Knitting by Judy @ 1:29 PM
cashmere on the hoof

Yesterday dawned clear and warm – just demanding that the day be spent outdoors. How many more days like this will we get?

And, conveniently, yesterday was the second day of the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival in Canby.

What great timing, eh? So I had a wonderful fiberish day, starting with a whole barn full of fiber-on-the-hoof. And now my city-girl roots will show. (I had horses when I was a kid, but I do not pretend to know anything at all about other kinds of farm animals. I went to the country to ride my horse – she lived in a farmer’s field – and then I went back to the city. OK… the town.)

This happy goat owner was kind enough to let me pet her friend – who apparently really likes both people and cookies. I fantasized about taking this boy home to serve as a bed-warmer on those cold winter nights. Can you imagine running your toes through that lovely cashmere all night? The owner helpfully suggested that the horns would also keep the blankets from weighing down my feet. I doubt that the resident kitties would appreciate a new bed-buddy, though. Alas my fantasy had to be abandoned.

don’t you want to grab your needles and start knitting

And then there were these lovelies. Look at all that beautiful angora! Doesn’t it make you want to grab your needles and start knitting?

OK… I know there’s a bit of prep work that needs to be done before this fiber is ready for the needles. And since I’m not a spinner I rely on others to do that prep for me. But I am aware of all of the work that goes into it.

Later in the day, as I sat knitting socks and listening to music, one of my fellow fair-goers stopped to chat and ask about my sock techniques. She is a spinner, and has been spinning fingering-weight yarn lately. She hasn’t knit socks for years, but wants to try again. She was interested in my two-socks-on-two-needles knitting. I taught her the Magic Cast-On and asked her about spinning. Oh, she said, If you think you can spend money now…

We both laughed, but she’s right in that I probably don’t really need another money-sucking fun hobby.

wonderful, spotty Jacob’s sheet

And lest you think, gentle reader, that I’m fixated on goats, here are some lovely Jacob sheep. Who wouldn’t fall in love with their spotty beauty and those amazing horns?

It was dark in the barn, and my pictures of the alpaca, the other wonderful kinds of sheep (there was merino, just walking around!), and the bunnies weren’t very successful.

I can report that no living creature so resembles a tribble as an angora rabbit does. With some of them it was hard to tell which end was which! Both ends, though, are covered with amazingly soft fur. They would make good feet warmers, too.

I do think there were fewer animals and more vendors than last year. I hope that’s not a trend, as I really like the animals. Actually, it would be great to have a ton of animals and a ton of vendors.

all things fiberish

For those who prefer their fiber a little more processed, there were two buildings crammed to the gills with all things fibery, from bags of fleece to roving to silk to yarn.

Want a new spindle? There were several booths with gorgeous spindles. Organic, natural-color cotton? Nostepinne? Books? Cashmere socks? Lace shawls? It was all here.

And yarn… yarn of every fiber that could possibly be spun. Yarn of every weight from the finest cobweb to the heaviest bulky. Yarn for knitting, yarn for weaving, yarn for crewel, yarn for tatting — yarn just for the sake of yarn. What more could a yarn collector ask for?

did you think I would miss Blue Moon?

I knew I was in heaven.

Of course, one of the first booths I came across was Blue Moon.

Did you know that Sock Candy comes in about a gazillion solid colors? That whole rack in the front is all Sock Candy.

Look, under the windows… that’s all Socks That Rock. All of it. In three different weights. In amazing colors that I’ve never seen before and that aren’t available on their web site. (I don’t belong to the sock club, and some of these colors might have been introduced there.)

I’m sorry for the blurry nature of the picture. My hands may have been shaking. Just a little.

spinning, spinning, and more fiber

Outside there was sunshine, food, spinners, spinners and more fiber.

A whole circle of spinners – both women and men – sat in the shade under the trees doing cool things with their wheels. There were spinners everywhere. See at the table? Someone spinning with a drop-spindle.

Everywhere I looked there were spinners. I kept thinking I’d really like to know how to do that. It looks so cool! Thus my comments about learning to spin to the fair-goer who asked about my socks.

But one hobby is probably enough.

The Standing Stones

Music at OFFF this year was provided by The Standing Stones from the Bay Area.

They played songs from their CD Give Fleece A Chance, an international collection of songs about sheep, shearing, wool, spinning, weaving, and all other things sheepy. Shearing songs on harp. It was great!

Unfortunately I missed actually getting the CD. I was busy knitting and talking. Several people came over to ask me about my socks. One woman asked if I was knitting two socks at once in order to make sure they striped the same. I looked at the randomly-striping Trekking and thought to myself that if that were the case I wasn’t succeeding very well. Out loud, to the vast amusement of those around, I told the truth: I do it this way because I would never otherwise knit the second sock.

When I finished chatting, I noticed that the music had stopped. I turned around and the band was gone. I looked for a website for them, but can’t find one. If anyone knows where to get this CD, please pass the info along to me. It would be was great music to knit by!

the biggest dog I’ve ever seen

One more picture from the fair. And sorry that this picture turned out so badly. Forgive my horrible photography, please.

On the left… a sheep. On the right… a dog.

Notice that, although they are the same color and have almost the same length of pelt, the dog is about 10 times bigger than the sheep.

That dog is bigger than some of the alpaca I saw in the barn.

That is easily the biggest dog I have ever seen in real life.

It was a very nice, dog. Very mellow. I was tempted to ask the owner if she shears him yearly, but I restrained myself. And, before you ask, the sheep was being led around on a leash and didn’t seem to mind at all. A most satisfying end to a most satisfying afternoon.

riding on the Canby Ferry

On the way home, I took the opportunity to ride the Canby Ferry.

I’m a sucker for ferries.

It’s only a short ride across the Willamette River. But I still think it’s fun. And at $1.25 per one-way ticket, it’s a pretty cheap amusement. I held the camera out the window of my car to take this picture. I was first in line so I’m right at the front of the ferry. See how beautiful it was on the river?

Now… Last year I didn’t buy anything at OFFF. I was so overwhelmed by all of the yarn, that I couldn’t choose showed admirable restraint by coming home empty handed.

This year…

a tiny bit of stash enhancement

There might have been just a tiny, tiny, wee amount of stash enhancement.

At the bottom on the left are a hank of cobweb-thin angora lace weight and a hank of merino lace weight. There is about 1300 yards of each, so there’s plenty enough for a couple of really nice shawls.

At the bottom on the right is bulky weight organic, naturally colored cotton. The color washed out in the picture. In real life it’s a bulky strand of something between an ecru mixed with celery wrapped by a thin strand of cream. It’s unbelievably soft. I haven’t decided what to do with this yet. I have about 270 yards. Maybe a hat, or a scarf?

All of the rest is sock yarn, and so doesn’t count. It’s for the yarn collection, y’know. And if it seems like there’s a preponderance of Blue Moon yarns represented… yeah… well…

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