I had a good weekend. I was off to a small fibre festival about 3 hours drive away. I’d discovered this in the spring and booked the B&B at the farm back in April. My partner came with me and we had a good weekend away with some cycling, some walking, fibre for me and cider for him.
The FibreFest was held at Rose Haven Farm near Picton. Linda Swain (the owner) has sheep and angora goats and sells fibre to local spinners and felters. She also has a small shop on the premises and specializes in high end knitting yarns as well as some knitted and felted products. She also sells lamb (since sheep also produce meat). I’d been before and found nice things in her shop and didn’t come away empty handed this time, either. I’m not connected to her in any way but she is doing some interesting things in a nice part of the country so I thought I’d let you know about it.
Linda has worked with some other local producers to produce a very nice fine weight alpaca and tussah silk yarn. It comes in natural colours and I picked up 500g to make a lace shawl. Technically that was on my list as I have been looking for some nice laceweight. The price was good ($9.95 CDN for 50g). I got the lighter colour though there were some skeins of a dark brown, too. I get the impression that they may produce more of this.
I also had to have a 500m skein of Fleece Artist mohair and silk in a lovely variegated blue. It was just so wonderful. Not sure yet what I’ll do with it. I don’t like many of the paler colours that FA do and these deep rich blues just spoke to me. Things in there that I didn’t buy include Manos (I bought a bunch of that in the spring) and some cotton from Manos. It felt very nice and came it some great colours. Has anybody tried that out?
The fibrefest had members of the local spinning guild there giving demonstrations (though not workshops) and some local traditional rughookers also working away in the shade. Some suppliers of fibre had come with their wares and some animals including shetland sheep, angora rabbits, cashmere goats and angora goats. One stall had coloured angora goats with the cutest kid– a lovely rust colour. They don’t know what colour he will turn out to be as he grows but they are trying to breed for colour so will keep him for breeding. I resisted their natural coloured yarns (mainly mohair with some alpaca) but they were very nice. She’s now experimenting with overdying them and had some lovely results with cherry red (which came out in a very nice deep burgundy/plum over the charcoal grey yarn).
Another local woman,Kerry, does carding for folks and also blends coloured fleece to make some very nice bats for spinning. She spins some up herself and had yarn (sometimes in quantities suitable for a sweater) for sale as well. I picked up a ball-winder, a skein of yarn in colours my partner likes, and some fleece. I also sat and chatted and watched her spin. I don’t know how to spin but got some nice fibre so that I have something I really like when I do learn.
In other knitting news, I finished the Kimono Shawl (from Folk Shawls) on the way down. I was doing this with Fleece Artist sock yarn and got about 1/3 of the way into the second skein before I decided to start again alternating the skeins every 2 rows. The colours matched but the proportions varied considerably even within one skein. It looks much better now. I do think my decision to go with a rectangular shawl was wrong. I only got 11 repeats (the pattern calls for 25) and it really isn’t long enough for a shawl. But it does look a good size and shape for a pram blanket (translation: small baby blanket you might use in a baby carriage; I obviously lived in the UK too long, eh?). And friends are expecting a baby in January so hopefully they weren’t planning on lots of pastel colours.
I’m now about to start on a lace scarf from Sivia Harding designs. Picked up a teeny tiny crochet hook today to do the beads. Also thinking about starting some socks just to have something relatively brainless on the go.