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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Final Fiber Festival 2006

On Friday afternoon I left work early and drove up to Jefferson, WI for the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Alas, I will not be attending either Taos or Rhinebeck (next year!), so this past weekend was my final yarn outing of the year. (At least I think it is--things can change!) This festival is clearly geared more toward the animals that produce fiber than the fiber itself. Witness the following:

I knew that this was going to be different than Michigan when I arrived and saw only one other tent. And the place was teeming with Border Collies. I quickly set the tent up under the threat of an approaching thunderstorm. (That one passed, but another made a direct hit around 4am.) After "making camp" I went to the Country Store preview. There were some interesting things to be had: wool mattress toppers, very cool recycled sweater coats (much nicer than the pictures I took so I'm not going to post a pic), and my new favorite fiber crack dealer, Briar Rose. (A note about Briar Rose: her colors are muted and inconsistent--a good thing in this case. I love the subtle shadings and the crazy ways you can combine seemingly unrelated skeins into a garment. I first found out about her company because she is a sponsor of the wonderful Cast-On podcast. Please visit her website but know that her yarns are so much more wonderful in person. I now own enough of her Sonoma to stretch from here to Sonoma...)

Outside of the vendors, I saw no knitters. There wasn't a place to really hang in the evening like there was in Michigan, so at 8pm I was ensconced in my tent ready for sleep. I put on the headlamp (!!!) and spent the evening reading this. I looked around, thought "I've been in this tent for two hours and it is cluttered. How in hell am I going to unclutter my whole house?!" I'm on chapter six and, while I don't go in for the new-agey aspects of the book, there are a lot of good ideas to be had. I'm starting with a major re-do of my yarn storage--a formidable task--first.

I decided to take one more pass through the Country Store in the morning, walked through the animal barns, and packed up. I was on my way by 10:30am. I did get this butternut squash-colored yarn for my attempt to replicate the Anthropologie Pendulum Vest:

I decided to stop by The Fold on my way home. Toni had been at both Maryland and Michigan as well as Stitches, so I was surprised she wasn't at Wisconsin. Now that I've been to WI, it makes sense; I'm sure she does more business at home on an average Saturday than she would do at that show. When I pulled in, there were already nine cars in the driveway, and more pulled up while I was there. Her shop is connected to her house and it is jam-packed with anything and everything a fiber addict could want. There were bags and bags of fiber, loads of spindles and wheels, and a huge rack of Socks that Rock. Amazing.

I picked up a ball of Trekking XXL and a couple of skeins of STR, including the one on the right that I had to have, not because I particularly liked the colorway, but because the name is "Prove It All Night." My Bruce Springsteen-loving heart could not pass it up.

So, the long and short of it: I'm glad I went, but Michigan will be my Midwestern fiber festival of choice in the future.

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