We Frolic

Well, my lambs, the Maine Fiber Frolic has come and gone and I am left utterly bereaved. How am I supposed to return to my day job after a weekend of endless fiber highs? I’m also thoroughly sunburned because the weather was mercilessly beautiful, so all I want to do for the next week is alternate between napping in the hammock and spinning in front of a fan with a massive dose of iced coffee.

Sadly, it is not to be. I’ll manage, though, because I found a few delightful treasures that I was able to pick up and many more that give me excuses to visit some of the charming shops near me when my fiber budget is replenished. 🙂

Banana Silk – Underhill Farms

Banana Silk with Spindle
An ounce of banana silk, hanging with my homemade supported spindle which may or may not actually function well.

The gal at Underhill is a complete hoot and last year gave me some great info about raising fiber goats, which is a good chunk of their business, I gather. They had a few fun fibers that they don’t produce themselves, brought in just for the fun, including yak clouds (which I’ve spun in a blend with silk, but not alone) and banana silk. It’s technically a rayon and has incredible lustre–more to come on that once I’ve spun it up.

Rainbow Slushie – Highland Handmades

Rainbow Slushie Roving - Fiber Frolic 2014
Looking forward to learning Navajo plying to preserve the colors on this.

I bought a spindle and some dyed Corriedale from Highland last year. The warranty on their spindles is awesome and they offer a quality product for a fraction of the price many other folks do. Their Corriedale is very easy to spin, very pretty, and very cheap–making it a great fiber for beginners to play with. My goal with this hank is to practice Navajo plying to maintain the order of the color runs to avoid rainbow soup.

Purple Clun Forest Batt – Field’s Edge Farm

Purple Clun Forest Wool Batt
Love the way they used matching tissue paper to make the colors pop in their booth.

I haven’t worked from a batt before, but the colors on this were too yummy to pass up. Next step: research working with batts…

What to Buy Next

I saw rovings, spindles, and yarns to drool at at almost every booth, of course, but I’m sadly not yet a millionaire who can say, “I’ll take one of everything!” That said, I will most definitely be buying from a few of the vendors online or in person in the nearish future. These are the folks that make my most urgent follow-up list:

Port Fiber: If her amazing colors weren’t enough to draw me in (they are), Casey also has some fibers which are not being widely carried elsewhere. Most notably, she’s carrying the Chiribaya Cloud 80’s from Maine Top Mill. This is alpaca top from a very selective pool of certified Vicugna pacos, processed using an innovation on alpaca fiber processing that is resulting in a significantly higher quality alpaca preparation than I have yet seen anywhere else.

Spunky Eclectic: The only reason this shop didn’t make the first round of shopping cuts is that they’re practically in my back yard, so it’s easy to go in person later on. They have beautiful roving of a wide variety of colors and breeds, but what really caught my eye is their Turkish spindle. No one else at the fair seemed to have any Turkish spindles, and the only Maine place I’ve head of carrying them (Hatchwood Farms) has to sell them for a much higher price than I can afford. because of the nature of the (admittedly excellent) product. $24 to support a local business is a price point I can jump on.

Highland Handmades: (Shop temporarily down because of the fair) I know, I know, I bought from them already, but their yarn selection was pretty excellent this year, and I’m looking forward to sampling some of their sock yarn.

Fiber for Sale

One of my reasons for going to the Frolic this year was to sell off some of my rabbit fiber. I was disappointed to only sell three of 16 bags. This has decided for me that I need to start an Etsy shop to widen my market, so if you’re interested in buying Angora fiber (black, white, and fawn available), shoot me a message and I’ll let you know what I’ve got in stock. I’ll put up a post once I’ve got a shop set up to make life easier for all.