fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Fall Fiber Festival

I was, for a change, organized enough to actually sign up for a workshop at the Fall Fiber Festival (aka the Montpelier Sheepdog Trials). The downside of that was that I had to get to Orange before 10 a.m. yesterday, which meant leaving the house fairly early for a weekend. The drive down was fine, with the only slowdown involving the perpetual roadwork through Gainesville.

The workshop I signed up for was on nalbinding. My main reason for signing up was that it was something I'd never heard of. (Class listings that send me to wikipedia are a good thing. Yes, I'm weird.) It turns out to be a very old non-woven fabric technique, using a single needle (like a tapestry needle, not a knitting needle) and short lengths of yarn. Some of the instructor's examples looked very much like knitting, though the stitch we learned (basically a buttonhole stitch worked over one's thumb) does not. Three hours was a good length of time for the small group to get started on making starting caterpillars and learning pivots and connecting stitches. That's enough knowledge to make a small bag or even a hat. The fee included a nice little illustrated booklet. It was enough fun that I'm going to continue playing with it, especially as it is conveniently portable. By the way, I believe that this technique is pretty much the same one that I saw used in Papua New Guinea to make bilims (string bags).

After the workshop, I had lunch and then did the rounds of the sales tents. Despite all temptation, I am practical enough not to bring home an alpaca. I was reasonably restrained and only bought 2 books (and a pamphlet), 1 skein of sock yarn, a packet of wool for felting from a place that had very nicely packaged palettes of dyed merino, and 2 sets of knitting needles (long cabled circulars that I actually need and ebony straight needles that I couldn't resist). There were lots of temptations but I figure that Stitches East is only a month away and I need to do some stash reduction before then.

All in all, a fun excursion.
Tags: crafts, knitting

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