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Posts Tagged ‘FUN’

Rhinebeck…

Since I have SO many cool things to share, I will split this into 2 parts. Below is the part 1.
Warning: Loooong blog below

My first fiber festival!

A friend and her family offered to take me to the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival last Sunday (day 2; they braved day 1) and what fun!

The festival was much larger than I expected and I only wheeled around Barn C and a nearby building — but I do not feel like I missed out on anything.

First stop, a booth selling Yakity Yak, yak, yak AND some quivot. I touched the quivot! I did more than that: I picked up a skein. Well, truth be known, I picked up the skein thinking it was yak, saw the price (super expensive yak?) … then noticed a Q … rotated the label and saw: q-u-i-v-o-t.

If you have never heard of this fiber, I suggest you erase it from your mind (unless, of course, you are an avid scrabble player; if this is the case, q-i, q-a-t and z-o-e-a-e strategically placed will help you rack up points!).

If you have heard of this fiber, I suggest you erase it from your mind — it’s SO expensive you will be afraid to spin/knit it; if you are brave enough to knit, you will be afraid to wear it; and if you are too afraid to wear it, a loved one will invariably ask you to gift the item.

The yarn was so soft and beautifully dyed…

(zap!)
Quivot? What’s quivot? : o)

~~~

I’m currently spinning a blend of merino, yak and silk in shades of green (will eventually become a winter set for my nephew/godson who was so excited when I first showed him the braids, he put them around his neck and ran off! Unable to get up, I waited. He came back and said, “aunt lis, where’s the hat? ha! No matter the number of times I relay the story, it still cracks me up!)

Yakity-yak, don’t talk back. (sorry, song is in my head & I could not resist)

I didn’t purchase the yarn or roving, not even the clever take-out pints filled with natural and bleached yak, because I didn’t want to spend all my money at the first booth. This is silly, as the yarn was reasonable and I had credit cards….just in case I ran out of cash!

I took their biz card…next time I clean my purse, I will order the yak.

~~~

Next stop, a booth filled with Lucets and other wooden tools: tapestry, naalbinding and knitting needles and crochet hooks (no sizes…ugh); he also had cool dishes that fit perfectly atop a wine bottle, so you can carry your wine and food stuffs at the same time! Curly maple — first time seeing this wood in person — finished like satin. The woodworker was very nice, gave me a lovely lucet-lesson and despite my crafty alliteration, the his name is also on a card somewhere in my purse (i.e., the abyss).

I purchased a handheld Lucet with a large hole for rug making.

No, I do not make rugs.

No, I have no interest in making rugs.

No, I do not use thick or bulky yarns.

But, I can, now, should the desire hit me.

The neat thing about the larger hole is that you can double up on the lucet — create a cord from a cord. Rather than thread, string or yarn…I imagine you could even lucet pencil roving. Well, depending on the fiber of course!

I am not sure if lucet can be used as both noun and verb; either way, the “lucet” paragraphs are filled with red underscores…apple’s dictionary and grammar check have yet to include a lexicon of fiber arts terms. \\ sigh //

Lucets vary in shape and size; all have a “horn” shape with prongs/tines averaging an inch to three inches apart and a hole in the body and/or handle. In addition to a handheld model, they can have handles, four prongs and I even saw one with a connected bobbin (on-line). Replacing a knitted I-cord, lucets can create drawstring ties, shoe laces and decorative edgings, sewn into spiral shaped trivets and, if the tool comes with a hole large enough to even out a wide lucet-cord, rugs.

~~~

Moving on to visit the first vendor on my wish-list, we rounded the corner to the loop booth. AMAZING.

Now, I don’t want to make recommendations or endorsements; I use a number of different shops and sellers willing to help increase my fiber stash. We all have preferences for where we choose to purchase fiber. Master dyers, natural wool or plant fiber selections, cool blends, custom work and even the preparation — batts, rovings, top…or clouds.

Clouds.

Like the indescribable masses of fiber plucked from the sky and dyed…by loop.

Steph, the woman behind loop, was warm, kind and welcoming; I hoped to meet her in-person, as she quickly responded to every question, message or loop-group Rav. post I have sent since I started purchasing her fiber. Short or long, I noticed a long while back that Steph takes the time to respond to each and every post in her Rav. loop group.

A talented and innovative fiber artist, best known for her use of textures and colors in her uber-cool art yarns and center-pull “bumps.”

A loop bump is easy spinning, with fiber carefully prepared in a bull’s eye swirl of color upon color. No prep. Easy for travel. Just pull the roving gently from the center as you would any center-pull ball of yarn. Like a handkerchief pulled from a magician’s pocket, the roving comes out of the 4-5oz. “bump” in one piece. Simple. Easy. A joy to spin.

Perfect for the wheelchair.

Each comes in a plastic bag, with a label identifying the different fibers and “button” closure.

If you use bumps, I suggest saving the bags for other purposes OR up-cycling. Credit for this idea goes to my dear Zia Nina, who up-cycles plastic bags from just about anywhere in this fashion: cut the bag in one long strip — like an apple peel; using alone or combined with yarn (heavy weight, consider…yikes! I’m going to write it: a store-bought yarn) you can knit or crochet a variety of different items including: coasters, placemats, trivets, bags, rugs for the car, welcome mats, small purses … the only limit is your imagination.

Steph also creates and sells art yarn — very impressive in-person. I didn’t expect them to look so cool…I decided it best to hold onto my wallet and wheel on past!

Stopping at the loop booth, meeting Steph … a highlight of Rhinebeck…for sure.

