This weekend was New Jersey’s 20th annual fiber fest, and although it’s small, I like to think of it as powerful. There are four barns full of animals, fleece, spinning, shows and vendors – just enough for a good half day, with the added bonus of being local for me. Almost everything is under cover, which worked out nicely this year in the feels-like 100 degree heat, followed in the afternoon by drenching thunderstorms. I left before the actual rains came, but felt like I had been soaked anyway by that time from the humidity. The shade helped them, but the animals were hot too; the sheep that were getting sheared seemed pleased to lose the extra insulation. This guy was a blue ribbon winner, and he looked totally over it. The angora bunnies were alert, but keeping motion to a minimum. There were kids leading sheep around the show ring, the local spinners’ guild doing their thing, lots of fibery crafts (SO many felted things!) and a super array of booths from indie dyers. . . .
I never really think of myself as a lace knitter, either in terms of making things in delicate lace stitch patterns, or working with laceweight yarn. I do both of those things, though, and always forget how much I enjoy it. Katie Scarlett was a case in point; 800+ yards of bfl wool & silk, mostly lace ( I did sneak in a little short-row ruffle at the bottom, since that’s my favorite sort of thing) . . . And it was a rhythmic, easy knit, due in large part to the beautiful Artio Lace yarn from Wooly Wonka Fibers. To spread the lace knitting love, I’m giving away a skein of Artio Lace in the shimmering Twelve Oaks colorway used in the sample, and dyed exclusively for the Heroines Shawl Club March kit, where Katie Scarlett debuted. The pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry to everyone as of June 1, and for the next week will be 40% off with the coupon code FIDDLEDEEDEE. All purchasers will be entered into a random drawing . . .
and mixed feelings. Exultant over the fabulous stash enhancement, at excellent prices. And despairing at the reason for the sale – my fave LYS is closing. It’s always sad when a small, indie business shuts its doors, and it makes me re-commit to buying local in the effort to prevent more of the same from happening. In this case, the owner of Down Cellar is relocating for family reasons, and there’s no one to step in and take over. Even though as a consumer I cant really help with that in this case, maybe I can in others. That’s a thought to sticky-note to the computer as a reminder during future surfing sessions.
There was that big sports thing this weekend . . . y’know, football? Championship? Kind of exciting, because it was held at the MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands, right here in my lovely state of New Jersey. Plus, even though we’re not real sports fans, DH was born and raised in Colorado so he’s for the Denver Broncos on principle – poor guy, that was a disappointment, but hey, at least there was a connection. Did I mention pro sports aren’t a priority for us? Instead, there was skiing. And a visit to the excellent sale at my LYS, Down Cellar. And lots of time working on my OWL project for the Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup on Ravelry, which is like knitting, with wizards. It’s more plaid! A sweater this time, with a nod to the purples of 2014. You might notice the vertical plaids aren’t in there, yet. Sure hope all those sporty people can get home the day after the game. Fortunately, my Superb Owl will continue along at . . .