Monday, October 11, 2010

Wool Arts Tour 2010

Well, this post is about a month late, but better late than never! I had a great time at this year's Wool Arts Tour, even though one of my favorite places retired last year and another favorite retired this year. I went to five of the six locations with my mom and grandma, and my aunt and four-year-old cousin met us along the way to go to some of the farms and shops.

Great handmade soaps from The Spinning Bunny (cinnamon spice, gardener's soap, and spicy bergamot)

Beautiful hand-dyed Blue-faced Leicester roving from Painted Knoll Farm

A cute hand-painted pumpkin pin and some gorgeous handspun, hopefully to make a Brattleboro Hat (Rav link) from New England Knits:

A stupidly soft blend of mohair, wool, and something else that I can't remember at the moment (sorry, I've also forgotten the farm name! I will post when I spin it):

Some deliciously squishy Cormo to make the Willoughby scarf from Jared Flood's Made in Brooklyn:

Nightingale Fibers sock yarn, probably for socks (or another shawlette--really, can you have too many of those? I don't think so). Also two skeins of Nightingale Fibers laceweight alpaca blend to make a Prairie Rose Lace shawl (Rav link) from The Knitter's Book of Wool:

I have been wanting to get my hands on a skein of Malabrigo sock for a long, long time. So finally I did (I also feel that I should mention that I fell in love with Malabrigo a long time ago, and when other knitters started talking about its magical properties and the fact that it makes you do crazy things, I was immensely relieved). This is hopefully going to be Ysolda's awesome Orchid Thief shawlette (can never have too many) from Brave New Knits:

Some awesome squishy fiber the color of worn jeans, from Fiber Dreams Farm:

Last but certainly not least: 4 delightfullly squishy balls of roving from Brimstone Hollow Farm:

This color just screamed "autumn" to me, so I had to take it home.

I loved chatting with Brimstone Hollow's owners, too. They were adorable in their matching knitted sweaters made from their own sheeps' wool! The sweaters had intricate Aran-looking patterns, too.

Wow, that's a lot of stuff. One might think I have some sort of fiber addiction. In all honesty, I have been very good about not buying yarn most of the year. I save it for the NH Sheep and Wool Festival and the Wool Arts Tour. Not that I'm trying to justify any of this :)

It was a great time and I'm already looking forward to next year!

A Sweater for Fred

I have a 1-year-old Whippet-Basenji mutt who was rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico. He can be a little crazy sometimes but I think he is completely adorable and now I can't imagine life without him.

He has thin fur, which was well suited to life in Puerto Rico but it means he's often a little cold here. Also, he is a pretty skinny dog so he doesn't have a lot of padding to keep him warm. We adopted him in December and figured he'd need a sweater right away, so we bought one at Target since I didn't have time to make him one. A few weeks ago it started getting chilly here again, so I decided to get started on a sweater for him.

Pattern: Dandy Dog Sweaters by Evelyn A. Clark, for Fibertrends
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted Weight in bright red
Needles: US Size 6 and 7
Modifications: Knit the 21" chest size but modified some of the length (17" instead of 20" for the body) in a couple of places to fit Fred

When we put it on him the second time, he stepped through the leg holes himself. I think he likes it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wool Arts Tour

It's time for the New Hampshire Wool Arts Tour again, and I am so excited. At the beginning of this year I decided I would only buy new yarn and fiber at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival in May and the Wool Arts Tour, unless it was for a present or a charity knitting project. I've stuck to that. It's important to me to support the local wool growers and hand-dyers, and their products are so beautiful and often superior to the mass-produced yarns (which have their place, and I do still love them and use them).

Plus, it's just a lot of fun. The leaves are changing color, the air is crisp (when it isn't pouring rain, as it has been a couple of times), there are great farm products like cider and pumpkins in addition to all the great wool, and there are lots of farm animals to look at.

Here are some pictures of last year's haul:

So much fun.

Click here for a brochure with more information about the farm locations.