Monday, May 22, 2006

I is for....Inspiring!

Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers
Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers Guild

What an awesome weekend! Friday I had a lot of fun going to Ferrum to interview people for the Blue Ridge Gazette; more about that in future posts. Then Saturday Sandra, Linda and I all headed north to Berryville, Virginia to attend the first Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival. As anyone might guess, the fun began long before the festival. Sandra drove and we all talked all the way up the road, getting to know each other better and comparing notes on the usual subjects that interest a group of women with so much in common.

Chester Farms
Chester Farms of Virginia

It was a lovely little festival, well laid out in a nice fairground, with enough vendors to be interesting, especially for a first year. Demonstrations of dyeing and felting, and of course spinning and weaving, attracted attention and provided a chance for comparing notes and meeting some very interesting and lovely fiber people. The vendors, many of them local, provided a nice selection of fiber and fiber art to study, fondle and try to keep from drooling over. There were many lovely animals, sheep and llama, some angora goats and even a few rabbits.

Fiber to spin!
Wool, glorious wool (with a little mohair!)

How to end a fiber festival day
The end of a perfect day!

And how do fiber folk spend a night on the town? A good meal at a nearby restaurant, and then back to the room for more talk, knitting and crocheting. As one of us commented "Good friends, good food, good fiber, what more could one ask?" This is where the inspiration comes in: seeing what my fiber buddies are doing. Talking with such a knowledgeable person as Sandra, with insights from Linda's beginner discoveries, and seeing all the beautiful work of the vendors at the show.


And of course I came back with fiber. One of my favorite vendors for sturdy yarn that makes great purses is Chester Farms, of Churchville, Virginia. I really liked the colors of the cotton/wool blend, shown at right. All of us fell hard for The Barefoot Spinner's merino/mohair painted rovings, and I saw quite a few bumps heading home with other people. I chose the red/orange/pink because I never chose colors like these, to try to keep diversified! The skeins draped over the arms of the chair are chenile in wonderful colors from Dovetail Farm. I think these will make elegant little purses.

This small addition to my stash is inspiring me to get into my fiber room and dig around, especially since Chris is coming for the weekend and I have to make a path to the bedroom for her! But I have to hurry to Stuart; things down there to tend to. And I have to get my dog buddies home; it's lonesome here!

We had a lovely time at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, and I hope the show will continue. On Sunday we visited the Double Tollgate Flea Market with an eye to obtaining a swift and niddy noddy for Linda. Neither of those appeared, but Sandra and Linda found some good buys in pots to use for dyeing. I behaved and didn't buy anything!

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