I made one loop around the booths without buying anything, just to get an idea of what the different vendors had and trying to remember which ones I wanted to come back to later. I had brought my camera along, planning on getting lots of pictures. Well, that didn't happen. I was enjoying myself so much that I didn't even think about my camera. I pulled it out once to get pictures of the alpacas*, and then put it back in my bag until we were leaving and I thought to snap a picture of just a few of the outdoor booths. And of course you can't even see any of the pretty things they were selling in the picture.
*I think this was the first time I had ever seen an alpaca in real life. They had both fuzzy ones and just-shorn ones there, and they were quite a bit different from what I expected! Of course I've seen pictures so I knew what they looked like. But I was expecting them to be tall, I guess like a llama. They were rather small and instead of the deep sound I was expecting, they made tiny, sweet noises that sounded like a baby goat or a baby sheep. :)
It was just really nice to be around other crafty people. There were people knitting and spinning and talking about patterns and getting as excited about pretty yarn as I was. I liked getting to see and talk with several of the yarn shop owners and spinners that I've met in the past couple of years. I do have blog friends who knit and such, but I don't really spend a lot of time in real life with other crafters. I'm not part of a knitting group or anything. So the festival was a good reminder that there are tons of other people out there who have the same "unusual" hobbies and interests as me.
So...the gorgeous pile of yarn and fiber that I bought home. *happy sigh* I had been saving up money for quite a while because I know that hand-dyed fiber isn't cheap (and it shouldn't be...in my little experience with dyeing yarn, it's not as easy as it looks!). It seems like pretty fiber is harder for me to find locally than pretty yarn, so I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and get at least two dyed fibers. (My only rule was no white spinning fiber or fleece. I have plenty of that.) I ended up with three fibers and three yarns. It seems like I always gravitate towards the same colors. Like blue. I wouldn't really consider blue one of my favorite colors, but I'm almost always drawn to blue or teal yarn. I tried to branch out a little and not get the same colors over and over, but you can still see some similarities in what I bought. :)
The first yarn, this really colorful one, is from Fairy Tale Knits. That was one of the first booths we stopped at, and she had so many beautiful colorways with awesome names! It was definitely one of my favorite booths, and I had such a hard time deciding which color to get. I finally ended up with a skein of 100% superwash merino in fingering weight, in a colorway called Mountain Meadow. It's so pretty. I definitely want to buy more yarn from her in the future, so I'm glad she has some available on her website!
The second yarn is superwash merino and nylon in fingering weight. It's from Unplanned Peacock Studio, and her yarns are seriously gorgeous. I had bought two skeins of yarn from this dyer before, but I purchased them from local yarn stores. (My first cowl was from her yarn, and I haven't knitted up this sock yarn yet.) This was the first time I had seen all of her yarn together in one space, and wow...it was so beautiful. This color was my favorite, and she explained that it was the colorway she created especially for the festival. It wasn't even named yet...they were going to have a Ravelry meet-up later on in the day where they were going to have a naming contest. Anyway, this is one of my favorite skeins of yarn that I've ever bought. It's sock yarn so I was planning on it being socks at first, but now I think I've changed my mind. Maybe a Hitchhiker? I know that is one crazy popular pattern, but I only recently fell for it (this is probably why).
This one was from Gerschubie Fiber Arts. This dyer was very friendly, and she had lots of hand-dyed yarn and spinning fiber. There were about three skeins that I really loved, and out of them I picked this DK weight yarn in 100% superwash merino in a blueish colorway called Moira. It's a good-sized skein...about 275 yards, and once again, I'm drawn to blues.
Now for the spinning fiber! The first two were from the same vendor: Misty Mountain Farm. It's finnsheep wool, which I've never spun before. The first colorway is called mountain stream, and it was one of the first things I bought. I went back for the second one, which is called scuba diving (and it reminds me of the Florida Keys, which makes me happy). The final fiber is wool from Spinn Lady Fibers, and it's called berries and cream. My mom said, "I thought you didn't like pink!" And I usually don't. Hot pink is about the only pink I can handle. :) These are all 4 ounces each, by the way.
After we left the festival, we met up with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece for a few minutes (they also happened to be in that area for the day, but not to go to the festival) and then got some lunch and ate it at a picnic table just outside of the Booker T. Washington National Monument (it was such a pretty day). And on the way home we stopped for ice cream.
So, yes, it was a lovely, fibery sort of day. I think this should become a yearly tradition...mint chocolate chip ice cream and all. :)