Sunday, May 09, 2010

Needing Inspiration

Paisley on a cool spring day
Paisley in a favorite place

Things have just been far too busy the past couple of weeks.  The month of May doesn't look any better but I'm both excited and apprehensive about all the great things coming my way.  I only hope I can do a decent job at all the tasks and shows ahead!

Attending Maryland Sheep and Wool

I had an awesome trip to Maryland Sheep and Wool, even though my plans didn't exactly work out and I had to stay home with the shop on Saturday.  So I got up early on Sunday morning and drove the five hours north listening to podcasts and NPR all the way.  Nothing to keep you awake better than listening to other knitters talk.  The weather was lovely; a little hot in the barns but nice outside.  I wasn't on a purchasing expedition but I did buy two huge lots of cotton yarns, some lovely silk from Gale's Art and some funny pin buttons about spinning and knitting. 

Banana fiber; guess you can spin anything!
Banana blended with BFL; OK....

I didn't get many pictures this year.  My old camera weighs a ton and it's not wonderful at anything but really close-up work, so I took a few shots and dropped it back to the car.  Since it was so hot I didn't see people wearing a lot of lovely hand knits, although there were some great hats and I caught sight of a few interesting socks.  The colors of yarns and fiber in the booths were quite lovely.  I remember the first year I went I thought the colors disturbingly harsh.  Over and over again this year I saw wonderful work; indie dyers are certainly coming into their own.  If I didn't have so many excellent people here at the shop I would have been tempted far beyond my budget!

I didn't see many people I knew, besides the busy vendors, but that doesn't matter among fiber people.  After I got tired of walking around looking at lovely stuff, I bought lunch and settled down to watch some of the blade shearing contest.  There were some nice people sitting nearby and I was able to chat a bit and knit while I watched.  I didn't know it but Derrick Spangler of Lord Willin' Shearin' in Floyd was in the competition.  I ran into him late in the day and he said he was pleased with how well he did in the contest.  He had never used blade shears before.  I don't know how the contestants and the sheep felt about it but from where I sat it looked a lot like work!

My main reasons for attending the festival (ok, they were excuses, but anyway) were to drop off fiber, pick up fiber and deliver a little spinning wheel.  This led to meeting some more wonderful people and my Ravelry and Facebook friends lists have been expanded with great and talented fiber folk.  While I was waiting for it to become time to meet people I sat with my knitting at the hospitality tent set up by the Columbia Sip and Knit group and sponsored by some awesome local shops.   A nice spot and very friendly people!

The week since Maryland has been a bit of a busy blur.  On Monday it rained but I was busy at the shop, unpacking lovely spinning fiber by Miss Babs to fill my shelves.  Susan from Knitajourney mentioned on her podcast she was coming to Virginia, so I popped off a note to her saying she couldn't miss Southwest Virginia and especially Meadows of Dan.  She took my broad hint and came to the shop despite the rain and it was a delight to meet her.  She was just as lovely as I expected and it would have been wonderful if she could have stayed all day and knitted with me.  But of course when you're traveling there's just too much to do.  I wish her and her husband special journeys through our lovely state and a safe trip back to Minnesota.

Demonstrating at Welcome Center
Demonstrating at Welcome Center

On Tuesday I demonstrated at the Lambsburg Welcome Center on I-77 as part of the Patrick County blitz.  I talked to well over 500 people during the day, handed out a bunch of brochures, got sunburned and managed to spin that entire basket of Texel roving into singles.  Tuesday night we had a 'Round the Mountain networking and information session at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts building in Galax.  On Wednesday I was determined to stay home and rest!  I got a rabbit sheared and a little of the yard mowed before I ran out of gas (both in me and the mower) and hung around knitting the rest of the day.

Things started up again with work at the shop on Thursday, a lovely Stitch and Chat on Thursday evening and then a Mother's Day special farmers market in Stuart on Friday morning.  Yesterday and today I'm cleaning up the shop and working on getting fiber together for Sedalia.  Last night I went over to visit with a friend who is putting together an interesting new living space on their land in Vesta.  They are hoping to do workshops and have all sorts of interesting ideas.

Sedalia is this coming weekend, and Natalie and I signed up for the Carolina Fiber Fest the next (May 21 to 23).  So come out and visit with us!  And I almost forgot: Nancy did an awesome write-up about my presentation at the Women's Wellness Weekend at Fairystone Park a couple of weeks ago.  I even like the pictures!

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