Gnomespun, MDSW and Spring Fests

Hallo!

The spring has sprung, and The Gnome has a new job! Workin’ workin’ workin.

I’m now down in Virginia/DC for at least the next couple years.

This put dyeing on a stall for a bit, but new fiber is piling up again!

Additionally, I went to MDSW…

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And searched high and low…

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And found some lovely local fleeces for fabulous fiber for you all!

Fleeces

I also got to see some friends…

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But didn’t get to see others. So I wore the tiara with my cowboy hat, because Tsocktsarina was there in spirit (and her booth was packed)!

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As for other festivals: Gnomespun will be at NHSW and MASW! Check out the Holiday Yarns booth!

The online shop will be open again after that!

That’s all for now!
~The Gnome
sprite

MA Sheep and Wool Festival!

Hello again!

Back from NH, and now ONE MORE FESTIVAL for the spring season!

My own hometown festival, Massachusetts Sheep and Wool at the Cummington Fairgrounds.

I’ll be with Holiday Yarns again, in building 2 (I think it’s 2, the one in the middle) right at the end nearer the parking lots (and the bathrooms!)

Lots of fiber, lots of yarn! Dorset/Silk, Jacob, Manx Loaghtan, Corriedale, Cheviot, Suffolk, Dorset, Rideau Arcott, Merino, Tussah Silk, Phouka yarn, Eshu yarn, and more!

That’s all for now! Come see me!

~The Gnome
gnome

A (very) Belated Festival Post!

I promised a return to happy fiberness. So here it is!

First, business: The delayed orders are finally out. Technical difficulties with Error 400 and Paypal have been resolved. Yay. This leaves a spindle shaft to get mailed out. Sorry, running behind. On special color orders, I hope to get through the pressing longer standing ones this weekend (or if I told you I would get to it this weekend). This, however, assumes it is not breaking 100 again. My dyeing is very limited at over 100 degrees because it puts more heat and humidity into the air than our puny AC units can handle and none of get sleep. Second fiber club went out this weekend. Third and final fiber club is in process.

Now, the festivals!

Long overdue blogging about the spring festivals. As usual, I was a bad blogger and ended up with about 1/10th the photos I should. Though partly this time that was due to my actually really spending almost my entire time in the booth meeting awesome lovely people.

So, first there was Maryland. I did not get to go, and found out I could send my stuff to be in the Tsocktsarina’s booth late (not through any fault of theirs. Last minute acceptance). So I sent a box of stuff down, but have no photos.

New Hampshire Sheep and Wool was in a new location this year. Much closer to my home town, and a nice location. A little odd because a third of the fair grounds was empty, a third was a horse fair, and a third was us. For some reason because of the horse fair, there was ONE gate. This was weird. Also because it was new to the fiber festival, the map was sadly lacking.

However, the building was very nice! Flat floor! Here’s Gnomespun’s Fiber (I really should make myself a sign.) As usual, I was hosted by the fabulous Jen of Holiday Yarns.

NHSW Fiber

And a lot of people still managed to find us despite new locations and no map, including an awesome lady with a dragon! (I talked to the lady who made the dragon too. Happily for my wallet they are slow labors of love).

Dragon Lady

And I did get out a little (mostly looking at fleeces and talking to some potential mills). I saw some adorable alpacas. Believe it or not I really didn’t ever make it to the sheep barn. Sad. I like sheepies. Yes, I know that it’s sad that as a blogger I only managed one measly photo of alpacas! I’m a bad blogger! Bad blogger! No biscuit!

Alpacas

And a lovely family brought some snacks, including cat shaped cornbread. I ate the head off this one.

Cornbread

A good time was had. I bought two fleeces, even though I’m only supposed to buy one thing. But the prices were great! And they were pretty! I got a beautiful white Montadale, and an amazingly long stapled, super clean, COATED Dorset by the name of Cornelius. There will be more about his fleece in another post.

For once I managed to snag a photo with Jen and Patrick!

Then, two short weeks and it was time for my birthday and Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival, up in Cummington. I was an even worse blogger there and took no non-booth photos. Seriously. Not even a bad fuzzy one.

Here’s the booth, with Gnomespun!

