Sunday was the 6th Annual Homespun Yarn Party, at Savage Mill in Savage Maryland. It’s similar to a lot of wool and yarn festivals around the country, but this one features vendors specifically from around the area, and mostly indie dealers creating their own unique brand of fibery goodness. Small farms and dyers such as these are typically overshadowed at some of the larger festivals, so this is a chance for many to really shine.
The thing is, what started out with the intention of having an intimate feel has become a bit of a madhouse. The event quickly outgrew the venue, but we still keep going back every year, knowing it will be hot, stuffy and mobbed. We fiber enthusiasts don’t seem to care about being a little uncomfortable. It’ll usually take more than a little sweat and pandemonium to keep us away from our yarn.
I went there without specific intentions this year. Clearly, with 21 bins of yarn in my house, need of more yarn is not the question. I intended to mostly spend my time and money in some of the other shops Savage Mill has to offer. The Mill is full of unique artist studios and all kinds of wonderful nooks and crannies to explore.
My friend Lynne offered to take me to the event again this year, and Dina came along. When we arrived, the main hall was already filled to capacity and there was a line of people waiting to get inside. Dina opted to wait in line, but Lynne and I headed off to explore. We came upon the studios of JUL and Noni Designs. JUL makes unique buttons, shawl pins, and purse hardware, and Noni Designs is famous for stunning felted bag designs, and amazing knitted flowers.
I did spend some money in each studio:
I bought three shawl sticks from JUL and a collection of buttons:
The cinnamon buttons are made with real cinnamon and smell amazing! I plan on making several tea mug cozies and fastening them with these yummy buttons. And the purple ones? I have no idea yet what I’m going to do with them. But hey, they’re purple. And super cute.
I bought a Lipstick and Change Purse Kit from Noni Designs:
It’s hard to see, but this one is grey with tiny purple beads. I think it is going to be beautiful.
Nora Bellows, Owner and Designer-In-Chief at Noni, was gracious enough to sign my copy of Noni Flowers: 40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers, which I hadn’t brought with me to last year’s Sheep and Wool festival because I didn’t know she was going to be there. She wrote the nicest inscription. I do love this book! The knitted flowers are amazing and truly the most accurate knitted flowers I have ever seem. I bought it mostly so I could make sprays of beautiful, showy flowers on my knitted hats, and sadly I haven’t made any hats since then… but I plan to! So look out for pretty stuff in my knitting future!
After a scrumptious lunch that included oh-so-sinful mac n’ cheese with crabmeat, Lynne and I finally headed into the main hall for the main event and lots of yarny goodness. I had worried that stuff would be picked over and the pickings slim, but I needn’t have been concerned. There was plenty left, just for us. Here’s a quick peek at what I got:
In this collection are some Lindy Hop Sock yarn, which is in a colorway called “Tardis.” I got this for my husband, who is a Dr. Who fan, and he says he would like a scarf out of it. Now I just need to find the perfect pattern. Also I got three colors of Mithril from The Verdant Gryphon. Gryphon herself helped me choose the colors… for I know I am obsessed… yet another Color Affection. (I’m starting to wonder if I will get them all made before I die? Sheesh!) Last, but certainly not least, is a hank of Biggie from Dancing Leaf Farm. (I also got the lovely felted pins from Dancing Leaf.)
So, even though I hadn’t intended to buy yarn, I did… sigh. At least my knitting needles are moving faster these days. I look forward to getting quite a few things made in 2013 and beyond.
It was a great day and a great event, and now I am looking forward to my annual trip to Maryland Sheep and Wool, where once again, I will vow to buy no new yarn. Yeah, right. We’ve all heard that one before.