Posted by: mick | August 25, 2007

My first fiber festival

Last Saturday Jason and I schlepped our unpacking weary selves 30 minutes Northwest to the Allegan County Fairgrounds to the Michigan Fiber Festival. I was bouncing around in the car with excitement. I’ve been wanting to go to a fiber festival pretty much since I started knitting last September, but I never made it as we didn’t have a car and they don’t often have them in downtown Boston. I looked up Michigan fiber festivals embarrassingly quickly after getting my acceptance letter. Some might worry about finding an apartment but I wanted to get to the fiber!

Jason came along, and he insists he had an okay time. I’m not sure I believe him, but it is true that I’m a driven, relatively fast shopper. I browse, I buy, or I move on. I’m a force to be reckoned with, and this suits Jason fine. So we wandered around and did one lap before I bought any yarn, though I did buy this right away:

alpaca roving

My first roving purchase! It’s 100% alpaca from North Star Alpacas (here’s a link to their Etsy shop). I was sporting my newly finished and blocked Rusted Root (no photos in this post; it was gloomy that day), and Maple commented right away on its loveliness, I’m sure it was a sales ploy but, boy, did it make me feel good to get a compliment on something I made…from another knitter! Jason started bragging right away about my handiwork, and the ladies were just smitten with him. They warned me over and over to hang onto such a supportive man who is so proud of me (don’t worry ladies, I will!), and I think he could clean up in the knitting community if he ever tires of me. The ladies love them some Jason.

So Maple, who owns the farm, was just wonderful. She pointed me to the easiest roving for my beginner fingers, and was so sweet and warm. She didn’t pressure me to buy a huge ball of roving, but suggested this soft bundle (shorn from Beau, hehe) which was cheap and only one ounce to begin with. I will definitely buy from her again. She was so fantastic, and personalizes each label with a photo and name of the alpaca that provided the fuzzy goodness. What a great touch. So go check out her Etsy shop!

I was on the lookout, as was Jason, for ladies from the Michigan Knitters Group I joined on Ravelry (hi, ladies!) but only spotted one button. Yes, we had Ravelry buttons, though I didn’t get settled in time to get one. I spied one woman in line at the snack stand, but she had her hands full with two little ones, so I didn’t want to bug her. Yes, I’m a chicken.

After snacking, Jason and I looked around the livestock pavilion and saw lots of goats, sheep, and the fluffiest angora bunnies ever. Sadly, I missed the alpacas, though I’m told they were there. Le sigh. I got to pet the bunny and was dangerously close to a tantrum from wanting one, but I came to my senses and realized Wiglaf would most likely eat the bunny within minutes. He’s a dangerous dude. I made a few more purchases, which I shall detail below, and then we headed home. We had a really lovely day, and just missed the rain which has plagued us for a week since. Here is the rest of the haul:

spin kit

I found this Learn to Spin Kit, which contained roving, a book, and a beginner’s spindle, at one of the booths that didn’t have a name. It’s exactly what I was looking for, and I cannot wait to get started.

yarn haul

The cones are 840 yards each of handspun Merino and Rambouillet blend from Marr Haven farm in Allegan. It’s so soft and has that beautiful, mottled, just off the sheep color. I bought it with Ram’s Horn in mind, but may need to try something else, as the Merino blend is just too soft not to wear against the skin.

The blue is a lace-weight (I think; I’m not very good at this) called Fino by Alpaca with a Twist, which I got from Little Red Schoolhouse Yarn Shop, which is in Lansing. It is the softest blend of 70%baby alpaca and 30% silk, and I love the color. It’s this pretty, deep cadet blue. I can’t wait to start a shawl for myself.

The third is what I would call a sport weight, though it might be closer to lace, 100% wool called Domy Heather from Davidson Corporation in Eaton Rapids. The color is gorgeous, this really heathered purplish red with flecks of blues and grays. I was also thinking a shawl for this one, but want something a little more casual and every-day. Any ideas? Lindsay, I’m looking at you.

It was a fun week full of fibery goodness, as I met up with Dawn (who I met in the Ravelry MI group) at Stitching Memories where I knit for a few hours, chatted a bit, and got tickets for me and Jason to head to the Detroit Stitch and Pitch in a few weeks. Hi, Dawn! She’s a really lovely woman, and I look forward to meeting up with her again to chat and knit. The ladies at Stitching Memories were really helpful and friendly, too. I think I’m growing to love Michigan.



  1. This was so fun for me to read. Thanks so much for the kind words. I had a great weekend and it was so nice to meet you…….

  2. Mick, let me know if you need any help with your spinning.

  3. yay fiber festivals!

  4. You are too sweet . . . I’m hardly a lace expert! I’ve had my eye on the Pink Lemon Twist Hanami Stole, but I’m not sure how that would look in such a dark, rich color. I like the idea of a lacy scarf — is it soft enough to wear around the neck?

    So glad you’re enjoying MI and the festival! Not too many fibery goings-on in Hollywood . . .

  5. […] a sold or semi-solid colorway, and I plan to make one for myself sometime soon out of some of the yarn I bought at the Michigan Fiber Festival. Also, I tried the nupps this time and, though I got the […]

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