Finally, we found an event with enough parking for the turnout. Granted we had to go round and round the lots a few times; but, we did actually get to see something this weekend!
I’ve never been to a “fiber” event. Mom wanted to see the animals. The newspaper had this beautiful picture of a woman and her Alpaca. It was such a sweet picture.
After she finally tells me where she wants to go, she gets to pick each weekend’s adventure, I do all the driving; I knew right away what was there. Or, so I thought I did…
Yarn, yarn, everywhere
As someone who works with yarn and loves to crochet, this place was like something out of my wildest fantasy. Who’da thunk it, our local fairgrounds stadium was turned into a great big yarn and fiber store.
After visiting with some Alpaca farmers and learning about their animals, we headed to the main building. The farmers were wonderfully friendly and didn’t mind our seemingly endless and probably somewhat moronic questions.
The first thing we saw was through the windows – baskets. Hmm, not sure what that had to do with natural fibers. Guess it is something you can put your stash in?
Anyway, one step inside and I knew I was in trouble. Less than 5 minutes in and I had a new crochet needle. I had heard that the ones from Germany were superior, but had never found any. Well, there was $7.00 plus tax gone. psst, don’t tell anyone I paid that much for a needle. My collection of needles has mainly come from thrift stores, estate sales, and hand-me-downs. I’m used to getting a fistful of needles for less than that one cost. I haven’t used it yet, but we shall see how great it is and whether it is worthy of the price.
Mom now realizes the error of this trip. After visiting with the animals, there’s not all that much she wants to see, but I want to see absolutely everything.
We stop at another booth. Mom is getting a bit anxious to leave, but knows the futility of trying to get me to follow her back to the car. We see this really colorful and interesting yarn. It has multiple colors with twists and knobbies in it. Next to the hanks is a scarf they made with the yarn. Mom thinks she would like one.
I pick up the scarf and study both it and the hanks. Hmm, looks like two hanks to make this. Then we look at the price of the hanks. $35 each hank. I turn to Mom and tell her, sure I’ll make the scarf for you; but, you have to buy the yarn. (That’s our usual agreement, but this time she senses this is a trick.) When the booth owner acknowledges that the scarf was indeed made from two hanks, I just smirk at Mom and say sure I’ll make you one.
The booth owner seemed to know instinctively that we weren’t up for a $70 scarf; but I give him credit for making a valiant effort anyway.
It was around this time that we decided to split up and rendezvous in an hour. At the time, I should have realized that meant Mom would make a quick circuit of the place and then impatiently wait for me for 50 minutes.
I like making small things. Guess it’s an instant gratification kind of thing. But, being honest, I think it’s just because I like the challenge.
I have never even held a felting needle but have been fascinated with the sculptural aspects of making things with them. I’m in the first booth that is selling loose roving (a new term I learned today) by the ounce. What’s neat is that it is set up like a candy shop. Fill a bag with whatever amounts of each color you want.
In the back of the booth they have sandwich baggies with a bit of roving and two needles for $2.50. Oooh, just gotta try this. Yeah, I need to add felting to my list of hobbies, but it just looks so cool.
Uh oh, PURPLE!!!!! Well, that took care of the decision making. Oh, and look the one with purple has more fuzz (OK, I know it is called roving, but it looks more like fuzz – so I’m gonna call it fuzz) than the other bags.
So, one more purchase gets slid into my purse.
Show Me How to Felt
Over the PA system is an announcement for a felted flower demonstration. Oh goody, where is that booth? There it is, the one with the small crowd in front. Within 30 minutes, would have been less if it weren’t for the child who 3 times almost knocked the table over; she made a flower along with a leaf and stem. From fuzz to something pretty darn quick. How cool is that? 30 minutes of crochet won’t get you too much.
Did I mention, I primarily make tiny things? My crochet teddies are usually under 2 inches – fully jointed. To make things that small you either have to unravel thicker multi-ply yarn – not fun trust me, or find thin yarn. It’s easy to find bedspread thread, but not so easy to find pretty colors in truly fine thicknesses that still looks like yarn and not thread.
I thought for sure I was somewhere where this could be found. Uh, yes, there’s some. A large cone, probably enough to make at least a hundred bears, only $60. OK, so it was real wool and not some acrylic stuff and if I were selling my bears, I would quickly recoup the price for the yarn. Regardless, it was way too much yarn for my application.
Another booth had some – the same stuff I can get at AC Moore. Why in the world are they selling that? Here? Ok, next booth.
By about half way around the inner ring of the stadium, I realize that tiny yarn is either being sold in amounts beyond what I would ever need (since I am only a hobbyist when it comes to my bear making), in a price range that is beyond what I typically spend for yarn, or commercial yarns that I can get anywhere.
Mom’s birthday is this week. She’s getting older and along with that much harder to get anything for. Since her day falls during the peak of leaf watching season and we live in the mountains, she usually asks to just be taken for a ride. I don’t like not giving her something, so as I walked from booth to booth, I kept hoping to find that special something to make for her.
Everyone has that family member who says they don’t want anything and then pouts when you actually listen to them. Mom’s mine.
There it is. In a booth full of fuzz, in the back are some kits. One of the kits is to make both a skunk and a raccoon. We have a raccoon that comes to our backyard almost nightly so I thought I had finally found my gift for her. The booth owner assures me that I can complete one of these critters within one evening.
Raccoon for mom, felting kit for me – the perfect gift!
My First Needle Felting Project
Oh, this is soo cool. No wonder so many people are excited about needle felting. The instructions were a bit of a challenge. How much exactly is a wisp or a bit?
My bear making experience told me that the head was too flat. But, what’s cool about this needle felting thing is that by adding a bit more fuzz (yeah, I know it’s called roving), it can be built up to be more round.
My little coon isn’t quite done. But, I have little doubt I’ll be able to finish him before the big day.
Needle Felting addiction
OK, I can see how easy it will be to get totally into doing this. Take a bunch of loose fibers and sculpt them into something using these teeny needles. The kit I bought came with enough roving to make 2 of each animal. Why would I want to do that? So, once I finish my little coon and make a little skunk; it’s off to decide what to do with the remaining gray, white, black and small baggie of purple of roving.
I’ve also got a bit of beige that was given to me by one of the Alpaca farmers. I wish I had written their names down so I could add them to Fulling & Felting category over on Crafty Tips. I’ve got to use that roving for something special because they shared their love of their animals and their passion for the fiber arts with us by giving us that bit of fuzz. Yeah, I’m, a bit sentimental – but something given always has more value than something bought.
Speaking of giving, I’ve got a bit of my own to do. A friend on another forum has joined an SEO contest. By the end of the year he has to rank #1 in Google for the phrase carcasherdotcom seocontest. It’s a contest where web pros try to prove their SEO prowess. So, here’s my little attempt to help out a friend by giving him a couple of links to carcasherdotcom seocontest to help his efforts.
Go get ’em kiviniar.