Monday, March 12, 2007

A Snob No More

I have been a Merino snob for many, many years. “There is nothing like Merino wool for spinning” says I.

For those who are not fiber oriented, Merino wool IS the softest sheep’s wool in the world. Of course, to get that softness, you have fiber that is fine and short and easily felted.

For years I have struggled to get the Merino processed as easily as I can and have resisted people telling me that I COULD get soft yarns out of other fibers.

However, I have learned my lesson and have learned to admit my mistakes and will go on from here. In Watertown, I told you that I had purchased some purple mixed wool from Kelly and Marie (Natural Colored Wool Studio – see side panel for link). This had Mohair and Icelandic blended together. I really did enjoy spinning it and am spinning for my daughter, Joy, to knit me a shawl of some kind.

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Notice the pile of washed, unprocessed fiber at the left.

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How fluffy it is after being combed
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Rolled in a "nest" and ready to spin

So, I am going to change from Merino for awhile. I have two batches of my best merino that I will send off to get commercially processed for spinning lovely soft shawls, but I will buy raw wool from Marie and Kelly for processing myself. A snob no more!

The rest of the weekend was wonderful, as well. We were assigned spots this time and we didn’t like where we were assigned, so were allowed to move. They gave us one table, and we are technically allowed two, as we are two demonstrators with two different crafts. We got a corner and spread out – the bar behind us was not open, so we used it as a “spare room” to store our mattresses, our cooler and other non-period things.

Norm’s spoons were popular, as always .. and my spinning always gets comments and looks.

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Marie (on the left) sells fiber - Molly sells pincushions and writing tools, Ole sells himself (as a speaker)

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Wally and Katie at their booth

We were asked to come back to Big Island (Albert Lea) in October – and signed a contract. We were also asked to demonstrate for the Memorial Day weekend in Cannon Falls.

Normally, there has been a banquet and a dance on Saturday night – and we in the basement would have to tear down our tables for this. Also, unless we wanted to stay up until after 1:00, we would have to find a corner in the upstairs to put our beds for the night.

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Our beds setup under the table (sort of)

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Getting beds ready at the end of the isle

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Beds in an isle (sorry it's blurry)

This time they cancelled the banquet (not that hot anyway) and cancelled the dance. So we in the basement were able to keep our tables up and put our beds down anytime after 5:00 ... well, closer to bedtime worked best! So Norm and I were in bed, with lights out, at 10:00 in a quieter, no-smoking basement (the bar upstairs allows smoking and it oozes all over the upstairs). And no one to trip over us, as we were in a safe corner!

Sunday was confusing because of Daylight Waste-ing Time. We had to get up earlier, get ready earlier for “flatlanders” to come look around. And we were done and ready to tear down before we started (or at least it felt that way!).

Candy came down for a few hours to look around and see what New Ulm’s Trade Fair is all about. She enjoyed it and wished she had MORE money --- there is so much stuff that is waaaay cool and needs to be purchased!!

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Marie, modeling a work shaw that I want Joy to make
So, we got home in the daylight for once and unpacked before dark ... strange feeling Peanut was good but missed me – I missed her, too. Sister Candy took care of Peanut and Goldie and the chickens. .

It was a beautiful day today – it got up to about 55º and snow is melting all over the place!! You have a beautiful day!


Anonymous said...

Ooops, I think I put my comment in your previous post - anyhoo, yes, please do the a to z! I'm looking forward to it!



Tracey said...

Fiber snob!!!

Although I tend to agree, there's nothing quite like merino. Blue faced Liecester is nice, however, if you're looking for something nearly as soft (I could barely tell the difference in the two I was spinning this past fall.)

Icelandic? Must have had the tog pulled out, leaving you with the soft undercoat known as thel. The tog is coarse and can be scratchy, but when the two are spun together in their natural state they make a pretty incredible sweater yarn! (I used to have icelandics, btw...lovely animals, but better suited for felting, imo.)

Kati said...

Looks like you had a good time!!! Glad to hear that you got to be down-stairs, away from the smoky bar!!! And glad you're home safe to snuggle your lonely Peanut!

happyowl said...

I love the pictures! I almost feel like I was there with you! Give Peanut a big hug for me.

Brightest blessings