Sunday, September 23, 2007

OFFF we went!

Yesterday was full of fiber, friends, and fun. But then what do you expect from a trip to the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival?

By the time Chrispy and I arrived, Bobbie had already staked out a lovely area for us, suitably located under one of the big oak trees near the music and central to the main shopping areas and restrooms. Perfect!

The day is pretty much a haze because of all those fiber fumes, but I can report that I managed not to spend all the mortgage money. LOL First stop? The Blue Moon booth, where I limited myself to one skein of STR lightweight and one giant hank of a bamboo/merino blend. (I'll have stash enhancement pictures soon, I promise.) A visit to A Swell Yarn Shop was a requirement. I've been wanting some of their duet sock yarn for a while and they had the XXL skeins which are generous in size to accommodate those of us with (ahem!) large feet. I limited myself to one skein, but now that I know where to find them, who knows what the future will bring!

I'm not sure what order the rest of the day took, it's all kind of blurry!

Somewhere along the way, I visited Butternut Woolens. The subtle colors of sock yarn were gorgeous, especially the new greys, but I couldn't decide. Finally I got swayed by two skeins of a very pretty angora mix. It's a lovely combination of blue, white, and brown and I think it is destined to be at least one pair of fingerless gloves or maybe a warm scarf.

At noon, Tammy's daughter Kim participated in the Junior Spinning Contest. Kim is a very, very accomplished spinner! Tammy says Kim learned to spin just from watching Tammy and was proficient almost as soon as she sat down at the wheel. That's Kim, second from the left in the green top. These four young ladies were the only participants in the contest. A small contingent, but all quite determined and talented. They had 15 minutes to spin as much as they could. Then they were judged on such things as how much yardage they created, the consistency of the spun yarn, and a few other things that I can't remember. Kim created something like 59 yards of beautifully spun, fine yarn. She didn't win the big prize (a new spinning wheel), but she did win some roving and a t-shirt. All of them got ribbons. The spinning wheel went to the gal on the end who was using a drop spindle made from an old CD. She seemed to really be struggling with it, but boy was she determined! Now she'll have a wheel to really get going, which is very cool.

While we watched them spin, I remarked to Tammy that Kim looked so relaxed and so good at what she was doing that I bet she could easily get a job spinning for one of the local folks who markets handspun yarns. And you know what? At the end of the contest, when the prizes were handed out, the very person I was thinking about offered Kim work doing just that! It's pretty exciting. Of course school comes first, and I'm sure there are other considerations, too, but it's wonderful to see someone doing something they love and getting the opportunity to be paid to do it -- especially when that someone is almost 14 and the whole world is opening up to her. It warms my heart to see young people blossoming and Kim is definitely doing that.

OFFF wasn't the only thing happening at the fairgrounds this weekend. At the other end of the property, there was a good-sized contingent of Irish Wolfhound owners having a show of their own. This guy and his owner wandered down to browse through the fiber booths. Actually, this dog isn't an Irish Wolfhound, it's a cousin breed, but I can't for the life of me remember what breed the owner said it was! I do know, though, that it was a beautiful animal with a wonderfully calm disposition and seemed quite at home among all the knitters, spinners, and merchants.

Among the things I learned on Saturday, is the story of the kidnapped can opener. I'm not sure how I missed this story in the blogiverse, but I did. I couldn't figure out why Duffy kept wandering around calling out, "Looking for the can opener! Anyone have the can opener?" Silly me suggested she try asking at one of the food booths! LOL It turns out that she was supposed to meet the former holders of the can opener, which has now been deemed "Mr. Pink," at noon and they were running a little late. She thought perhaps they couldn't find her and that's why she was wandering and calling out for a can opener to magically appear. Anyway, it finally did make an appearance and as I understand it had quite a time socializing all around the festival area. Here we see it posing with Judy, along with it's very own small WIP and our PDX Knitting Bloggers sign.

There was so much more! I have more pictures in my Flickr album, although I probably should have taken a lot more. In my defense I was under the influence of not only all those fiber fumes, but the enabling presence of Bobbie and Barbara urging me on to the spinning portion of the fiber arts. I've already signed up for two spinning classes at The Knitting Bee next month and will be using a wheel generously loaned to me by Chrispy (via Bobbie who has been using it but just bought a wheel from Barbara), so it didn't really take a lot of effort for them to persuade me to buy some rovings.

