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and many many sheep.

May 4, 2009

This is a very picture-heavy post. I hope you like sheepy faces.

We didn’t get to the festival until Saturday at lunch time – the traffic coming in was not too bad, but it was a slog getting from the entrance into an actual parking space, maybe because people were trying to leave at that time also. Coincidentally, the rain pretty much stopped when we arrived, so we did not have to worry about getting wet. Good luck for us! We stopped by the competition room first – more on that later. We went to see Sheila but she was buried in customers. Emmy really wanted to see sheep, so that’s what we did. Lots of sheep.

I am not sure what kind of sheep this was, but she was interesting. I had never seen an auburn-colored sheep before.

Emmy and this guy seemed to like each other. I don’t know what kind of sheep he was, but his name was Skunk.

I always like to run across bluefaced leicester sheep, they are my favorite.

We watched some sheepdogs herd some confused sheep that looked an awful lot like bluefaced leicesters to me.

We saw those cute little goats that are in the same place every year.

I tried not to buy much stuff. I already have more fiber than I can use up in the remaining lifetime I have! But a few things, I could not walk away from.

At Cloverhill, which stocks up with indie dyer yarn for this occasion: On the left, sock yarn that is merino and nylon with a little cashmere, in the most beautiful saturated royal blue – from Neighborhood Fiber Co. which names all its colorways after neighborhoods in DC. This was “Georgetown.” On the right, sock yarn from Serendipitous Ewe, in a colorway called “Water Lily” that looked like spring to me.

I always have to go look at the fleeces, with an eye out for something that is not run-of-the-mill. This year, a lovely shade of silver caught my eye, and it was a very interesting fleece indeed.

Lincoln, Border Leicester, Romney, and Corriedale all mixed together. It looked like it got the best of its heritage – there was a lot of sheen, a big crimp, finer than you’d expect from a Romney or a longwool – it went straight to Zeilinger and I will get a present in midsummer. It was a bit over 4 pounds so there will be enough there to really make something out of.

We stopped by the booth of Jennie the Potter, partly to see her adorable work and partly to meet Heather. Both missions were accomplished.

See the socks on the sheep? And on the back of the mug is a sock in progress, on 4 DPNs.
One thing I saw, late Saturday, that stuck in my mind was a yarn in the American Cormo Sheep booth. It was a worsted-weight blend of 50% alpaca and 50% cormo. How perfect is that? The cormo has so much bounce and loft, it just perked the silky alpaca right up. The display garment was this lovely cabled moebius (design by Heartstrings).

I ended up buying a skein of it when we came back Sunday – it was irresistible, and the skein was the only one big enough to make the moebius by itself. I will have one just like that by next winter. The yarn was from Sixth Day Farm, which has a website but does not have the yarn on the site.

We had to come back Sunday because I had to pick up the items I submitted for the competition. (Coincidentally, the rain, which had gone on all day, stopped when we arrived at the fairgrounds.) I was somewhat let down on Saturday because I really couldn’t see what was going on. I think I’m going to volunteer to help with skein & garment next year, because the knitting and spinning just weren’t displayed to advantage. In fact it was very difficult to even see what some of the items were because of how they were displayed. It seems that if I’m going to gripe, I should volunteer to do something about it. The weaving is always displayed nicely on big standing screens, but the knitting (especially the lace) gets very short shrift.

My Baltic Blossoms shawl received the remark that the yarn was not suitable for the pattern, although the knitting was really good. I suppose one could look at it that way. I happen to love the flower-garden effect of it, but that’s just me. Since that was the first of my pieces that I saw, I started out a little grumpy.

On the same table, my Ironwrought scarf (made from cormo handspun from carded batts) had a red ribbon on it. Yay! However, the scarf was folded up into a little square, WRONG SIDE OUT. Boo. Since you aren’t allowed to touch, nobody could get a look at it to even see what it was, let alone why it won a prize. The comments on it were very nice – even allowing for the fact that cormo is very springy to try to make lace out of, they said it was very beautiful. I must have grafted and hidden the ends well enough for them. And boy it DID spring back – I swear it was several inches smaller in each direction than when I dropped it off!

My wool/silk navajo ply was sitting on a shelf among a bunch of other skeins – in fact, it was slightly behind the post of the shelving unit. I didn’t want to rummage, but I didn’t see a ribbon on it and I wondered what was wrong with it, as I felt it was a much better yarn than either one I’d submitted last year. I got a surprise when I picked it up.

