with an indigo plant. A friend of mine is really active in the SCA, and because I’m rather fond of her, and she promised me cheesecake, I’m going to spin and indigo dye yarn for her so she can knit a shawl to go with her garb. It looks a little wilted here, but I think a few days of sun should perk it right back up.

I left my camera at home, so I didn’t get as many pictures as I wanted, but, over all, had a good time and am looking forward to the shows this fall.

Matt and I drove down to Montpelier today to go to the fiber festival. It was my first one, and I had a really good experience. I’m exhausted, taking a nap in the car as well as when I got home this afternoon, but it was worth it.

The Montpelier festival is small; you can get through every vendor twice, each lunch, watch the sheepdog trials and shearing in about four hours. I’m looking forward to the one in Berryville later this month, and maybe MDSW next year.

1. llama butt, 2. sheep shearing before, 3. sheep shearing after, 4. sheep dog trials, 5. Matt and I after a long day, 6. sheep butt!!, 7. more sheep butt!!, 8. llama face!!, 9. Nigerean Dwarf Goats