MASW Fiber
MASW Fiber

Amazingly, I do have one more photo. Because Tina is awesome and took this photo of Jen, Me, and Sandi Wiseheart and her Husband. So I stole it. Link to her blog below.

People

I bought some pretty BFL for my own spinning (currently becoming laceish) from Spunky Eclectic and some very nice bamboo DPNs from the talented Tina of Bittersweet Woolery.

And, as always, I got to hang out with awesome people. MASW holds a special place in my heart as an anniversary of sorts. Because it’s right near my birthday, it’s when I got Strider from my awesome friends and family. And back four years ago now, it was when I met Jen and Tsocks for the first time in person and Jen offered me space for my handspun in her booth at Rhinebeck. Until that moment, Gnomespun was an amusing vanity some friends had been tossing about (though I did come up with the name, mostly as a joke). And then, poof, it was a possibility.

And here I am. ::laughs::

That’s all for now!
~The Gnome
Sprite

So um… festivals?

Right, I went to them. Like um… ages ago. I’ve been a very VERY bad blogger.

So lets see…

First was NH Sheep and Wool, where I was very glad for my woven scarf. It was cold! And then the second day it was RAINY. Like torrential downpours, people not in buildings were making moats around their tents!

Didn’t do well at photos though.

As usual I was with the fabulous Jennifer in her Holiday Yarns booth.

Stuff!

Gnomestuff…

Stuff!

Then I joined her again at the ever-sunny MA Sheep and Wool festival, at Cummington. A very fun, smaller festival. Holiday Yarns had a double sized booth in the barns this time, which was different, and neat! Lots of cool people came by.

And here’s more Gnomestuff!

Stuff!

Theeeen came the biggie. Due to circumstances and stuff, Jennifer wasn’t going to be able to make it to the Maine Fiber Frolic to use her booth space. So, she loaned me some gridwall and some pegs, packed me some of her lovely yarn and fiber, and off I went…

To Maine.

Alone.

To vend.

EEP!

So I packed up all my stuff to go.

And theeeeen the tornado hit a mile away tore the every loving heck out of everything and killed our power for a while. I’ll make a post about that later (though by now most of you have probably seen all the photos).

Anyway, I ended up pulling everything back OUT of the car so I could drive down to CT and fill up gas cans to run the generator on.

Weekend came, I packed everything BACK in:

Packed!

Huh, fits real well.

And started driving. Theeeen I realized why it fit with so much space. I hadn’t packed the wall pegs, the stuff from Holiday Yarns, or the stuff from Jesh and Jellyfishknits. Oh crappity. Turn around, drive home, throw it in the car, set out again.

So I drove the umpteen hours to Maine. Yay! No disaster. Find the space

Stuff!

Unpack the stuff… wow it looks bare.

Empty Booth

After a couple false starts…

Stuff!

…and moving things around as I picked how I wanted to organize… (read several hours later), I had a Gnomespun booth!

Gnomespun Booth!

Still looks emptier than I’d like but a lot of that’s because I was cramming everything very deep on the gridwall. If I do this more I need more gridwall/shelves/etc.

Very tired by this point, I went to the (somewhat) nearby State Forest campground and set up camp.

Campsite!

Slept like a rock, got up early, and hiked up Battie Mountain, which is right at the edge of the campground. Good lord it’s a beautiful view!

Me!

And here’s a beautiful panoramic, made a link so it doesn’t explode the page.

Beautiful View

Then it was off to the Fiber Frolic. Where I put up my makeshift signs, and was off! You can’t see them, but they’re my gnomes, my slogan, and my business name. I was pleased how well received they all were.

Booth!

Met a TON of people and spun a bunch of samples and even sold some stuff.

But then it was time to go home, sad but the necessary part of amazing events. So I packed up again, plus the 3lbs of alpaca I bought, and the tunis fleece I was given. This time I got everything into the car on the first try!

Packed for Home!

So time to go home! Except… partway home, but still in Maine, my check engine light started to flash. Oh boy. I drove home, very carefully, as things got worse…

Turns out I had completely torched one of my engine’s pistons, and busted two other valves. So by the time I got it in for fixing, it was basically a one piston engine! Whee!

She’s ok again now, which is very good.

