Monday, August 23, 2004

Like. Wow. FFF vol. I 

I had a great time at the Fabulous Fiber Fest, although I wish I'd come more prepared to spend the day so I could have stayed longer. I just don't like show-vendor food, and next year, maybe Nick and I will get a dog-safe hotel room and go to the boardwalk after the show.

Joan Ruane is the main reason I had such a great time. If I hadn't brought my wheel and hadn't dabbled in the spinning contest I think my impression of the show might have been kind of on the "meh" side, as there weren't really too many fiber/yarn vendors. Which was kind of expected, because navigating the FFF site, you can see it's kind of quilt-heavy. And there were some amazing quilts. Funny monsters, handprints, rings, gorgeous colours...

Anyway, the spinning contest was really a great opportunity to try different fibers and different challenges. It lasted a little longer than expected ('though what did I expect? It was a spinning contest, not a speed drill) but even so I got to try some rough wool (really to warm up, the challenge was how much length you could produce in ten minutes, I produced a piddling eleven yards) some longer staple finer white wool with chunks/stripes of fine black in it which we spun for consistency while wearing latex gloves. I won a prize there, but honestly, only because I was the only wheel in that part.

Then we moved on to hemp, which Joan is quite passionate about, but broke for lunch five minutes in and the contest pretty much ended there. But I never would have tried hemp on my own (or at least not anytime soon) and I ended up spinning a new drive band for Audrey.

We were going to move on to cotton, and Joan mentioned when I came to pick up my wheel that they were going to spin soy silk later, which I really wanted to try, but I was afraid if I stayed in Santa Monica too long I'd be really tired driving home.

Anyway, before this gets too long (too late) here were my highlights, with some pics to follow soon:

  • Meeting Nancy of bird's nest knits
  • Joan Ruane's spinning contest
  • Carolina Homespun's incredible booth (I spun on a $1300 wheel!)
  • Chasing Rainbows Dyework's beautifully dyed yarn and silk fibers
  • Finding out that cotton can be a gorgeous luxury fiber too, from New World Textiles (and Joan, of course [NWT and Joan are separate entities, with similar passions])
  • Ogling (okay, and some poking) yarn at wildfibers

  • Anyway, back to spinning and fondling.


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