Quick Rhinebeck Recap

Rhinebeck has come and gone in a blur of gold-red-green leaves and the occasional snow flurry (no joke). It was a cold-but-wonderful weekend, and these are just a fraction of the images I took away from it. (Click to embiggen.)

Petting all the animals is one of my favorite parts of Rhinebeck. Katy and I certainly had our sheep-petting fill, enjoyed watching the leaping llama and alpaca competition, and wondered at the presence of monkeys, kangaroos, and lemurs at a wool festival.

Another wonderful part of Rhinebeck is meeting up with like-minded friends, old and new. Not only did I get to enjoy the fair with Katy and Rivkah and her mom, but I got to meet new friends from Ravelry in real life! There’s no greater feeling than finally meeting people you’ve spoken to for months online and realizing that you really do like them and can’t wait to see them again! As it happens, in the LITERALLY ONE HOUR I broke away from Katy to meet up with my new friends, Katy got to make friends with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and Clara Parkes. (I am trying my best not to hate her for getting to meet my two biggest yarn idols in person without me. Sigh. In truth, I saw Clara later in the day but chickened out on approaching her. Katy is by far the braver one between us.)

And then once all the fair-going is over, we still have the haul to cherish. I tried to stick to truly special items that I knew I couldn’t obtain easily otherwise, or items for which I already had a plan. From left to right, my purchases were:

That last one on the list was my biggest impulse purchase, the rest were more-or-less pre-meditated, but if you had seen the sample of the scarf in person, I doubt you could have resisted, either. I cannot wait to cast that sucker on!

Quick Rhinebeck Recap | Woolen Diversions

Katy took this on her drive, it’s lovely.

And that’s probably my most favorite part of Rhinebeck: the re-inspiration it brings to my knitting, spinning, and crafting. It was much needed and is most invigorating.

Did you get to go to Rhinebeck? What’s your favorite part of shows and wool festivals?

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First Show Success!

Yesterday was Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe’s first time vending at a festival, and it went really well! It started off less-than-promising… with a scant 4 hours of sleep, the Fiasco and I were up at the crack-o’-dawn, loading the car in a torential downpour. But then! The skies cleared, the booth set up smoothly, and the customers were lovely.

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I felt like a ‘TA – DAAA!!!’ was in order.

I took a ridiculous amount of pleasure in arranging our table. Everything was in its place, each with its own little sign (that kept flopping over in the wind), everything was color-coordinated… so fun. We received a lot of great feedback on the booth, as well, which was so nice to hear what with being newbies and all.

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My awesome Fiasco.

The Fiasco and I made a really great team. Even though he’s generally had an aversion to lotion his entire life, he was demonstrating how to use a lotion bar like a pro. (And, it turns out, these bars are ‘not that bad’ as far as lotion goes. Ha!) I don’t know how people run a booth on their own, we definitely needed both of us there, and this wasn’t even a very big festival.

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My view for much of the day.

I couldn’t believe how quickly the day flew by. One minute we were setting up, the next we were kind of sitting-around-waiting for people to arrive, and then all of a sudden it was 5pm and we were packing up. It was kind of incredible. I barely had a chance to walk around and see the festival for myself.

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Shearing happened.

I missed all the shearing, only saw the evidence that it had happened, and heard the claps and cheers whenever a sheep was finished.

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Stinky cows.

I didn’t see this pair much since they were directly behind our booth but OH BOY did I smell them. Depending on which way the wind was blowing, it was sometimes difficult to sell the delicate floral fragrance of Sea Moss (for example) when all one could smell was Eau de Manure.

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Festival loot!

I did manage to scurry out and quickly snag a little festival loot. I would’ve liked to shop around some more and visit other booths, but there’s always next time and I love the the items I came home with. The bag is a lovely cotton/linen creation by Honey Bee Handmade. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find any sort of website for the maker. That gorgeous skein of purple yarn was dyed by Elizabeth Brown of Bay Ridge Dye Works. It’s a pretty, superwash Merino fingering-weight that will make a great scarf or shawl. It’s also really cool that a portion of each sale gets donated to a charity. For this skein, it was the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. And finally, that lovely braid of Merino/silk is Faerie Circle from June Pryce Fiber Arts. June Pryce is a team of sisters, Cheryl and Jenn, who dye gorgeous yarn and fibers and make lovely bags and stitch markers. They’re also super sweet and partially responsible for us doing this show to begin with! (Thanks for all your encouragement!)

