So, what else did I do at the show?
Carolina Alpaca Breeders and Owners
had a booth at the show. They had some yarn, but they were also one of
the few booths that had fiber for spinners. Specifically, they had whole
alpaca fleeces. I took the intemperate action of touching the fleeces.
Soft, very nice . . . soft, also nice . . . OH MY GOSH! There was a
black fleece that was warm and buttery-soft. Gorgeous. LUST!!!! So I
ended up purchasing the fleece of Black Diamond, who comes from 3 Hawks Alpacas in Murfreesboro, NC. Her sire is Ghost Dancer.
I met Anita from 3 Hawks Alpacas, and she said she is breeding her
alpaca for good hand-spinning fiber. I believe her. I've combed just a
little of the fleece, and I can see already it has a lovely, fine crimp
and a thin, soft fiber. I wish I could show you in a photograph just how
awesomely soft and wonderful this fleece is. And it is
Flaggy Meadow Fiber Works.
Shawn and Jeff are doing a bang-up job creating and promoting alpaca
products. Their mill produces yarn and roving. And they also make some
finished objects, such as socks or hats. To continue their mission of
promoting domestically-produced alpaca products, Flaggy Meadow will be
hosting the Fiber Frenzy Retreat in Park City, KY on 17-19 February
2012. I will probably be using my two skeins of Surino to make a variant
of the Convolute pattern that started my 2011 reject pile.
One of the nice things about the reject pile is that you never know when a pattern will get a second life. Dahlia,
the shawl I sent to the Claudia Shawl the Love Contest, may also
be getting another chance in a better, reanimated "zombie" form. I wore it
around on Saturday and received many complements and questions about
which pattern that might be. Dahlia may get a second rich fantasy life with yarn from
Laura and Kelly at The Unique Sheep. Their Gradiance Collection may be an excellent fit of yarn and pattern design.
I should add that I also got some more leads on shows and festivals. Friends & Fiberworks will be hosting a Winter Retreat on 13-15 January in Asheville, NC. And Knitters Mercantile will host Knitters Connection on 15-17 June in Columbus, OH.
there weren't many Atlanta people at the show, I did get to spend some
time with people I've previously met. I got to spend an evening with
Charles D. Gandy, the wonderful designer of the Pedicure Polka and the
Snake in the Grass socks from the Think Outside the Sox contest
and book. Charles is teaching and writing, and I am excited that I
should soon be able to take his classes and learn more about the
embellished knitting techniques he uses. His work is dynamic and
inventive. And I have no doubt that his book will need to be in my
library. Charles has also completed Level 2 of Master Knitter and is
closing in on Level 3. He very kindly shared some advice with me. After
the weekend, I am feeling more motivated to get moving on Level 2 for
I addition to Charles, I also spent some time with Marilyn Hastings. Marilyn is teaching 13-18 November at John C. Campbell Folk School on the topic of "Recovering
Worldly Wool from Sweaters" during the school's Recycle It Week.
Marilyn is also working on a book -- and I can't say more than that,
other than I've seen her many samples and I think it will be an
interesting topic for a broad range of knitters.
Finally, I rounded out the weekend by bidding in the silent auction. There were several items from previous issues of Cast On
magazine. This pair of gloves appeared in the November 2010 - January
2011 issue, which has lots of great information about how to knit
gloves. These are the Starry Night Gloves by Meredith Wills, and they
appear on pages 17-22. They are a very advanced knit involving stringing
several colors of beads in order, a lot of duplicate stitch, and
embroidery stitches at the end. I am fortunate that I have skinny hands,
as these gloves depicting the summer and winter sky do fit. I will have
to wear them next year at Dragon*Con, especially when I am asking
questions on the Space Track.