Sunday, May 5, 2013

MDS&W 2013

When it's the first full weekend in May, every fiber fanatic knows what that means: it's time for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival!
Everything at the Golding booth is a piece of art -- a feast for the eyes and nourishment for the soul.
The craftsmanship that goes into each piece is just breathtaking.
I didn't set out with any "must buy" preconceptions this year. However, when I got to the Bosworth booth, all of these spindles just started singing my name.
Those creamy white spindles are made with moose antler. They're a bit out of my price range, but that doesn't stop one from dreaming, right?
I was happy to see that the folks at Bosworth are customers of Moo! Where else can you buy business cards with a different image on each card? I'm in love with Moo.
Before I left the Bosworth booth, I took a long, hard look at this specimen of engineering genius. Love it!
And there's The Lovely Stacey (back to camera), who thought long and hard about what spindle she was going to add to her collection. She made a great selection ... of course.
This booth was full of Shaker artistry, as well as the luscious scent of wood polish. It took me back to my father's basement workshop. He was always crafting something wonderful with wood, and that scent of polish can trigger a flashback like no one's business.
This is about half of the fleece sale area. One year I might just have to buy a fleece, no matter how hard I'm sure it is to choose (just one!).
The festival has all sorts of things that I just can't live without. I vow that I will make myself a rolled brim hat of my own one of these days.
This was a very popular spot. I really want to add a "I knit so no one has to die" sticker to my car.
No, wonderful vendor. Thank you!
One of my favorite parts of festival was visiting all the livestock, like this wonderful guy. His name is Moe -- seriously.
Oh, and the lambs! I just wanted to climb right into the pens and cuddle each one.
Oh, you lovely sheep! I gave this guy or gal lots of skritches and ear rubbing. It was very hard to walk away from all the love.
Note to self: Find this book.
I've seen pics like this on the interwebz, but I thought they were Photoshopped. Sadly, this is what some shepherds have to do to convince thieves to keep their mitts off sheep that don't belong to them.
I desperately need a haircut. This gal was quite skilled with the clippers. Hmm ... naaah!
Hello, Deb Robson! She's the coauthor of The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook.
This kind of mind-blowing array of color and texture is everywhere at the festival. It can easily become overwhelming.
Say hello to my little friend. I do believe that this wheel will be part of my future.
Glad to see that I'm not the only one who doesn't always look my best in pics. Derp!
See that guy in the kilt? Well, that's none other than the handsome, talented, and crazy-smart Brewergnome! I stepped outside my comfort zone and actually introduced myself to him. (He's kind of like a fiber rock star in the LSG group on Ravelry.)
The Lovely Stacey was one happy camper with her new spindle and color-coordinated fiber.
By the time you've finished tramping all over the fairgrounds and are ready to find your car, this guy and his trailer comes along to make the trek just a little easier.

The weather was sunny and cool. The companionship was wonderful. The festival-goers were friendly and numerous. The food was messy and delicious. The day? The day was perfect.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My own yarn cabinet ... inspired by KnitsforLife

Early this month an image showed up on Pinterest from this wonderful blog.

The lovely Lorna had a fabulous idea for yarn storage and shared it with the world. I quickly pinned one of her images to my Fiberliciousness board and dreamed of a fantasy house in which I'd have just the right wall to have my own fiber display ... uh ... storage.

Really, if you look at Lorna's wall, it's more than mere storage. It's an ever-evolving work of art comprising different colors and textures. Form and function -- genius!

One morning I overslept and had to drive da boyz to school. Before we'd even left the neighborhood, I saw that someone had put a gun cabinet out for the garbage guys -- or someone like me -- to pick up.

"If that thing's still there when I get back, it's coming home with me," I thought.

It was there, and when I brushed away the thin coating of snow, I was delighted to see that the door was glass (unbroken, thank goodness).

I tried shoving it into the back seat of the car, but it was about 6 inches too long. So I slid it into the trunk and put my mittens in between the trunk latch and the glass.

Traveling at about 1 mile/hour, I made it home in about a week, terrified that the cabinet was going to leap out of the trunk or that I'd hear the sound of breaking glass.

Here it is, and I've already pulled out the pieces of wood on the bottom and along the back that were there to support guns.
I knew that for the pegboard to work, it would need to have a gap behind it so that the metal pegs could seat properly.
I found some scrap wood and glued them into place. It didn't take me long to realize that glue wasn't going to keep my spacers where I needed them.
Because the back of the cabinet is absolutely flat, I ran the screws in from the back. Once I'd done all six, I installed the pegboard. Then I had to redrill about three of the holes because the were off-center from the holes in the board. *sigh*

After that, I painted. And painted. And painted some more. It took about four coats of the off-white paint to really cover the darkness of the wood. My husbeast wondered why I was painting it at all. It was just too dark, too dated-looking. Besides, I wanted a light, neutral color to go with the white pegboard so that all the color would come from the yarn.

Inside, I just painted about half of the sides, top, and bottom. My yarn is going to have the royal treatment: cedar. I bought cedar tongue-and-groove boards and found it to be fairly easy to saw. I used wood glue to install the boards, then used whatever I could find to hold the pieces in place while the glue dried (i.e., three long tool handles and a rolled up yoga mat).

I still have three whole boards left over and will use them in my dresser or maybe in storage boxes or bags. I used the scraps to sort of line the drawer.
You can find the pegboard, wood glue, cedar boards, and screws at Home Depot or Lowe's. I forgot about the actual pegs while I was shopping but found them at KMart (~$2 for four pegs). I replaced the drawer pulls with plain wood ones and covered up the hole in the door where the locking mechanism had been removed with a wood knob. The knob is held on with a screw and a big washer, which let me tighten the screw and keeps the knob in place so that the hole is covered.

And here it is:
The cedar doesn't line up exactly, but that's OK. Every time I open the door that delicious scent wafts out -- mmm!
I bought a "peg" that's designed to hold screwdrivers but will end up holding my spindles.
And just because there was some yarn in a bag right where I was working, I stuck them on the pegs. Yeah, they're gray, but they'll soon be joined by a host of colors.
Now all I need to do is figure out where to put this beauty!