Midwest Recap 

Last weekend I attended the Midwest Fiber and Folk Festival in Grayslake, Illinois where I took 2 classes from Jacey Boggs.  In spring of 2011 I had taken a weekend retreat with Jacey to learn to spin art yarns, not that I would use them much, but was looking for classes to improve my spinning in all different ways.  Jacey is a good teacher, so when I saw 2 classes by her, an all day one on plying and a 1/2 day class on drafting, I thought they would serve me well.  I was not disappointed, and I feel like these classes helped my knowledge and expertise to gel.  I came back home, and have been able to spin a fine lace weight yarn on my Jensen wheel (which previously was getting the better part of our struggle).  I learned long draw and chain plying (a repeat for both, but this time they seemed to have set).

I did not spend a lot of time at the market, but had to visit the Fiber Optic booth, and I purchased this gradient, Chocolate to Aqua.  Having seen this spun and knit up on Ravelry, I knew that it had to join my queue.  Otherwise, I was good about not adding any fiber or yarn to my “collection”.

Amazingly enough, nothing else tempted me.  Except this book,  Designs and Patterns from Muhu Island; Needlework Traditions from Estonia, which was edited by Nancy Bush.  Gorgeous knit items, woven items and sewn, it is a remarkably beautiful book.  It has been on my list to get, and I was able to look at it first hand, and it was 10% off.  I decided that it was meant to be mine.

Here are some beautiful photos from this book:

I ended up staying the night in Grayslake so that I did not have to drive back and forth, traffic can be a bear at times as I witnessed when I was coming home on Sunday.  This allowed me to visit Gretta’s Goats (check out her Etsy site for great soaps).  Doreen and I met Greta at the Vintage Market earlier this month, and purchased some of her wonderful goats milk soaps there.  Greta invited me out to visit the farm and meet the goats, and she had some mohair/cashmere fiber to sell also, and the first lamb clipping came home with me.  This is a photo from her site of Violet, a Pygora (Pygme/Angora cross breed) who produced the wonderfully soft fiber that I will process and spin.

There were 3 kids who had just been weaned from their mother the day before, they were so hard to photograph, jumping around on all of the haystacks and anything else they could find.

And we got to see the grown-ups with their traveling cabana that follows them for the rotational grazing, and some baby pigs as well.  This farm is an incubator for new farmers, part of the Prairie Crossing complex.  Requiring organic, sustainable practices.