Saturday, October 30, 2010

SAFF

SAFF (Southeastern Animal fiber Fair) is my favorite fiber show--it's relatively small and compact, so it's easy to walk around and not so crowded that we couldn't get into every booth. It's held near Asheville, NC, one of my favorite cities. And, most importantly, there is a surfeit of gorgeous undyed and dyed fiber, tools, and friendly booth keepers.

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Show, which I attended last spring, seemed to feature the same two fiber mega-vendors in almost every booth. There's nothing wrong with their stuff (it's actually very nice), but the same large balls of identical colorways in every direction quickly became monotonous. And MDSW was also jam-packed--I had to pass by many booths because they resembled a Tokyo subway car at rush hour. Never again.


Alas, SAFF's spindle selection was small and unpolished--a big disappointment. We did meet up with The Spanish Peacock, who was perusing the wares with an eye towards having a booth next year. If he shows up, he'll surely be mobbed and sold out within an hour of the opening bell.

I did purchase a dark blue Ann Grout turnip spindle and matching bowl because the set was charming and twirled with a pleasant heft. However, the shaft was a puzzle. Made out of a fragile dowel topped with a useless hook, it was too short to be productive, although the washi-paper shim that held it to the whorl was very pretty. Washi paper not withstanding, I turned the spindle over to The Spanish Peacock, who promised to make a usable (and beautiful) shaft out of Blue Mahoe wood. When it comes home, I will post before and after photos.

As you can see, I had a wonderful time, disgracing myself at Knitty and Color and Dragonfly Fibers. I would have disgraced myself more at Dragonfly, but there was more yarn than roving, and I really don't need any yarn. But then, I didn't need any roving either, so forget about that specious argument and just gaze on the lovely photos.

From Knitty and Color, we have merino/firestar batts ...



and lovely merino roving (the top photo is merino/silk).




From Dragonfly Fibers, I bought merino/silk roving:




And I bought a few miscellaneous fiber thingies that were irresistible. The top photo is merino/angora from Frabjous Fibers. The bottom batt, purchased from a local spinnery, cost me all of $4. It's immense--more than four feet long and two feet wide--and I have forgotten what the wool is (it's very soft, but not merino). I haven't decided what to do with it yet, but it looks tailor-made for those Icelandic shawls that graduate from white to black. Given the size, I can probably knit a dozen of them from the spun yarn.





Harry, of course, spent most of the show terrorizing the animals. While it was amusing to watch herds of llamas and alpacas stampede around the barn, I doubt their owners were pleased. Fortunately, he tired of this activity fairly quickly and settled down inside a cashmere batt. I wonder if the poor lady who purchased it has recovered from the shock yet.

16 comments:

Janice in GA said...

I've seen those acorn spindles and thought the same thing re the shaft/hook. Can't wait to see what Spanish Peacock comes up with!

I've missed SAFF two years in a row now. Maybe next year...

Kitty Kitty said...

What lovely goodies, though I must say I am most excited to see how you spin the three tone white to black one. Is it Jacob? If I could have a sheep pet that would definitely be the breed if choice.

JelliDonut said...

I hope to attend SAFF one of these years. Thanks for all the yummy photos!

Denise said...

It sounds like a fun time. I love those blue tops the best.

Rob Knits said...

I have one of her acorn spindles, and it never occurred to me that I could have a different shaft put in. Hmmmm. And sorry for all the drool on your batts

Marushka C. said...

SAFF's on my "to do" list for 2011, especially now that you have shown me the many lovelies you found there. I can't wait to learn to spin so I can play with beautiful fibers like these.

Jane said...

I got a contact fiber high just from looking at your wonderful haul! I can't wait to see how the revamped spindle comes out as well. Keep Harry away from it all!

gayle said...

What wonderful pretties! /envy envy envy
I hope Harry wasn't damaged in the discovery...

yarnlot said...

So grateful the pictures display only roving and not yarn, otherwise they would incite me to go on a yarn shopping spree...

KPiep said...

Oh my goodness...what lovely fiber! Looks like you will be having a lot of fun!

LittleBerry said...

Lovely eye-candy :o)

Experimental Knitter said...

Hahahahahaha, I can just imagine the look on someone's face as she/he starts drafting the batt- and out pops an indignant Harry!

Batty said...

Oooh, the fiber! They are all stunning, but I find myself seriously coveting the red-and-black batt at the very top. Please, please, please tell me that something like that can be obtained somewhere.

madonnaearth said...

Nice haul!

Ann said...

I relly have to start marking the calendar for SAFF; it's not that long a drive. BTW, would love to hear what you've been working on for holiday gifts...or anything over the past month that you'd care to discuss! Hope you're well!

Patricia A. said...

I match Janice in GA's comment about missing SAFF for the second year in a row, though in my case, I've actually only known about it for two years now. Hopefully, my spine will be up to visiting next year since I only live about 75 miles from the usual venue. I keep threatening to go rent a light-weight wheelchair so I can go to events again.

Pat in North Carolina