My first stop was Enchanted Meadows. I love their alpaca. Love it. I bought a skein of blueberry alpaca from them last year, and knit a hat. And gloves. And a neckerchief. It was the endless ball of blueberry softness, but it was also a mystery ball: I lost the tag shortly after winding it into a yummy yarn cake. Luckily, I recognized Mr. Enchanted Meadows and his humongous skeins of yarn in the first building I entered at the festival, so getting another endless skein was first order of the day. I left it to my boys to pick a color for me as a gift. There were lovely reds, purples, blues, greens, even orange skeins. My colorblind son and his conservative father picked out... brown. I will be knitting hats for the boys, I guess.
They also picked up a smooshy skein of angora, about 80 yards worth, from HoneyGold Acres. It's lovely, really - incredibly soft, undyed... and makes me break out in a minor rash.
So far, the yarn purchasing was not going well. Time to take things into my own hands! I stopped at one stall and fell in love with naturally dyed corriedale. It was a lavender purple blend that I was pretty sure would match the lavender alpaca gloves I knit from last year's festival yarn purchase. I took a card, in case I stumbled upon the same vendor that sold me my lavender alpaca.
I walked through a lot of yarn, touching and crooning along the way, and ended up at a stall called Corny Goodness. The colors of their yarn were fantastic - true color wheel yellows, oranges, blues, greens, and purples. I don't even like orange, and their orange yarn was drool-worthy. It was 100% corn, too. I chatted with the vendors ,a husband and wife just starting out in the yarn business. Paul told me that corn yarn won't stain, won't fade, and won't shrink. It feels like a stiff cotton. I bought two shades - Blue Eyes Dark and Spruce Medium - that I will use to knit baby hats and booties for my cousin's twins, due in September.
I passed by the stalls with commercial yarn, and looked for the indie spinners and dyers. I had to pass up lots of wonderful stuff! I usually don't look at needles or knitting accessories, but a young woman knitting a sock on short black dpns caught my eye. The needles were carbon and a pleasure to use - warm to the touch, with a light weight that felt nice in my hands. I knit a couple round on 0s, then tried to bend the free needle. It didn't give a bit!
Since I am a loose knitter, I am always downsizing two or more needle sizes to get gauge. That means a sock knit on 2s or 3s has to be knit on 0s or 1s for me - or smaller. I special ordered five 5" 00s; I should get them next week.
I finally wrapped up my festival buying with the lavender-purple corriedale I had found early in my browsing. I had $16 in my pocket, and although the first two skeins were $19, the next was... $16! Perfection This yarn is slightly thick-thin, with a soft halo. It should make a lovely hat.
My latest project is designing a cap using an entrelac base. I like the geometry of it until I get to the top - I'm having trouble ending my cap! I've done two prototypes, now for some research and experiments with different decreases to make the stitches move where I want them to!