I have a bad habit of showing up at real-life fiber events and taking no pictures. This trip was no exception. I arrived in Minneapolis last Sunday, and Ellen whisked me off to a day of fiber fun at Shepherd’s Harvest, Minnesota’s sheep and wool fair. We had absolutely perfect weather, and spent a good bit of time outside enjoying it while we watched the sheep dog trials. Some of the dogs were very good, many were a little rough, and there was one very cute Samoyed puppy who clearly thought he was out on a play date rather than working a job. He was such a friendly little guy (and so clearly proud of himself) that it was hard not to love him, even if he didn’t seem to know the first thing about sheep herding. I bet he’ll be great next year, but this year it was really funny to watch him trot around the arena making friends with the sheep, completely oblivious to his trainers’ commands.

After the dog trials, we took a walk through the show barns and the fiber market. This is my favorite size of festival; about three barns of fiber. Plenty to look at and enough to keep you busy, but not so much that you slip into fiber overwhelm and miss most of the show. We stopped by the Briar Rose booth, where I picked up a couple of skeins of Sea Pearl for a to-be summer weight work sweater.

Then, Ellen and I cooked up a semi-secret project that allowed us to buy another skein of yarn that we wanted to try. We also managed to do it without adding to either of our stashes, and we co-knit a quick little project that is destined to bring someone a little joy to offset a loss. That project kept us busy for the rest of the two days of my visit, and Ellen continued working away after I’d left. It was one of those projects where everyone wins, and was really fun. If you’re ever in a knitting slump, split a small project with a friend…it just flew off the needles, and it made us both happy.  The yarn was a new Targhee yarn base, and boy was it nice to knit with! I don’t recall the name of it now, but it was super soft, and light with a lot of bounce. As always, the Briar Rose colors were fun to knit with, and we were both pretty enamored with the fabric. In keeping with my trip tradition, I completely failed to take a photo of the project at any stage, so we’ll have to rely on Ellen for the documentation.

Ellen also introduced me to the wonders of sous vide cooking and fresh garden asparagus…it was quite a visit!

On Monday, we made a stop over at Steven Be’s to look at his shop samples and see what was going on. (Steven is one of those people who always has something going on. Going into his shop is a little like playing dress up in Grandma’s attic…except with yarn and feather boas.) I skipped the feather boas, but I did find some beautiful lemon-cream colored top to finish off the colors for the crocus sweater. I’ve managed to wind the first ball of the purple now, and am busily spinning up the yellow yarn for the yoke.

I didn’t manage to make it through Steven’s collection completely unscathed, though. Contrary to all sense and reason, this skein of neon yarn kept shouting out my name. I compromised by toning it down with some dark purple and teal, and I think it will make a nice accent yarn for something special, though I haven’t quite figured out yet what it will be. A shawl or scarf of some kind, I imagine, but I think some serious swatching is required.

From Ellen’s, it was off to the conference that brought me to Minneapolis in the first place, and then home again on Thursday night. I’ve spent a couple of days crashing post-conference, but was back on my feet enough to spend a couple of hours out in the garden this morning. With Branden’s help, we’ve now planted almost all of the new herbs for the summer, with just a few things left here and there. The garden is mostly perennials, so the second year is a lot simpler than the first, though we’re adding in some new groundcover and I had to replace a few herbs that didn’t overwinter well. It’s looking good out there, though, and it’s nice to have a yard we want to spend time in.

Hope you’re all having a good Memorial Day weekend!