I'm really glad that this fell right after Halloween. I was so focused on getting Halloween done right that I really only had one night to panic about going up to Massachusetts for a sheep and wool festival on my own. Only one night to compare driving directions and spot out places to stop in emergencies and make my short list of things that I'm allowing myself to buy.
I never go to new places by myself. I've always had a friend or sibling or parent to go to a new place with me, but I drove myself up to Massachusetts (I'm in CT) to the Eastern States Expo groups for this festival! I was actually surprised at how easy it was for me to get there. I mean, I missed the turning for the parking lot and had to turn around and then I had to have a terrible three minutes fumbling with my car door and a five dollar bill at the parking booth wherein I dropped my five bucks into a puddle and had to chase it a little bit all because my driver's side window doesn't roll up and down properly. But I made it! And I loved it!
The first part of the festival space had a huge space of raw fiber that was submitted... for competition? I don't know. I walked into that area on the wrong side and didn't read the sign. I was a little overwhelmed on my own. But there were a bunch of alpacas grouped with booths in this first part, so I calmed myself down greeting those guys. I made my first purchase right away.
Tada! Soap and hand lotion. I haven't used the soap yet, but soaps like this have been all I use for the past year and a half and they're great. I tested out this hand lotion at the booth and it made my hands a little greasy after applying it, but it really worked well other than that. I put this little jar upstairs so I can use it while I'm spinning. A little bit of greasy hands there is actually a help, so I'm excited to get back to spinning.
It took me a while to make my second purchase. This booth was in the very middle of the whole festival, so there was about an hour between my first purchase and this purchase. But this is actually the thing I brought home that I'm most excited about:
Look at that thing. LOOK AT IT. This booth sold dyed roving by weight. So I could have bought any amount of roving I wanted.
That is a 1 lb 4 oz ball of roving. It's the size of a basketball. It's giant. 20 oz. For comparison, the kind of standard weight for roving sold is about 4 oz. And it was half the price I normally pay for roving. I just plucked this thing off the shelf and put it on the scale and the vendor thought it was great that I was just going to buy the whole thing.
My plan is the spin this into a ridiculous amount of yarn and make the Maple Leaf Shawl. It's going to be absurd.
For a size reference, here's a photo with my hand and a photo with a Reese's peanut butter cup.
And then I finished walking through the festival. It took nearly two hours to go through the whole place. I then back tracked to a couple of booths and ended up purchasing this beautiful green yarn from a booth that had a huge fake tree canopy with yarn hanging from it. It was lovely. And this yarn is a one of a kind dye, so I'm really pleased.
And then I had to scoot on out of there because the crowd had doubled over the time I was there and it was too much. But I got the things I was really looking for and it was a great experience and I'm really glad I went. Mom's already told me that she's going to reserve a weekend off next year for this event. I'm excited to share it with her.
And that was my last yarn event of the year! Huzzah!