This Saturday was my first fiber festival, and it was a wonderful experience. My primary mission was to locate a local source of alpaca fiber and yarn, but I was unable to find any that I could obtain wholesale. I did, however, find a couple of good sources of hand-painted fibers and yarns, so I will be investigating those further in the weeks to come.
Even though finding wholesale suppliers was not working out, I did find some "personal loot". I bought some hand-painted Rambouillet combed top in a deep royal blue and turquoise; a braid of BFL combed top in greens and browns; a half pound of unspecified wool top in lime green, brown, and some other colors; one pound of an alpaca, mohair and BFL blend painted in fire opal colors, and 8 ounces of combed suri alpaca in a progression of natural blue, cream and champagne colors. And I got a small basket to hang on my wheel for holding my oil, scissors, etc.
The minute I got home I started spinning the Rambouillet. This yarn is so novice-friendly it practically spins itself. I had 4.7 ounces and finished spinning all of it by yesterday afternoon. As the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook reads, it readily spins up to a fine weight yarn - I am pleased to say I have almost 1000 yards of lace-weight from it. My next choice to spin was the BFL.
What a difference in fibers! The BFL braid turned out to be very felted, likely from the hand-painting process, and it is a royal pain in the nether regions after the delightfulness of the Rambouillet. I not only have to pre-draft this fiber like crazy, I have to draft from under the fold just to make any headway at all. This braid and the Rambouillet came from the same indie dyer, too. The moral of this story is to carefully inspect fiber before you buy to make sure it has not felted.
I knew I was going to save the suri alpaca for when my spinning skills have much improved, and after reading about this fiber in the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook I am relieved I made that choice. But it's something to look forward to....
Football fans rejoice! The nice folks at Artyarns will custom dye any of their yarns to match team colors! If they do not already have the color formulas on file, they request a bumper sticker for color-matching purposes, as these apparently yield the truest colors. I ordered sock and superwash light worsted weight in Green Bay Packers' colors to knit up for my husband - and there is plenty left for anyone who wants some. Not only will they custom dye team colors - if you need yarn to match something like a bridesmaid gown, that can be done too - they just need a swatch of fabric. Imagine how lovely it would be to have all the bridesmaids in a wedding wearing shawls that match their dresses!
Speaking of Artyarns, I have gotten some cashmere 2-ply in, so far in 6 colors. This is expensive yarn, but once you touch it you understand why. It is soft as a tiny kitten.
There are only four days and 12 seats on the bus before the Stitches Midwest Trip this Saturday! If you are planning on going and have not yet signed up, time's a'runnin' out! If you have signed up and have not yet paid, time's a'runnin' out! The tote bags are so full of goodies from vendors that you probably won't be able to use them for much loot. I have received coupons, samples, pens, and other goodies to stuff into the bags, so everyone should end up with something they like / need / want. There are lots of potential savings to be had if all coupons are used, too.
Purls of wisdom: a good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.