After I’d taken pictures of many sheep, I met up with friend Holly at The Fold’s booth, where we tried to resist buying every single skein of Socks that Rock. The colourway that I was looking for was nowhere to be found, unfortunately.
For the next several hours we perused as many of the vendors’ offerings as we could. Despite my best efforts to buy nothing, I had gone into the day knowing that I would probably buy something, and indeed I did:
Two braids of Blue-Faced Leicester in the “Stone House” colourway from Three Waters Farm. I’m not sure what I’ll make with this yet, which is why I went for two braids instead of one – I’ll have more options that way. BFL is great for socks, and with eight ounces I’d surely have enough for some nice tall socks. If I made regular-length socks, I’d probably have enough yarn left over for a second pair, or maybe armwarmers. When I unbraid it, I’ll decide whether I’m going to do a three-ply or a chain-plied yarn. I like the barberpoled look of a true three-ply, but then the striping of chain-plied yarn is tempting.
Two ounces each of Ashland Bay’s merino-silk blend in McKenzie, Concord and Sea Lilac will eventually become another colourwork hat. The spun-up samples of the two darker colours were nothing like what it looks like now; they were lovely heathered shades without any hint of striping at all. I’ll have to sample to see how to get that effect. While I do generally like to buy hand-dyed fibre from small companies or individual fibre artists, Ashland Bay’s fibres are always appealing not only because the colours are beautiful, but because the prep is so consistent; every piece of fibre is just as smooth-drafting as the next. The first real usable yarn I spun was from Ashland Bay fibre, so I guess I have a soft spot for it.
From Little Barn, eight ounces of unbleached tussah silk and eight ounces of silk noil for carding into blended batts. The drum carder is set up in its new station and I’m excited to get started on producing some beautiful batts. I have about 14 ounces of Corriedale top in a variety of solid colours, some undyed mohair and nylon that can be added in for sock blends, quite a bit of alpaca in natural shades, and now the silk.
Then, Holly gave me a bag full of Cormo locks that she prepped. I’ve never spun Cormo before and I’m really curious to try it! She warned me that while it’s clean, it does still have a bit of lanolin in it. I think I’ll try spinning it as it is, and then wash it in hot water with dish soap after it’s all plied up.
Being around so much fibre has gotten me anticipating this year’s Tour de Fleece, a spinning challenge that parallels the Tour de France. I’ve already joined “Team Kromski” as I’ll be spinning on Grace the Sonata. So far I haven’t set any goals for myself other than “spin daily, and spin more”. Last year I left the wheel out in the living room and was reminded to spin daily. This year with the cats I don’t think that would be the wisest of ideas. They think that Patience the Traditional’s drive band is a great toy and I can only imagine what damage they would do to any fibre I left unsupervised.
The only problem is that the Tour begins on July 2, and I’ll be out of town until July 5. So I won’t be able to start until the fifth day, and that puts me in the “Lantern Rouge” group of spinners who can’t quite do the whole thing but participate as much as possible. Will I be able to catch up and match last year’s spinning if I start late? Will the cats begin to hate me if I spend nearly three weeks locked away from them with my wheel? Will I actually set a real goal or will I just leave it as “spin daily, and spin more”? Time will tell…