Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Sunday, October 05, 2003  

AHHHH. What could fill you more with peace and joy than a day of fiber and fiber people? Sweet companionship. Delicious sensuality. Challenging creative and artistic endeavors. Soft furry animals. Clever dogs. All in the setting of hills, mountains, tumbling grasslands. It’s a refill of the spirit of at least one fiberish woman - a totally indulgent wallow in some of my favorite things.

It’s a 2 hour drive to Montpelier Station from the farm on the river. This first weekend in October is often the beginning of bright colors and glorious autumn vistas. Sadly, most of the landscape around here has a beaten up look to it. Isabel was not kind to eastern VA. Many trees are stripped of leaves on the east side - where the clockwise winds shrieked through their branches, twisting them free before they’d stored up a winter’s energy. These are the same trees that were denuded by drought in August ‘02. What color changing that is going on is strange and muted - a dull grayish green. Since so many poplars were felled in September, the second flush of autumn glory - the deep gold of poplars, shimmering through the partially bare forests will be absent for many a year. Fortunately poplars grow fast and, like pines, are some of the first trees to leap up after a natural disaster.

oh. well. That isn’t a paean to the joys of fiber festivals - sorry to go all gloomy on you. My name truly is not Eeyore.

so - back to the fun stuff. I was registered for the first of Annie Modesitt’s classes, the one on fabulous finishing. Believe it - this is the first knitting class I’ve ever had! And this is the area where I needed the most help. I like circular knitting because I am most comfortable with it - and because my purls are too loose and make gutters in flat stockinette knitting, but I hate not doing something simply because I don’t know how. Seaming has always been my bugbear and Annie laughingly admitted that it’s true for many folk. I don’t mind the fiddly bits of darning in ends etc. In fact, it’s like a final caress of a beloved child to me - but I hate doing a bad job of anything. Well. zip zip zip - what was I reluctant about? My seams are lovely now.

A note about Annie’s professionalism - for her young brother died suddenly this week and she has traversed half the country twice now, to attend to family as well as to teach us - with grace and skill and humor. thank you Annie. And Hi there, Hannah-girl.

Our class ended at noon and KR forumites gathered at the exhibition tent for picnic lunches. There were 7 of us, Carolyn from GA, Evelyn from FL, Anita and Lisa from NVA, Annie from NJ, Jen from Horse Country in VA, and yrs.trly. from UpperTidewaterVA. We were all smiles and laughter and no I forgot my camera but Carolyn had one and I hope she’ll post her pictures somewhere.

It was a cool day, cloudy but not rainy, and it warmed enough to let you go without heavy outerwear. The festival is small enough that you don’t mind going back to your car to drop off purchases and clothing. It was after coming back from my car a second time that Robyn called out my name and hugs hugs hugs were everywhere. Robyn is my best friend from college - the only person other than BD with whom I have stayed in touch. She has a wonderful husband - best of all - our husbands like each other! And a darling daughter who runs her ragged - heh heh heh. They are coming for a dyeing day soon and DD’s friend N is part of the package - making it doubly sweet.

So you can see - the FFF is worth it to me just to get together with friends. But it is also a treat for the fiber enthusiast. It is very different from MD.Sheep&Wool. It is so much smaller. It is entirely encompassable. It is something you can completely savor although I still didn’t have enough time to see much of the sheep trials. Next year for sure. I swear it. I am going to watch the dogs.

But the fiber booths are so much fun to see. And you can really linger at every booth. You can see it all. Touch. Read. Peruse. Fondle. It is really criminal for me to buy more fibers at this point - (says the felon) - because I have enough to keep me busy for eons. But alas, I succumbed and bought a pound of Barbara Gentry’s cormo roving, 6 oz of colored mohair locks, and 6 back issues of Spin Off - including both the ones with the raw silk articles. I did not buy the simply BEE YOU TEE FUL black hat for $70 because I have so many simply bee you tee ful hats. Now - I believe that every woman always needs another bee you tee ful hat but she also has to have the $70 to buy it with. Too bad for me. I am confident and sure, though, that I will find more hats in the future.

Late in the evening I helped Barbara Gentry pack up her booth and then Jen and I drove to Orange for hot coffees and time to chat. Jen was working at the Stony Mt. booth and we’d only been able to smile at each other all day. It was so sweet to let the chatter pour out over hot cups, that before I realized it, it was 7 o’clock!! With a 2 hour drive home over somewhat unfamiliar roads looming ahead of me. A stop in Fredericksburg, for Texas chili took only 15 minutes and I was home by 9 to my hungry, hungry husband. OOOO that chili tasted good. and AHHHH that bed felt good. And now it’s a chilly Sunday morning and I have a couch piled high with fiber. I think I shall go indulge.

posted by Bess | 7:57 AM