Saturday, May 19, 2012

Shopping Saturday

This post is the second installment following the description of Clara Parkes' lecture to members of the Common Cod Knitter's Guild, last Friday at MIT in Cambridge. Go here to read a summary of the lecture, supporting local fiber production.

Bags of processed fleece.

Like a candy store, endless arrays of color and texture.
During Clara's talk, she encouraged us to check the labels of the yarn we buy. She urged us to research  the country of origin, the type of fleece if noted, and the method of dying. She admonished us to vote with our dollars and to frequent not only our LYS, but visit the many Fiber Festivals that are happening in our areas.
Saratoga Llamas
It was duly noted by me; I had entirely different plans for Saturday, but members of my Monday Night Knit group was making a road-trip to the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival. How could I disobey Clara Parkes? It was my duty as a lover of things knit and fiber, to take my pin money (and checkbook) and hustle northward for my very first foray into fiber,  farm, food, and friendly activities.
Felted flower holders
We set out at 9AM and made good time. Upon arriving, we wandered and wandered and wandered. I had to keep stopping and giving myself time to take it all in. We browsed stands selling homemade soaps, hand pressed lemonade, hanks of hand spun yarns. We petted lambs, llamas and alpacas. We saw spinning demonstrations, there were weavers, knitters, kids and pets. There were amazing food stands. I had a delicious lobster roll for lunch, we sampled "Beets and Sweets", chips made of sweet potatoes and.... well.... beets. There were other calorie laden delicacies, but I like to think we walked off any food consumed that day!

There was a line each time I walked past, Buffalo Burgers!

Luminous colors in Ball and Skein booth
I loved so many of these colors and must try and find them at the next fiber fest.
Flying fingers and feet of this spinner had us hypnotized..
Amazing, amazing colorwork
Another knitted sample
Love the tree line, it almost looks like abstract art.
How stunning and ironic, this sheep is wearing a real sweater. Pattern Sam the Ram, Ravelry.

This vintage wheel was brought in for repairs. The parts are actual ivory. I was told it was from the late 1800's.
Tidal Yarns, owned by a friend from the beach. You never know WHO! you'll run into!!

As I visited with Patricia there were quite a few people offering fleece from their animals for her small yarn production company. All skeins are hand dyed using natural ingrdeients.

The tonal qualities make me think of colors from long ago.

I got some of this yarn in a pale seaweed color.




Here is a photo of what my loot looks like. (I have been diligently waiting to make the hanks into cakes, getting good pix with good lighting had to wait until today). 



Tidal Yarns, pale seaweed color.

Alpaca homespun.  So soft, maybe a cardigan for Hannah Fettig's new collection?
Two skeins of Northern Lights mohair from Camden Yarns of Maine, these were $1.00 each.
The yarn and a pullover pattern, $15.00.
Square needles from Knitter's Pride

So there it is, my duty as a citizen of this knitting nation, I went, I saw, I bought. Now I need to match wool to project. Watch here to see what I end up making with these skeins. Now you go and do the same, it is all in the name of supporting small business. Clara says so!

6 comments:

Patricia said...

I am very motivated to follow your example! I am dying to know what you will do with the Alpaca Homespun...that one draws me.

WonderWhyGal said...

Hooray! It looks like it was a nice festival.
In my last comment I made a total dumb comment, I have all of Clara's books. I guess I wasn't making the connection of who she was.

Erin_in_Boston said...

Patricia, I am a smidge intimidated by the Aplpaca because it is so soft and floppy. I will be knitting a large swatch to see what fabric it will make and then try to find a pattern to match. I have 300 yards, so I'm thinking a shawl or scarf.


WonderWhyGal, no worries, re: who Clara is and what she has written. I wanted to address the books and the website, but it was getting to be too long of a post. If you knit, go to the Knitter's Review and check out what she says about your favorite yarns. There are some very helpful tips, even info on the fabric after washing. She tells you how much it shrunk and if the fibers bloom.

Cleo said...

Those sweaters are beautiful. I love the colors!

Evelyn said...

What a great time you had at the fiber festival. I went to my first one last year in Cummington, MA, and am playing with the idea of going again this year. In fact, it's THIS weekend! I couldn't agree with Clara more ... supporting our LYS and fiber festivals is our duty as devoted knitters!

Carol said...

Nice blog. I lived in the Boston area for years and it's fun reading about your trip to the NH Sheep and Wool Festival. Will check in again to see what other NE related things you are up to!