Wow.

As someone who is generally pretty introverted, the last couple days at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival have been pretty overwhelming in the best of ways — I almost don’t even know where to start here! So let’s let the words ruminate for a bit while I show you some photos…

IMG_6320Sheep show! These were not completing based on their wool…

IMG_6327 I had never watched the shearing process before and it was nothing short of incredible.  I also discovered later that this gentleman has quite the… um… fan club of ladies at the festival.

IMG_6297This is the puppy my husband almost adopted while I was away for the day.  She ended up being a little pricey otherwise I think we’d now be a 2 dog family. Apparently this answers the question of what would happen if I’d ever take a day away from my family.

IMG_6309When I got home Friday, I realized the last two skeins Green Mountain Spinnery had of Weekend Wool in the Blue Jay colorway that I had purchased to complete my Little Wave sweater were the same dye lot as my sweater. What are the odds?!

IMG_6306I brought home some of the Knitting Sarah/Socks with Sarah customer colorway, Quick’s Point, from Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber

IMG_6353And I cast-on right away. I had started them on my Hiya-Hiya needles, but I got these Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina DPNs at the show & literally could not wait to try them. I sat down in the car and knit my sock right onto them. They are fab!

IMG_6305Of course Quick’s Point wasn’t all I brought home from the Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber booth. I grabbed an armful of fiber and am super excited to try knitting with these gorgeous silk hankies.

Now for the words…

The festival was just a wow.

First and foremost, I have to thank all the readers who took the time to visit with me. Whether you tracked me down while I was walking about or you came & found me in the Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber booth, it meant so much to me to be able to put faces & voices with the words and photos I see online. Really, you can’t imagine what a treat this was for me!

Next, I have to thank all the shops that offered (and these offers are still good today at the Festival!) discounts to my readers. One of the real joys I have writing about my craft on this blog is introducing crafters to amazing supplies & tools that are perfect for them. I’m a true believer that every crafter and even every project is unique. I feel truly lucky that I have the opportunity to try so many different yarns and fibers and tools. Not everyone is interested in everything I do and my personal favorites aren’t always going to be yours, but I like to think that by feeding my own love of variety I help readers to find their own ‘perfect fits’. The right needles that have the perfect tip, yarn that feels just the way you’ve always dreamed it should, eco-friendly practices that you feel good about supporting, or sometimes just a single artist who really loves their work, treats customers with kindness, and creates a color palette of fiber you never want to live without — whatever you are looking for, I love that I get to play a little role in helping you find those things that make your craft that much more fulfilling in your life. And I so appreciate that there are shops that support me in that and — for example — offer generous discounts to help make it easier to get their items in your hands.

If this wasn’t enough, I also got to meet some wonderful people this weekend that I’ve worked with, exchanged many emails with, and yet never met in real life.  I got to have a really great visit with the wonderful instructor and special events coordinator from Cream City Yarn & the owner of Sheepish Yarn Company, Jennifer Donze. We had an awesome discussion about sock construction and she told me all about how she teaches her Sock Club — seriously, it sounds a-ma-zing! I got to meet Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter, author of Conversation Socks, her blog Handmade by Stefanie, and all around excellent/dangerous influence. I had quick chats with the very friendly folks at Bijou Basin Ranch and the sweet, sweet ladies from Green Mountain Spinnery. I also wondered into a booth looking for buttons and ended up meeting Alison Wheeler, my new favorite ceramics artist. I bought buttons for the sweater I’m making for Spud & Chloe’s Chill Chaser KAL from her, but wished I could have also brought home a yarn bowl, too… next time!

Last but not least, I have to give an extra special shout-out to Natalie from Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber. We met once a few years ago and it was from her that I bought my very first ‘Learn to Spin’ kit. Her yarn & fibers have been a constant source of inspiration for me over the years, so you can imagine when she agreed to work on a custom colorway for me and then offered to let me hang out in her booth for a couple hours at the Festival, I almost died. It was such a awesome treat to visit with her in person. We talked about the colorways we’re dreaming about, how her fiber club always delivers exactly the colors I’m dying to have in my hands, and all sorts of random stuff. It was just the best time. So thank you, Natalie! You rock!