I guess the skein was lying on the ribbon and I couldn’t see it. That really cheered me up!
My fine indigo-dyed bluefaced leicester got a white ribbon. I knew it was not perfectly spun but that it was overall a very good yarn, and the judge agreed. It will make a really nice lace scarf.

Emmy loves it when I bring home ribbons.

OK, enough with the special event. I do still have WIPs.

Isobel is growing, I am nearly done with the body. It’s become too big to photograph!

The yoke is all moss stitch and very elegant looking.

I found out I know someone having a baby in the summer, so I decided it was a good excuse to make a Baby Surprise Jacket. I can’t post these photos in the Ravelry project because I fear the mom will see them there in her Friends’ Activity page, so they are only going to be here until the kiddo is born.

I am at the point where I have finished decreasing and begun to increase again.

I looked at it for a bit and then it suddenly hit me how it was going to go together and where I was in the process.

Cool, yes? I am using Knitpicks Comfy for this – it is soft and washable. I am not sure how durable it is – the second ball came out with a giant tangled barfglob from the center of the ball, which took 45 minutes to untangle, and the yarn was shedding tufts by the time I was done. This happened with their Shine Sport, too, however, and a run through the washer and dryer spiffed it right up, so I’m sure that will be the case here too.

I do like the color – to me it is the exact shade of good basil pesto, and the orange stripe is true butterscotch. I hope the new parents won’t look at it and see strained peas and mashed carrots!!
Special note: the first person who comments on this entry will be Comment Number 3000 on this blog! Who will it be???

12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2009 9:27 am

    Will it be me?
    I love the way that the blue ribbon matches the yarn it was awarded to!
    Congratulations for all your ribbons.

  2. May 4, 2009 9:43 am

    Congratulations on your wins. The yarns and the scarf are really lovely. Someday I would luv to try this Cormo wool that everyone is talking about but the shipping costs to Ontario for fleeces is way to pricey for me.
    Thanks for showing all the pics for those of us that wish we were at MSWF!

  3. May 4, 2009 11:52 am

    Congratulations! Looks like you did very well at the fair!

  4. May 4, 2009 12:56 pm

    Dang–I thought it would be me… loved the sheep photos and congratulations on your ribbons!

  5. May 4, 2009 12:59 pm

    Isn’t the Baby Surprise magical? All that knitting and suddenly–bam–a sweater!

  6. Mel permalink
    May 4, 2009 4:03 pm

    Love the sheep photos, it’s neat to see how their coats are all so different.
    Your lace scarf and handspun skeins are lovely and I’m glad the judges could see that. Brava!

  7. May 4, 2009 11:54 pm

    Congrats again on the big wins!
    LOVED all the sheepy pics! The one with the ears is telling me I want her fleece.

  8. Jan permalink
    May 6, 2009 6:16 pm

    Wonderful! Congratulations on your well-deserved ribbons. Your sheep pictures are charming, and I love seeing the dogs work. Congrats too on the goodies you brought home. Elsie is stunning. What a great weekend for you.

  9. May 7, 2009 2:30 pm

    Congratulations on the ribbons – your work is beautiful. I wish I could feel some of those skeins.
    Isn’t it funny how some things really call to us to go home with us? And often very different things from year to year. I was sure that I would not bring home any sock yarn this year, but 2 skeins jumped into my arms!
    Enjoy your purchases.

  10. Sam permalink
    May 10, 2009 11:50 am

    I’m late to the party, as is my style these days, but big, big congratulations on the wins. The work is wonderful, and I’m glad the judges agreed. Miss Emmy looks awfully proud of her mama. If that little badger face sheep had more horns, I’d say he was a Jacob, but he’s awfully cute, no matter! 🙂

  11. Mary permalink
    May 11, 2009 9:34 am

    Congrats again on the ribbons, but I love the sheep pictures! Maybe you should think about entering some of them next year!

  12. May 13, 2009 2:10 pm

    You’ve got a great mix of sheep there–Tunis (slightly reddish), Jacob, Romney, Blue-faced Leicester, and maybe a Merino in there? Quite a crowd. Your post was fabulous–the knitting and purchases and Emmy’s cheery face always make me smile. 🙂

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