Sunday, June 12, 2005

My Saturday of Sheep

It's not true that I spend all my time at home taking pictures of the cat. Yesterday, for example, fellow Knitwit Margie and I went to the Iowa Summer Sheep and Wool Festival. I suspect it was not as exciting as other such events, such as the much-discussed Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. The Iowa event had a couple of selling points, though. It was only half an hour away, and admission was a measly five bucks.

We arrived just in time for the lamb cookoff - which was cancelled. No problem, because we were more interested in the fiber. There were classes and demonstrations going on when we arrived - drum carding, spinning, and some kind of weaving. The bags of shorn wool had been judged and were on display. You could plunge a hand in, and pull it out shiny with lanolin.

Over in the vendor building, I was this close to escaping without buying anything, when I saw a ball of hand-dyed, self-striping sock yarn in red white, and green. When knitted up, it creates a watermelon design. I had to have it, and a couple of skeins of the new Knitpicks sock yarn. To assuage any shopping guilt I might have, I let the owner throw in a skein of handspun to use to knit socks for a soldier. Her son is in Iraq, and her goal is to knit a pair of socks for everyone in his unit for Christmas - 250 pairs. I swatched the yarn last night. Now I just need to figure out how many stitches I need to cast on for a man's foot. And then I have to commit to knitting them.

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