Monday, October 19, 2009


Every year, the Bishop Hill Spin-In happens and every year I've got other commitments and don't go. Anywhere you go in Central Illinois, eastern Missouri and eastern Iowa people will ask you, "Do you go to Bishop Hill?" "You going to Bishop Hill?" I've always had to say, no and no. Until this year. Finally Saturday, I got to say, "Yes, I'm at Bishop Hill Spin-In." Here are some photos of some of the vendors.

The stuff said it was the 29th annual. 29th. That's a long time and they've obviously learned all there is to know. We didn't take any classes but we went to see the lovely vendors and to shop in a very relaxed atmosphere. Everyone was so nice and we had some lovely chats with vendors and other spinners/knitters/weavers.

We had a ball but I came away a little overwhelmed. By the time I got home and unloaded, I was totally overwhelmed. It's not even like I got that much. Let's see...a baggie of red silk hankies and blue silk hankies came home. 4 oz of mohair roving (seen in photo below) jumped into my hands. I've never spun mohair so I got it mostly to have the experience but the colors are pretty, too. I got some red wool roving - beautiful bluish red - and I got a ball of mill end roving. It's mostly white with bits of red and other shades streaked through it and it's a variety of different fibers.
I found a very pretty handpainted wool roving, only about 4 ounces, but it's a variety of shades of green, predominantly lime green that I want to spin for gloves or mittens for a colleague. She loves this color and wears it summer and winter. That was bought with a purpose.
The other thing I bought with a purpose is some lovely Navajo-Churro/Mohair (85/15) that I think I will be able to do on my Navajo spindle. I also had a great chat with the vendor who raises the Churros. I told her about our fleece and she made the point that the lamb was probably being fed from an overhead bin where the flakes of hay floated down into the fleece. Since it's a lamb fleece, soft and fluffy, the chaff got caught up. She also gave me some interesting insight into the tradition of Navajo spinning and weaving that I never knew about. Of course, I don't know much so that's not hard but it was fascinating.
My sweetest score was an ounce of hand-plucked angora. You may not think an ounce is very much (and this was only $6) but it's like a whole stack of feathers. Gorgeous. I'll post some photos when I get to the spinning of it. I have some camel in my stash and I'm thinking that's going to a good mixture - camel/angora - and it will give me more yardage. I got about 90 yards or so from 1 ounce of camel spinning it to lace/fingering weight. I've got 2 ounces of camel and 1 of angora so I might be able to get about 350 yards if I spin it to true lace weight. That will be enough for something really special.
Here's a photo of a pair of mittletts and the first of a houseshoe that are going to be felted. Nothing fancy, Cascade 220 in turqoise but it's my own homemade pattern for the houseshoe and it looks like it might work. I'll have to see how the felting comes along but I really think it might work. I started it like a toe-up sock, same cast on and increases for a few rows. Then I started increasing at each side for the top part and increasing in the middle of the sole. Once I got the top increased to what I thought would work to fit my foot after felting and until I thought it would be long enough. I'll get the second one made and we'll see how it works once it's felted.

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