Fiber Fest Weekend

We had a great time at the Midwest Fiber Fest last weekend! I headed out on Friday morning (and of course Loopy insisted on tagging along.) Does it mean anything that my knitting bag was as big as my luggage for the whole weekend? I really love that bag. I had to pack a lot of knitting in there, because heaven forbid that I might run short of something to knit. (Never mind that we were going to a fiber festival where I could buy more. That doesn’t count.) My drive up took forever. Chicago is really only 5 or so hours away, but I was driving “in Chicago” for about an hour and a half, between the road construction, the rain, and the rush hour traffic. I was glad to finally get to Crystal Lake, where we were staying.

Saturday morning we had a cup of coffee (Caribou Coffee – yum!) and we headed out. It was drizzling, but fortunately many of the booths were inside. We met up with Adrianne and Kris within the first few minutes and had fun hanging out with them the rest of the day. It didn’t take too long to find the animals. Loopy and I both really liked the angora bunnies that were for sale. I stood and held one for about 20 minutes while talking to their owner. The bunny couldn’t have been sweeter! I tried to talk Janice into getting into angora bunnies, but she would not be swayed. (Seriously – she has the perfect setup for them. I don’t.) Oh well. We also saw two alpacas who were more chatty than any I had been around before. They make a kind of humming noise and these two were humming the whole time we were standing around photoing them. Very cute.

I was happy to find Jennie the Potter in one of the booths, and I bought a vase-type-of-thing to hold needles. I had seen her wonderful pottery before and now have a few pieces of it on my wish list. I posed Loopy by one of the bowls so that you could see her work. She makes mugs, plates, bowls and vases, with knitting and spinning themes and different color options.

We also saw a few different sock knitting machines and this guy was demonstrating how to use them. I have heard that the learning curve is high, but boy, does it ever look fun. Just turn the crank and out pops the knitted fabric. He said it takes him about 3 hours to knit a pair of socks, which includes the set-up and the kitchenering of the toes at the end. Interesting. (I do still like knitting them myself. I just think it would be awfully fun to be able to whip out some samples of how different yarn lines knit up. But then again, who has time to learn to operate one of those things?) This guy is an elementary school teacher and is looking forward to retiring in a year so that he can spend more time working on this machine.

What did I buy? Well besides the pottery, I bought … quite a few fun skeins of yarn! But some of it are lines that we might be getting here so I will keep it all under wraps for now. It was fun to see lots of different options. Here’s a picture of Dianne from Creatively Dyed. She had a great booth set up and it was nice to find her there. She also does booths at Stitches, so you can look for her in all of those places as well. (We just got in a big order from her. The yarn is absolutely stunning – wonderful colors. That went up this week. The Seacell roving will go up next week.) I also ran into Gale from Gale’s Art (forgot to take a photo) and she promises that our next Black BFL order is in the works. We love her roving.

After we had gone through the entire place twice, we decided that we’d had enough (or maybe we decided that we had spent enough – or maybe, like this photo of Janice shows, we couldn’t make up our minds any more) and headed home for an afternoon of knitting and spinning. Here’s a photo of Adrienne giving Janice some spinning instruction (and Kris helping!). Adrienne is such a great encourager and teacher. (She repeatedly said, “Don’t say that I’m a spinning teacher. I’m really not!” But she really is. She talks about spinning things that are way beyond me and is a wealth of information. Which just shows me how much I have yet to learn!) I finished a sock out of Earthly Hues, which I’ll photo and show you on Friday. This is a new line that we’ll put up next week. I also realized that I have FOUR scarves on the needles. FPS. I really thought I was done with scarves, but I keep finding fun patterns for them that I want to knit up. And fun yarns to do them in. Still wishing I could find more time to knit, too. You know, to get all of those scarves done. 🙂

I definitely want to go back to this festival next summer and Janice agrees. Who wants to join us?


Sheri figuredsinceIwasupat1amfortheSneakUp,Imightaswelldotheblogposttoo


  1. I did catch the sneak up, although not in the very early hours. I am on no spending streak for now, but am seriously looking at the Sanguine Gryphon selections. They are just too lovely. Which scarves have you on the needles? And, yes, I would love to join you next year. What fun!

  2. It looks like you & Loopy had a great time at the fiber fest. I’d love to go to the fiber fest. You were up awfully late which would be 2:30 my time. Jennie the Potter’s items look wonderful – I like the knitting themes. I love my new Atenti bag too.

