Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NH Sheep & Wool Festival, Part 1

Me and yarnYou had to expect me to drag a weekend wool festival out over multiple posts.

This was my first time attending the NH Sheep and Wool Festival. The first time around living in the state I had not yet realized the glory that is wool festivals, but after attending Rhinbeck two years in a row I had to check the local one out.

My hope was that it would be smaller and more manageable than Rhinebeck, and indeed it was. It was busy and there were many vendors, but it wasn't overwhelming. One thing I liked about it was all the vendors seemed to be from the NH, VT, ME area with a few from farther afield. It's not that I was really pulling a "support local" attitude (which was nice), but rather I figure if I want more of their products they'll be easy to get to.

Mom came up for it. We'd planned it before her little heart attack at the beginnig of the month and the doctors said there was no reason she shouldn't. Once there we met up with Pam's sister Nancy (who does not have a blog).

We also ran into Marcia and Patty from the Library Knitting group, several of Nancy's friends, and Pat who I worked with briefly at Patternworks my first time around.

Now that I work from home full-time I often feel that I never see other humans aside from Hubby. It made me happy that I already know enough people to encounter them out and about despite only being in the state since the summer and never leaving the house.

On Sunday I also got to meet Vicki Stiefel, who I follow on Twitter. I saw on Ravelry that she'd be a the festival doing a book signing and thought she looked familar. Her book is 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters. I had a chance to flip through it on Saturday and determine it was worth owning. She was so very excited that I'm a Twitter follower that at first I thought she was yanking my chain. But she really was excited (and of course I was excited too, not often you actually meet your social media friends). She was also very sweet and we had a nice chat. She even had Mom take our picture so she could tweet about meeting me!

Speaking of pictures. Of course I can't go near a fiber festival without my Felted Ravelry ID Bag. Trust other knitters and crocheters to appreciate the insantiy of it. I do enjoy basking in the compliments. hehehe.
Spring Pansy
Of course I go to these festivals for the wool part, not the sheep part. Although I do try to swing by the stalls and thank them for their contribution to my happiness.

The first thing I fell in love with was this beautiful bundle from Ellen's Half Pint Farm. It is 1,375 yards of 50% Silk 50% Merino goodness. As you can see in the opening picture, it was love at first sight. I bought it in the "Spring Pansy" colorway, but there were many other lovely colors. I was briefly distracted by some of the other colors (there was one that would have matched the Flashy Socks I recently started) but I decided to stick with the first one that caught my eye. I plan, of course, to make a Schleppy Sweater with it.

Listen, that raglan I designed for myself fits well and works fine with colorful yarn, so I'm just going to stick with it. At this rate, if I actually knit all the Schleppys I plan too, I'll be able spend the entire winter wearing just them!

SophiaWhile Mom and Nancy both stopped at Leslie Wind's booth to have some pins made while they watched (website has sound effects) I wandered through the Ball and Skein booth right next to it.

The Ball and Skein booth was well organized and well lit. She had sample shawls displayed around the booth and I became enamored of the Ceder Leaf Shawlette from Never Not Knitting.

Ball and Skein was selling the pattern as a kit with her Sophia yarn for $30, which struck me as a very reasonable price since the yarn is a Merino/Nylon/Cashmere blend.

The sample was in orange, which was nice, but not really me. I decided green would be too easy, because of the leaves. So I went with this nice shade of red called "Rusty Nail."

Imagine my surprise when I discovered this pattern is similar to one I already have queued on Ravelry. Between this and my Trellis Leaf Mitts, I guess I'm totally on a leaf kick for some reason.

That is not the end of my yarn purchases at the festival, as you might imagine, but I'll leave the rest for tomorrow.

I'll wrap up today's post with the needles I bought. NHSW NeedlesWell, I suppose the Denise companion set isn't actually needles, but they are close enough.

Oh.my.goodness, are they not beautiful?!

Really, I need more Denise cables about as much as I need more yarn, but how could I pass them up? As you might know, I have a set and a half as I bought a set when I learned to knit then acquired Pam's cast off set before I left CT. But those all have the traditional blue cables. These, these are colored cables!

The booth I bought them in had the range of colors and it was hard to select, so I defaulted to happy yellow. A woman watching me dither suggested I get a color that will contrast with the colors I normally work with. That was a good idea and reaffirmed the yellow since I tend to knit with red and blue.

The other needles I bought are a set of US 1.5 "Darn Pretty Needles" double points. They were out of US 1, but I figure these are close enough. You can't really tell in that bad picture, but they are multicolored wood needles.

Now I just need an excuse to use them because goodness knows I have the yarn.


  1. I have three sets of the Darn Pretty Needles--they are the most beautiful wooden needles I've ever seen. Nice sharp points too. Looks like you got yourself a very nice haul!

  2. It looks like you had a great time. Sorry I missed it. Maybe next year.