All told, it was such a fun and exciting day, that I was in bed asleep by 8pm. Today the Fiasco and I will do a little relaxing and gallivanting before returning home to clean up the house, which looks like it’s been hit with a vengeful, crafty tornado. Later…

Waiting, Waiting

This blog post comes to you courtesy of a doctor’s waiting room where I need to distract myself from the inane ‘morning talk show’ drivel broadcasting from a semi-functional television. (Kill me now, seriously.)
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In other news, check out my Sweet Sheep lip balms! (Coming soon to the shop.) There are currently 7 flavors: passionfruit rose, lavender, spearmint, chocolate cupcake, toasted coconut, strawberry vanilla, and lemon lime. I played around with some display ideas for the RI Sheep and Fiber festival this Saturday. I think I like the way they look nestled in with a bit of Romney roving.

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Thanks is due to my awesome Fiasco. He stuck labels on all 150 or so lip balms AND has spent a considerable amount of time applying shrink wrap to each tube. He’s a huge help, and does it all with a smile (usually)!

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Now, if we could just get the weather to cooperate. I am not a fan of the forecast right now. Heavy rainfall will suck for my first vending experience. Anyone know an anti-raindance?

Fiber-Induced Joy

Somehow, I managed to miss every. single. fiber festival this year. When my best friend planned a spontaneous trip to visit me last weekend, I was determined to make both the visit AND the fiber festival I had planned to attend happen. I was up before 6 am (without an alarm! voluntarily! on a Saturday!), was out the door by 7, drove the 2 hours to the New England Fiber Festival, and somehow saw the whole thing in the 2 hours I had before I needed to leave to pick my friend up from the bus. It was a bit rushed but no less awesome!

newenglandffThere were awesome zipper-flowers, a cool tree display, and a new-to-me yarn dyer that I loved.

newenglandff3 There was yet another new-to-me-dyer I loved, someone who made awesome candlestick holders from old bobbins (sorry, didn’t catch who it was!), and a booth carrying spindles with interchangeable shafts.

newenglandff2And of course there were animals! Some Herdwick sheep (one of which was named Afleecia… no joke.), adorable alpaca, and a whole ton of fleeces for sale. I barely restrained myself from buying one. So cool to see so many types of wool in one room!

I was moderately restrained in my purchases (I was pressed for time, after all) and only took home a mere 11 oz. of fiber and one skein of yarn but man are they some really great fiber and yarn!

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Calypso approved.

On the left is 5 oz. of a lovely silver-grey llama fiber from West Mountain Farm in Vermont. It feels like a fluffier version of alpaca and I can’t wait to spin it up. Next to that is a precious 1 oz. of cashmere/silk blend from Boreas Farm Cashmere. I plan to spin this into a single and ply it with some quiviut I’m working on, which will basically make the softest, most heavenly little skein of yarn ever. Below that is 1 oz. of beautiful grey  plucked angora from Dorchester Farms (no website found). I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do with it but would like to try blending it with something else (suggestions welcome). The bright white fluff is 2 oz. silk top from I-forgot-which-booth, just to experiment with since I haven’t spun pure silk before. Below that is a lovely merino/silk DK weight yarn from Bittersweet, so I can knit the Adiri hat for the Indie Designer #Giftalong. Finally, in the box on the right is 2 oz. of Leicester Longwool roving that I didn’t actually want but bought because the owners were so nice and so loved their endangered sheep, I felt bad not buying something and wanted to support their cause. Plus, it’ll just add another breed to my Spinner’s Study!

All in all, it was a successful quickie-festival! And if that wasn’t enough fiber-y delight, when I returned home, the next shipment of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Whorl Club was waiting for me. (Click away if you don’t want to be spoiled!)

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This shipment is a fabulous two-fer: one 5 oz. braid of mixed Bluefaced Leicester wool with one 3 oz. braid of 50/50 Merino/silk blend in the colorway Sleep Hollow. It’s a gorgeous mix of greys, blues, greens, and purples — essentially, my favorite colors. This is the shipment that would’ve made me weep with regret if I hadn’t signed up (only slightly exaggerating). I can’t wait to spin this!

I’ll leave you with this:

IMG_5396Oooooh yeah. 🙂