The Cat Knits...

A singular forum to discuss knitting as craft, therapy, and way of life (with or without the benefit of cats).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Boonville, CA. Sept. 16, 2012. It may be the 15th Annual Wool and Fiber Festival, but it was my first show. It tuned out that the Wool Festival is a mini festival within the Mendocino County Fair. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We got off to a late start and by the time we reached Boonville, the parade (!) was in session. So we traveled alongside the performers down the main street. This let us see that there was no parking in town, and the only available parking was over a mile back along Hwy 128. So at the end of the parade route, we also turned around and reclaimed our spot at the end of the parade. It is an odd thing to be thrust into the middle of a festive group of drum enthusiasts, dancers, horse back riders, guitar playing musicians, an Arabian princess, and bank tellers dressed as cowboys, and yet be such an unwanted part of the procession. Perhaps, that is why when the parade turned into the fairgrounds, they circled around to go back down the parade route ... again for the benefit of the parade watchers, no doubt. I don't know how many times they did this. We, however, went straight and found parking along the highway. On the hot and dusty walk into town, we saw some construction trucks deserting their spots in the parade.

By the time we found the Commercial Building, the Angora Rabbit demonstration was in the Q&A phase. The woman behind me kept asking her husband, "Where's the rabbit?"  I guess she couldn't identify the gigantic, white mass on the stage as a rabbit. The Spinning Contest was next and what a fun thing to observe. There was one gal with a drop spindle and another with a large Navajo supported spindle that she ran along her leg. Sorry to say, I can't tell you who won....

Remember, I said it was hot and dusty? It stayed that way. Mid-way through the spinning preliminaries, we had to leave to get something to drink and eat. By that time, everyone else had the same idea and the lines were long.  Yes, I still curse myself for forgetting my hat and leaving the water in the car.

By the time we got back, it was over, but I had a change to go shopping. There were not a lot of vendors, but what to buy? Tempting, but no handspun. I still don't know enough about fleece and decided against the raw fleece. The batts were gorgeous, but how many did I need and for what? There were beautiful drop and supported spindles. The drum carding machines were $$! So I ended up with an ounce of angora rabbit fur, some alpaca roving, and more practice balls of merino wool. Good enough for the rest of this year.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fiber Store in Paradise

I found the fiber shoppe in Paradise: Island Yarn & Art Supplies. (Okay yes, they carry a great stock of painting and drawing supplies, too.) I know it doesn't look like the typical yarn shop from the outside. It is in a warehouse district, but once inside those doors.... Wow! There are clean, airy, spacious rooms for weavers to work on floor looms. Island Yarn is the Schacht dealer so they also have spinning supplies. (Caught sight of a Matchless in a corner.) I got their address from the Schacht web page, as a matter of fact. There are bags of wool roving local and from the "usual sources," and even the rare, local alpaca bat. Yummy! Also available were buttons made from local koa or lichee woods. It's the only yarn/fiber store I've found in Hawaii so far, although there is a rumor of another shop on Kauai. Maui was shockingly lacking (Ben Franklin and Walmart for yarn supplies). Next time you're in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, stop in. Did I mention that the second floor is where the yarn is?!