Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wooly Wanderings

May 2010 has been an exciting month for me. The sock pattern published in Crochet! has been received well and several members on have made a pair. It's exciting to see something you create out there!

The month started with my first-ever visit to a wool festival. Held the first full weekend in May each year, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is held at the Howard County Fairgrounds, a short ride of about 60 miles from me. From what I had read, I expected the event to be big and I was in desparate need to feel fiber, so off I went. The first 55 miles took me about an hour, not bad considering I had to pass through DC. The last 5 miles took me an hour and a half!

Traffic was at a standstill on the 2-lane highway and I kept expecting to see the accident around the next corner or over the next hill that caused this delay. Imagine my surprised excitement when I realized the traffic was backed up that far to park at the event! "Holy Mohair, Batman!"

Big does not begin to describe the festival... it was Hugantic!! Alpacas, llamas, mohair goats, angorra bunnies and sheep over every breed were in competitions and shows. But the best part for me? Nearly 300 vendors! WOW!

I was doubly surprised when I found one vendor, in particular. Known to me from the DFW FiberFest, I popped in and said hello to the folks from Brooks Farm, located in Lancaster, Texas.

Seriously. There were so many vendors that they overflowed the 3 exhibit halls and had scores of vendors in tents. I took me nearly 5 hours just to see them all once! Well, at least I know where I'll be the first weekend of May, 2011!

The next adventure involved me, two dogs and a Smart car driving twelve hours to western Indiana.
When I went to Clinton, Indiana (near my hometown of Paris, Illinois) for my Mother's birthday a few weeks ago, I gave the original socks from the pattern to Mom. My sister also wanted a pair, so I began stitching right away. Here are the socks I made for Shelly in the "Nostalgia" colorway from Madelinetosh.

I spent the week there and had the chance to catch up with my brother and sister, as well as alot of extended family. In the interest of passing the craft to the next generation, here's me with my sister's 2 grandsons. They really liked Uncle Jer's crochet hooks...YAY!

The LYS is River Wool in Terre Haute, Indiana. After about 2 hours in there chatting with Val and playing with different combinations of color and fiber, I finally settled on 16 hanks of yarn I plan to use for a fall jacket.

From l-r, are the 5 different fibers I chose: 1. Manos del Uruguay's silk blend (30% silk, 70% extra fine merino); 2. Malabrigo's Aquarella (thick and thin) in their Coronilla colorway; 3. Cascade 220; 4. Malabrigo Aquarella - Marrongon ccolorway; 5. Lamb's Pride in Chocolate Souffle.

I can hardly wait to get started on the jacket!


Oh, PS~
I'm finishing up the pattern I promised to post. It's called "The Ruffled Rikki" and can be worked in any guage and is easily sized to fit. Here's a little teaser for you: