Generally, I stay away from yarn vendors. Especially other hand dyed yarns. There are a couple of reasons for that. Mostly it's because I have a lot of yarn. (See above.) But there's also the piece of me that doesn't want to inadvertently copy someone else's work. I make a conscious effort not to look too closely at what others are doing. Sure, I'll read blogs and take a quick peek but not much more than that. It doesn't seem right somehow.
That said, I don't worry so much about going into booths that are showing undyed wool from different breeds and that kind of thing. I find real inspiration from smelling and feeling up yarns that are from breeds that I'm not familiar with. Or checking out blends that I don't see every day. There are so many things I can learn from people who are on the front lines, raising sheep, milling yarn and doing the real work that gives me such joy every day.
So, I end up being drawn to booths that have something other than yarn. I bought a few things.
The first thing I picked up were these darling note cards from an artist named Clare Margaret. She's got a great shop over on Etsy.
I might have a little bit of non-buyers remorse. She had a couple of full sized laser cut posters that I really liked and I'm wondering if I should have picked one up.
My next purchase was from this guy who makes brooms by hand. His name is Bob Haffly and his company is called Lone Oak Brooms. He was doing demos all day long and we wandered over a couple of different times to watch. I looked for a website and it doesn't look like he has one. The best I could do is this video.
I bought a broom cake tester from him. I thought it was a genius idea. The biggest mistake I made was only buying one. I gave it to my sister and I wish I had one for myself too . (Maybe he'll be at Rhinebeck.) I forgot to take a picture of it, but this picture from Williams-Sonoma will give you an idea of what it's all about. Bob's was way cooler than this. The handle was irregular and you could tell a person made it.
The other booth I made a big effort to see was Jennie the Potter. She's pretty legendary in our little corner of the world. I was on a mission for a yarn bowl, but couldn't resist a set of stitch markers as well.
I did get a yarn bowl, an orange one! In case you couldn't tell, orange is my favorite color. It was the last one. Another woman had it in her hands and I kinda watched her until she put it down and then
trampled over her casually sauntered over and picked it up.
Unfortunately, it ran into a little, ahem, mishap, in the airport on the way home. I carried that yarn bowl through MDSW, four states, three airports and this happened 100 yards from the car. I'm not embarrassed to tell you I wept. More than a little bit.
Through the miracle of modern science and a handy husband, all was not lost. He was able to put all the king's horses together again. And we all did the dance of joy.
So, my inaugural MDSW was a huge success! I can't wait until next time.