Originally, I had hoped to entitle this post "Sheep To Shawl," because that's what I participated in at SAFF this year. The WNCF/H Guild hosted a Sheep to Shawl demonstration again, and this year was the first time I took part. My plan was to take photos of every step in the process, and post them in this blog post. Unfortunately, things didn't turn out that way, mostly because the crowds were so huge that good photographic opportunities were difficult (for this amateur photographer anyway.)
I started by trying to get a pic of the shearing demo, but due to the crowds I couldn't get close enough and at a good enough angle for a good shot. Then too, the area we had to spin and weave in, was long and narrow; the long part running from the public area to a door in back. That meant that it wasn't easy to set up the spinning wheels in any orderly fashion, especially as the ground wasn't level. We were set up in a crowded, hodge podge arrangement, and with the steady stream of curious onlookers, I never could figure out how to get some good shots.
I did have fun though. Besides the shearing demo, there was a fleece skirting demonstration. We had a good number of volunteers carding and spinning. We spun worsted weight singles, which were immediately wound off onto weaving bobbins. Our weaver used these as weft on a pre-warped loom, to weave a lovely shawl. No photos of that either, *sigh*.
What I can show you however, are the goodies that followed me home. Unfortunately, this won't be your typical fiber fair eye candy, as I had decided that fiber and yarn weren't at the top of my list. Consequently, my purchases are visually boring, but very useful.
Any type of fiber is usually a temptation for me, but I decided to close my eyes to all of it and focus on some items that I didn't want to have to mail order later, and pay shipping on. I used to do a lot of mail order shopping, but as shipping costs have gone up, my mail ordering has gone down. Fiberwise however, I couldn't resist this package of silk hankies.
I had so much fun knitting them, that I wanted to dye some of my own and do that again. Or maybe try weaving with them.
What I mainly wanted to focus on were dye supplies. I have done very little dyeing these past two years, but now with the prospect of moving to a larger place where I can have room to set up and get outdoors, I want to get back into dyeing.
The tall bottle on the back right is supposed to be Synthrapol. It isn't. It's Retayne, which isn't the same thing. I just noticed this when I set up for the photo! Grrrr. Don't ya just love it when someone shelves an odd bottle without watching where they're putting it. *sigh*
The other items include a few Cushings dyes, a pound of alum, 4 ounces of cream of tartar, and a Procion Starter Set from Earth Guild. I got the Procion kit because I want to experiment painting some cotton warps. All my dye experience has been with wool and silk, so this will be something new for me.
The other thing I looked for and found, was buttons for my Rare Breed Sweater, which I was unable to find locally. This project has been set aside since last April, when I completed everything but the neck and front bands. I knitted the neck band last week, but had to wait until I got some buttons before I could knit the front bands.
I don't know why, but I always agonize over choosing buttons. I had something sheepy in mind, but wasn't able to find anything with this theme that I really liked. I know that buttons can either compliment or distract from a finished project, so I am usually hesitant when it comes to fancy buttons. Most of the time I opt for something plain, just to be safe. I really liked these however .....
What do you think? Are they a good choice for this sweater? Knitting on the button bands will commence soon.
So that's it. That's the SAFF report. It was a fun day with beautiful weather and good friends. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.