Monday, May 14, 2007

New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival

Yesterday I dragged the BF to the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival. It was only semi dragging, he was actually quite willing and a good sport and had a good time. He's such a keeper. Here is the disclaimer for this post: My digital camera was sadly out of batteries and so I took my big beautiful print camera and therefore pictures will have to wait until I can get to CVS and back for a CD of my pictures. Then, in about a week, there will be lots of pictures for this, way later than everyone else who went (woo hoo!)

It was a pretty nice day, sunny and high in the 60s even for the fairgrounds in Coontoocock?sp NH. We woke up pretty early for people attempting to recover from three years of law school related sleep deprivation thanks to my alarm and got ready and were on the road pretty quickly. We were a little rushed the entire day because the fairgrounds were 1.5 hours away and we wanted to be back by 2 or 3 for an event for upcoming grads of our law school going from 2-5 (Bowling at Jillian's-we like to bowl a lot). Therefore, we were a little conscious of time the entire day, but we ended up not rushing ourselves through the incredible amount of yarn and fleece and roving and animals to see!

We got there and entered through the gate with less stuff right by it, the blue gate (I think). The advantage of this gate was that it had you enter the fairgrounds through a beautiful little forested area with a babbling brook. It was picturesque.

The first building we went in was filled with goodies. There was natural honey, there was tea (what a good combination). M spent most of the time in the tea area and I could look around and pet the soft yarn. There was some seriously soft yarn. The softest alpaca I have ever touched. It was glorious and I wanted to just wrap it around me and rub it on my face because it was so soft. I got her color card so I could order from her when I have need of super soft alpaca and I am sure it will be soon. It's all in natural colors and it is heavenly.

Here is one of those color cards:This picture does not do justice to the gorgeousness of this woman's alpaca.

The tea was really interesting too and we tried about 6 varieties, inlcuding some very good green tea and some yucky spinachy green tea. I am all for eating spinach, I love it and it gives me (a lactose intolerant person-I know I shouldn't be so judgmental, but what can you do) much needed calcium but it does not do well in tea. The tea company was pretty fantastic and had these awesome infusers. I will have to get the info from M, who spent the most time there.

From there we spent the rest of the time wandering through the 5 or so other big barnlike buildings and the small individual tents for vendors that were all over the place. There was just so much to see! I wish we could have spent more time there.

The highlights of the day for me were many but these definately stand out: there was buffalo yarn and yarn made from sled dogs at the same booth! It was really soft and nice yarn! If it hadn't been way out of my price range I would have taken some home with me. Other than this none of the yarn really jumped out at me. There was nice yarn to be sure, but nothing I had to have except for the alpaca above I plan on ordering. (There will be a picture of this booth to come)

The real standouts were the rovings and spinning going on. There were some beautiful wheels and some beautiful things being made on them. So much so that it made me act on my desire to learn how to spin with a drop spindle (a full on spinning wheel is an investment I am not ready to make). I found a likely looking booth with some nice people towards the end of the day and got a lesson and purchased some gorgeous roving in a lovely very deep magenta/red/ purple color and a drop spindle. It has the remanants on it still from my lesson.
Here are those two things I got at this booth:

The roving is wool, and it is soft and so pretty. Such a gorgeous wine color.

From there on I was looking for rovings I wanted that I had admired earlier and I didn't want to go overboard (because what if spinning is just not for me?) so I headed to a place that had lots of it set up in a hammock for display and found a ball I wanted and liked and luckily for me the one woman had another ball of it! It was grey wool dyed to get this subtle effect. Yummy.

I also got some pretty soaps for a present for someone who I think will appreciate them.

That is the end of my haul for the day. We did have some yummy lamb sausages for lunch in the sun, but that was the extent of our indulging in the fair food. The vendors were busy throughout the day however.

M did buy a whole lot more than I did. He bought a garbage bag full of bulky wool yarn in Tufts colors to make a blanket for himself. He got an amazing half price deal from someone who wanted to clear out the yarn. Yay for him! Last night I showed him how to make a ball from the skein and do a guage swatch to determine how many stitches he would need for the blanket size he wants (this is going to be a one person for the couch blanket size) and we determined how many stitches he needs to cast on. He'll probably end up doing it today. I think it is great he is willing to learn to do this with me. He was sitting at a spinning wheel yesterday but I missed getting a picture of him learning how to spin because I was getting my own drop spindle lesson. I did get a picture of him with the bag full of yarn. He also bought a tie pattern and some yarn to make it with.

We came back and went bowling. On the way back from Jillian's, we stopped at Game On to watch the last half of the 9th inning when the Sox were down 5-0., It didn't look good. However, they came back to score 6 runs in the 9th to win! Take that Orioles fan at Jillian's who was going on how a three hitter against the Red Sox was soooo incredible. I think 6 runs in the 9th inning to win is pretty incredible.

Then M went to play poker and then he came over after to do all the swatching for his blanket.

That was our day on Sunday.

Our day on Saturday was filled with a long Red Sox game in which the Sox crushed the Orioles 13-4 (I think that was the final score) where we sat 6 rows behind home plate. Thanks Dad! I love going to games with M and my dad. They are just great baseball fans to watch a game with.

Our view from our seats.

It was pretty fun! Go Sox!

After that we went to our respective homes, ate and dressed like madmen (very quickly, not in insane combinations or jumpsuits) to go to a surprise birthday party for one of our closest friends in law school. It was worth the rush and tiredness and missing a nap after the game to see how happy he was the party surprise.

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