Thursday, September 11, 2008

WI Sheep & Wool Festival Finds

This past weekend I attended the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival for the first time. It was absolutely awesome seeing all the different breeds of sheep, the colorful skeins of yarn, the cotton candy puffs of roving, the beautifully crafted drop spindles, etc. I was there for three days and it took me that long to see everything!

Here are my favorite things that I picked up at the Festival.

I was walking down the aisle in one of the vendor barns when this amazing roving caught my eye. As I stepped into the booth where it was sold I read on the shelf that it came from an animal called a "Pygora." Never before had I heard of such a creature, so I asked the vendor...and got quite an education. Surprisingly enough, the next afternoon I purchased the recent issue of Spin-Off magazine - in which there is an article on Pygoras! I cannot wait to spin this roving as it is so incredibly soft and luxurious to the touch. The charcoal colored roving is 100% Pygora, but the purple is mixed with silk and wool.

Here is some roving dyed by Stefania Isaacson of Saint Charles, Illinois. She uses natural dyes such as indigo, madder, osage, and cochineal (for those of you who don't know - cochineal is a dried BUG!). Above are some things from the classiest vendor at the Festival - Briar Rose Fibers. Their yarns, patterns, and buttons were the best and I loved that they had actual knitted items on display! This is a shawl pattern of theirs that I am knitting from a 100% Superwash Merino yarn that they call "Grandma's Blessing." This photo does not do the yarn is a gorgeous variegation of blues and greens. The pattern will show up better once I have the shawl washed and blocked. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the buttons yet, but I could not resist them as they're so beautiful!

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