Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Ketchup, Please

Er, Catch-up, that is!

One of the things I've been meaning to do is show you some of the goodies I got way back at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival last October.

First up is this delicious ice-cream sundae. No, wait, that's not it at all, though I think it may be just as delicious.

It's actually three of my festival finds. The bowl is a ceramic yarn bowl, by Elisa Dasher of Honeysuckle Pottery in Keymar, Maryland. I've been curious about these yarn bowls for a while, with the notch to feed the yarn through while the ball rests in the bowl. After trying it out, I can attest the the fact that they do work. The ball of yarn stays clean and in one place, instead of rolling off the couch and all over the floor. And the bowl is a beautiful piece of handmade stoneware, enjoyable in itself. Elisa won't be at the Shenandoah Festival next year, but it appears she's planning to be at the marvelous Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in the spring.

That fluffy confection in the bowl is not ice cream but a one-ounce ball of pygora spinning fiber. It came from one of the farms participating in a Loudoun Valley Pygora, it seems, is a type of goat, a pygmy version of the angora goats who give us mohair. I believe it's a fairly rare breed, at least so far. My reading tells me that these little guys produce different types of fiber. Depending on the individual, it can be mohair-like, cashmere-like, or a combination of the two. And just look at this stuff! I'm looking forward to spinning a sample to see what it's like.

The "spoon" is actually a hand-made miniature nostepinne, carved of mulberry wood, from Terry Selser in DeRidder, Louisiana, via the Lagniappe Fiber booth. It's just a wee little thing for winding small balls of fine yarn. While this isn't a challenge that I've had very often, how could I resist it? The carving at the top kind of reminds me of an old-fashioned clothespin.

Also at the Lagniappe Fiber booth, my fiber-sampling curiosity led me to buy some Cheviot fleece from Nightsong Farms, in Dry Creek, Louisiana. This is a strong, springy type of wool. I'm not sure what I will do with it, other than get acquainted, but it may be a good wool to blend with other types to give them that springy, lofty quality. And I did love these rich colors. The one on the left is natural, and the one on the right is dyed.

One thing I do know exactly what to do with is this sweater quantity of roving from the lovely and accommodating Dalis Davidson at Dancing Leaf Farm in Barnesville, Maryland. This is the Briar Patch colorway, which I'd been looking for and hoping to find at her booth for the last couple of festival seasons. I'd once seen a sample of it spun up at a shop and loved the colors. I finally got smart and contacted her ahead of time, whereupon she dyed a batch just for me and brought it along to the Shenandoah Festival.

And last, but not least, while our friend Puff the Magic Rabbit was not at Shenandoah, some of her fiber most certainly was. Look at this gorgeous stuff. It's a merino/kid mohair blend called Electra Blue. (I wonder if Electra is one of the goats?) I came home with six ounces. This will have to be spun and knitted into something delicate and beautiful, worthy of such fiber.

And people wonder why I love these festivals. :)


Robin said...

Over the weekend, I went online and searched for wool / fiber festivals in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois. Shoot! I forgot to include Kentucky - will have to search that state, too. I MapQuested those that I thought would be doable and wrote everything down in my planner. I even MapQuested how long it would take me to get to MS&W! I don't know what I'm doing next weekend but I know when every 2010 fiber festival is! Priorities!

cathy said...

And maybe West Virginia is in reach, too? Re Kentucky, I saw something about a new Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival to be held May 15-16. Knitter's Review events page might have info, If you haven't already checked it. Now,if you go to all those festivals, will you be able to keep up with knitting and spinning everything you buy? :)

Anonymous said...

I did have a goat named Electra. She was Rosie and
Stuff's mother. There was an accident a few weeks after they arrived (they, along with Fluff, were the first goaties) and she died. I was heartbroken. I had just pulled little Rosie through coccidiosis, and I was so unsure of my ability to care for these sweet beings, that when I called Pat to tell her what happened to Electra, I was ready to pack the other 3 in the truck and take them all back to her. Thank goodness she made me hang on- I couldn't imagine not having my goatie babies. Electra was very sweet, and she was the first goatie hug I ever got.

There is a festival in Bedford County, VA on May 15- the Sedalia Spring Fiber Festival. There is also a new one in June by the Eastern Angora Goat and Mohair Assoc.- here's the site- (I just looked at the site, there is a picture of Baby Evan, Electra's grandson, on there ;-) )

cathy said...

You take great care of your goaties! I checked out the link to see little Evan -- you didn't mention he won a ribbon. Way to go. :)

Robin said...

Well, rereading this post gives me the spinning itch! Love the Honeysuckle Pottery site. Great stuff but what is a garden turtle? I found info about the KY festival and it's less than 3 hours away. Keep up - Heck NO!