Oh boy oh boy, what a time it's been!
Maryland was fantastic. I got to spend time with some dear friends, and meet new people I'd only known thus far via email. I got to make loads of loud sheep noises (you can't pass a barn of sheep without letting out at least one "baaaa"). And I got to see a part of the country that has emerged from winter.
But most of all, I spent like a drunken sailor. When the feeding frenzy subsided, I somehow had acquired more than 30 pounds of fiber, mostly in the form of fleece. (You can read about the fleece-table scuffle in my official KR report on the festival, but suffice it to say not all spinners are nice. One, in particular, was a bit of an odious shrew with no morals and quite a bit of bad karma headed her way.)
As if to compensate for Saturday's debauchery, Sunday was marred by an extremely violent migraine and/or stomach flu that left me in the car, in the parking area, for the majority of the day. I wasn't sure I could make my plane home, but miracle of miracles, things calmed down by the afternoon. The only problem was when I headed back into the fairgrounds to wash up and had to walk through cloud after cloud of intensely awful greasy food stench.
After I got home, I tried to make sense of my reckless acquisitions... another of which was a set of hand combs.
I set to work on my prize purchase, a blue ribbon cormo fleece. Look at that delicate, succulent, alluring crimp!
I scoured a little sample, combed it, and spun it into the three-ply strands you see here. The yarn is undescribaby plush, pure, soft, stretchy, and delicious. Even after I gave large samples to some friends, I should still have enough to make myself a sweater, several pairs of socks, maybe a hat or two...
On a roll with the combs, I next tackled some Polwarth fleece I got at SOAR last November. What a difference the proper tools make! I'd tried this with the drum carder and it left a mess of noils. With the combs, it's nothing but pure buttery ready-to-spin soft.
I briefly set the combs aside to finish a project that's been consuming bobbins for ages: 380 yards of two-ply cashmere. It isn't perfect, and I haven't a clue what I'll do with it, I'm just relieved to have finished it.
And finally, speaking of drunken sailors, here's a shot of Casey doing his midday grooming. Or is that a drunken sailor impersonation?