We joined hands and spent a mid-October Saturday together at the 10th annual Woodstock Fleece Festival. These right steps answered T’s big question:
Why do you go to a spinning festival anyway?
Reason Number 1, there are fibre animals, dear
The 4-H Llama Club brought super tolerant llamas. This sweetheart was almost eye-level with 6 year-old T!
There was enough time & space in this Festival Barn space in particular for the little ones to enjoy their experience. The volunteers did a fabulous job!
After a bite to eat we found the angora rabbit demonstration starting next door in the Marketplace Barn. I was happy to point out kids in handknit (are they handspun too, I don’t know!) hats, rush a goodbye and head for the vendors’ stalls.
T learned a lot, snuck a pet mid-demonstration (you did?!? yes), and is not very sure about plucking fur from angora rabbits being exactly kind to them. I demurred not being an expert.
Reason Number 2, buy all the things!
This reason covered seeing friends – vendors & attendees alike. My purchases year-over-year are down but still not what you would call paltry.
While I was in the Gemini Fibres line with a copy of Marianne Kinzel’s First Book of Modern Lace Knitting, T ran up beaming with his find & pleases. To go with a WIP handspun monster he asks for the Michele Wilcox owl & chicken first from her Amigurumi Animal Friends. Alrighty!
Visiting Sasha’s booth for Sheepspot was a special treat. So impressive was it all that T asked if she owned & operated the Auditorium! We had nice chats through the day, and I brought home this Shetland top (104 g, ‘Autumn Wedding’ colourway) with other fibre & yarn. They are the only local sellers of Greensleeves spindles if you are looking for good ones.
This braid was handled exactly as I did the Furiosa Shetland top, i.e. divided by length into thirds, and spun end-to-end. My guess is that they will show how different the same spinning can look where the only variable is the dyer’s colourways. Tools, breed, and ply structure will be all the same. It will be interesting to compare them!
The wheel is Wee Peggy, and I didn’t change her set-up, scotch tension, 5:1. It is a 1982 (i.e. late version) Rappard kit wheel that my friend Margaret bought, and sold to me for a first wheel. Mary Knox has given a timeline comparison of the Peggy wheel designs here.
Since this wheel has been home, I have spun with the Willow Tree figure on the back maiden. She holds a conch shell to her ear, and if she’s here for luck it’s been working!
As for other purchases most were re-stocking, and I also got dyestuff from John at the Fibre Garden. Hopefully it all spills into TKK as we go through to the next Festival.
An interesting new-to-me vendor was Karberry Farm from Mountain, On. Their Shetland was tempting but I chose 2 colours of Jacob roving (raised by a neighbouring shepherd). Jacob is listed as critical in the Breed Conservation List 2015 of Heritage Livestock Canada. It was a joy to see a 1-30 animal category rare breed at Woodstock! I was in danger of grabbing the bag of raw fleece but am glad that I resisted. Cleaning fleece as I do in the kitchen is more difficult to arrange, and I don’t like keeping wool raw if I can help it.
A quick update is that Melvin has been stable through the summer & fall on his new regimen for feline diabetes.
Here he is to my right as I typed this morning (the Erica loom is beside him in the picture). Apart from being mighty vocal on the dot of his feeding times, our Melly cat is doing pretty well, and regaining weight that he lost rapidly in the spring. We will be doing a new blood curve shortly to find out more.
Melvin is still our only pet, and I have been feeling a tug towards adding another to the home. It’s open-ended but we all agree.