Posted on June 13, 2005 at 9:22 am
It was hotter than Hades at the Windsor Fairgrounds on Saturday, but everyone was smiling, and the sheep were getting their summer haircuts. This was my first Fiber Frolic, and now I understand why this is so many people’s favorite: there’s felafel, open space, lots of shepherds hanging out with their animals, spinners gathered together under an open building, and some of my favorite vendors. I bought a purpleheart Hatchtown drop spindle, several more batts from Grafton Fibers, and I took an all-too-short spinning class with Alden Amos and Stephanie Gaustad. I acted like a human crowbar to fit myself into the circle so that Kathy and I could sit next to That Laurie so that I could
spy on observe her technique. While Laurie is indeed an elegant spinner, I discovered her true skill when she oh-so-generously handed me a big length of her much lionized hand-combed Romney. I used to think of Romney as a pedestrian fiber, too common and as bland as a paper bag, but Laurie’s preparation transforms this workaday wool into something like butter. No, scratch that. Make that clarified butter. Yeah. Ghee. It was like spinning ghee. Even my hands were softer after I finished. I hope handcombs are in my own prep future. Oh yeah, and she helped me with my bully Woolee Winder dilemma. I wish I could thank her by having taken a better picture of her, one where her tongue is not gripping her lower lip in concentration, but Alden scolded me for disrupting the class and made me sit back down. Once a problem student, always a problem student.
Fiber Frolic is no Maryland (thank the heavens), but there was more than one confluence of bloggers: here’s Chris and Kristen and me hanging out with Kim in her booth, admiring her new green merino/angora bumps. You can’t see them here because many of them are hidden in my bag. You can probably tell by all of the limp hair and sodden clothing in this picture how hot it was, even in the relative shade of the barn.
And then , thanks to Kristen, I got to meet Pocket Farm Liz, who was also in the spinning class with me.
One of my favorite personal encounters for the day was when I met Barbara of FurrYarns. Thanks to a link I followed from Terry last week, I have been drooling over her colourways and plotting all the shawls I am going to make out of her beautiful hand-painted Zephyr, and there she was! I instantly recognized her from her yarn after we’d been talking about moths and such. When she pulled out this incredible Pi shawl, I practically fainted. "You’re Furr Yarns!" I squealed, losing all my composure and acting like a star-struck stage door johnny. Fortunately she had already decided I was okay, so that my transformation into a blithering puddle didn’t make her reach for the holy water. You gotta acquaint yourself with her work, especially if you’re doing that Summer of Lace thing and want something special for your shawl. And tell her I sent you!
Here are the other pictures on my camera from the Llama and Alpaca parade, and some of the booths that made the day so colourful. It’s a bittersweet moment, the end of fair season for me. Now I guess I have some spinning to do while I wait for next year.
And this is what my cart looked like at the end of the day.