Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Finger Lakes Fiber Festival

This marks my third year attending the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival in Hemlock, NY. I'm thrilled to report that it was another great year on all fronts. The weather was awesome. Warm on Saturday, a bit cooler on Sunday (so I didn't have to take off my CTH Jacket!).

I took three great classes, and did LOTS of fun shopping! This post will be very picture intensive...hopefully I can organize it in some reasonable manner.

I had a great time shopping. This fleece is from Arvgarden in Pennsylvania. It is a lovely 2# jacketed Corriedale ram named Arne.

This swirly dyed Merino/Viscose Roving is from Winderwood Farms, just down the road from where my parents live.

I was able to spend some time visiting with Susan of Susan's Spinning Bunny. Susan makes some of the most beautiful hand-dyed rovings I've seen, and I've begun making it a practice to drop by her booth each year and pick up a couple of Merino/Tencel rovings for my stash. These are then waiting for me when I need to whip up a sock yarn for a gift or something. They are Tamarack & Spruce and Butterfly Bush.

This was truly a favorite set of purchases. First, I got an Ashford Flick carder for working with raw fibers. Second was a mini-niddy noddy from Kromski. As I take these classes and have bits of yarn, this is great to be able to wind off small samples and make mini skeins. And yes, you might have already spotted THE most exciting item in there...it's a Golding Sweetheart drop spindle!! This is the micro - 0.8oz spindle. Got a lovely ounce of silk to go with it too! I know you want to see it better...so here's another picture up a little closer.

Now check this out....it's one pound of Cotswold roving/batt in a lovely pastel colorway. This is from Nistock Farms, another favorite, in part because it's about a mile down the road from my parents!

I mentioned classes as well. My first class, on Saturday was taught by Erin from Embraceable Ewe, a yarn shop in Hamburg, near Buffalo, NY. It was Meg Swanson's Jogless Jog technique. Erin provided a wide array of colors of Cotton Fleece, and an excellent bit of instruction with lots of other valuable tidbits. And if you are wondering, the hat is pictured with the seam side front and center as photographed. Pretty cool technique, eh? I still need to put a nice big pom-pom on it then it'll be done.

My second class was a Flax spinning class!! It was a great class, and I'm thrilled that I took it. I was able to borrow a wheel and distaff from Wendy who was doing the Flax demos at the festival. You'll see the wheel and distaff in a bit, as I have some photos from her demo as well. But, here's MY first handspun flax. I hope to make my own distaff soon so I can practice this further. Will I ever spin enough flax to weave a dishtowel? Who knows!

In non-fibery purchases, I picked up this cute little cake of beeswax for a song! ($0.75!) Will use it to wax sewing threads for things like blackwork and cross-stitch.

This one wasn't actually from the fiber festival, but i forgot to mention it in my other post, and didn't want to leave it out, as I am totally smitten! I was in a restaurant, washing my hands in the restroom when I found Orange - Clove handsoap and lotion! It was amazing stuff and I just had to find out where it came from. Turns out it was made locally be a very nice couple in Canandaigua. They make all of their own soaps and the fragrances are amazing!! This is a small sampling of the wonderful soaps available from Wick-edly Sent, my new favorite "local souvenir" shop!!

I mentioned Wendy's Flax demo as well. Here are a few pictures. Wendy demonstrating what a bundle of flax looks like when it is being stored and dried.

Using the break to break down the sheath around the flax and expose the spinnable fibers.

Ever heard the term "Flaxen Haired Maiden"?

Wow, look at those teeth! Getting rid of the excess 'tow' to leave only the quality spinning fibers. I also found that the tow worked FABULOUSLY as a fire-starting material with that lovely kit of mine...

Here's the flax wrapped on the distaff. Below it hangs a cup of water to wet the flax as it's being spun. Wet spun flax is smoother and stronger. I talked to a fellow knitter here last night, who is also a potter, about having a dish made to go with my wheel. I'll show you pictures when I get it!!


cyndy said...

Looks like you got some great things! I hope to someday get to the FLFF! The vendors sound great!

Nice pics of the demo...made me smile to see your handspun flax :-)

Anonymous said...

I've had a hankerin' to get me some of 'Susan's Spinning Bunny's' Tamerack and Spruce colorway myself! I'd enjoy seeing your finished yarn from this on your blog one day!
Your first try with the linen is so nice!That break looks pretty intense too!
'Wick-edly Sent' looks alluring and I really love your wanderings and discoveries around your hometown! Maggie