|...and before it's fiber, it's sheep!|
|Or maybe it's alpaca, as shown here enduring a friendly pat from one of my pals--the brave pal, who pet an alpaca.|
Having had a couple of weeks to develop some hindsight about my trip, I look back now and realize that one of my biggest takeaways is a finer appreciation for all that it takes to make a simple skein of yarn. It helped immeasurably that one of my activities that weekend was a class on using the Turkish spindle. Whereas before I never looked twice at roving or bats of un-spun wool, this time I paid attention. I was charged with the task of not only buying a Turkish spindle for class, but also in finding roving--but not just any kind. I needed BFL, which for the "Un-Spun" among us sounds like it abbreviates something nefarious. BFL is Bluefaced Leicester, named after the sheep breed from which it is sheared, and it is an excellent fiber to use as a beginner due to its long staple. Or so I was told. Being as I am still a rank beginner, I wouldn't know any different!
I found some seriously gorgeous BFL at Gale's booth. She had some stunning colorways in her hand-dyed roving! I ended up with these that looked like sheep :)
|My gorgeous BFL!|
|Ready to get this party started!|
Flowertown Knitting Guild, a super-talented bunch-- seemed to have gotten the hang of it (or the spin of it, as the case may be!) after several hours.
The bottom line is this: If you think that everything starts with the finished product you see on a store shelf, then a trip to SAFF next year will do you a world of good. You'll meet small farmers (well, they weren't all short, but most of them had small farms...hahaha) and business owners that operate on a scale that won't put them on the top 100 sellers on Amazon. You'll see craftsmen and weavers and spinners and yes, even knitters. Look past all the smiling faces and beautiful fiber and you'll see heart and passion and a love for the job that you won't find just anywhere. This, I believe, will make you (and me) a better consumer. I think that purchasing decisions are made a little differently when one considers the life, the passion and the talents, behind the item.
(For part 1 of this post, go HERE)