And now, your gratuitous puppies. Aren’t we so good? Don’t you want to give us your cookie?

CUTE!

~The Gnome
Gnome!

Shiny stuff!

So, of course, no sheep and wool festival is complete without stuff! Mmm shiny stuff.

Birthday stuff:

My parents bought me some more lovely fiber for Strider. And a wrap gauge for me! Been wanting one for a while, yay! All from Spunky Eclectic. I narrowly avoided a bird’s eye maple Loki as well.

Merino/Tencel on the left, Corriedale batt by Grafton Fibers on the right, and wrap gauge below.

Presents!

See? Shiny!

Let’s see… what else… oh right!

Heeeeee. For my birthday, I got Tsuper Tserious Tsock Tstuff.

Hand carded and blended Tsock Batts by the Tsarina herself… made with some of the fleece I gave her from the Great Fleece Adventure.

Mood Indigo: Romney, Mohair, Silk

Tsock Batts

Tsock Batts

And this one, “just for fun” which, in grand black tradition is hard to do photographic justice to

Assyrian Cohort: Merino, Seacell, Silk, Mohair, Sparkly

Tsock Batts

Tsock Batts

And, finally, recieved in the mail presents from England!

Socks and shirt!

The shirt made me laugh. Which is good, laughter is the best medicine.

The socks… wow. Dude.

Here’s a better photo of them, truer to the gorgeous claret-ey color. DAMN they’re soft. If I recall correctly, they have silk in them. Fit great too. Look at those cables!

MM socks

They’re even cabled on the back!

SOCKS!

Aren’t they awesome? ::squee::

Presents from me, to me:

Now, of course, I can’t go to a sheep and wool festival without buying a few things myself. And so…

I got me some Abby Batts from Spunky Eclectic. Mmmm. Shiiiny.

Abby Batts

And a closeup of the green one

Green Green Grass

I also got some Icelandic Lamb, because I haven’t spun any Icelandic yet, and it’s about time. Marcy helped with this purchase.

Icelandic

And finally, I had to valiantly throw myself on these to save my dear friend Lynn from them. Ahem. 30/2 and 40/2 cotton thread, which will be used for weaving.

Weaving Thread

Stuff I made:

And that’s all the new stuff… except…

Remember this photo?

Me Spinning

Notice something? Here, let me zoom in…

Spindle Holster

See that? That was my not so super secret project after making the spindle bags.

Here it is with better light

Spindle Holster

Or on the table so maybe you can see it better…

Spindle Holster

Still can’t tell what’s going on?

Try this…

Spindle Holster

Get it now?

If not, wander over here and look at the 4th photo down, I’ll wait…

See it? Yeah, that’s me, at NH Sheep and Wool, wandering around spindle spinning. That’s what I do. I do it here at work too.

And it’s for that that I invented this little “device.”

It’s a spindle holster. Yes, a spindle holster. When they’re not all full, you can put them through button holes. But when the cop gets large, they won’t fit in button holes anymore. And spindle bags are great, but they really go IN bigger bags. And when I’m walking around spindle spinning, I want a place to put the spindle that’s right there at hand, that I can get the spindle back from. You know, you walk up, spinning away, to a booth and then OOOH cormo-silk, you have to pick it up to touch and look at the price, but where do you put your spindle? Oh noes! Put it in your pocket and it may get squeezed back out and dropped and… ::gasp:: lost.

So, I made this. Admittedly, it’s probably not for many people. I mean, it’s got a belt loop, and two draw strings. But as the link pointed out, I’m hardcore ::snickers:: really ::twitch:: hardcore… ::falls out of chair laughing:: Ahem… totally. Anyway, for me, it’s awesome. As the cop gets bigger, I can adjust the lower drawstring so that the spindle is snug and secure and won’t drop out the bottom or bounce out the top.

It’s awesome! I’m happy.

And finally:

A new bit of fiber for the shop.

Deep sea blue-green currents swirl and twist in the depths of the water, where strange creatures swim…

Deep Sea – 1oz – 50/50 Cashmere/Tussah Combed Top

Deep Sea

Deep Sea

Deep Sea

SO SOFT. SO SHINY. Love.

That’s all for now.

Later!

~The Gnome
Gnome