This is mostly a knitting blog. Sometimes pictures of things I've made, sometimes not. I'm a guy who knits, I usually attend a men's stitch 'n' bitch on Monday nights, and I prefer natural fibres to artificial ones. I have a love-hate relationship with bamboo yarns: I love what they can do and how they look, I hate how they are made. I've been knitting since about 2003, though I really didn't get into it until 2005, while convelescing with a broken leg. I must have discovered something good, 'cause I'm still knitting years later.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Yarns from NH Sheep and Wool Festival

When Jay and I went to the NH S&W Festival last week, the only thing on my mind was seeing the beasties: alpacas, llamas, sheep, and angora bunnies. The goats were an unexpected pleasure. I never thought about yarn. Oh, no, not at all. Never. But because I know myself, even though I never thought about the yarn that I'd see there, I brought an empty pack, in which to store any purchases I might make. I will say that I did not exceed my budget for yarn purchases, and that budget was not set very high.

Knowing that I would buy yarn (yeah, I admit it), I decided I wanted only things I couldn't find in stores, so even though I love GreenMountain Spinnery yarns, I didn't stop at their booth, since I can buy it locally. Everything I got is available only at festivals like this one, or by mail order. And I love that I was able to add to my stash some gorgeous yarns that are unusual, and not locally available at any of the LYSs where I shop.

I knew I wanted to buy some yarn from the Jan Marek Raczkowski Studio. His yarns are soft, and the dyes are gorgeous. This is a view of his booth. 

There is no website, but his e-mail is, and his phone is 860-216-2165.
Jay took a picture of me perusing the yarn at Jan Marek Raczkowski Studio's booth.
He had some silk and wool blends, but I settled on the Blue Face Leicester. It is really soft, the variegeted colour is subtle and very pretty, and there's 350 yards. I think it will make a beautiful cowl for someone this year.

From GoodKarma Farm, this colourway is Cookie Monster. It's a blend of 60% wool and 40% alpaca and is very soft. At 400 yards and a sport weight it will make another cowl. They also had a colourway they called Lap Dogz, a variegeted purple. Unfortunately they didn't have any in the sport weight, which is what I wanted. So I gave them the money for it, and they said that they are dying it this week, and will ship it to me. And of course I believe them, because that is good karma. I also need to keep their website handy, because they had some other colourways that were just lovely, and I'd really like to knit with them.

Mad ColorFiber Arts had a riotous booth. This is their roving, and their yarns were pretty damn spectacular, too.

I bought two skeins of Rock Lobster, though I call this colour Knock Me Over and Fuck Me Red. Yeah, it's rude. It's also accurate. Pull up your big girl panties and deal with it. This is the DK weight, and is 100% superwash merino. I also saw this colourway in Blue Face Leicester, and it was really beautiful, but was a heavier weight, and not what I wanted. They had other yarns I wanted to buy, but like I said, I was limiting my purchases. But I have their website, and can order more if I need it! The dyer had some stunning blue yarns and some kick-ass greens!
Rock Lobster! 
I feel the B52s coming on!

Wandering through the alpaca shed, I saw some undyed alpaca yarn, and even though I had decided not to get any undyed alpaca this year (because I think I got six skeins of various colours last year), I couldn't resist these two skeins from Alpaca-Brats Farm.

The black yarn really grabbed me, but the roan got me by the throat and shook me. I had to take them home with me. And they're soft, so very soft.

While I did not intend to buy this next skein, the booth was staffed by three girls who were raising alpacas as part of their 4-H project, at CurlyQ Farm, and purchase of the yarn would help support their efforts. They do not have a website, but do have a Facebook page.
This grey yarn is so pretty, and of course, so soft. I was glad to get it, and besides, what's one more skein?

Finally from Decadent Fibers, these two skeins of worsted weight yarn. I would like to make a vest for myself with this stuff.

Jay and I spent some time talking to the two women who staffed this booth. The yarns were gorgeous, hand dyed, and the yarns knit up beautifully. They had a bunch of knitted-up garments to show off their yarn at its best advantage. They will be at Reinbeck, and Jay and I are already planning and plotting a trip up there this fall.

There were some other yarns at the festival that I liked. There was a dyer from Dirty Water DyeWorks, a local Boston dyer. Her yarns were really beautiful, but they are available in a couple of local stores, and I was pinching pennies by the time we encountered her booth. Jay bought a couple of skeins from her, and her yarns are totally on my radar right now. However, I can see myself  buying some of her yarn in the not-too-distant future.

From Mountain Vewe Coopworths there were two skeins of yarn I didn't buy, but am now kicking myself for not getting. Well, to be honest, I wanted a sweater's worth of each colour, and didn't have enough money to get all I needed, and I'm not sure they had enough of these two colours to satisfy my needs (hey, I'm a big guy, and it takes a lot of yarn to make a sweater for me!). The yarns are hand dyed, and there was a cobalt blue colourway and a green colourway that both rocked my stripey socks! I will keep their card and make notes about it, and when I have the time to make a sweater for myself, give them a call. They do not have a website, but their phone number is 802-429-2084, and their 
e-mail is

Sic friat biscuitem, these are the yarns I was able to add to my stash. And seriously, except for the three skeins of undyed alpaca, I have projects attached to all of them. And I can't wait to start knitting these skeins up. They're so beautiful, soft, and intense, I know they will knit up most wonderfully.


  1. I am drooling all over my keyboard...

    1. I know how you feel. I'm trying not to drool on the yarn itself!