Fiber Fest Field Trip

To this point in my knitting career, the deepest I have ever delved into what goes into the skein of yarn I buy at my LYS is to look at the label.

However, after reading Clara Parkes’,  The Book of Yarn, I was inspired to look a little further into the makeup of all the luscious little balls of knitting nirvana I use in my knitting creations.  Clara argues that knowing the makeup of the yarn we use helps us to be more effective knitters, saving us valuable time, money and excessive Frogging.  This makes perfect sense to me, as I have MORE THAN ONCE used a totally inappropriate yarn for a project and then swore I would know better next time as I ripped out yards and yards of knitting.

PLUS as an aspiring designer, I had better be well-informed as to the content of the raw materials I choose for my designs!

With those reasons in mind… I headed to the NC State Fairgrounds to attend my very first “Fiber Festival” and to mingle with the raw materials.

Even though small (according to the exhibitors with which I spoke) there was plenty to keep me visually and tactically occupied.  I touched roving for the first time – all you veterans are probably laughing at me; however, it was a great tactile experience.  It looks like cotton candy, but feels oh so soft and cushy.

What is wool roving you ask?   For those (like me) who have been knitting for years and years but have never really spent the time to find out…

…it is wool which has been combed, clumped, and then twisted slightly to hold the fibers together to get them ready for spinning into yarn.  I have heard that you can actually knit directly from the roving but I already have my 25 projects selected, so that experiment will have to wait 🙂

Back to the Fair – I touched about 50 to 60 skeins of freshly-spun yarn before settling on a lovely green hand-spun, hand-dyed merino wool and nylon sock yarn from AnneMarie Walter out of Asheville, NC.  This, I decided would be perfect for my Guernsey Socks.

Twenty minutes later, I was back at home casting on for the socks.  The yarn knits up beautifully and the pattern is, well you tell me what you think…

Good night and Good Knitting!


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