Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Fleece That Got Away

It's time to reminisce (and do a little show-and-tell) about my trip last week to Maryland Sheep and Wool. As I've already mentioned, there was a lot of fiber and fiber-producing critters there. There were also knit bloggers in their natural habitat and it was a lot of fun to watch everyone and wonder if they blogged. I never did get up enough courage to approach someone and ask "Excuse me, do you have a blog?" But I did meet some very nice bloggers at the knit bloggers convergence on the grassy knoll.

So, on to fiber and the fleece that got away.

One of my goals for Maryland Sheep and Wool was to buy a whole fleece and clean, card, and spin it up. But as I was looking for a fleece, it became clear to me that that would be a whole lot of work and I had almost decided to buy a lot of roving. Almost, because I came to one booth that had the most gorgeous fleece I ever did see. It was silvery-grey Coopworth,very lustrous, with a nice long staple and crimp. The locks were soft and smooth and lanolin-y and very, very clean. The fleece weighed in at almost six pounds and seemed to be priced right. Should I buy it? Will I have the time to be able to do it justice? I was almost ready to commit when another woman stopped and admired it. She also wanted it. Oh what to do, what to do? I accepted reality and did the honourable thing...I let her have it. Regrets? Of course. But I wrote down the name of the sheep and the vendor. That fleece is mine next year!

So, what did I get last weekend? A little bit of yarn:

From left to right, Jade Sapphire Cashmere Silk (800 yards!) in Vintage Rose, some hand-dyed Spirit Trail sock yarn, and two skeins of Duet from Brooks Farm Fibers.

I also bought a little bit of fiber:

From left to right (my apologies for the fuzziness), some beautiful dark grey and brown Border Leicester wool (from the same vendor of the fleece that got away), a bit of merino/silk roving in reds from Shadyside Farm, and a hand-painted Clun Forest/Cormo roving from Spirit Trail. The pink reminds me of cotton candy. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. If I can perfect my spinning, it might make an interesting pair of socks.

Of Secret Pals and Knit Alongs
The One Skein Secret Pal thingy has started. This is my first Secret Pal event and it should be fun. I already have some ideas for my secret pal, but I'll have to see what her yarn preferences are.

Margene and Norma are hosting a Trek Along which starts June 1st. It's simple, just grab some of the yummy Trekking XXL yarn hiding in your stash, start knitting a pair of socks, and take a hike (or two or three) with said socks-in-progress. This is my first knit along, too. I'm hoping that it will help get Tom and me back into hiking a little more (the Appalachian Trail is so close!) and that I'll be able to get some Extreme Knitting pictures.

And speaking of Extreme Knitting, I'm still accepting photos. You can find the details of Extreme Knitting here. Scroll down to the July 12th post.

Have a wonderful Saturday!


Sheepish Annie said...

After spending the winter (and much of last summer) washing, carding, dyeing, spinning and skeining fleeces, I have jumped back on the roving bandwagon. It's nice to have someone else do the work for a while! You made some stunning purchases!!!!

Leslie Shelor said...

I usually buy the fleece, and then send it off to be processed. I don't think I'll live long enough to do it all myself!