Sunday, August 12, 2007


As you might have guessed, I love going to festivals. And there are always some fiber related findings at festivals around here. On Saturday, we went to the Gravenstein Apple Festival in Sebastopol.

Compared to last year, it was a bit disappointing -- no fleece vendors. The Sonoma Fiber Trail booth wasn't out either. Probably for the better, as I didn't end up buying any fiber. But -- I almost squealed when I found some angora goats!

And the owner of the goats was spinning the mohair by the pen.

Of course I sat right down and started a conversation on spinning. We both sang high on how fun it is and how calming and relaxing it can be. I picked up her drop spindle, and she gave me a wad of dark-colored mohair to spin. I was grinning ear to ear, sitting right by her and spinning the long-stapled mohair.

Parents walking by with kids stop by. "Oh look, they are making yarn with the sheep's hair."
Spinner: "Actually, it's mohair from my angora goat."
Parents: "Oh."
Kids: "What are you doing?"
Me: "Spinning. I'm making yarn, with that goat's wool."
Kids: "Why?"

I look up, and see the kid's face completely perplexed. They must be thinking why you gotta make yarn with that ancient-looking tools when we can buy colorful yarns from the store?

So I hand the dropspindle to one of the girls, showing her how. She tries. Examines the 12 inches of yarn she just spun. Still seriously frowning. No joy here. Mitch tries to demonstrate how fun it is.

The girl being much older than Mitch, walks off, totally unimpressed.

The spinner gave me a handful of dark mohair. Unfortunately she was not there to sell fiber. Oh darn.

Shearing demonstration.

The baby's next.

After the shearing, while the spinner's off the stage getting her chair so she can show the spinning, a bunch of small kids get on the Joy and start treadling like a stairmaster. Parents are totally nonchalant. I'm biting my nails. I'd be screaming if it was my wheel.

The third kid jumping up and down on the treadles. I can't take it anymore. I finally step up and get the kids off. I breathe deeply to calm myself down. Mitch has never done that to my wheels. He has always treated my spinning stuff with respect. Maybe he knows the repercussions. Maybe he senses that some things are treasured possessions to someone. Knowing that, it makes me feel a bit sad to see a complete lack of respect from kids older than Mitch.

Souvenir mohair, the small wad on the right is the kid mohair from the 6-month old baby goat. O glorious crimp. I plan to wash them and blend with wool, spin, and knit a hat.

I've finished spinning the hunk of Lisa Souza's Merino/Silk blend. I'd never spun merino or silk, and I was worried that I may not be experienced enough for this, but I've been having fun -- so much so that I contacted Lisa and purchased two more hunks (apparently last ones she had) of the same blend and colorway. She's wonderful to deal with, by the way. She has just sold her house in Bay Area and moved to El Dorado County. I saw a photo on her website where she hung the hand-dyed skeins to dry out on her beautiful country-side property. I'm so hugely envious.

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