Sunday, April 29, 2012

All we, like sheep....

Gentle knitters, let the music commence.

Multipurpose: 4-H exhibit at yesterday's  Connecticut Sheep and Wool Festival,  friend, fleece, fiber, sheepskin, meat.

The annual Connecticut Sheep and Wool Festival was a splendid affair, enhanced by perfect spring weather, just chilly enough to allow knitters to parade about in hand-made outerwear. I saw designs by Kristin Nicholas, Kaffe Fassett, EZ and other luminaries worn by real people (mostly middle-aged, "de-conditioned") in real time, which was most instructive. The takeaway: do not wear a voluminous Fassett coat if you're excessively large in any dimension, else you'll resemble a yurt with feet. The knitting, however, was spectacular. I photographed this elegant shawl, edged by tiny pearl-beads, as its proud creator displayed it to nearby admiring fiberholics:

Although the event was sponsored by the Connecticut Sheep Breeders Association, other animals were much in evidence, either live or in fiber form:

Mowing a rabbit.

Angoras for sale.

The alpacas brought their own fans (partly visible at left)
Cashmere goats were represented by this practical bikini top (left)... were canines.  This Samoyed-merino blend was soft and fuzzy, like angora.  Damn, I wish I'd bought some! But do you suppose it smells like wet dog when it's damp?
On the balance, this was one of the better fiber expos I've attended. The setting was more rural than suburban, the selection of fibers and yarns was wide and varied, affiliated craftspeople (soap-makers, artists, etc.) sold quality rather than kitsch, demonstrations (border collies, sheep and bunny shearing, carding, spinning, knitting, knitting with beads, and so forth) were what you'd expect but done effectively (demos were easy to see, speakers could be heard because there were no overwhelming crowds), and one gained an excellent sense of the liveliness of fiber arts in New England generally (I met vendors from all over the region, though the majority was from Connecticut). Alas, the festival is only a one-day event.

So here's my advice--if you weren't able to make it to Tolland this year, try to go in 2013. Meanwhile I'll leave you with a few more postcards.

Purist spinning.

Holding pen for the shearing demonstrations.

There was always music in the air.

Neuroknitter went roving.
Gorgeous yarn by Dirty Water Dyeworks of Arlington, MA.  I bought some.
Gorgeous natural colors.  Sorry, I forgot the name of the farm!
Sheep, when not badgered by eager and active border collies, may safely graze (at a distance).

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"No big deal," she said modestly.

One of my all-time favorite sock yarns is Online Supersocke, fortified with aloe and jojoba so that it's extremely soft to knit and wear. It's self-fair-isling, and looks fabulous and difficult and impressive (wink, wink).

But here's the real magic--the yarn is as great in miniature as in adult socks. Aren't these booties adorable? Fabricated entirely from leftovers, of course.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happiness is

knitting with good friends in a cozy room when it's storming outside. As was the case yesterday. For some reason, everyone was knitting socks.


And another uplifting note:  the Connecticut Sheep and Fiber Festival happens on Saturday the 28th, in Tolland.  Maybe I'll see you there?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Espied yesterday in New Haven, Connecticut.

These tree-, parking-meter-, and door-handle cozies warm up the entry of Knit New Haven, a lovely LYS on Whitney Avenue.