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?