A scaled back OFFF

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A plan to spend the weekend at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby was reduced to just Saturday afternoon.  One friend was ill, one on her way to illness and one was sent out of town on a business trip.

So it was just a couple hours with my friend Paige, but enjoyable still. We’ve been enough times that we pretty much have memorized the booth offerings from return vendors, but nothing makes fondling yarn and fiber and petting sheep get old.

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So much color everywhere!  And yet I managed to buy the plainest yarn and fiber I saw.

But, what it lacks in pigment it makes up in content – the yarn is yak and merino and silk, and the fiber has enough angora that it is going to get a wonderful halo when it is made into yarn.

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The barn where the sheep and goats wait to be judged is, as always, a highlight.

The wildly varying pelts always intrigue me.  So much variation in what are basically close cousins.

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All of those are sheep fleece, except the bunny in the middle of the top row.  It is hard to tell, but the brown tipped locks on the lower left were brown on the ends and then went through cream to become gray where it is newly growing out.  My sister pays huge amounts of money to get that many colors into her hair!

The colors llamas come in are also impressive.

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The angora rabbits are another favorite. Dust bunnies come to life.

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When we weren’t shopping or petting we watched the llama obstacle course trials – very dignified – and then the goats at their course as well – defiant and needing to be carried.

And then OFFF was done for another year.

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Black Friday came in the mail

I’ve never been a mall shopper on Black Friday – the thought of the lines and crowds horrifies me.  But I did take advantage of the shopping-from-the-couch opportunities to do some fiber related shopping.

This all came in the mail over the last couple days:

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The quilt kit is a Christmukkah present for someone else, but the rest is for me. Kaffe Fassett shot cottons!  And I already totally love using both the ruler gripper and the little Japanese thread snips.

Both of those got a test drive this weekend as I did a small sewing project:

Quilt as you go, two at a time placemats.  I’ve lots and lots of scrap strips, so the four I made yesterday are just the start, and making two at a time really sped things up.

I also guided a a bit of a family assembly line in the kitchen as the second project of the day:

Four pans of lasagne for the freezer.

We were all about the mass production yesterday!

Dec. 7 – Updated to add that I forgot all about this Black Friday purchase until it came in the mail last night!  90″ x 20 yards of Pellon Nature’s Touch batting.  I haven’t used this kind before – I’ve been using Warm & Natural lately, but that roll was getting low, and this one was on a super sale.  It feels good to the touch.  I’ll keep you posted about what it is like to work with.

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Madrona

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I just finished a great getaway weekend with my friends.  I met up with two of them at an Airbnb apartment in Tacoma, WA, and we spent all of Saturday and much of Sunday  with the fiber crowd at the Madrona Fiber Arts winter retreat.  The retreat offers loads of classes on spinning, knitting, weaving and other fiber craft, and a marketplace that isn’t overwhelming in size while still managing to be absolute temptation.

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The Murano hotel is right next to the Glass Museum, so it is filled with examples of art in different glass techniques, including very retreat appropriate representations of knitted glass.

Even the bathrooms had pretty glass.  And I had my brush with knitting greatness when I was washing my hands next to the Yarn Harlot.

I’ve taken classes in the past, but this time I just wanted to hang out with my girlfriends and catch up and knit and spin and shop the vendors.

And that definitely happened!

Lots of window shopping and yarn and fiber fondling in the marketplace.  Really bright colors everywhere.  Beads and blown glass needles and luxury fibers in abundance.

I spent a lot of time in the Churchmouse booth.  I really want to knit a sweater they had on display, but I couldn’t decide on a color – I like the dark jewel tones, but lighter is really better for showing off cables.

In the end I decided to mull it over a while.  2200 yards is a lot of yarn – I need to get the color right.

I was fairly restrained in my shopping overall. Reminding myself that I had just reviewed the 27 pounds of fiber I already have was a necessary bucket of cold water when I started to pile up the possible spinning purchases.  And my stash is definitely not hurting for yarn either.  I brought three works in progress for this weekend because I couldn’t decide which I would want to work on, and I have more waiting, half finished, in the wings.  So only one braid of fiber  (but yak/silk/merino – yum!) and some notions.  Self control wins one.

When we weren’t shopping, we met up with other friends as they came and went to their classes, and sat in the rotunda, watching craft demonstrations, knitting, and meeting new people.  There were also great meals in nearby restaurants. (Oh, how I’ve missed Indian food! There are no good Indian restaurants anywhere near my house.)

In the evening there was chocolate and wine and spinning back at the apartment.  A really great weekend.

And, a shout out to my husband, who took the kids out and about all weekend and didn’t utter a word of complaint that I was missing both our anniversary and Valentine’s Day.  He even had a bouquet of tulips and a box of chocolates delivered to the apartment!  I married so well.

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