MDSW: An overdue recap (part 1)

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="448"] The final haul.[/caption]

My day began rather ungodly early. Earlier than my normal work day. But such is the price that I am willing to pay for awesome fiberness. I had made arrangements with two fiber friends to attend together and extra awesomely share the driving. And so I picked up my friend J who is a knitter/spinner/weaver. Together we proceeded down to K’s house, just a knitter but quite awesome and she may be starting to bend to our spinning persuasions. She was kind enough to drive us down the rest of the way. Car knitting time is always fantastic. Especially in a car with fellow knitters.

We arrived just after 10 o’clock. The weather was quite beautiful. Early spring can be so tricky to anticipate so I layered up for the day with jeans a t-shirt, thin fleece, and a shawl around my neck. With the sun shining and a breeze blowing I opted to leave the fleece in the car but felt it both fun and appropriate to continue wearing the handspun handknit shawl (the knitted object/people watching at such festivals is a-mazing). All in all I was at times a bit chilly but the wardrobe decisions worked. And my sunscreen even held up all day. Yay.

Now once we actually arrived J and I were all about the fiber sale. The fiber sale in its newly established digs of a small building all to itself was chaotic awesomeness. It had been open for about 30 minutes when we entered and according to the sign in the back 100 fleeces had already been sold. Luckily for us however there were still over 500 left. Yup, 500 raw fleeces sitting all layed/piled out across lots of tables sometimes in a slightly organized fashion. I failed at properly preparing myself for what I was looking for. But I felt, and J agrees, that I had learned from my fleece purchases last year and would be able to better choose this year. Fleece prices can range from as low as $15 to upwards of $300. So with just a budget in mind it was still a reasonable starting point.

My budget was very much on the low side of things but there were definitely still plenty of options. I happened across this beautiful looking Tunis fleece. Firstly the price caught my eye. Secondly the fact that the sheep was coated suggested that I should be looking at a rather cleaner/better fleece. The staple length was on the longer side which I prefer and the dense crimp suggests good things. I started carrying it around before anyone else could scoop it up.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="370"] Look at all the pretty colors in one fleece![/caption]

I tried to convince myself to stop there. After all 4.25 pounds of fresh fleece is no small undertaking. But as J continued to hunt for her treasures I of course continued to look around. And I couldn't resist the lure of the pretty colors found in this "little" ("only" 3 pounds) Jacob fleece. As I understand it Jacob's can be a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to the quality of the fleece. But from what I could tell things looked pretty good. And once again the price was right. I made my purchases and escaped before the siren song of anymore fleeces pulled me in.

After that and a quick trip back to the car to store our 10+ lbs of cumulative fleece we met up with a friend of K's and wandered through a few of the barns filled with vendors. I am not a fan of crowds so unless something catches my eye I tend to move pretty quickly.

I’ve already typed a full page here so I had better split things up so as not to keep you reading forever today. Stay tuned for more (for real this time, trust me I already typed the rest up).

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