SAFF, a.k.a. FIBER OVERLOAD
OH. MY. GOD. - I was a deer in the headlights last weekend at SAFF. I totally admit it. It was my first fiber festival ever and I was quite overwhelmed. I understand now (again) how some of my students feel when I drag them into a yarn store for the first time.
We - meaning, Pixie, Shari, Diana and I - left early Friday morning. I said I wanted to leave at 8:00am - the strict drill sergeant that I am - and we actually left at 8:45am. Pretty good, considering that four women had to get ready. ;-) It was pouring rain and after about 3½ hours and several pit stops later we got to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in Asheville, NC. Thanks to the - NOT - wonderful Mapquest directions, we got lost once, about 10 minutes from the fairgrounds. But since women ask for directions, it didn't take us long to find the place. Since check-in at the hotel was not until 3:00pm, we decided to check out the fair first and meet up with Jen and La, and then go to the hotel.
This was the view entering the fair:
Lots of people, yarn, roving, tools, books... Heaven for a fiber addict...
After a few hours at the fair and the hotel check-in, some of us gathered for dinner and knitting at the hotel restaurant. It was mostly people from the Atlanta area - my knitting buddies from several weekly Stitch'N Bitch meetings. Some of them even dragged their poor husbands along. :-)
You can see "the boys" - Doug, Lou and Famous Steve in the picture at the left. I love knitting with them - they are a lot of fun and all very talented. We had a great time, and after dinner some of us retreated to the fireplace and others went to get some sleep. It is just exhausting fondling fiber all day...
Friday night was very eventful. After knitting in the lobby at the fireplace, our little roommate group - Jen, La, Pixie and I - went to our room for some more partying. We brought lots of wine, beer and snacks. So, what to expect? There was knitting, spinning, carding, drinking, giggling, until very late... Whew - I felt like I was back in a dorm and 20 years old. ;-) Sorry, no more details - what happens at SAFF stays at SAFF, or not... :-) Or you might want to check other blogs - maybe they'll spill the beans. ;-)
And now on to the animals - actually the important creatures for a fiber event, right? Jen, Diana and I made a sweep through the barns Saturday morning.
For Saturday lunch, Pixie organized a knitting blogger meet-up. It is very interesting to put faces to the bloggers now. Very cool to meet all these people - and of course we let non-blogger knitters hang out with us, too:
This is the list of bloggers that Amy compiled. She was clever enough to bring a pen and paper, so everybody could leave their information:
Janice - Knitting, with Dogs
Emily - Fibre Monkey
Jane - Quiddity
Jen & La - Knotty Girls
Carolyn - Sticknits
Stacey - Urban Gypz
Pixie - Pixie Purls
Grace - Grace Knits
Elizabeth - Trailing Yarn
Me - Knitting Without Dog Hair Is Not An Option
Jenny - Diaries of a Knitting Addict
Amy - Fresh Ground Knits
Heather - Heather Knits
Anita - Wool & Words
And apparently, Bekka, who was a bit shy and didn’t come introduce herself! Aw-w-w – but we are all so friendly!!! You should have said hello! We don’t bite and we hardly ever use the pointy stix on fellow knitters. ;-)
Saturday afternoon, I went to a Fair Isle class given by Nancy Shroyer. I loved it - she was wonderful. I learned a bunch of new tricks - and how to knit with two colors at the same time, one strand in your right hand and one in your left. And, I did the stupidest thing... We had homework for that class. The project was a headband. We had to cast on 115 stitches and knit in the round for 12 rows. What did I do? I cast on 105 stitches - how creative... No wonder the fair isle pattern repeat did not work out. I only ripped three times until I realized that I had too few stitches. GEEZ... But with Nancy's help, we created a new pattern on the fly and all was well. I am still debating if I should rip the whole thing - for one thing, I don't like headbands, and this one will be too small anyway.
After the Saturday daytime adventures, we all went back to the hotel for relaxing and regrouping. Some of us went to the Irish Pub "Jack In The Wood" in Asheville for another blogger meet-up which was organized by Jen. Just can't get enough of these bloggers. ;-)
Saturday evening ended early with a few more drinks in the hotel room. Everybody was pretty exhausted, but in good "spirits". I bought everything I wanted and needed. Ha-ha-ha... I made one last trip to a couple of vendors Sunday morning to buy a few final gifts and then - I spun in public for the first time. I guess I picked a good roving, because it just went so well - no trouble in spinning paradise.
It was actually quite funny. I was in such a daze that I wanted to spin all of that gorgeous fiber I bought at SAFF from Steam Valley Fiber Farm. And then I realized that Shari and Pixie really wanted to go home and it would take too long to spin it all. Poor women... Pixie actually tried to sleep a bit on the concrete steps... So, I packed up all the goodies and the girls, and we headed home around 1:00pm.
And finally a picture of the roommates before everybody went home on Sunday. We had such a wonderful time! One couldn’t ask for better sleeping buddies!
Pixie, La, Me and Jen
SO - WHAT DID I BUY??? More stuff for spinning than for knitting, that's for sure ;-)
Alpaca Tussan Silk (2 oz 80% Natural Alpaca from Michigan, 20% Dyed Tussan Silk) - Lori Flood Merino Top (4 oz, 64 ct/22 micron)
Peruvian Alpaca (100% Superfine Combed Top Alpaca) 8 oz each - Fireworks (45% 4th Clip Yearling Mohair, 45% Wool, 5% Glitz, 5% Silk) 3 oz
Miss Babs Superwash Sock & Baby Yarn (100% wool - 350 yds/2.5 oz) - Tiny Toes Sock Yarn (185 yds per skein, 100% Superwash Merino Wool)
3 skeins of 100% Alpaca Tweed handspun (app. 1,800 yards) - 6 skeins of Cotton & EcoSpun
A Jumbo Ply Head with a bobbin for my Lendrum, a very cool orifice hook
More bumper stickers and a pin that says it all...
And if you want to look at more pictures - I took over 100 - click here.
So – “That’s All Folks”. I had a blast. Met a ton of wonderful people, had the best roommates ever, learned a lot. I WILL BE BACK! :-)))