My fleece addiction and other stories

Gryphon, Lia, and I did indeed do New Jersey a couple of weeks ago. It's not a particularly big show, but we sold a few things. Well, Gryphon sold a little more than a few and I sold a few, but as she points out to me, my sales in a proportion to hers are the same proportion as the amounts of what we brought. Sorry that sounds unintelligible.
We had a lovely time. We met some great people, talked to some marvelous animals, and touched some yummy yarm and fiber. I forgot to charge my camera, though, so i have no actions hots for you. Go see Gryphon's though, cause Rosy the pig is very cute and so friendly.
We had a jolly time, although we missed our third fate very much. Come back soon from Afganistan, ok? I bought 4 oz of bfl/mohair/angora roving from Maggie's Farm as a treat for myself to spin with my drop spindle at our booth.
It turn out so pretty, I bought a pound to spin up as a thick and thin single that i can knit into an oversized funky vest. The rest will be spun on my Lendrum wheel, however.

Now, the best part of the New Jersey show are the quantities of excellent and affordable fleeces. And the show is so small, that you can really hang out with the shepherds and sheperdesses and talk sheep. I bought one grey shetland to share with Elizabeth (Eutrapelia on Ravelry) and Gryphon and I bought her one very lovely and clean Cheviot cross named Precious at auction. last year, I had Crumpet from the same farm and have loved her. Gryphon is, in fact, processing Dora as we speak. Go see, very nice.

But then, there was the fleece auction. They hold that very scary event toward the end of the show, when your resistance is down becasue you are so tired. Most bids start off at $2/lb. compare that price to the $12/lb you'd pay at the larger shows, like Rhinebeck and MDSW! It is so much fun to hang out and touch and talk fleece, staple length (the length of the lock from "butt" end to tip), microns (measure the fineness of the fleece, the lower the number the better), crimp, grease, and scouring (fleece washing) techniques with other similarly obsessed people. Not to mention, have you ever won a bid? So Much Fun! It's amazing how many unnecessary objects one can buy during an auction. Last year at the Maryland sheep and wool show auction, I bought a warping board (woo hoo!) that I don't know what to do with and a beautiful little antique spinning wheel. That I don't have space for and don't use. But it's beautiful, and I won it!
The auction is where i scored the magic fleece. Look at that color!
And to be honest, i was so in love with this fleece, that I paid $12/lb and split it with another fiber freak. Kat was modest in her fleece purchses this year, holding them down to a very manageable 13. Last year, I believe it was 27.

I'll admit I'm weak. She's a Romney crossed with a few other breeds and has fabulous crimp and body. I've washed some and plan to spin her straight from the lock. Can't wait.

Now, Trudge presents the sweater update!

His angelic face belies the fact that he'd been viciously attacking my knitting moments earlier. This bit of knitting is a top-down raglan cardigan of my own design. Because I understimated its size before dividing for the sleeves, I placed darts at the waist. The lower half swings out at the hips to allow plenty of movement. An inch and a half wide "button band" will add some room at the top where I need it, although I probably won't use buttons. I don't seem to choose them well. The yarn is Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, which gets its fabulous drape from it's 80/20 cotton/merino content.

I have bound off the hem of the body and am about to start the sleeves, which I will pick up from live stitches waiting on waist yarn. Sleeves should go quickly as I have already knit the caps. Top-down raglans really do seem to be the one of the world's better feats of engineering, along with toe-up socks, of course.

Finally, the body of the sideways cardi is complete as well. I have begun a sleeve and continue to enjoy the heck out of this knit and this yarn. It inspires me to again offer a Dragonfly Sweater yarn, perhaps in semi-solids? Better get busy if I want to be ready for Stitches. See you in Booth 154, back by the concessions.