I love fiber festivals. There is always something interesting and new to see... but I am glad this was not my first one (I went to OFFF last year, and I went to Dixon Lambtown in 2004, and the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in 2005). I think it helps when it's not your "first time" anymore... you are more jaded, and are more aware of quality factors, price points, etc. Being that I am a repeat addict, I also think it gave me more focus as to what I actually should look for... there are many things that, since I know what they are, I now feel comfortable buying them online, and sometimes festivals are not the best price-points for items.
However, sometimes you are surprised. The first picture below is of a Gotland lamb fleece I picked up. $10 / lb, and it was $20 total. Gotlands are apparently somewhat of a rare breed, and I had ALMOST picked up a fleece online going for a whopping $30 / lb, but I am definitely glad I didn't. I have been told that Gotland wool is what was used to create the Lord of the Rings cloaks...
The color on this fleece is gorgeous. It's a salt & pepper, charcoal grey. And the locks are so curly and beautiful! The staple length is right around 3", so I am still trying to decide what the best preparation would be. It feels fairly greasy, but I am hoping I do not lose too much weight to lanolin once I scour.
Next up is my sock yarn haul. Mmhm. I actually only bought this yarn, though. As you can tell, most of it is from Blue Moon... they are all Socks That Rock in varying weights (the blue one in the center is the only Heavyweight, though), and most of them are "Rare Gems", as well. (BMFA sometimes either overdyes colorways that went weird, or a color isn't what they expected, so they save these guys and bring them to festivals). The colorway on the far left of the photo is from Mosaic Moon, and it's a really soft 75/25 wool / nylon blend. The only BMFA colorways I bought are the one directly to the right of the MM yarn, which is called "Treehugger", and the yarn that appears white. That yarn is one of their new "Spirit" colorways, and I think it is either the green or the teal one... it is SO hard to tell, but it is rather purtyful.
This is the rest of the fiber I bought (except for 1 oz of pygora / silk blend from Peppermint Pastures Pygora Farm). On the left are two different piles of mohair curls - the multi and the pinks. Next to that are three natural camelid / silk rovings from Tactile Fiber Arts (sooo soft!), and you can see the Mosaic Moon on the far right. Below are my new baggies of glitz - I bought red, purple, aqua, and one that flashes purple and green!
My big purchase at OFFF was a pair of mini wool combs. I bought these St. Baise combs from Carolina Homespun. I love Morgaine. The price was right at $150, especially considering that they come with a stand, and Oregon has no sales tax. All you need to do is clamp the stand to a table, and you're off! (Don't kid yourself - even though they are "mini", those tines are still about 4-5" long, and sharp as heck!)
Jen was awesome. She only bought two skeins of yarn! (But her stash does convert into miles of yarn... heehee :) ). After OFFF, we made a short run to Yarnia. In the event you haven't yet heard of Yarnia, it's an interesting concept. You select from a bunch of single threads / plies she has in the store, and she can run up to six threads / singles into a machine that will wind them all together onto one cone.
My reason for going there was a bit different. After having been through Lexi's workshop, I really wanted to get my hands on some thread elements. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. $40 got me all the thread on the left side of the picture. The stack of cones on the far right side of the picture were separate cones I bought apart from the threads. The threads are everything from acrylic to rayon, silk, cotton, wool, or silver Lurex (which was really hard to wind...it is so thin that it broke a few times). And the owner of Yarnia is really awesome. :) I like her a lot.