~~~

We stopped at random booths here and there. I got to see Kundert spindles — the ones with whorls made of multiple woods. Wow! Impressive woodwork and much larger than I expected!

Booths contained many spindles from unknown makers — some were gorgeous, some…eh, and many were expensive. I was disappointed that a few booths with lovely spindles were unable to provide a name (even if unknown now, I don’t like to buy “anonymous” spindles…if it’s not a match — it can be more difficult to de-stash a spindle you cannot provide information about; of course, depends on the spindle and whether this matter to someone looking to buy/trade). Many did not have the length or weight and, worse yet, men and women working a booth could not identify the wood(s).

Two booths had spindles I might have considered, if only they knew the weight and materials. In one display, most looked like mini-Victoria Lace/Queen Ann spindles — all had two woods and all were $50- I have a Victorian Lace spindle I paid half for, from a known shop that is twice as large. Granted, I find it difficult to use: too heavy and a design element that makes it beautiful also makes it a hassle for me to spin. I keep for it’s beauty. Yet, at Rhinebeck, I couldn’t justify spending so much money on a spindle without knowing something as important as woods.

Again, that’s me. If you fall in love with a spindle and weight and wood are not important to you…buy it. For the record, I will accept gifts…all pertinent info unknown! (lol)

~~~

Next stop: the Golding booth.

Wood: walnut. Every spindle…

Walnut. Ugh.

I thought I would be blown away at seeing Golding spindles in person. I know a number of spinners who love them — we all have our preferences. Even though the ones I’ve tried in the past, well, seemed wobbly to me, I thought I’d have a desire to try one at the booth. Nope. Same shaft, all whorls…in my opinion, it’s trouble. I want to pick up a spindle and spin…no patience for building up cops and weird hook things and fearing my life savings would be lost on a broken whorl (I drop my few drop spindles) … Maybe I am a low-maintenance spinner? Whatever that means…

And, walnut. Bleh.

I occasionally window shop at the Golding website — some whorls are very impressive. I expected to be swept away. But every single whorl, no matter width or length or weight or beauty sat on thin walnut shafts.

Walnut. Did I mention I’m not a fan?

Golding makes lucets. I saw them because my friend brought the basket down to my height.

Golding Lucets — not walnut!
Prices: well, if I were a rich girl…I’d still be content with my (maple) rug-maker!

And, where I felt welcome and enthused at booths like loop and my next stop…I wasn’t greeted with enthusiasm; in fact, the 2 people manning the Golding booth just sat and watched. No interaction (which I love), no excitement (did you see these items over here?), no help (if you didn’t notice our sign, we have roving for you to test our spindles ). I’m a people person. Seriously. I purchased a Lucet that can make rugs from a man who was friendly enough to give me a quick lesson.

I don’t know.

Maybe it was all the walnut. ick.

~~~

Next booth (and on my list even though I never spun their fibers): Fiber Optics.

So, the first few braids as I entered the space…well, didn’t do anything for me. Then, Color after color, braids and pencil rovings, interesting combos — like merino and seacell (dyed to sunny perfection).

And a lovely spindle display of…wait….they look familiar…

texas jeans spindles! In NY!!!

A range of drops and only two Russians left all made by Joshua Lynch (read about Joshua and his work under “spindle talk”).

We looked through the spindle collection and found 2 petite, lightweight spindles with short shafts and no sooner than I said I wonder how they spin? , I had a generous length of pencil roving in my hand to test-spin as many as I wanted!!!

Purpleheart/maple and Lemonwood/maple were the 2 petites; I happened to have the purple in hand (and I have to say, although not a big fan of purple or purpleheart, the whorl was made from an exceptionally lovely piece of wood). As I spun the roving — this tiny spindle, fast as the wind with a smooth spin…l could not resist.

And I’m mostly a support-gal. I do own 2 drops (one by Enid Ashcroft and a SpindleWood square mini, made by Steve Paulsen); both are lovely and both spin fast from the get-go — no hint of wobbling. Now, I have three drops. Carefully placed in a mailing tube, it looks like an abstract vase with flowers!

Back to the festival…

Kim, proprietor of Fiber Optic, was nearby and super friendly. She gave a sample of merino/seacell roving to give a whirl and, although I had heard seacell was a sinewy fiber difficult to spin…this blend was awesome.

Friendly, talented, super cool blends and colors…Fiber Optic was the second successful booth on my hope to see list.

~~~

Since this is getting long, a short interlude away from fiber-related topics: fried bread is NOT what it was when I grew up. And the girl working the booth, who I asked very kindly to cut the large round piece of supposedly fried bread, merely made lines with a knife. Sugar and lemon coating could not save this disgusting…er…um…food?

What happened to thin pieces of bread, fried on the spot, sugar sticking to the oil-soaked dough so you had to hold your breath while eating, lest choke because you inhaled sugar? Oy. Yet another tale I can begin: back when I was young…

If I’m going to clog my arteries with fried food, it should taste good (i.e., fried).

Still, even though this health-nut didn’t successful clog any arteries, Sunday was the best day.

Oh, And there’s more to tell!!!!

Rhinebeck: Part 2 will be coming along in a few days.


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