Friday night I spent the night with my parents so I'd be closer to Boerne for Kid 'n Ewe in the morning. Saturday morning I realized I'd left my camera in my apartment. I borrowed my parents' camera, but when I got to Boerne, I realized the battery was dead. I contemplated going to find some fun saver cameras at a gas station. In the end, I decided to save time and money and just enjoy my time at Kid 'N Ewe experience without stressing about taking pictures.
So I don't have pictures, (the one above is just of my loot), but I do have some stories. Here are ten "vignettes" from Kid 'n Ewe.
1. The ladies from Heritage Arts were awesome! They had several spinning wheels in their area, and they let me try them all. They were very friendly and helpful. If I had my camera, it would have been easier to keep track of the different wheels. I know I didn't care for the itty bitty wheels. I was really hunched over on one of them. They said tall people don't like the little ones, but it doesn't get much shorter than me. I guess you have to learn to lean back. Ultimately, I liked the Ashford that looked like my Mom's. I'm about 90% sure it was an Elizabeth. The difference was this one had a Scotch tension system instead of a double drive like my Mom's Ashford. (The group from Heritage Arts explained the difference.) I think I may be an Ashford person, but I'm not certain at this point.
2. Speaking of wheels, Wyatt Wheels was there. I got to try their wheels as well. I could see myself with a Wyatt Wheel. (Although I couldn't see myself paying for one.) I also got to try one of their Charka wheels. The Charka had a big spindle on the side. After spinning for a while, you have to wind the yarn back on the spindle. However, it takes less time than a drop spindle, because you have more control of the wheel with the hand crank.
3. I also tried the Schacht Ladybug. The Weavery at Indian Meridian had one. I asked if I could try it. I didn't realize that it had been sold, but the lady who bought it let me try it anyway. (Thank you random person for letting me try your brand new Ladybug.) It was ok, but I think I'm more of a single treadle person.
4. I heard an alpaca crying. Well, maybe. It didn't look distressed. It was eating hay and hanging out, but making this sort of "maaa" sound as it ate. It was weird. (You had to be there.)
5. Hokett Would Work was back, and they had mini loom kits for sale. They were the perfect size for making potholders, and the kits included all the tools, some yarn and instructions. They had some of the individual looms fancier wood, but Hokett said he made the ones in the kits with a less expensive wood so people could get everything they need at an affordable price. I'm tempted to get one. (Hokett doesn't have a website, but you can e-mail him to ask about ordering.)
6. Hill Country Alpacas was back. I bought another skein of their yarn. This one was from "Escondidos Shadow," and it was lighter in color. I may mix it with the yarn from Stonewall Jaxon, or I might not. (Or I may keep buying a skein every year until I can make an entire blanket or sweater.)
7. I wish I had taken notes when I stopped by Buffalo Gold. They explained how they got the fiber. (They don't shear the bison. It involves an enzyme bath of some sort to remove the fur from the hides. The hides are leftover from getting the bison for their meat.) They also invited me to join The Herd on Ravelry.
8. I saw some fiber dyed with real Indigo. I didn't actually do it, but I got to see the finished product. I may pay to do it myself if they offer it next year.
9. This year I avoided raw fleece. Last year I had this thing against roving for some odd reason. I wanted to make rolags instead. Now I know that I like roving. It's my friend. (And I don't have to worry about preparing it.)
10. I learned an important lesson about fiber. After getting to touch and feel all the fiber, I realize how much the dyeing process can affect the feel of the fiber. In several instances the dyed fiber was much courser, and seemed a little felted. (Or in the case some plant fibers, just stuck together.) I now realize how much fiber can vary, even if it's coming from the same type of plant and animal.