I spent Saturday at The Wisconsin Spin In. This is a wonderful gathering of farmers, crafters, artists, vendors--people interested in Old World Traditional Arts and new trends. Spinners, Weavers, Farmers, Knitters. I was planning to restock my stash of wool--as I spun the last of it the other day ...
Although this might look like a lot of fibre, this will probably last me 10 years.
Here's what I purchased, and from whom :
Angora Goat Locks dyed at Colorfield Farm. She had a nice variety of colors to choose from. I have plans for these!
This was a smallish bag of washed "Lotswold" fleece from Two Black Sheep, Ann Lagorio, who lives just outside of Oshkosh. It's good to know the local suppliers! I wanted to see what her wool was like.
2 bags of raw wool (1 light : 1 dark + light) from Hidden Valley Farm
I think it's Coopworth. Raw wool means it's the fleece as it was shorn from the sheep with no additional processing. The wool still has the "grease," or lanolin, in it. These days it's unusual for vendors who raise sheep to bring raw wool. Funny--that's exactly what I was seeking this weekend. People seem to prefer the clean, fluffy, ready to spin fibre. Buying the raw fleece and doing the washing and carding myself saves a lot of money. 1 bag of raw wool from 1 sheep is about $50. It's about twice that (or more) for processed wool. As I process it in coming weeks, I'll share the pics here ...
Carol said her sheep wear jackets, so the fibre doesn't get full of grass and leaves and organic matter that has to be "picked" out in the cleaning process. Her wool IS clean.
I wish you could smell the lanolin. It smells like "down-home-on-the-farm" without the manure.
Stege Springs Llamas was selling paper shopping bags of fibre for $10 each. Nice stuff! The great thing about going to a show like this is that you can touch and feel the fibres. The llama fibre I've seen previously was uncomfortably coarse. I'd written off llama as NOT a fibre I wanted to pursue. But Stege Springs proved that not all llamas are created equal. This bag of fibre was as soft as the "wool" from my fibre-hound, Maggie. I bought a bag of fibre from Taebo, the prize-winning stud of Stege Springs. I'm planning to mix this with Maggie's wool.
My friend Lynda and I bought a second bag of Llama fibre to split between us. You can see the difference. Taebo (2 pictures above) is silkier, smoother. This bag has more body--It's fluffier, more wooly. This stuff spins up very nicely.
Finally, I couldn't resist this "Sweet Leaf" button from Ogle Design. She had all sorts of interesting buttons. They'd be great as closures for journals. This one is for an actual Sweet Leaf Notebook! See more stuff at her Etsy Shop. She actually has much more in stock than in her Etsy shop.
There were many other vendors there worth mentioning :
Susan's Fiber Shop
I bought my spinning wheel from her about 10 years ago. It was an investment, and I'm happy to say that I'm still spinning!
Hillcreek Fibre Studio
She sells triangle looms, and all sorts of ingredients for natural dyeing. She even had woad and natural and synthetic indigo. And she had samples of all the natural dye stocks on various fibres with various mordants. It's amazing the variety that is possible!
Wool, Warp & Wheel
My friend Lynda purchased a spinning wheel from this vendor. She bought a Baynes spinning wheel from New Zealand.
This shop is in Fond du Lac. When I want to get a larger loom, I'll probably get it from them some day ... They were very knowledegable and helpful. They also sell these really nifty and comfortable stools that I'd like to have some day.
Handspun by Stephania
This shop had some GORGEOUS (and pricey) drop spindles. I've never really liked using a drop spindle (a wheel seems so much more efficient and easier to operate), but their wares, made me consider changing my stance on that ...
One vendor I was really hoping and expecting to see there was Patty Reedy of Rainbow FLeece Farms in New Glarus ... The fleeces I had were both from her farm--they have a wonderful luster that she's bread into the sheep and fibre. I guess I'll have to plan a trip down to her farm someday ...