Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Road Trip

I had a bit of a get-away this weekend with a trip up to Madison, WI. The main reason for going was that I’d never been there and it was an easy long weekend trip. It wasn’t until after I’d planned the trip that I discovered it was the same weekend as the Jefferson County Sheep and Wool Festival. I also didn’t know that this was the BIG sheep and wool festival for Wisconsin, as I was told by one of the vendors. There were 2 large buildings just full of fiber and spinning wheels and fiber and looms and yarn and fiber.

Here are some pics:

There was also a sheepdog demonstration from a lady who ranches in southeastern Illinois. I didn’t get her name but she definitely knew her stuff. She was also spending time coaching some folks with sheep dogs that had not had any training. When I first got there, she was working with a man and his dog who was doing amazing. Little did I know that the dog had never herded sheep before that morning. Two hours of work she did with the dog and his owner and they were going through all the paces.

Then she brought out her dog. Wow. What a performance!

Fortunately I was only there for Sunday morning! But I got some yummy roving and a beautiful Border Leicester fleece. It’s so scrummy that I’ve been able to ‘card’ it with my fingers. It’s still in the grease but it’s only a light lanolin and there’s almost no vegetable matter. Can’t wait to get it spinning.

The roving I bought is a gorgeous dark green with black highlights. It’s the exact color I’ve been wanting for the fisherman’s sweater I designed a couple of years ago. Yes, the ‘pretty man sweater!’ I’ve been looking for more than 2 years for the right yarn in the right color and haven’t been able to find it. Well, now I just have to spin it!

I did also visit the 2 yarn shops I found in Madison – both very nice. One is a smaller shop but with some lovely yarns and lots of sweater samples. I found a pattern book from Gedifra Moments that really took my fancy. I’d never seen this company before and when I searched on it mostly found German and Greek web sites that carried it so I’m guessing European.

But it was at
Lakeside Fibers that I fell in love. For it was there that I discovered the Weldon’s Practical Needlework series. Weldon’s was a late 19th century needlework magazine that was published in Britain. Obviously getting hold of a real copy of one of them is not easy these days and not at all cheap. But bless Piecework Magazine’s pea picking hearts, they republished them in a series of 12 volumes a few years ago. I knew nothing about this. I poured over the volumes for a long while before deciding which I was going to splurge on. I decided this was what I would spend my State Fair winnings for! I wish I could tell you how wonderful and amazing these reprinting are for a lover of vintage patterns. Sigh…. I’m still swooning just a little bit. Click on the link above and you can have a little peek into the volumes. Lightheaded. Ohhh… I’m okay, I’m okay. Whew.

All in all, quite a weekend! Just as well I was driving.

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