Estes Park Wool Market

The annual Estes Park Wool Market was last weekend. Normally, it’s deathly hot during this weekend, which typically coincides with Father’s Day. This year, it was cold (40 degrees Fahrenheit) and rainy (rivers are close to flood stage). Except for four very drippy yaks in a mud-soaked pen, I didn’t see any livestock outside. The food vendors, however, were trying to stay warm and dry under large tents. I bought a delicious crepe with blue cheese, spinach, and walnuts that I covered with a couple of napkins until I could find cover.
But I digress.
The real reason I went was to pick out the perfect spindle, now that I’ve caught the spinning bug. I made a beeline to the Magpie Woodworks both where I’d been informed that I’d find the finest spindles ever made. In addition to spindles, they offer handcrafted niddy-noddies, nostepide,  sewing needle holders, bowls, and other things I couldn’t identify. I chose a perfectly balanced top-whorl spindle made of cherry. It spins forever without a single wobble.
Once I had the spindle, I asked the esteemed Maggie Casey (who happened to be at the Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins booth—she’s co-owner, doncha know) to point out appropriate fiber for a newbie like me. I picked up 4 ounces of handdyed superwash merino from Bonkers Handmade Originals (definitely a pair of socks), 2 ounces of a silk/camel blend from Skaska Designs (a lace scarf once I learn to spin thin enough), and 2 ounces of Australian Bond Sheep from Gleason’s Fine Woolies, which I spun before I thought to take a photo. This is destined to be a pair of fingerless mitts. Now I’m kicking myself for not getting one of the magpie hand-carved bowls to use as a backdrop for it all.

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