Monday, October 20, 2014

North Country Fiber Fair 2014 - Day 1

 Sorry that it took me so long to write up this post, I've really got to get better about posting things on here more!

This was the first year that I was able to get off work so that I could travel up to Watertown, SD for North Country Fiber Fair. I've heard all sorts of wonderful things from the ladies in my knitting group about NCFF, but I never remembered to ask for the time off so that I could attend. I was able to go with 2 other girls that I work with at Barnes & Noble who are just as smitten with a good alpaca roving as I am so we car-pooled up and stayed with one of their relatives. (Don't start thinking that that saved us any money, though. The funds were just put to MUCH better use buying yarn instead of paying for a hotel room.)

The lovely view as we drove North to Watertown and what seemed like all the spinning wheels in South Dakota.
It took us a bit longer to leave town than we originally thought that it would so we ended up getting to NCFF right as Katie and Sara's class (Book Binding) was starting. They quickly signed in and ran off to class and I joined in the fiber circle. I had brought a crochet project in to work on instead of my drop spindle, so I kind of felt like the odd man out because everyone else was either setting up their spinning wheel or was already busily filling bobbins. (Someday I'll have one of my own!!)

The lady that I was sitting next to was spinning up some lovely brown roving from her own alpaca and I about died from excitement when I was talking with her. She has a small farm with a few animals that keep her well supplied with spinning fiber. I would absolutely love to have my own alpaca, but I don't think the alpaca would love my yard. (And I don't think the neighbors would love the alpaca...)

Delicious, smooshy Corny Goodness DK Yarn for my Hediye by Ysolda.
After the Book Binding class ended, we had supper and by the time we got back to NCFF most of the vendors were almost done setting up so we decided to snoop around the marketplace. Corny Goodness, a Minnesota-based yarn company that plys and hand-dyes yarns made from corn fiber and corn/wool blends, had a booth set up that I was super excited to poke around in. My LYS carries the fingering weight of their yarn, but one of my goals at the fiber fair was to find the perfect DK yarn to knit Hediye by Ysolda Teague because she had released it the Monday before we left town.

I looked at the yardage requirements for the pattern and assumed that the longer yardage would be for the striped center section of the shawl, so I decided on yellow for the cable border, and planned to alternate between the blues for the stripes on the center. The owners at Corny Goodness were so nice, they didn't want me to miss out on getting the yarns that I needed for my project so they let me buy before the market even opened! I was so super excited about how lovely the shawl was going to be that I didn't even think about the fact that the cable border was going to need way more yarn than the center would. Thankfully, when we went back to their booth on Saturday morning, they still had 1 skein left in the same dye lot as my yellow that I already purchased. Project saved!

Katie (left) and Sara (right) attempting to make sense of what was Sara's ball of yarn.
After the high of buying my delicious corn yarn (I absolutely love alternative fibers!!) and getting to pet multiple other lovelies in the marketplace, we decided to re-join the fiber circle and work on the projects we had with us. I don't remember how exactly it happened, but at one point Sara's ball of cotton exploded and was basically yarn puke all over her and Katie. They valiantly attempted to untangle all the knots and wind it back up, but eventually we decided that the only way to make it through a yarn mess that big was to add alcohol, so we ducked out of NCFF about 30 min before it closed Friday night and went in search of a liquor store.

My favorite South Dakota winery released this amazingness!!
After getting lost multiple times and finding all the cowboys in Watertown (there are 3) we finally ended up at Sara's step-sister's house where we watched anime, knit and drank wine out of water glasses. We're a classy group, let me tell you!

(PS: The wine did help to untangle the yarn vomit and I was able to teach Sara how to make a center-pull ball with the yarn afterwards. Hooray! Success!!)

Eventually, we passed out wherever we happened to be sitting. I started out in the chair and eventually ended up sleeping on the living room floor with my sweatshirt hood pulled over my face because I managed to bring 5 separate knitting/crochet/spinning projects, but forgot pajamas, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. You gotta have priorities when packing. My focus this weekend was apparently on yarn, not hygiene or sleepwear. (What was I supposed to do with myself if I finished that blanket AND sweater by the middle of Saturday afternoon? Not knit?!?)

So ends Day One at NCFF 2014. I didn't realize just how much happened over the weekend, so I'm gonna post Day 2 next week because it's 1:00 AM and Mr. Little Man will be up in about 4 hours for a bottle. Off to bed with me for now, but I promise that I'll have another post next week! I'm really going to make an effort to do one post on here each week so keep checking back! Have a great week and enjoy the beginning of Fall, it's perfect knitting weather right now.  ^_^