Saturday, October 29, 2022

Book Review: Vanishing Sheep

Another knitting book is off the list (actually it's a yarn book)! I recently finished Vanishing Fleece: Adventures in American Wool by Clara Parkes and it was such a fun, funny, and informative read! I'm a knitter but I had very little knowledge of wool manufacturing and the process it takes to create the fibers that I love! Well, I knew the wool had to be cleaned, carded, and spun but not how any of it is done in a mill. 

The book takes you through the entire process from the sheep shearing, cleaning, spinning, and then dying the yarn. There were a few different manufactures used as well as different dyers, it was a fun look at the different ways your yarn comes about. 

I found Clara to be witty and funny, little bits of detail added to the story made it a quick and engaging read, I did most of my reading before bed and finished it up quickly. The only 'complaint' and its really not a complaint is the I found some of the description for the machinery to be very hard to visualize. This is probably a me thing and not the writing but I decided as I was reading that I still enjoyed the information even if I couldn't visualized it. 

I highly recommend a read for any yarny person, this isn't a book about knitting, this is a book about wool and anyone who uses wool as their art base. 

Happy Reading! -- Sierra 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Time for OFFF

Fall means it's festival season! As I previously wrote about (here) I vended at my first festival at the beginning of this month. This past weekend my mom and I made the trip down to Albany Oregon for Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival! We took a long weekend and treated ourselves to a short vacation. We usually stay in Airbnb's and this was no exception, I would highly recommend if you are looking for pet friendly easy-to-use vacation options. 

On Friday we drove and made a few stops in Portland (I'll have a blog post up about Starlight Knitting soon) and Saturday morning we visited the Albany farmers market and it was lovely. So many options and vendors with wonderful products. We purchased new jelly to try (Oregon Strawberry and Rose) and some dried mushroom packets to add to soup this fall. 

Once we arrived at the festival I needed to go on a vendor hunt because I had samples to drop off! This OFFF was the first time I had samples at a festival and it was really exciting. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to knitters as I dropped my samples off and complimenting the dyers on such wonderful yarn. 

We spent most of our day surrounded my the wonderful colors from different vendors, all the fibers were a joy to see and feel. On Sunday we stopped in at the animal barn first and said hello to all the sheep, goats, and llamas that were there. 

I was especially enamored with the Pygora and cashmere goats. Here is a bit of history about the Pygora goat which is a cross breed between the Pygmy and Angora goats, they were adorable and so soft! Then we got to feel the cashmere goats, OMG they felt amazing! It was interesting to see the dark cashmere because most often in stores there is a cream base or dyed cashmere but the dark color was lovely. 

We also took a short class on Sunday! Wooly Walkers is a punch needle vendor who participates in many shows on the western half of the US. My mom was particularly interested in them when they were at Fiber Expo with us a few weeks ago. Before she invested into the supplies we took a 1.5 hours class and made a mug rug, it was great fun! 

I enjoyed finding another way to play with fiber and color and I think rug hooking could be a great way to use leftovers. After our class my mom did invest in a hoop, some fabric, and a couple of patterns so that she can pursue a new hobby this winter. The rest of the afternoon we spent people watching before I needed to pick up my samples at the end of the day. 

We ended our weekend trip on Monday and found an apple farm and pumpkin patch to go and feel all the fall vibes. It was a lovely little farm/orchard name Beilke Family Farm and picked apples to our hearts content! They had information area set up to let you know what apples will work for what you want. We picked cripps pink, granny smith, and a few red apples; these are all good for baking, storing, and applesauce. Along with our apples we also each picked a warty pumpkin for our houses. 

I would highly recommend making a trip to OFFF if you can, the venders were highly quality and the venue was easy to navigate. There was a large amount of seating and space between rows as well as a separate room for classes and the art gallery. Start your fall off right and make a stop at OFFF, maybe you'll get to see me there as a vendor soon?!? 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Fiber Expo!

Hi Knitters! I just wrapped up my first fiber event, I vended at Fiber Exposition in Port Angeles WA and it was great fun! 

This was the first year of the event so no-one had any idea on what to expect. I thoroughly enjoyed it as my first even vending and found that the small audience (a few hundred each day) was perfect for my first event. It wasn't too overwhelming and I hit my estimated goal! 

We set up booths on Friday afternoon and evening, it was fun interacting with other vendors and seeing how everyone sets up for their own product. There were fiber vendors, yarn vendors, needle punch and rug hooking, different fleeces, and a few people with finished knits! 

I had way too many bags prepped (newbie mistake) but now I have lots of bags prepped for the holidays and I can focus my attention more on designing. My mom (Susan) was my helper for the long weekend and I definitely couldn't have done it without here. 

My booth highlighted bags in all three sizes and my patterns, I had lots of fun imagining how I wanted everything set up. All supplies for the booth set up were from my house so it was a great challenge to create the booth from what I had. 

I'm so grateful for everyone who stopped by, gave compliments, and purchased from my booth. I made connections with local knitters and vendors from all over Washington! Very excited for 2023 and all the cool collaborations that will come!