I purchased four ounces of beautiful silk/merino roving from the Aurora Colony Fiber Arts booth. Then Bobbie took me to another booth (sorry, I don't remember which it was) where they had a hamper full of miscellaneous superwash wool rovings. For $14, you could pick out a pound of whatever combination of colors you wanted. Bobbie, being the extremely accomplished enabler she is, dug and dug in that hamper and pulled out some lovely shades of turquoise, blue, green, white, and a bit of fuschia for me. At that price, even if I'm not very good at spinning when I start, I won't mind making mistakes. Next year, maybe I'll be one of the spinners under the oak tree at OFFF!

Oh! When I was in line for lunch (choice of lamb kabobs, lamb stew, lamb sandwich, lamb sausage, lamb. . . you get the idea), there were some lovely ladies in front of me. As knitters tend to do, we chatted a bit. The subject of the Madrona Fiber Arts retreat came up. They had not heard of this and I couldn't remember details (I haven't attended it myself -- yet). I gave them one of my blog cards and said I'd mention it here, so ladies -- silly me didn't get or remember your names -- here it is! Yes, I'm an enabler, too!

And while you're looking at that, consider this. . . Sea Socks Cruise & Yarn Expedition 2008. We'll be sailing from Seattle on May 9, 2008 aboard the Celebrity Infinity and heading to Alaska, where we'll be visiting Ketchikan, the Hubbard Glacier, and Juneau, then stopping in Victoria, BC on the way back home. I cannot wait. The link above goes to the blog with lots of information and you can find port and pricing details here. Tempting? Well, it gets better. Patricia, the organizer, has already scouted out yarn-related excursions for us in every port, including opportunities to get your hands on some qiviut. And along the way, you'll get a goody bag that promises to be full of great stuff and instruction from folks like our own Chrissy Gardiner and Amy Singer. Mmmmmm!

Oh, my. I just discovered another cool thing! the Aurora Colony Handspinners Guild will be holding their annual workshop day on October 27th in Canby. There are lots of classes to choose from, including begining spinning, a dyeing workshop, and needle felting. You can see details about the event here. Costs are very reasonable. Hmmm. The two spinning classes I'm signed up for are on October 19 and 26. I think I might have to pack the wheel up and head to Canby for the workshop on the 27th as well!

Uh, Bobbie? Are you listening? SEE WHAT YOU STARTED???? LOL

It's been a busy weekend. After a full day Saturday at OFFF, I went to the World Forestry Center and dealt roulette for three hours at a fundraiser for Animal Aid, a local no-kill shelter. It was fun, but by the time I got home around 10:30, I was bushed! Today started out kind of slow for me and then I had to head downtown to deal blackjack at another fundraiser. Busy, busy -- but in a good way. :)

Tomorrow, I will try to get time to take pictures of the loveliness I acquired at OFFF so you can all drool on your keyboards.


MonicaPDX said...

Great post, Cindy! Nice to hear about things I missed while off shopping. Hurray for Kim, very cool. It was so nice to see you Saturday, and thanks for the taste of the lamb; I did successfully get a sandwich before the end of the day. ;) Now I've gotta go look at your pix on Flickr. (Btw, that was a Scottish Deerhound you got the pic of. Glad you tracked him [her?] down and got a photo; first one I've ever seen in real life. Beautiful!)

MonicaPDX said...

PS - that booth where you got the $14/lb. superwash roving? Pretty sure it's the one in your pic of the deerhound. The sign says Mountain-Shadow... (the end runs out of the photo.) You can see the hamper of the Dragon Ends over there on the left. (I resisted. [g] But it was tempting!)

Alwen said...

Aren't fiber festivals great? My money seems to run out long before my enthusiasm!

Annie said...

Just a quick note. I notice your group at a table I'd been spinning at all day Friday. You might remember me asking if you'd found any glasses around it? Well evidently , one of you did because I sat down there on Sunday morning early and in the middle of the table were my glasses!! SO THANK YOU to whoever of you found them. Thought My husband would kill me fer sure. You saved my life.

Carrie said...

Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing with those of us who didn't make the trek this weekend. Madrona is terrific, by the way!

Carrie said...

Also, the XL Duets contains an amazing amount of yarn. I knit a pair of socks for my brother that are huge, and I still have a ton of yarn left.

Bobbie said...

The bargain bin superwash was from Mountain Shadow Ranch (mountain-shadow-ranchDOTnet).

Shelly said...

Great to meet you Cindy. Can't wait to see what you do with that Rabbit's Foot :)