Sunday, August 24, 2014

Festivals and Fairs and Friends . . .

In the Midwest, August appears to be Fiber Month  :-D

This year, due to havng its date yanked, the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair was the first weekend in August instead of the last weekend in June as it has traditionally been.  That meant that Midwest, Stitches, and the Michigan Fiber Festival happened one after the other in quick succession.

I had plans only to go to Michigan, but ended up hitting all three markets!  (Are you really surprised? :-D)

First was Midwest - it was noticeably smaller this year, and I believe this was very much about the date change.  I am a charter member of The Flock for this event - I think it's really important to support local events of this sort, and it's really the only game in town for the Chicagoland area - as far as I know, there is no other event like this one in this area.  I ended up running up there on Sunday.  I'd never been to the Fair on Sunday before and I loved it!  No crowds, a very relaxed vibe, and I won a door prize!  Plus, I got to spend the morning with my friend, M, and that was great as we hadn't had the chance to catch up in some time.

Here's the haul  :-)  I won the kit in the pink bag.  It's from The Knitting Goddess!  It's a scarf kit and I like it!  The yarn is Classic Elite's Posh, which has been discontinued.  It's 70/30 Silk/Cashmere, and Toni from The Fold had it on sale for half price.  I have no guilt for purchasing it at that price!  The book is Annie Modesitt's new one, and I got a free fingerless mitts pattern with it!

The next weekend was Stitches - again, no plan to go, but I had the opportunity to run up on Sunday and catch up with two of my friends, KniftyRed and Knitterary, who has a new blog called My Empty Wardrobe.  Knitterary has shrunk so much that I didn't recognize her, and KniftyRed is also look very healthy!  Wow - I should be able to get some inspiration back from these two!  Here is the haul from Stitches:

The yarn is Neighborhood Fiber Co., one of my favorites that is now available here in Chicagoland from Windy Knitty!  They are located up in Andersonville - I need to get up there and check out the shop!!  There are buttons for a Baby Surprise Jacket, and a small nostepinne, two spools of trim from the notions lady (she sold her business and is moving to Mexico), some silk top from a new place called Swan Hollow Studio.  They don't have a website up yet, but this silk was pretty amazing and I was thinking to blend it with some merino top to make an Aran weight yarn for the inside of a collar on a sweater jacket I want to knit out of an itchy longwool.  And I bought patterns.  The Rhinebeck Sweater book, which I have been looking for for awhile, a MaggiKnits book (#2) - I like a lot of her wild stuff, and a Raumagarn garter stitch, lightly felted hoodie.

Are you guys proud of me yet?  ;-)

Last but certainly not least - in fact, Michigan Fiber Festival is really my favorite event - I love it and I haven't gone for a couple of years.  I convinced Tammy, of Proverbial Knitter fame, Christa, and a bunch of other friends (six of us in all!) to come for the weekend and we blasted up to Allegan to enjoy the Festival!  For various reasons some old favorites were not there this year (Miss Babs, The Fold and Gale's Art), but some new ones were, and I got to say hello to some folks I only see once a year  :-)  Tammy and Christa  both entered the skein competition and both did very well!  Tammy took two seconds and a third, and Christa took a first!!  Wow!!  And of course, we shopped  :-)  Here's the haul from Michigan:

Well, I FOUND some Aran weight silk and it's a perfect seafoam green for me AND it was 20 or 30% off, so that will be the inside of the sweater collar!  Yay!  You should be able to click to biggify this photo - in the center is an absolutely stunning ceramic button made by Jarita Thompson from A Mystical Farm.  She has an Etsy shop, but she's currently on hiatus there.  Her stuff was really amazing and very unique.  I hope she will be back at Michigan next year because I really liked a lot of her larger pieces, too.  I picked up the first two issues of the new Chicago Knits magazine for less than cover price (they are a new quarterly - I like to support local merchants), a Kate Wright pattern called Greta Cardigan, a little soap/sachet kit from the Raumagarn booth (the last one they had!), and a wooden yarn bowl from Indian Lake Artisans.  I really love it - it looks like a corral and I just see it being used for a lot more than just yarn.  It was the largest purchase of the day for me.  The guy had me try their hexagonal needles, but they were way too pointy for this knitter.  He did offer to sand them down for me, but I don't need any needles right now.  Oh - I also got a jar of raspberry cream honey (which is not pictured).

So.  Three major fiber events, and I came home with a total of 10 skeins of yarn.  Really, I think you should be having a big brass band in my honor!  :-D   I have been doing well in the not buying a ton of stuff that I end up selling later for not as much as I paid for it. . . I've followed through pretty well knitting from stash this year and not buying a lot of yarn.  So, Yay Me!!  :-D

Now we are heading toward fall - we've had a couple of very cool days here, even as this week has been warmer than most all summer so far!  It will be Labor Day soon - and I know I say this every year, but that school year calendar still sticks with me.  Labor Day always feels like the New Year for me.  I got a lot of patterns in August - I'm hoping to start pounding through all the sweater quantities of yarn that I have stashed away.  Wish me luck . . .  :-)

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