Wednesday, September 23, 2009

NCFF 2009- Part 3, Competition, Market, Swag, and Local Mills

Unfortunately, some of my NCFF pictures didn't come out- views of the vendors and marketplace were dim, pictures of the Ravelry gathering were blurry, and shots of some of my friends were so bad that they will thank me for not posting them (it's the photographer's fault, not the subjects, who are all gorgeous). I am terribly disappointed that pictures of Patsy Zawistoski's skit, modeling her all-occasion garment were dim, blurry, and bad. It was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen.

But I did get some usable pictures. Including this young girl, drop spinning. The Gramma in me wanted her to get off that chair before she fell. (she didn't)

And Aleta Van Kampen's stunning Fair Isle and Appliqued tam, which deservedly won the Kay Cheever Award for Excellence.

And the sweater competition- note the red ribbon on the Dakota Earth and Sky sweater. The winner, in the middle, was spun and knit by Shay Huhta. It's even more beautiful in person- soft and light and intricately cabled (as opposed to my sweater, which is admittedly pretty, but also heavy and scratchy. You could wear Shay's sweater without a turtleneck underneath. Mine, not so much).

As a prize (I also got a Red ribbon on my Twisted Fiber Arts Entrelac Socks, and an Honorable Mention on my handspun lace Forest Canopy Shawl), I chose this little hooked rug Snowman kit from On The Prairie Rugs , whose website is under construction, though you can see a few of their patterns. I have never done this sort of rug hooking and am excited to learn how. I wonder if I still have an embroidery hoop somewhere.

I managed to spend less than I usually do at NCFF. I got these adorable handmade cards, and some stitch markers that I forgot to photograph,  from JL Yarnworks.

And some Brown Sheep sportweight mill ends (for $10 @  pound!) from Luv Ewe in Sioux Falls.

Since I spent most of my spinning time on Saturday, working on the Fiber Sandwich, I didn't buy much fiber this year. But I did get a lovely 9oz batt from Connie Wagenaar-Henning (whose etsy shop will be restocked soon). Connie very nicely enclosed a note explaining that No Dot, Ashley, Bunny, and Almond Girl donated fleece to this batt.  And I bought a small bag of Blue-Faced Leicester/Kid Mohair/Alpaca/Silk blend from Kelly Knispel, at South Dakota Natural Colored Wool Studio.

The most exciting news of the weekend was that both Kelly and Connie are opening their own small fiber mills. Kelly (who markets her fibers under: Biota Spinner's Web through the Natural Colored Wool Studio. raises sheep, and will process fibers (all kinds, in any amount) into clouds for spinning. Connie raises her own sheep and concentrates on natural dyeing. She will process fibers into batts and roving. I've purchased and spun fibers from both of them for years, and recommend them highly. There is room and need for both mills, and I am totally delighted to have processors within driving distance of my home. I'll announce when they're up and running, and ready to take orders, and maybe I'll even go tour and take pictures.

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