knit local

Finger Lakes Fiber Festival!

I’m so in love with my Icarus that I hardly want to make a new post, because then it won’t be sitting so prettily at the top of my blog anymore! But, I promised a post about our trip to the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival this Saturday, so here goes:

The festival was less than 45 minutes away, down in Hemlock, NY. I didn’t take any pictures of the crowds or the parking lot, but there were a lot more people there than I expected there to be, and I found it a little bit overwhelming (I’ll probably never go to one of the really big fiber festivals, like Rhinebeck, because of how easily overwhelmed I am by large amounts of people and stuff). I was wearing my “I swatched Ravelry” t-shirt, and was asked by several people what my username was. This is when I realized that obscure German words do not make good usernames, if one wishes to convey one’s username to non- German-speaking strangers. C’est la vie.

We saw demonstrations including antique sock machines, drop spindling, and sheep-shearing, which was a lot of fun. There was a charming pair of girls playing fiddle at the festival, which I thoroughly enjoyed, having been a young fiddler myself back in the day, but I didn’t take a picture of them. Nor did I photograph the several buildings that were filled to the brim with vendors, even though we did manage to see pretty much all of them. So much stuff! And this is one of the small-ish festivals! What I did take pictures of were the animals:


(You can click on that photo to get to the flickr page with links to all of the originals). My favorite critters at the festival were the alpacas, so I decided that if I was going to bring anything home with me, it would have to be alpaca-based. And it would have to be very local, since the only way I was going to break my goal of not buying any new yarn was if it was going to support a local farm. I had particularly fallen for that gorgeous chocolate-colored alpaca in the top couple photos in the mosaic, and luckily enough, she was from a very local farm…in Hemlock, itself! Some of her sisters were kind enough to let me buy their fiber, and a skein of yarn spun from their fiber:

Fiber Festival Goodies

(my goodie bag from the Hemlock Hills Alpaca Farm). Inside that bag is a single skein of about 200 yards of chunky-weight alpaca yarn, in my favorite brown color:

Local alpaca yarn, closeup

Here’s the label, where you can see that Francis and Jasmine were kind enough to donate their fiber to the cause:

francis and jasmine

Also purchased was 5.1 ounces of alpaca fiber, in that same color, from an alpaca named Faith:

alpaca fiber

I plan to practice a bit more with the unspun BFL I still have before I give this fiber a try. I got my spindle out yesterday and played around a little bit. Having seen people spinning on drop spindles in person suddenly made something click on the drafting front, and I’m now able to get nice fine singles, although I was too tired to spin for very long. Perhaps y’all will be seeing some more spinning in future posts!

3 thoughts on “Finger Lakes Fiber Festival!”

  1. Hi there!

    I hear you about some of these festival’s being overwhelming. That is why I am not a big fan of Rhinebeck. It’s nice and all, but I am not much of a crowd person. Hemlock is more my speed. You took some lovely pictures and your alpaca is beautiful! And so is your shawl! LOVE IT!

  2. Sounds like a great day to me! I love the Shetlands best – they have such pert little faces. And they really are pocket size. A couple could live on the fodder in my tiny backyard, and the dog would be so excited… That’s what I think whenever I see them.

    The alpaca really is a gorgeous color – nice job, Faith, Francis & Jasmine!

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