My good friend Karen took me to my first fiber fair a few weeks ago and I fell in love with yarn all over again. The Snake River Fiber Fair is located in Idaho Falls, Idaho
and sponsored by the Weaving, Spinning & Fiber Arts Guild of Idaho Falls. I had a great time talking to local fiber enthusiasts. Now keep in mind when you live out west “local” means your state as well as any state that touches your state and sometimes even a state that touches a state that touches your state.
There were spinners,
alpaca and sheep breeders
knitters, crocheters, weavers and a couple of button makers thrown in the mix.
My first pick was Paintbrush Alpacas. Before the Snake River Fiber Fair I thought baby alpaca was actually from baby alpacas. Turns out, this is not usually the case. Royal baby alpaca is the softest, finest grade with baby alpaca coming in at a close second.
Ron and Cheryl Smith have several adult alpacas that consistently produce royal baby and baby alpaca grade wool. I asked Cheryl what made her decide to raise alpacas. She looked at me like I was crazy, “Are you kidding? Have you ever been around alpacas?” I guess that answer speaks for itself. This one certainly looks adorable.
The two skeins I purchased are natural colors, spun from fibers donated by Rembrandt Vincent Van Gogh and Picasso These pics are the actual yarn labels. It’s an episode of Portlandia come true!
I decided to knit the light sport weight Van Gogh, Picasso and Rembrandt yarn with this classic fair isle pattern from Country Weekend Socks by Madeline Weston.
The pattern calls for four colors, but I’m happy with the look of just two. My hands are in cozy alpaca heaven when I’m kitting these socks.
My second pick was a skein of 75% superwash wool/25% nylon hand painted sock yarn in my favorite blues and greens from Greenwood Fiberworks. Carolyn Greenwood lives in Genola, Utah where she hand paints her beautiful yarns that she imports from the United Kingdom. You can find her yarn and patterns in her etsy shop. What a wonderful eye for colors! I choose this free, easy pattern from ravelry for these socks.
Feel free to comment with your fiber fair experiences!