Thursday, June 2, 2016

May Fiber Fairs

The first one, and one of the big ones nationally, is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. The last time I went was in 1993 or '94, when I still lived in NJ. I took my two granddaugters along that year - they now have daughters older than they were then. The ones I went to this year are much closer to my Tiny Town.

On May 14, I went to the fiber fair of the Southern Illinois Spinners and Weavers in Metropolis IL. It was small, but nice. Since it was local (40 miles), I ran into several people I know from some of the fiber-related groups I am, or have been, in.

On May 21, I went to the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival in Lexington KY. I've known about this festival for several years, but had never gone. I wasn't going to go this year either, but then I found out that Annie Modesitt would be there with her yarn and books. I like Annie's work, and love the title of one of her books - Confessions of a Knitting Heretic. However, it is one of her other books that made me want to meet her - Knit with Courage, Live with Hope. In that she writes about her husband's struggle with Multiple Myeloma. He and I were diagnosed about the same time (9years ago). His experience with it has been a good bit different than mine, including bone marrow transplant, which I did not have. From other things I've heard, I believe that myeloma is worse for younger people, and possibly for men, than for older women like me. Annie said that her husband is doing OK now. (I've been in remission almost six years.)

I spent that weekend with my sister Renee in Louisville, which put me much closer to Lexington. Renee went with me to the festival, and saw a couple of things she had not heard of before, principally needle felting. There were people demonstrating various techniques, and there were fiber animals. We watched a sheep being sheared.

I didn't buy much at either event - some carded fiber to spin in Metropolis and a ball of yarn in Lexington.
I think when I get that fiber (50% Romney wool, 50% mohair) spun, I can use the two yarns together in something FOR ME. The yarn is 60% superwash Merino, 30% bamboo, 10% nylon. Although it could be washed carefully by machine, the yarn I spin from that fiber will be hand wash, so the resulting item will be hand wash.

I also bought another one of Annie Modesitt's books, History on Two Needles. In it are several knitted garments she designed, inspired by historical statues, paintings, etc. Her explanations make it much more than just a pattern book.

After a couple of hours at the festival, Renee and I went to visit our cousin Elcena in Georgetown. I think that for each of those two, the other is the only cousin she remembers playing with. All of their other cousins, on both sides of their families, were 1,000 miles or more away. My older sister and I (and maybe our brother) remember playing with cousins when we were still in Minnesota, but Renee had just turned 3 when we moved, and I think Elcena was born in Kentucky. I enjoyed that visit.

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