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Strange Folk Festival 2013 - Your Treasure Map to the Fiber

As we gear up for Strange Folk Festival this year, we are so very grateful for all of you and your support. On the days I just want to be lazy, your enthusiasm about our fibers keeps me going. Just when I want to take a few months off, one of you will contact me and make my day shinier. Thank you for that.

OK, enough mushiness. I know you want to get down to it, so here's a map with all the yarn, fiber, and fiber arts related vendors I know about at Strange Folk Festival this year. Here's the list and what they carry:

The original maps were made by Autumn Wiggins of The Upcycle Exchange. ( I have not yet figured out how to make a downloadable PDF link on the blog yet...but I will. ) Here is the tent area with fiberish vendors marked.

Now go forth and shop! Fun will be had by all.



Here is the Pavilion Area with the fiberish vendors marked.


What I Did Last Summer (A Back-To-School Flavored Post)

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic this morning. There are a myriad of things to be done before the World Sheep and Fiber Arts Festival in Bethel MO this weekend, from the mudane to the really important. Blogging falls somewhere in the middle. Perhaps it's the perfect place to start because of that. As I sit here listening to Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue" (Sorry about the ad) I'm wondering what exactly has happened to the summer. Here's a Midsummer's summer make a list of goals to accomplish, and then go to it. It's not like this summer has been exactly fruitless. Here's a list of things I did see to fruition:

1. Knit TARDIS tablet cover

2. Knit a Doris the Hedgehog for Mr. Yarn Geek. Using the pattern from ClaireClutterbug.

3. Knit a Cush using the pattern written by Susan B. Anderson

4. Knit another Wingspan by maylin Tri'Coterie Designs.

5. Finish up the long-neglected Triinu Scarf from Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia

6. I also made quite a few dish cloths for an experiment using Hemp yarn. (More on that in a later post)

7. I've also been working on the YarnGeekFibers fiber database so you all can enter your fibers into your stashes more easily. You're welcome!

Hmm, it looks like I've done more than I thought. All this in addition to getting ready for, and attending, several fiber shows. There are only 2 more scheduled for us this year.

1. World Sheep and Fiber Arts Festival in Bethel, MO August 31 - September 1, 2013. There is a special treat on Saturday after the show closes. A spin in will be held for a few hours in the old gymnasium. Come on over and enjoy pizza, refreshments and fun spinning games for prizes. A lovely time will be had by all.

2. Strange Folk Festival in O'Fallon, IL just outside of St. Louis, MO. September 28-29, 2013 This is a handmade goodies paradise. Two days of music, great people, unique items, tasty food and all out fun.


First Knitting Retreat Jitters and a Bit About the Dam Anniversary

This weekend I get to try something completely different. I’m going to my first retreat, which will be the Knitting Pipeline Retreat. I was going to just go as a casual observer, but then ended up agreeing to vend on Saturday afternoon, so at least part of my trip may be paid for by the end. Mr. Yarn Geek is staying at home, so this will be the first time I manage everything by myself.

I was stressing a little bit about it but Paula (of Knitting Pipeline fame) has assured me the vendor market is a completely casual affair and if I dump all my stuff in the middle of the table it will be just fine. I'll still probably use the bins somewhat, but dragging in the grid wall is out of the question. Maybe I should just bring a tarp, pile all the fiber in the middle and fulfill that dragon sleeping on its stash fantasy I have. (Of course, I'm just kidding... or am I?)

The past few months have been a whirlwind of dyeing and packaging spinning fiber with a little bit of personal spinning sprinkled in. I really haven’t done much spinning of yarn for sale because most of you seem to want to spin your own yarn. I’m totally OK with that because I’d like to have the time to use some of my own hand spun yarn myself. If someone asks for custom spinning, that would still be fine though.


A few nights ago a neighbor told me about a local show in June promoting the 100th Anniversary of the Keokuk, IA Lock & Dam #19 Power Plant. It was the largest Lock and Dam on the Mississippi, and second longest in the World, for a while. Hugh L. Cooper, who built the Niagara Falls power plant came to Keokuk directly after that and then moved on the build the Hoover Dam. I didn’t know any of this, so that’s cool. All I know is in the winter it freezes above the Dam. Stories tell of a man who accidentally drove his truck off the Ft. Madison Bridge in Winter a while back and walked across to the other side for help. You can click the pictures and it will take you to more about Lock and Dam #19.

Anyway, I guess they are having a vendor market that weekend in the riverfront park next to the power plant and are expecting around 20,000 people to come through during that time. I need to get by the local bookstore to talk to the owner lady about more details, so we may be adding a date to our calendar in mid June.

Whelp, that’s about it for now. What’s going on in your world?


Nine At One Time!

I'm feeling rather "Brave Little Tailor" about myself after this Saturday at the All MO Spin In because I taught my first class en masse, which for me was 9 people at a time. *No eating of jam or killing of giants was involved and I didn't end up marrying a princess, which is great news for Mr. Yarn Geek.*

I taught the class 3 times in a row. By the last time I was getting into a rhythm and thing started progressing nicely. This is a picture of the last class where all the "maybes" on the class form decided to show up at once and our little circle expanded.


The class was all about spinning what some call "Bubble Yarn". I just call it thick and thin, but the thick sections are extremely thick and the thin sections are pretty thin. We spent a goodly amount of the allotted thirty minutes going over the actual spinning technique and a few minutes at the end playing with the possibilities for mixing colors together while drafting.

It really was an intermediate spinning class, but it didn't stop a few really new spinners from signing up, and for the most part, they did well. I think the class was a success, but if I ever teach it again it would be nice to have an hour to teach it in. It would also have been great to have a less noisy area, but we all did the best we could and a lovely time was had by all.


YarnCon 2013 - A Modern Fairytale

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She lived in a nice little old house with a good boy and two OK dogs. There is a legend having to do with that little old house. Tales are whispered in hushed tones about a mythical "table" which, according to some, sits in the center of the kitchen. Some say this table was, in olden times, used in some sort of culinary ritual.

The girl (whom we shall call...ME) doesn't belive the stories. When she looks at the center of the kitchen, all she sees is this.


But, legend has it that when YarnCon comes, the table will appear once more. It is foretold that some really tired girl with dye-stained hands will have a big part in the fulfillment of this, and there will be much rejoicing. Yay!

All I know is, that big pile o' wool and silk needs to be labled and stuffed into boxes before tomorrow evening, because we are heading to Chicago, IL for YarnCon this weekend. (April 6-7, 2013) If a table does appear, I'm going to wrestle it into submission and have a dinner party.

End of story.