I looked at the vendor list again. GothSocks wasn't going to be there, due to illness (so sorry), but I caught an update or two recently, so my stock was significantly replenished. Most of the vendors are excellent, but I've visited their booths many times before. What's that? Jennie the potter, Jared Flood, Pygora goat fiber? This changed everything!
I called my intrepid fiber-show friend and with barely any arm-twisting, she agreed to accompany me on a field trip. We drove down on Thursday morning, and just spent a couple of hours at the marketplace. So fun!
Our first stop was to see Jennie the Potter. I had heard about her and seen photos of long lines of people waiting for her booth to open at places like Rhinebeck, but had somehow missed her at the last Sock Summit. Since she was kind enough to travel from Minnesota to little old Tacoma, WA, I thought we should check out her booth. I got a beautiful show mug that memorialized the Pacific NW with the fish. Even though the designs are similar, each mug, bowl, and glass are slightly different. After pondering my choices, I chose this cup and love it.
Then we took off on a circuit of the room. With only 35 or so vendors, it seems as if this could be done fairly quickly. Not so! Stopping to admire, pet, question, and visit takes time. It is so nice to get to talk to the independent artisans who make such beautiful products. And they are all happy to help, explain, and consult on products. They spend most of their time in studios working alone and festivals are the times when they get to meet their customers. Everyone we talked to was friendly, helpful, and happy to be there. Of course, this was Thursday morning. Don't know what the mood is on Sunday night!
I visited some of my favorite vendors. The Artful Ewe is one booth that always rates some time. They have beautiful fibers and yarns and make the most gorgeous, soft batts. I bought two this time. They sell these mixed-fiber batts by weight and the two together weighed 6.2 ounces. They are a mixture of fibers including wool, angora, mohair locks, alpaca, cashmere.... Whatever they are, they're yummy. I might ply these two together since they have some coordinating colors. My buddy got some beautiful yarn there to make a beautiful cabled scarf that we saw displayed in the booth. The power of suggestion works!
Rainbow Farms was there with small bags of Pygora goat fiber. When I took this beautiful red roving out of the bag today, I could see that it's in very thin strips like pencil roving. It should be wonderful to spin. Since there are only 2.5 ounces, I might just get on that right away. It should spin pretty fine and I should be able to get a little scarf or cowl out of the yarn.
I had to stop by woolgatherings, even though I'm in their fiber club. I picked up this beautiful black alpaca and silk braid. I couldn't pass up the dark jewel tones. This was not a fiber that I'll get in my club, so all is good.
Slipped Stitch Studios had a booth and I couldn't resist the cute sheep bag (on sale!). This one looked like a good size to me as I have some smaller and larger bags. And I can never really pass up a cute project bag.
The lotion from Harmony Skin Care was my last purchase. I've had this lotion before (they say you can put it on and knit immediately) and the scents are amazing. The Vanilla Lavender is my favorite. Now I just have to overcome my tendency to save it until it gets rancid. (Ask me how I know that this will happen :)).
We stopped by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas to meet Jared Flood and check out his yarns. My friend had her eye on a pullover sweater pattern that uses his Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn and he helped her pick out a good color combination. Nothing like personalized service with a smile.
Our bags were full plus more, so we left the hotel and walked a couple of blocks in the misty rain for lunch. After that, we drove back to Seattle early enough to avoid the brunt of the traffic. All in all, and excellent Valentine's Day! I hope yours was as well!