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I realize I am a little late on this post! The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival was May 7 and 8, 2011. If you haven’t been and you like anything having to do with sheep, wool, alpaca, goats, spinning, knitting, crocheting, weaving etc. -this is a must! This years Sheep and Wool Festival was huge- as it seems to grow each year! This year there was lots more roving! Gorgeous roving everywhere!
There were braided hunks of roving, bats of roving and all the equipment needed to make your own roving or start spinning- yeah I bought some and I bought a drop spindle.
I was and always am amazed at all of the different sizes and shapes and textures of wool!
and of course, shopping!! No more yarn for awhile or you will see me on an episode of Hoarders! This year there was more roving, raw fiber, wool rug hooking, spinning and weaving vendors then there have been in the past.
I am trying to come up with “stash” busting ideas lately because The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is coming up next weekend and I need to make room for MORE yarn! When I started knitting about 10 years ago or so, I remember getting snapped at by yarn snobs because I wanted to mix different fibers within a project. Well…..it seems that is the thing to do NOW, all I keep seeing are ads for yarns that contain many different types of fibers. For example, I am currently using a yarn that contains soy, wool, and chitin (shrimp and clam shell fragments) and I am seeing a lot of yarns that contain cotton but some other type of fiber is added to give it some elasticity- I think it all is genius because you can get a more versatile yarn in the end. I have even seen cotton and wool mixed in the same yarn!!
Above is something I love to do and have done many times as a “stash” busting project. I do a Log Cabin type of design for a blanket or throw with different fibers (it can be anything, just the same gauge) and instead of doing the traditional Log Cabin with garter stitch sections I do different stitches in each section -all that have a very similar gauge. It is fun and it looks really neat in the end. I think these blankets can be sentimental too, in this one I included some odds and ends of yarns that I got at various knitting events and even some special yarn that a friend gave me as a gift. I look at this blanket and I know where all the yarns came from.
Another project in which I mixed fibers is this throw (pictured below), I love how it turned out! It has every fiber imaginable in it (almost) and it is thick and chunky. I made this one by holding 3-4 strands of different fibers together throughout and then I would switch one or two of them periodically to give different textured stripes (knit 1, purl 1 throughout). This one is a particularly useful “stash” buster because you can create the same gauge by using more or less strands, in other words if you wanted to use 1 worsted strand instead of 2 sock yarn strands you could get away with it.
It just so happens that this throw is for sale in my Etsy shop (www.pkramarsic.etsy.com) You can also view more pictures there.
My last “stash” buster that I am working on is a pattern from an old Verena magazine, it is a cowl but instead of using the yarn that the pattern calls for I am using 2 lighter weight yarns held together. I discovered that if you use 1 solid colored yarn and 1 variegated yarn you get a sort of a tweed looking product. The yarns I used were wool (solid), a soy-cotton (variegated) and a mohair (solid). I used the mohair yarn paired with the variegated yarn in the ribbing giving it a halo just in the ribbing.
Anyway, The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is May 7-8 at the Howard County Fairgrounds (www.sheepandwool.org). Gotta run……….
My friend Stacy and I decided -pretty much at the last minute- to drive up to New York City to the Knitting on The Rocks event at The City Bakery (thecitybakery.com) last Thursday night. We were coming from Crofton, MD so this is about a 3 hour and 20 minute drive, but it was well worth it!
We left at 1 PM and got there and parked about 4:30 PM. We took a cab to Purl Soho knitting shop since we had 2 hours to kill before the event started. This shop is amazing- check our their website purlsoho.com and their blog purlbee.com
This picture is a tease because there are no pictures that could be taken that would do it justice. Amazing selection of yarn, needlepoint supplies, weaving and spinning supplies and quilting fabrics, etc., gorgeously displayed.
We were inspired to make Joelle’s favorite vest after we saw and felt the Madeline Tosh Merino Light that it is made with. The vest pattern can be found at purlbee.com
The experience was overwhelming but I was proud of myself for walking out of there without a needlepoint canvas and supplies, drop spindle and spinning supplies or the Eiffel Tower scissors that I wanted! I ONLY bought yarn for the vest!
So after walking out of Purl Soho we took a cab back up to The City Bakery on 18th St. We had to wait for 30 minutes outside in the cccccold since it was a private event and the doors didn’t open until 7 PM.
This event was everything advertised and more, great food, great inspiration, raffle, charity knitting, demonstrations, etc. Stacy and I loved it and vow to go back to it next year if they do it again. Did I mention the FOOD? Crazy good! I won’t disclose what was on the menu, only that it was yummy and plentiful (trying to create some mystery so you’ll want to go yourself!). We heard about it on the Purlbee.com blog.
YES! Homemade marshmallows! and YES that is marshmallow garland! AWESOME!
Spinning anyone? The Downtown Yarn Shop (downtownyarns.com) did a spinning demo. I loved it! Did you know these spinning wheels fold flat! Perfect for small spaces.
Knitty City yarn shop (knittycity.com) had a charity knitting table and if you knit a few rows or a square you got a give away. Again- I won’t say what that freebe was. You have to go! Brooklyn General Store (brooklyngeneral.com) even had a demo on making knitted donuts!
I bought some Manos del Uruguay wool in which to create something of the same concept- neutral and functional but a pop of something bright:
Another of our favorite tables was the Wool and the Gang table (woolandthegang.com):
They had these chunky needles and chunky yarns for sale. The coolest part though is that they sell kits on their website OR you can buy their clothing items already knit at their store.
Well, all in all it was a successful and inspiring road trip- we got back at 2 AM broke and exhausted but we would do it all over again!