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


I was tempted by some of Jennifer's sock yarn and am now regretting I didn't buy that colorway I liked. I don't know why I wasn't in more of a "spendy" mood that day. It's not like there's a fiber festival every weekend! Maybe I'm talking myself into going to Stitches!

By Blogger Mary, at 2:02 PM  

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006  

All my literary zeal for writing about the Fall Fiber Festival is at neutral now. I certainly had a fabulous time in spite of rain and mud and cold. I was still riding high on the pleasure of sharing the magic of spinning with all those darling children at J’s school. I spent the whole weekend with wonderful friends. I stayed true to my No New Fiber vow - at least, in fact, if not in spirit, for I did not purchase any new fiber. We won’t count the merino and silk yarn that J handed me to knit a pair of luxury socks for her to display with her yarns ...

[insert evil smiley here]

But I did NOT buy anything, even the Dale of Norway kit that I’ve been yearning for and lusting over for what? what? 4 years? 5? Of course, that just might be my first purchase in January of 2007.

But I must put in a brief report about the Fall Mud Fiber Festival at Montpelier Station, because I don’t know when I had such fun in spite of everything. I’m still feeling that high of joy from it. I got there about 8:30 - having stopped at WalMart in Short Pump, blessedly open at 6:30 a.m., to purchase a pair of rubber boots and a fur collared vest. I was thinking cold and wet. I had not imagined the real reason I needed those boots. A pretty teenage girl was standing in the parking lot when I arrived at the fair and I asked her if she was a worker bee At her nod I asked about the Spirit Trail Booth and her blank look turned to relief as J walked up and pointed to a parking spot. The pretty teen was S - J’s neighbor - and this was her first fiber fair.

They went on ahead while I put on my rubber boots, packed up my fair knitting, (a pair of socks in ST sock yarn), and locked up my car - although I forgot to roll up the window - wasn’t I lucky that the rain began to let up right then? That sort of scatterbrainededness haunted me all weekend, but no real disasters occurred. I even found my glasses that dropped out of my pocket Saturday night. Some kind soul found them and turned them into the museum shop!

The sight that met me as I trudged on up the hill, though - of liquid mud - like ceramic slip - churning and slopping around 4-wheel drive chassis - it was a horror. I once went to a “Mud Bog” out where the new fire hall was being built. It was a pit filled with water that guys drove their trucks through, the winner being the one who could get his truck through the muck fastest. It was a stupid sort of game, but harmless, since they were going to dig a basement and foundation anyway. But that is the only time I’ve ever seen mud like I saw on the beautiful sloping field skirting Jimmy Madison’s piedmont Virginia home. Whew. and Oh. And MY.

Jen’s booth was already set up and we had only to scatter a bale of straw in front of it to soak up the churning soup. That proved to be just effective enough to protect the contents. Before I’d had enough time to wonder if anybody at all would even come out to the fair, customers began showing up. Real fiber enthusiasts, who’ve had to wait since last May or even since last fall, do not let a little weather interfere with their mission. They are after yarn and nothing’s going to stop them. There was a steady trickle of sales, swollen now and then by a pleasant crush, all day long. Wonderful old friends stopped by the booth and happy new ones did too. With 3 of us working the booth we could slip away for a drink or a stretch or a look-see. Alas, there was no one selling anything hot to drink and only one food vendor at all. Happily, the very cute and patient son of the woman at the booth across the tent from us came back in the afternoon with a Coleman burner, a tea kettle and hot tea and cocoa and coffee! We lent the table space and he passed out the heat - the only heat on a very wet and cold day.

We closed up at 5 and went to dinner, a quite good Mexican restaurant, where I had fish fajitas for the first time in my life. Wow. Whoda’ thought? They were delicious. We thawed out there so that by the time we checked into the very cozy bed and breakfast in Orange, we were only tired, not cold and tired. The B&B was just the ticket after a day of Weather, with hot coffee and tea, and brownies, and lemon bread, and hmmm oh yes. Chocolate Chip Cookies, and “do please help yourself” waiting in the dining room. It was so comfy, in fact, that we were asleep by 9:30 and awake at 6:30, ready to fortify ourselves with breakfast and start the day.

It was a day worth starting too, for blue skies joined us well before noon and we were changing into t-shirts not long afterwards. Some more vendors set up on Sunday and a good crowd of Sunday Strollers came out. More friends appeared, more hugs exchanged. But the Sunday crowd is not nearly the shopping crowd the Saturday folk are. Sales were made, but lots more talking and visiting went on. J says that Sunday is usually half the sales of Saturday, even at MS&W. I suppose it makes sense, since when I go to a fiber festival to buy, I want to have Sunday at home to play with my purchases.

We worked right up to 4 o’clock because there was a woman who was having a hard time choosing between 2 of J’s magnificent colorways. She spent a long time making up her mind, but when she did, she bought the entire colorway - enough for a large adult sweater. J’s DH had showed up around 3:30 to help takedown - and man oh man - did that make a difference. With his strong support, we could carefully pack things up and the moment a rack came free - it disappeared into the truck! Praises to all Big Guys Who Help!

Take down took so little time that I was on the road back to Orange - and Rt. 20 and Rt. 3 and Rt. 17 - in no time at all. I was home before full dark, which is always a treat, with the added sweet knowledge that the next day was a Monday holiday. BD was home, a light shone from the window, and only one dog had tangled with a skunk over the weekend! (What is it with those dogs and skunks?!?)

As I said earlier - I stayed true to my No New Fibers vow - reluctantly. But I did buy two books.

I like them both a lot, though I’ve had no time to really study them since I bought them. I just know I’ll get a lot out of them.

And so - the FFF is gone again and won’t be back for another whole year. I’ll have one more big fiberish event in November, when I’ll be going to the Knitters Review Retreat in NY. I’ll just grit my teeth and leave my wallet in my room. After that, it’ll be Christmas and New Year and then I can go shopping again.

Hugs to you all! And good knitting too!

posted by Bess | 7:35 AM