Monday, May 10, 2010

MDS&W Festival Goodies

Let me preface this by saying that my shopping at MDS&W was underwritten by my guilt-free money. All year long, I put my pocket change into a jar. Periodically I'll wrap the coins, then set them aside. Once a year I take everything to the bank and exchange metal for paper. I can tell you that you'll be surprised by how much accumulates in one year. Oh, it also helps if your spouse puts his money in the jar, too. So, thanks to the money jar and a wonderful surprise gift from Ed, I was able to feed my fiber need.

Wonderful tussah silk -- I'm spinning this up right now, and it's absolutely wonderful. I thought that silk would have a fairly short staple (don't ask me why), but it's long, lustrous, and, well, silky.

Cotton -- This I'll be spinning on my charka. The cool thing about cotton is that you set the twist (or finish it or whatever it's called) by boiling your skeins. The cotton Ed gave me with my charka turned from a kind of light mildewy ivory to a beautiful olive color as I watched. Cool!

Blueface Leicester -- I bought a bag of this to see what all the fuss is about. Some people talk about BFL as if it were a miracle or the be-all end-all. Well, I've spun all this up (~525 yards, 2 ply), and it was wonderful to spin. I'm looking forward to my next encounter with this fiber.

4-pitch English wool combs -- A woman on Ravelry was offering this set for sale, pickup to be at the festival. I've wanted wool combs for a while now. In fact, I made a set myself, based on instructions I found on the interwebz. I used nails, and they worked fairly well, except I had to hold both of the combs and wound up straining muscles in my forearms. Not good. I've used these new combs (which were available at less than half the current going rate for a set like this), and I'm ecstatic. They do what they're meant to do. And I haven't impaled myself yet!

Duster, niddy noddy, needle/project tubes, and hand-comb cleaner -- Since we live between two major highways, the dirt is a constant presence. And since I don't have the necessary housekeeping gene to keep things from getting out of hand, we need all the help we can get. So far I've been really happy with my little duster -- this is not to say that I like dusting, though. The mini niddy noddy (say that 10 times fast) will be a great addition to my spinning tools. The needle/project tubes should help keep me from tearing my hair out over missing needles and socks that have tried to escape their needles before they're done. The tiny hand-comb cleaner (touted to me by the Mr. Strauch himself, no less) will be so much more efficient than using a junk needle to pick out the leftover bits from my combs.

WPI tool and shawl pin -- I've been trying to make my own WPI (wraps per inch) tool, and it just wasn't working for me. Bill Hardy, who has the most wonderful wood products imaginable, solved that problem nicely. The shawl pin will be a wonderful addition to the black one I have. These little things are unbelievably useful.

Soap, The Complete Guide to Natural Dyeing, measurement cards, earrings -- I just love the smell and feel of handmade soap, so Leslie's Garden was my first stop after the Little Barn. The book and cards I bought at The Mannings and should be interesting and helpful, each in their own way. The earrings were a happy find. They're old typewriter keys -- one is the ;/: key and the other is the @/[cent symbol] key. Since I'm a writer, I did a happy dance right in that vendor's booth.

And that's it. A year's worth of fiber-related goodies, all purchased with my guilt-free money. Hmm ... I was at the store this morning. Time to start filling that jar again!

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