Following these instinctual laws of nature, the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival was held at the Johnson County Fairgrounds this past weekend.
So of course I went.
And the first thing I saw stepping in the door was this:
|No, it's not a coffee grinder.|
That is an antique tube knitter. Yarn goes in the top, your turn the wheel, and a whole bunch of tiny hooks magically make it into fabric.
It's an awesome piece of engineering and was entrancing to watch, especially with the colorful yarn. But then, I'd had to get up at 5:30 that morning (for various reasons), so my judgement may have been skewed.
Across the aisle was an alpaca farm booth with incredibly nice people running it.
|And makers of the most adorable teddy bears EVER.|
My wife is, sadly, allergic to alpaca (it makes her hands itch), so we couldn't get a teddy bear. I DID however get some alpaca wool socks that were actually made big enough for my feet. (NOTE: My feet are size 15. I get excited when I easily find things that fit them...)
Fans (or at least consistent readers) of the blog may remember my posts about last year's enormous Rhinebeck fiber festival (As Seen On Blog!), but this is a local one, so it had less vendors, and more opportunity for taking our time.
|"Less Vendors" means "Still more than 50 and Two Buildings"|
So we got to see a large variety of neat things, some with which I'm already familiar...
|Yarn Shop To-Go!|
|This gentleman is making lace. He assured me it's not difficult.|
I assured him it looks like witchcraft.
|It begins like this. Just a bunch of combed and cleaned wool...|
|This carding machine gets the hairs all going in the same direction,|
and can also be used to combine colors
|Then it's time to spin.|
Bright, comfy footwear is not required, but it is encouraged.
It's actually a really fascinating process, and I can see why a lot of people really get into it. Also, those spinning wheels use neat cam shafts and gear ratios to turn the foot motion into spinning motion, so that was sweet to watch. (Also possibly a little geeky to find such things "sweet"...)
We were also there early enough that I could talk to the vendors, and the crowds were light enough that I could have fun with the camera we have.
|Playing with depth of focus...|
|I'm just SO artsy...|
...but back to the yarn.
How do they get it? Well, every so often they bring in the bison for shots. As the bison is in the pen and still groggy, people run in and quickly grab as much of the shaggy fur as they can before the bison ceases to be groggy and kicks them into oblivion.
Clearly, bison yarn is the most hardcore of yarns.
The fair included other things, such as this oddly-specific sign:
|"Mr. Fire Marshal, wouldn't 300 work better?"|
"No! That 300th person is my mother-in-law!"
|A+ for tasty pie.|
F- for spelling of "Country"
Not only was she pretty cool, but she has come up with a wonderful way to recycle old metal knitting needles:
|AND found a legitimate excuse to make a price sign|
that lists your options as "Bent" or "Smashed."
She also made knitting needles wind chimes, and used cross-sections to create watch bands, earrings, and other such things.
Overall, it was a fun show, and we got to see a plethora of fun, fibery things.
A good time was had by all.
|Even the dog.|