  3. Mmmmm, Caribou’s Lite White Berry is my favorite whenever I’m visiting the Twin Cities. The fiber festival sounds like fun!

  4. I did catch the sneak up when I got up at 7:30 this am but since I just placed a large (for me) order I just added a couple of skeins of the CPH Cotton Candy and a Pattern and they will sit there till the 2nd Anniversary kit come available and my credit is available for use 🙂

  5. In my local fiber arts guild we make preemie sets (either knitted or crocheted) for the hospitals and turn them in three times a year. A “set” consists of a blanket 18″x24″, a small cap 4-1/2″ to 5-1/2″ inches across and a pair of booties/socks that will fit over two fingers. Since the cap and booties/socks seem to inhibit some of our members, one person has been knitting caps and tube socks on her cast iron sock knitting machine. She let everyone know what yarns works best in her machine and so she just makes them in solid colors to coordinate with the pretty, multicolored blankets that are turned in.

  6. I made it to Fiber & Folk on Sunday, sorry I missed seeing you there Sheri. I think that like many people there, I was overwhelmed by the amount of fiber! I needed to pet a bunny and eat some ice cream after a while… You must be used to it with all the stuff you have at Loopy Central 🙂
    I hope you’ll be adding some of the great stuff I saw there. It was so hard to choose and keep myself on a budget.

  7. Next year I want to go:)

    Also- you understand I have bag envy… I keep putting atenti’s on my wish list…. Is it possible to have too many bags??? I mean they are multi-purpose- and gorgeous- and I really DO need one for each “colorway” of my wardrobe— and then you know— different size and types for various types of outings…. and.. oh who am I trying to kid—-

    The bottom line?


    Seacell roving? cannot waoit to try that! And I want jennie the potter bowl for my table… and …and a mug… and oh man- I may actually need to consider a job or something…. 🙂

  8. Looks like it was a wonderful time. Those bunnies are just too adorable, how could Janice resist and few of those??

    Looking forward to seeing the pair of socks, and the new yarn: )

  9. How on earth did you manage to drive through Chicago on your way from St. Louis to Crystal Lake? When my sister lived near Crystal Lake, starting from Rockford, I took Hwy. 20 to Hwy 176 to Crystal Lake.

  10. Looks like you had a great time. There is so much new stuff up — all of it is my favorite too! Hmmm. I don’t know which I like more, the pictures of the yarn, or the names! (It goes without saying that I love having the yarn the best.)

    I’m determined to finish two pairs of socks before I buy more yarn, looks like I better hurry up. Fortunately, the summer monsoons have hit western Massachusetts, so it is not too hot at all to knit!

  11. Looks like you had a great time. Your post made me more excited about going to SAFF in October. I loved the bunnies too but Debit probably would not allow a bunny. While the sockknitting machine would be great for you to “swatching” yarn samples, machine knitting always seems a little like cheating to me. I can buy machine knit clothes at the department store.

    I’d love to go to the festival next year to Chicago is a loong way for me to go. I’ll stick to the ones in my region.

  12. My daughter has been after me to get an angora bunny since we saw some at a “Fiber Frolic” this summer. They are cute but work too! Lots of plucking!

    A sock knitting machine might mean I could possibly get through my sock yarn stash in my lifetime!

  13. Looks like you had a great time. Thanks for the link to Jennie the Potter, bought one of her beautiful mugs, can’t wait til it arrives.

  14. Glad you had so much fun! I know I love fiber festivals. Those bunnies are cute and the alpaca is gorgeous. Their humming is awesome. I was hoping (for your sleep) that the sneak-up was scheduled and automated. Guess not. Catch some zzzz today.

  15. So what’s your strategy for shopping Sheri? Are you a first-impulse buyer, or do you make your first round of the booths to check out things, prioritize the wish list, check prices, and then do your buying on the second round?? That’s my MO, although there is usually some OMG-it-will-be-sold-out-before-I-get-back-so-I-have-to-get-it-now item that sneaks in. My friend and I take a canvas shopping back and when it’s full, we’re done shopping (although…you know what? You can really compress yarn and fit a LOT into one Trader Joe’s canvas bag. A lot.).

  16. /unlurk

    I just wanted to say that I have a CSM that I purchased on ebay for a reasonable amount and I had it set up and learned how to use it within two weeks. The only issue I have now is finding the time to spend with it to continue to crank out socks. It’s easy to knit a sock on needles since you can bring it with you however, I think a restaurant would frown on trucking in the CSM setup so you can work on your sock while you wait for your dinner!

