Knitting the Light Fantastic

Knitting, spinning, dyeing and other crafty goodness

SAFF 2007 – The Haul

Posted by notthatkat on October 30, 2007

As I said yesterday, I was very restrained in my fiber acquisitions this year. This is in part because I have a whole lot of fiber still unspun from last year, as well as a few skeins of yarn.

I set out for SAFF with a strict budget and a few simple rules:

1. I would not buy yarn locally available or readily available online/mass produced (unless it was a roaring bargain and I had a plan for it). I would say the same for fiber, but there really isn’t any available locally. Let’s just say I live in a spinning deficient area.

2. While I was allowed to take a break from my self-imposed yarn/fiber fast, I would not go nuts and exceed my modest pre-set limit. Nor would I resort to putting purchases on the plastic and worry about the bill later. There is still lots of yarn and fiber in my stash that I love and that is just waiting its turn.

3. If I still have fiber/yarn from a particular vendor unworked from last year, I probably don’t need more from the same vendor this year. Unless it is vastly different and/or so special it shouldn’t be passed up (see below)

4. No fleeces or large equipment purchases.

Addendum: I went through my stash to select fiber to bring with me to spin. I have finished the first bobbin of the merino/tencel lace weight, and wanted to take a break before starting the second one. Thus, I needed something different to spin at SAFF. By selecting from my stash, I avoided the temptation to buy fiber just to have something to spin when I got there. Furthermore, I reminded myself what I had already in the fiber stash and where it came from. I found this refresher very helpful. YMMV.

So what did I come away with?

Brooks Farm  Yarn Acero

Besides the yarn from my workshop, I came home with a single skein of yarn. But what yarn. This is Brooks Farm Yarn Acero. It is a fingering weight superwash/silk/viscose blend. I got a copy of the one skein scarf that was in the booth in this yarn, but it would also make fantastic socks.

Fiber Haul

This represents most of my other purchases at SAFF. The ball of roving on the front right is from Steam Valley Fiber Farm. It is a blend of yearling mohair and Border Leicester and is called Sonoma Blue. The colors are complex and interesting and it is soft and very pettable. The two bags of fiber came from Little Barn. The pink roving is a wool/bamboo blend. I haven’t spun bamboo before, and wanted to try a blend before jumping into the straight stuff. I also got two new dye colors – violet and brown – from Earth Guild. I’ve been wanting to expand my dye palette, and I’ve really been feeling the need for a good brown. I’ve blended to get purples, but want to try this one as well. They’re a half ounce each, and if I like them, I’ll get more.

Dry Creek Naturals Batt

This was my big indulgence for the weekend. Not in terms of price, which was reasonable, but because it broke rule #3. It is 4 oz of BFL/Cotswold/Kid Mohair from Dry Creek Naturals. The thing you must understand about Tina’s fiber is that it is an acquisition of opportunity. She does such wonderful blends and I’ve never been disappointed with any fiber that I’ve gotten from her. She has no website; I’ve only seen her blends at fairs and festivals. And she never has quite the same thing twice. So you need to get as much as you need when you can, because you probably won’t be able to get it again. Even though I have roving from last year’s SAFF still unspun in my stash, I don’t regret this purchase one bit.

So that’s it – my entire haul from SAFF 2007. I am pleased with what I got, which is all the more special for my restraint. We’ll see what the state of the fiber stash is next year before making any decisions regarding allowable fiber purchases.

But I have to say that for me, at least, the best part about SAFF is being able to spend time with friends old and new, many of whom I rarely see throughout the rest of the year except though blogs, email, and other online contact. The chance to visit and talk, teach and learn, and just sit together and spin or knit. This is what keeps me coming back.

Next year, I’m hoping I can mange to come for at least the full weekend, possibly Friday as well. Most of the workshops that interested me the most were offered before I arrived, and I think spending more time would keep me from feeling quite so caught in a whirlwind.

Plus, my Mom, who had a conflict and couldn’t attend this year, has promised to set aside that weekend next year and join us in Asheville. While she’s not nearly as deeply involved in the fibery pursuits as I, she has re-discovered knitting in the last couple years and I think she will enjoy much of what SAFF has to offer.

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One Response to “SAFF 2007 – The Haul”

  1. Donna said

    You got some nice stuff, Kat. That pink bamboo wool blend from Little Barn tempted me, too, but I opted for more of Tina’s fiber instead.

    We did SAFF for the entire three days last year, and it was great. We couldn’t get away that long this year, because now that Emily is in high school, we didn’t feel quite right taking her out of school for a day. Too tough to catch up. I felt a little rushed and discombobulated this year because we only had Saturday and Sunday in NC.

    Your mom would love SAFF. There’s plenty for knitters, I think, and maybe she’ll find a new love, too, such as needle felting or weaving on small looms? Plus, the animals are so cute, who could resist.

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