SPA Knit and Spin weekend

A couple of months ago Beth and I went to the New England Textile Association’s SPA Knit and Spin Weeekend in Freeport, Maine (home of L.L Bean). This was the first fiber arts festival we ever went to, and I realized I never blogged about it. I just finished spinning some of the fiber that I got there, and noticed some pictures I took back then, so I thought I’d do a post on it.

That weekend we had a terrible wind storm in New England, and hundreds of thousands of people in NH (including us) went for three or four days with no power. It got cold in the house, and dark. We solved the dark problem at least:

and you can see, that I didn’t even get cranky until the power had been gone for a few days:

Sorry, it’s pretty hard to focus by candle light while taking a picture of yourself. Fortunately, Freeport (about a two hour trip north) had power. So the festival was much more comfortable. Here are a few things we saw. First some cool old Canadian spinning wheels:

Those were at the Merlin Tree booth. Merlin Tree is a small, Vermont based spinning wheel manufacturer. The kilted wheel maker demonstrated one of the old wheels:

We tried out one of the very portable wheels that he’s invented, called The Hitchhiker.

It was pretty nice, and well designed for portability. I had a hard time getting used to double treadling on the double wheel, but they come in single treadle form, too. Another cool thing they had at that booth was a cup holder that can mount onto a wheel for easy access to a beverage while spinning. You can get them at this etsy site.

One stand was selling cashmere, but $35/ounce was too rich for my blood. I wonder if most people know that cashmere comes from goats:

There were also a few alpaca vendors, and one of the vendors at the Full Moon Alpaca’s booth actually gave us two big, 2-gallon sized bags of “alpaca necks” (hair from the neck), which I guess is the less desirable part of the fleece. She had a price marked on the bags, but as soon as we asked about the bags and what “necks” meant, she said we could just have them as she didn’t want to take them home! Lucky us. We got a bag of black and a bag of white. Beth has spun some pure alpaca yarn, and I did some 50/50 Romney/Alpaca spinning.

I also got some hand painted roving from Fibers 4 Ewe Custom Fiber Mill of Putnam, CT:

This roving is 80% Corriedale wool / 20% tencel, a shiny plant derived fiber. I’ve already spun it and am knitting it up now, but I’ll save that for another post.

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