Saturday, September 16, 2017

Wee Sheep, WI Sheep

The fancy sheep were unimpressed with us, but we were impressed with them! Last weekend the Philosopher and I drove up to Wisconsin for WI Sheep and Wool Festival or Wee Sheep--as I tend to pronounce it.  It required some serious Philosopher leveraging on a Saturday morning and it's a good thing sheep are as adorable as they are...

We also found my friend KB! She and her Ravenclaw Ravelry HPKCHC pals were attending in full force but she joined me for a rummage through the sheep barns and through the all of the shopping. She's shown here wearing a sweater made out of her own handspun. Yes, I'm terribly amazed by her all the time. She was also working on fair isle color-changing mittens. When she gets done and gets a blog post up, I'll try to remember to link.

We were very responsible knitting shoppers together, managing to talk each other out of yarn that we probably didn't really need, even as glorious as it was. Our color tastes are complementary but different enough that when I would squeal over something, she was a bit more refined, with the appropriate caveats for purple and green. The Philosopher was generally non-judgmental. He vetoed a couple of almost selections and reminded me that yes, I really do have that many skeins of rainbow yarn that I might need to get to first.  But what's the fun in that? Here's what I did buy: 

First up was Blackberry Ridge Wollen Mill.  This is two skeins of their Colorflow base, Autumn Rag colorway.  It's about a pound altogether and around a worsted weight. It's like oatmeal in a skein, warm and nubby. I want to make a really dense warm shawl. I'm thinking maybe a Kay's Tess D'Ubervilles Shawl again. I wear my purple one all the time.
Next was my dearest Ewetopia Fiber Shop. Oh I've missed seeing Kathryn the past couple of years and her yarns are just exactly as excellent as I remember. This is her Kickapoo Sock and while it's not photographing perfect, I think you can see the hints of purple and blue. That's gone into the stash to marinate for a bit. (We realized that I have Ewetopia yarn that is nearly a decade old; I really must get around to using that up)

I also had to grab a skein of this Ridge Sport yarn. This comes with history. While I was living in La Crosse, Ewetopia had it's first "their farm" wool. I bought a skein in an aqua shade and made a pair of socks. It's one of my earlier pairs and I've worn them to felt. I adore those socks. So finding some of her Ewetopia farm grown, Ewetopia mill spun, Ewetopia owner dyed in aqua ? Sign me up.  These will be a quick add to the sock drawer and I can't wait! 

My final purchase came late in the day. I was dismayed to learn that a regular favorite dyer of mine, Emily of Sophie's Toes, is shutting down her work. She does delightful color blends including the Philosopher's favorite triangle. Her booth had been pretty well cleared out, but I found this lovely autumnal skein.  The green isn't my usual, but I know a couple of people it will appeal to and so in the goodness of time. 

After KB headed home, it was time for me to compete in the Walk and Knit contest! My writing partner's ex-neighbor (I know, stay with me) had put together a team. I was, she promised her teammates, a ringer. We hustled and stitched our way through, trying to not knock anyone else over or drop stitches. There were a total of 8 teams competing. I'm told that somewhere, there's video. Thank heavens for a self-history of walking/knitting log cabin afghan squares. 

Then we queued to hear the winners. Imagine our delight-- WE WON! We were the second fastest time but apparently had knit the most? It was a combination of stitches, errors, and speed.  I'm not entirely sure how they calculated it, but we were utterly delighted. See our wining team picture here!*

We got a treasure trove of prizes. It was amazing generosity from the vendors and I was deeply touched. I'll share those separately so you can see all of the cool and shiny things (and keep in mind, my teammates took home lots of other cool things too!). I hear we might have to compete next year again. 

All in all, an excellently sheepy day. 

*Yes, he knit that stunning brioche shawl and he was starting a second one. It's even more phenomenal in person. Everyone was enchanted with it. 

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