We had a gorgeous weekend for the Fiber Frolic of 2014. So beautiful, however, that it was over 80F and no one was really looking to be touchy-feely with wool! But the crowds were there, and it was lovely to see all our usual customers and visitors. A new booth neighbor to my left was just delightful, and by the end of the day today we were all eating homemade ice cream from the ice cream truck. Standing on a concrete floor all day is tiring, and it was good to get home and unload the car after I did chores and had a nice visit with the goatie crowd.
We finally have some good weather, and the multiple feet of snow and incredibly cold temperatures are now just a fading memory. The green and blooming trees are a delight. (My sinuses don’t appreciate the tree pollen and the mold, but it’s a hazard of this time of year. Bummer.)
And so another year at the Frolic is finished. I have a lot more product coming from the processor, so I will need to rethink marketing. Maybe it’s time to re-do the website and start selling online. Sigh. Too much to think about until school is out. 2 weeks and counting :*)
It’s no longer the weekend, although I had great intentions of getting a blog post out by Sunday night. I am burning the midnight oil getting ready for this coming weekend’s Maine Fiber Frolic. I always think I am going to be better prepared to pack up my car on Thursday afternoon, in readiness to blast off directly from work on Friday to set up at the Windsor Fair grounds. But as usual, even yesterday afternoon, I was most definitely not prepared.
One of the reasons that I am so ill-prepared is that about two weeks ago I discovered a wool-moth infestation in some fleeces I had upstairs in my fiber area. This is one of the fears that all fiber folk have, and sometimes even constant vigilance is not enough.
The offenders in my fiber loft were a few dirty fleeces housed in plastic bags that I had left open slightly so that they would not form condensation and felt. Near-hysterical panic set in and I had to weed out all the affected items. To start with, I just took everything outside and lined them up in the driveway for an inspection and sorting (thank goodness for a nice stretch of weather and a holiday weekend). Anything that was infected went on the compost pile and John turned it under, many times. Everything else went into the freezer, and every day as I came home, I took more out and washed and washed, in extremely hot water, and then dried in the sun, not to return to the house until it was in storage bins. Interestingly enough, nothing that was wrapped up tightly in cotton sheets was affected. Nor was anything closed up in brown paper.
The day after the gruesome discovery, a Saturday, good friend Chris came to my rescue and helped out all day, toting and organizing. Our driveway resembled a disaster zone, thank goodness not on a larger scale of any kind, like a real natural disaster.
There haven’t been enough hours in each day for me to feel like I am not running faster just to keep falling behind. But anything going to the Fiber Frolic either was not in the house at the time, or has been washed to within an inch of its little life and put into containers. No more open-air wool hangouts in our house for sure!
The upshot of it all is that I have a lot of fiber loft organizing to do. It’s time. The Weekend of the Wool Moth Warriors is over, but the battle and the preventive planning will continue for a long time to come. However, before anything goes back upstairs, even in containers, we are going to be doing some spraying. I hate chemicals and avoid them at all turns if I can, but I do not think we can eradicate lurking bugs without it. Ugh. I cannot believe that after almost a lifetime of living with wool and fiber products openly in our house, that we got hit. Luckily, the problem came to light before packing up for the Frolic. The alternative doesn’t even bear contemplation.
The Fiber Frolic’s second day turned out to be a wet one, but a good one as well. People came out regardless of the weather and we met a lot of really nice folks. Got to talk sheep, fleece, roving and yarn all day! Can’t think of anything better, especially when I get to talk about my girls :*)
I made a tour around the show quickly this morning when I got the booth set up. There weren’t many folks coming through the gate at 8:30, so I had a chance to walk around with my friend Chris and we had a lovely time visiting with a few other vendors, the most notable one being Robbie Portella of Maple Lane Pottery! Robbie and I met very early on in our sojourn in Maine. She is a very talented potter, and I have a growing collection of her work. It has just the right whimsical animal touch, and I cannot resist a piece or two every year! Robbie is also a librarian and we have known each other through that end of the spectrum as well for the past 10 years. When I think about how lucky I am to have fallen into friendship with people like Robbie, Chris, Pam, Christine, Esther, Heather, Anna and all of our comrades in fiber, I feel truly blessed.
And now it’s really time for bed. I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning and never got back to sleep. I think it’s time!
And so it goes. The rain is still pounding on the roof and the wind is still blowing. Hoping tomorrow finds us a little lest wet. I am hoping that our road doesn’t wash out. It will be close!
Today began the two-day Maine Fiber Frolic. Dire weather reports abounded, but the day was a much nicer one than I anticipated. Right now I am listening to the wind and the rain pounding away outside, so I do not know what is in store for us tomorrow, but we can only hope for some breaks in the wetness.
I had a lovely surprise when I went to set up my booth yesterday. It was lucky happenstance that our friend Heather Kerner of Spiralworks Felt had the booth beside us! What a lovely bit of luck. So we were able to schmoos and help each other out a little bit. It was great to see her and her beautiful product! It’s not our usual booth space, but it worked out rather well :*)
Our friend Chris Antonak of the Salt Bay Treadlers also joined us and helped out big time in the booth, and we saw Jocelyn, Kelley and Christine for a few moments as well. It was a wonderful day and we go back tomorrow to continue. Let’s hope it’s not as wet as the forecast is calling for!
I have been very bad about blogging lately. It’s been crazy times at work and outside of work I am trying to focus on getting ready for the Fiber Frolic in a week and a half. Here’s hoping that Memorial Day weekend is a nice one, because I have a lot of work to do! But at the very least, the trees are greening up nicely and when the sun is out the new leafy greenness is very uplifting.
I would love to get more yarn space-dyed and a few more fleeces washed. I may card up some of the fleeces into batts as I don’t have much roving around right now. So to that end I spent most of Sunday washing Lupine’s last fleece from 2010. It is still a winner, very lustrous with long beautiful locks. I hand wash my fleeces in small batches in the kitchen sink, drying it out back on a piece of lobster trap wire. So I hustled all day doing batch after batch, and it’s almost all clean. I am going to try and wash a black fleece as well so I can card up some contrasting fleece colors.
I also did some potting up of some of the plants that I like to keep in containers. Sage and thyme, right out the back door for ready to use convenience, and my favorites the geraniums. I usually plant white alyssum with them but I couldn’t get any last weekend at the nursery. So the rains are coming and going but we are managing to struggle along between the downpours!
It’s here again! The Maine Fiber Frolic. Tomorrow and Sunday at the Windsor Fair Grounds. I was scheduled for a lawn space in the EZup tent, but got a call that there was a cancellation, so I ended up getting my inside booth in Building #1, where I had the booth a few years ago. Fun! Now I can have some lighting, which is one of the biggest drawbacks to the outside tent area. On the other hand, I might have been able to garner some vitamin D directly from the source this weekend :*) But this is good… hope everyone can come out and enjoy it! There is some great stuff out there. Gotta love a fibery weekend!
Time is flying when you are trying to finish up the schoolyear and are also getting ready for the yearly Maine Fiber Frolic! We had a great weekend for the fair. Lots of great folks came by to say hello and fondle our fibers!
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!