Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Maryland Sheep & Wool Recovery 1: The Haul

(On a sidenote, my tattoo is on Buzzfeed right now. I'm like giggly excited. Check it out! I'm 32).

Sheep and Wool was over a week ago and I've decompressed enough to write about it. It was a long day full of good people, beautiful yarn and new furry friends. As usual, I blew my budget (and then some), but Rhinebeck is a long aways away and it's hard to be good when you're the bad influence to your friends. Pro-enabler got enabled.

It's always good to go in with a plan. And I did, but then I lost my mind in the Cephalopod Yarns booth. It's not my fault that was the first stop of the day. It's ok though because Robin lost her mind too. If you've never used Cephalopod Yarns you're missing out. They're one half of the now defunct Sanguine Gryphon yarns, AKA the mamas to Bugga! And Skinny Bugga! I found out about Sanguine Gryphon weeks before they announced their split and managed to hide away a few beautiful skeins that I will probably stare at and never knit. Since the split I've become enamored with Traveller, their DK base. My initial plan was to use it for The Keeper, a shawl that was actually on my shopping list, but with one more skein I could knit a whole sweater. And better a $100 sweater than a $75 shawl, right? Obviously.

Couple of junkies in the Cephalopod booth

My color tastes have changed a lot over the past 2-3 years. I've always been a lover of autumnal colors (with a few jewel tones thrown in), but lately I find myself gravitating towards water colors. And grays. There's not a gray I don't love. I got the best of both worlds at Cephalopod's booth, with 4 skeins of Traveller in "Great Smokey Mountains" for an amazing sweater and 1 skein of Traveller in House of Strangers for the best autumn hat ever. Seeking pattern advice on that one.

Great Smokey Mountains & House of Strangers
We wandered around the Main Barn for a bit longer and stumbled into Into the Whirled, a company that is still relatively new to us. Sara and Andrea scored some beautiful skeins last year (after I had blown my budget) and I had major envy over their skeins. I made up for it at Rhinebeck last fall, but checking them out this time around was high on our priority list. Their yarns fall into that "too beautiful to wind" category. Again, I will probably never knit with these yarns, but they're oh so pretty to look at.

Being monsters (Me, Sara & Kristin) - photo by Andrea
We all ended up leaving the booth with something. I got three new colors to add to my Into the Whirled collection: Bigger on the Inside (Dr. Who nerdlove), Squeak and Aurora Borealis. BotI and Squeak are in Pakokku Sock comprised of 75% Merino & 25% Nylon with a whopping 460 yards per skein. Those are gonna be SOME socks! Or, let's be real, nothing at all. Aurora Borealis is a former club colorway and was only available in Gloucester sock. But that's ok; they're all equally beautiful.

Bigger on the Inside, Squeak, Aurora Borealis

So good, right? Right.

We putzed around in the Main Barn awhile longer, ran into some friends and bought more yarn. I'd bought Miss Babs at Stitches Midwest a few summers ago, but I haven't been able to even get near her booth at any of the fiber festivals I've been to on the East Coast. We are talking butt to butt people here. While most of my group pressed on to find food, I decided to brave the chaos and see if I could at least peer inside her booth, let alone pick anything up. It was swarming but I (heroically) made my way through the mob and fell in love with her massive "YOWZA" skeins. Seriously. These things are comically large and terribly beautiful.

Zombie Prom - Yowza! 

Deep Sea Jellyfish - Yowza!

Seriously. What am I going to do with 560 yards of handpainted worsted weight? But these skeins were too beautiful to walk away from. And, as you will learn, I am a sucker for things with great names. And Zombie Prom?! Come on. Come on! I'm thinking both of these will be infinity scarves for next fall. I started one Big Herringbone Cowl with a plain red (Manos Rittenhouse in Brick), but decided to frog it for a sweater. I'm thinking Deep Sea Jellyfish might look great in the herringbone stitch pattern. I'll spend a bit more time dwelling on Zombie Prom because it is my favorite skein of the whole day. Also, let's be real, the idea of only having to weave in two ends for a whole cowl? I'm sold on Yowza!

All of the other purchases from the day were sock yarns without a purpose. I had to stop at Verdant Gryphon and show them some love. I'm pleased to note that both of my purchases were from the sale basket and I scooped them up for 20% off their regular price. I've never used either of these bases, so I'm excited to see what they will become!

Bugga! in Experimental Love Child

Eidos in The Rabbit Hole
The Bugga will probably be a pair of socks (someday), but I've found it really hard to find good sport-weight sock patterns. There are like 2-3 out there that I like and the rest are only kind of ok. I might end up with 10 pairs of Ampersands in my coughCURRENTLYNONEXISTENTcough handknit sock drawer, but I suppose there are worse things. The Eidos is a beautiful, super vibrant blue (very similar to Madtosh Fathom) and after seeing these socks by IgnorantBliss I'm thinking I might need my very own pair of KawKawEsque socks.

Mediumweight in Heart Throb

Lightweight in ka - POW! pa - TINA!
The last of my sock yarn indulgences came from The Fold, which is probably my favorite LYSs from back home. I use that "L" quite liberally, because The Fold is about a 45 minute drive from home, but we still hopefully made the trek every month or two. Toni, the owner, is a lovely lady and I love being able to support her. Plus she has Socks That Rock. I always leave with 2-3 no matter where I might pick them up. I've already wound Heart Throb and plan on knitting myself some Leyburn socks after I finish up a few WIPs.

My final purchase of the day came when my feet were ready to fall off my legs. Still we pressed on like champs and found a booth selling Neighborhood Fibre Co, which I first discovered at Vogue Knitting Live earlier this year. I was holding out on purchasing anything else unless I found Neighborhood, so I was glad I stuck to my guns at the end. This purchase was the only thing from my original "to-buy" list. Edgewood is so beautiful that I've bought it twice now. 


Woodley Park


Oh yes. These lovely skeins of Neighborhood Fibre Company's Rustic Fingering will be my Pop Spots shawl. It's taken all of the willpower I have left to keep from winding these skeins because I have so many other things I need to finish up before I even consider taking on this shawl. But it will be amazing someday. 

I left the festival feeling mildly ashamed but very excited about all the beautiful knits in my future. But the festival was more than yarn, so I'll be sure to post about the all the delightful critters next time! 

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