Sunday, May 04, 2008

My Annual Birthday Party

Those silly celebrities ain't got nothin' on me. When I throw a birthday party, thousands of people come, traffic is backed up for miles, there are animals, and people sell one of my favorite things - yarn/fibers of all types (and lots and lots of the hand-dyed stuff, which I really go for!).

Okay, okay, so it's more often known as the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, but they'll get it right eventually, yes???

I had a really nice time this year - as usual. I was very controlled in my spending/shopping, and in fact, didn't do most of my buying until after 5:00!! That may be due to the fact that The Boy was with me until 3:00, but still - WOW!

Here's the haul:

And here's the specs:

Goats Milk Soaps in Lavendar and Patchouli - one sheep and one plain bar each. I also got some eucalyptus scented Euclan from the same shop, but it was already put into use cleaning my Clapotis by the time I took this picture, so it's MIA.

Down front, you see a bag of natural bamboo top purchased from Brush Creek Wool Works (awesome little shop that I stop at year after year for their herbs and other natural products. One year I bought some really awesome curry there - YUM-O!). The bamboo top is 4 ounces that I got to spin, then dye this summer. I plan to have a big dyeing day where I experiment and see how I like dyeing my own stuff. Since I haven't done any dyeing since about 2002 when I used Kool-aid to make a scarf for The Boy (while he was just a baby!), it should be quite a learning experience!

Also from Brush Creek, I got essential oils - one patchouli and one lavendar. I love essential oils for perfume, and occasionally for making my closet smell good. I haven't bought any in years. I think I was due.

The fiber rinse you see pictured is some Unicorn Fiber Wash that I actually won at the Ravelry meetup (more on that later). So now, I'm stocked and ready to go with the fiber wash! I should have a wash/block party!!

The blue in the middle is some yummy Brooks Farm "Willow", a new yarn from one of my favorite yarn producers/dyers. It's 70% wool, 30% bamboo. I am very anxious to turn this into a summer top for myself, and will be scanning all known patterns for just the right one. Suggestions welcome!

The other purchases were made at the Woolstock Yarn Shop, which has a different deal at S&W than at Stitches. 50% off the normal price of a skein. Bummer, but still a good deal. They usually have RIDICULOUS deals like a complete BAG of yarn for about 75% off what it would normally cost. Ridiculous. I picked up the berry-colored yarn on the left (Alpaca Seta from Skacel) for half off - I think about $5.00 a skein. I also picked up three different skeins of Noro to start the Lizzard Ridge afgan. I am very intrigued by this pattern. Unfortunately, the wool fumes had me confused, and after looking back at the actual pattern, it actually calls specifically for Kureyon. Anyone know if the others will work? It's pretty much designed to work with the color repeats of Noro in general, right? Not just the one type of yarn? I got two skeins of Silver Thaw and one of Iro. The Iro has me positively mesmerized. Just look:

If it doesn't work in the afghan, I WILL find a different use for this one! Promise!

Other than that, I had a great time meeting up with TWO previous Secret Pals. Before I could even grab the phone to call, I ran smack-dab into Lisa - the pal that gave me the yarn I successfully made my Tempting sweater out of. I LOVE that sweater, and enjoyed talking to Lisa. She actually recognized me as I walked past her toward the first Ravelry meetup of the day - in the Rabbit House. She had other friends in tow, and worked the festival for all it was worth! After our initial meetup, I found her again coming out of the Carodan Wool Shop, but lost her somewhere in Tess' Designer Yarns. So sorry, Lisa - it got a bit confusing and crowded in there. Somewhere along the line, Lolly spotted me in the same booth. At the time she was talking to two of the ladies from Knit Happens, who seemed to be in every booth/place I stopped. I think they thought I was stalking them - it certainly appeared so! I promise, I'm harmless, everyone!!

Here's Lisa and friends:

Then, there was Heather, who I actually got to spoil by knitting socks for in the first Hogwarts Sock Swap I joined - last year at this time, I believe! When I saw her, she had an extra-special surprise for me! As if meeting her in person wasn't a big thrill to begin with - she actually brought me a hand-made goodie! I commented on a post she had on her blog wherein we were supposed to keep the spirit of paying-it-forward by getting, then giving handmade gifts. So, I commented, she promised the handmade goody, then I posted the same deal here on my blog and got . . . . . . . . . nada. Not one comment! Chickens!

Anyway - I promptly forgot that I was due a lovely, but Heather didn't - she gifted me the most spectacular market bag! I'd been thinking I needed a market bag since we recently had an Amish market move in down the street (literally, it's like our neighborhood grocery store!). Plus, there's the whole Earth day/one with nature/carbon footprint/environmental deal to worry about. And while I do recycle my plastic bags or reuse the heck out of 'em, a handmade one is SO much better! Thanks, Heather!!!!!!

After all that, I finally broke down and purchased the yarn from Brooks Farm that I was thinking about, then moseyed on out of the fairgrounds and down the street to Columbia for the Ravelry meetup at the Sheraton. It was a really great time, and I forced myself to break out of my normal quiet shell and meet some new people. It worked like a charm, and I met several great people! More on that in the next post!



Blogger Lolly said...

I definitely think the Noro will work for Lizard Ridge. I think it is all about the striping anyway... and since it is a blanket, the gauge should not matter too much!

It was great to see you, Heather! and congrats on the win at the Rav party! I didn't win anything... except for a lot of FUN at the get-together :)

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

I love the blue yarn.

12:19 PM  

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