    /back to lurking

  17. I’m glad you had a good time at the festival. It all looks like so much fun.
    And I had a mini-miracle; I saw all your pictures on your blog. Hurrah!!!!!!!!! I
    love the pottery.

  18. First, I love that green suitcase to death! Glad you guys had a great time!

    I *heart* Adrienne, if I ever get bitten by the spinning bug I swear I want her to teach me, she looked so patient and calm when showing Kellie at the Fling.

  19. I lived in Chicago for a time after my divorce in a high-rise apartment building. Coming from a smallish city in the Bay Area (and having never lived in an apartment), talk about culture shock! Walking or cabbing everywhere (because my Bronco was too big for the garage, I had to have an attendant raise the door a few inches for me so I could take it out, and then there was the parking problem when I got to wherever I was going), I finally decided to buy a house. Oddly enough, I found a beautiful home in Crystal Lake (took the train out there) and put a deposit on it. I loved the town – the lake in the center of town was gorgeous, and the house looked like Hansel and Gretel had lived there. Then I met Hubster, so…

    It’s nice to be back in California (I’m a Bay Area native). Those storms scared the hell out of me. You also have to remember that I’ve seen snow five times in my life and actually touched it twice. Chicago is a fun party city, but living there? No thanks. I need the ocean nearby, don’t know how to deal with humidity, and certainly don’t like the idea of those huge thunderstorms rolling through. I’m a weather weenie.

  20. Now I really want another bag! Do you think that Loopy can sneak into the Whte House? I just got word that we have a tour, Have to check the website again about what is allowed. I would love to go to a fiber festival, guess that I just need to plan for one and go!

  21. It sounds like you had such a fun weekend!
    You’re not making four LACE scarves, are you? Which ones are you working on? I finished my Fiddlehead and it is very pretty, I have to admit, now that it’s done. I’m a glutton for punishment, too, I guess, because I’ve started another lace scarf which I promised my husband I’d make his mom for her birthday.

  22. Hi Sheri,
    I purchased a spinning wheel after using my drop spindle a few times :-). My question to you is what does one purchase to spin? I purchased a few things from your business but then I read a beginner should spin…..I don’t recall. Is it wool top? Is it roving? Help. I purchased a gently used Majacraft Little Gem–I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t get it out until I finished all eleven squares for a blanket exchange on Ravelry. This is killing me! I still have six squares to go…..They have to be mailed by the 31st, oh well what’s the rush LOL!! Any suggestions would be sooo
    appreciated. I remember when you got the spinning bug and enjoyed reading about your progress. Thanks in advance. Kelly

  23. Me me me…pick me…P-L-E-A-S-E! I wanna come with you next year!

    I loved meeting Adrienne at the Fling…and watching her spin. I ‘m sure it is she (and Stacey) who have sparked my interest in spinning. (Just might have to come over and admire those wheels as soon as you expand and find a place for them….).

    And what fun…I did catch the late-night sneak-up last night…I was in the ER on the night shift! I really must go on a yarn diet soon…

  24. How fun, and how lovely to have met up with Adrianne..what a lovely lady she is. Watching her spin at the Spring Fling was a highly religious experience. everytime I think of it I have to stop myself from getting a wheel. And I found out my neighbor is a spinner and weaver. I may be doomed. Looks and sounds like fun was had by all. BTW the Atenti seems as though it is a little droopy, more room still there to have packed more things :)? I just cannot seem to fill mine up. I think Scarlet will be the next one I get. My goal is one a season til I have the 4 I want 🙂 I dream about the 240 colorways of Cascade coming…

  25. Sheri–I’m trying to find Pillars of Fire sock pattern–apparently a kit? maybe a pattern, by Terri Ross…can’t find it on the Loopy Ewe ordering site…and would like to make it.


  26. Looks like you had a great time! I’m surprised Little Loopy didn’t talk you into critters. He’s in charge of everyone in my house, and Paddy Cat is crazy about him. 😎

  27. Mmmmmm, bunnies! They are just too cute, but I wonder what the dog would have to say about that….

    Yeah, I guess a sock knitting machine would be cheating. But I can see how it might look real tempting right before Christmas (or any other gift-giving occasion)!

  28. Sheri
    I love little Loopy and he looked so happy to be going out of town with you. I’m sure he enjoyed the fiber festival.

    I’m so glad you got the little loopys they always make me smile when I see them.

    Have a great weekend.

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