Hello, Fiber Enthusiasts, and Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! I am recently back from MDSW, and as usual, have plenty to report. This year’s fair was cold and rainy on Saturday, which is the day I usually attend, but despite the less-than-ideal weather, it was a fabulous event.

My first stop was to stand in line at the fleece sale before it even opened. I had in mind a grey fleece, and wanted to be sure I found one. Lo and behold, there was a lovely Finn fleece for sale by Point of View Farm. It’s a light grey with some darker grey and black/brown areas. As you can see in the pictures above, it’s delightfully fluffy and not too laden with lanolin. This is one I’ll wash myself, rather than sending it out for processing.

The next stop was at the Hansen Crafts booth to see their e-spinners. These electic mini-spinners are gorgeous to look at, and they spin like butter. I test-drove their regular model, lace flyer model, and pro-level spinner. All wonderful and easy to use. Check them out here.

As I made my way through the main exhibition hall, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Point of View Farm also had a retail booth. The owner, Caraleigh Wilson, and I had a nice conversation about the care and treatment of Finnsheep fleece. She and the other folks there knew the ewe, Joan Jett, whose fleece I had just purchased. I was impressed with the care and natural living conditions of the animals. Take a peek at their flock here.

Fleece Close-Up

I connected with Lyle Wheeler, esteemed maker of my great wheel. We always have fun catching up. And I spent considerable time conversing with Linda Cortright, editor of Wild Fibers Magazine. If you are not familiar with the publication, this is the National Geographic of fibers, featuring their histories and traditional uses. Wild Fibers has been instrumental in promoting and supporting artisans internationally who continue their traditional crafts. They have also sponsored educational initiatives, including cross-cultural travel and learning opportunities. Their booth featured, in additional to the magazine, a variety of handspun goods and handmade clothing and accessories from around the world.

So many more great booths and artists to visit! I did my best to enjoy every single booth, despite mud and wet. On a cheerful note, once again Maggie Sansone was featured playing her hammered dulcimer, this time accompanied by a cadre of Celtic musicians. As usual, the puppets were dancing, to the delight of both children and adults.

I bought several lovely skeins of yarn from sister artisans. Everyone has a unique artistic vision, and that can be quite refreshing. Even I need a break from my own concepts now and then.

So now I’m back, with a lot of spinning and knitting to do. It’s in the 80’s here on the farm, and the first wave of Queen Anne’s Lace is ready to be harvested for dyeing. Now that I’ve caught my breath, it’s time to break out the dyepots and get back to work.

All the best to everyone!

~ Butterfly

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