Saturday was WWKIP Day (world-wide knit in public) and it also was the Estes Park Wool Festival. What a happy coincidence to have them both at the same time and finally I found someone to go up with me this year to Estes. Stacy and I have taken a few classes together at A Knitted Peace and have gotten together to knit a few times outside of class. It was a gorgeous Colorado Day with blue skies and crisp air. We arrived early in the morning, just as the shopping was opening. We tried to stay organized and visit each booth, but of course the distractions were everywhere: wool, colors, equipment, ideas! Stacy bought some Rick Rack II from Interlacements to make a shawl like mine....she chose beautiful pastel shades. My goal was to get a new drop spindle or two and roving to practice my hand spinning.
What I bought was a basic spindle, about 1 oz. and another more decorative spindle from Tracy Eichheim (1.5 oz) with hummingbirds. Tracy spent a long time chatting with me about the physics and mechanics of his spindles and it was a great choice. It spins long and steady.
I bought some natural wool/mohair blend roving and then some naturally dyed blue/green roving from a sheep variety that was recommended for beginners: CVM which I think stands for California Variant Mutant! There is a lot of crimp in this fiber and it is pretty easy so far to spin. The basic spindle was probably a mistake as it doesn't spin very long and doesn't seem very well balanced. It might be user error, but I will keep spinning with it to practice..
Lunch was delicious lamb kabob in a tortilla. We had to keep telling ourselves that the wool was really a byproduct of the industry and the primary usage is meat... it was very delicious and a good choice.
I tried on so really cool felted hats by Ruth Walker. This one is called Toque de Ville. Felting seemed to be a big thing at the market. Needle felting and molded felting. That is all I need: another hobby!
Then we went to the Alpaca tent and fell in love.......we were petting both yarn and creatures here and I broke down and bought 4 skeins of natural alpaca wool about 1600 yards. It is soooooooo soft and cloud like. It is somewhere between fingering and sport so I will have to swatch like crazy to see what gauge it is before I pick a pattern. The best part is that we met the Rancher from Stargazer Ranch Alpacas who raised the particular animal who "donated" the fleece for my yarn. How special is that????? My alpaca is named Capella and she did a great job growing her fleece. Stacy also bought some alpaca to make a sweater for her husband in pretty shade of tan.
These are llamas in the above photo. Alpacas are a lot smaller like this:
After we spent to the limit, we walked through the animal tents and visited with sheep, llamas, angora rabbits. It was great visiting with the owners of the animals, because they were so passionate about what they do and their animals.
We drove into Estes for some ice cream and we sat by the stream, eating, knitting and spinning in public.
All in all, a perfect day.