The Bigass Boomerang socks had their debut this weekend, solely because it was damn cold in the Cache Valley (actually in ALL of Utah) where the Wool Packers (our spinning guild) spent a sheepy Saturday. Last weekend we broke records for heat, so of course, we had to have snow this weekend. But, somehow the colder temps seemed appropriate, as spinner/knitters we are usually well prepared and love our wool. Oh yes, and there was lamb stew to keep warm, too. Notlwonk is an annual retreat for the group and this was my first year to tag along. Emmylou, Blogless Katherine and I made the trek and enjoyed the whole day.
Katherine drove as I gawked out the window at the verdant verde valley, spotting birds and beautiful views along the way. It was a special treat to see this pair of Sandhill Cranes dancing in a field. The drive takes us far north of Salt Lake, into the Cache Valley, very near the Idaho border. We arrived at the Knowlton's farm, known as Notlwonk Springs, just in time to settle in and ready for the freeforall of shopping. They have roving, yarn and fleece produced by their flock of Rambouillet/Lincoln.
The first place I headed was the "Roving Room", others took off to get the fleece of their choice and still others, headed for the yarn. Everyone was moving so quickly that all you saw was a blur of activity. Luckily, Judy was there to
enabled guide me towards two soft and lovely rovings, one of light brown and another in a soft tan. There should be enough a sweater. (I'm considering sending it to Lynn rather than spinning it myself...talk about for.ev.er and boring. I'd rather spend my spinning time playing with color and texture. There will be plenty of pleasure while knitting, and I'll still have a Notlwonk sweater.)
Spinners and their wheels were packed in tight, but it was so enjoyable to spin and chat with others who love working with fiber. After shopping, we fortified ourselves with Jo's delicious lamb stew (and other pot luck goodies) and then sat back to enjoy even more spinning and chatting.
The biggest freeforall of the day comes when all the 'skirts' are piled up in the garage, everyone is given a bag to fill and, on the count of three, grabs up all they can fit into the bag. You can see in the picture below that a few heads and a bit of fleece was all I could see during the scrabble.
Lynn warned me that blood might be drawn, but everyone behaved and I ended up with a small bag of skirts. The main reason I bagged some was for the experience of working with raw wool, that old curiosity thing, and because the weather was so inclement we couldn't visit our friends the sheep. I know the skirting isn't the best part of a fleece, but it was an easy way to get 'a little' fleece and try the process of washing. (Perhaps you'll all leave me alone and I can say...been there done that!). Washing wasn't difficult, or even that smelly, but it was time consuming AND it's still drying 24 hours later (in our dry climate)! If, IF ever I'm tempted by a full fleece, it will go directly to Lynn.
Here is the 'in process' shot and afterwards. Who knows if things will progress from here.
The day was wonderful and Katherine and I got to know each other a little better, too. My plan is to make it to many, many more Wool Treks at Notlwonk.