want yarn; will travel

Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival

Yesterday was an awfully good day. My hubs volunteered to watch the kiddos and I hopped in the car to check out the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival. This was my first time attending this festival, so I didn't know what to expect. Boy, oh, boy, did I have fun!

This is a little festival with workshops, music, food and lots of friendly, furry strangers (even a bitsy, baby alpaca who, I could tell, desperately wanted to come home with me and have a snuggle).

Since my schedule is dictated by my own baby animals, I didn't get a chance to attend a workshop this year, but I plan to hit up a couple next year. I'll admit, I mainly went to shop. There were two vendor buildings and they were was packed with fiber talent. There were so many things to see (and buy). Here are just a few of my favorite booths:

I met Stephanie of Lunabud Knits. She looks like she's waving, but she's actually shooing away all the customers trying to buy that gorgeous shawl hanging behind her.

I met Meg, the owner and master yarn dyer of Twisted Fiber Art (check out her sweet dye-lady tattoo). I spent A LONG time chatting with Meg and Beth and squeezing all the yarn in their booth. Meg's yarns are color gradients that come in the most dazzling rainbows. It's incredible just how many colors were on the shelves. When I left, they probably had to wipe drool off of quite a few skeins. I also went a little camera crazy in that booth. Yarn pictures, pictures, pictures...

I chatted with Helena of Oink Pigments. She's new to the Midwest, and I'm pretty excited that she brought her yarnie self to Indiana. She dyes yarn, silk scarves and roving and, damn, her colors are vibrant! She just moved to farm country from California, so I'm going to try and get this gal to the Indy meadery this summer. Knitting and beverage: the makings of a proper Midwestern welcome.

I met up with Brenda & Heather of BaH Yarns. They have some SERIOUSLY beautiful self-striping yarns. Besides having great colors, they do something that I think is extremely thoughtful. If you look closely, you can see that they put photos with each yarn to show you how the stripes will knit up. I knit a lot of self-striping socks and I cannot express to you how incredibly useful this is! Plus, they are awesome.

The Haul

I did my best to show restraint while shopping and, considering how much I WANTED to buy, I think I did admirably. Here's my fiber festival haul:

One of the absolute BEST things about going to these little festivals is meeting the farmers and mill owners. I did some damage in the Round Barn Fiber Mill booth. This is a small mill in Durand, Illinois that was selling yarn and fiber by the ounce. Each skein listed the fiber content and most said the name of the sheep that provided the wool (my favorite was Dazzle). I cleaned out their 'odd-skein' basket and Margie was kind enough to dig out some more when I mentioned needing enough yardage for a sweater. I'm on the look out for a fleece to send their way.

I bought a skein of Arial "Newton." I only made it 6 hours before casting on a new project with this little beauty. The only reason I waited so long was because I had to do grown up things when I got home.

I bought the cutest wooden bobbins from Sistermaide. By the time I got home, I was already regretting not buying more of these. You can even use them to measure gauge (those sides are exactly 1-inch from nub to nub).

Finally, I got a skein of Oink Pigment's sock yarn in "Sunset Fiesta." I'm pretty excited about this yarn and not just because the colors scream: "Let's Party!" This is an 8-ply sock yarn. It's 90% superwash merino and 10% nylon, but it has a lovely sheen that makes it look almost like cotton. I can't wait to see how it knits up!

I had such a good time and I even beat the rain. Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival, I'll see you again next year! Until then, yarn diet (?).