After all this excitement today I’m enjoying a quiet day. I’m going to partake in some knitting — it seems only right — and maybe I’ll ply that fiber that’s been waiting for a couple weeks. Eventually I will start to put away the goodies that followed me home. I’ll also be sifting through all the ideas and inspiration of the last couple days and plotting out a couple years worth of projects. The best laid plans rarely survive reality — it’s true I think especially in knitting and spinning — so I don’t have too many delusions that I will stick to said plans. That being said, just the act of making them is what propels me forward and keeps me going. I’m so glad, so thankful to have been able to attend the WI Sheep & Wool Festival and I’m looking forward to all that I will do with the ideas, yarn, fibers, and tools I’ve brought home.

20 responses to “Wow.

  1. sounds like so much (exhausting) fun. I do love that special colorway, it is so pretty. really does look like a marsh. I’m glad you had such a good time and met so many amazing people!

    • It was pretty (exhausting) fun. It’s hard to explain what it’s like to go from my little quiet life to such an event with so many people. And while I’m always a little overwhelmed, I’m also really energized. Today’s quiet was nice and like I said, I can’t wait to dig into what i brought home!

      • You don’t have to explain – I completely understand. I too am an introvert who lives in a quiet rural area. while i love to go to the festivals and things, they are overwhelming, with all the crowds and people, and parking, etc! I deal with it for the Common Ground Fair,and sometimes the Maine Fiber Frolic, but I can’t bring myself to go to the Folk Festival, in spite of knowing I am missing great music, or the local fair, even though I love the animals, and fair food. They are just chores sometimes. 🙂 Anyway – I am glad you had fun,and that you have had a quiet day to rest and recover and play with your new fiber and needles. 🙂

  2. I know how you feel – I’m not used to being around so many people, so shows like that can be a little crazy amidst all the fun. So glad we could meet up, and thanks for the shout-out on this post. I can’t wait to spin up my Quick’s Point roving!!

  3. I was there yesterday (Saturday) from about 9-1 or so. I was looking for you but there were so many people, we just didn’t run into each other. I did spend some time (and money!) in the Cloudlover booth, and I agree, Natalie is just the nicest person! Several skeins of sock yarn just happened to be purchased, including 1 of the special colorway. Hmmm, thinking Hermione’s Everyday socks for that one. Can’t wait to cast on! How long till next year’s WI sheep & Wool festival 😉

    • Sorry I missed you! We arrived a bit late Saturday because of a volunteering commitment up in Fond du Lac, but I’m glad you had fun! Also so glad you got to meet Natalie & take home some of her gorgeous yarn! I was *this* close to casting on Hermione’s with my Quick’s Point, too, but went with Stockinette instead! Can’t wait to see how yours look!

  4. Let me blame the first week of school — I didn’t realize you would be findable! I am so sorry I didn’t stop and say hi when I visited on Saturday. I think I should organize a blogger meet-up for next year.

    • I’m sorry we missed each other, too! I actually contacted the festival offices about where I could set up a meet up and was really discouraged – or at least really not encouraged. Now that I’ve seen the whole grounds – I’d never had the time to do so before – I think it’d be pretty easy to organize a meet-up. We’ll have to see if there’s interest when the time comes!

  5. Sounds wonderful. I really enjoyed the festival I went to recently but I know what you mean about being a bit overwhelmed. The little dog is so sweet. How could you resist?

    • I know — I all counts! The dog, I will tell you, was hard to resist, but her price tag was not. 😦 I’m happy to say that she was adopted within 12hours though!

  6. I’m so jealous you got to go to this! I would’ve loved to come visit, but alas! it was much too far away. I can’t wait to see your silk hankies knit into something awesome!

    • Thanks — it was awesome! But you’ve got some good festivals in your neck of the woods, too!

      I’m still trying to decide if I want to try to spin those hankies or knit them… I’m so torn!

  7. It sounds wonderful, and I love all the things you bought. How do you knit with silk hankies …. I’m thinking it’s not the same as the silk ones I have in my handkerchief drawer? Can’t help thinking it would have been the icing on the cake to come home to that adorable puppy. I would have found it a challenge to resist her.

    • The recommendation is something like a Hitchhiker Scarf — since it isn’t yardage specific. I’m still torn as to weather I will attempt to spin them or not. It make take some time for me to research and decide…

      As for the puppy — she had a $1000 price tag, so we had to resist her. Although sad, it’s probably for the best as we don’t currently have a vehicle that would hold our family and two big dogs — LOL!

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