This last weekend, I made my annual pilgramage to SAFF near Asheville, NC. It's not a big festival, compared to Rhinebeck or Maryland, but there are plenty of fibery enticements, and the chance to see friends from both near and far that I don't get to meet in person often enough. It was a beautiufl weekend, with perfect weather. The sky was bright blue and cloudless with temperatures ranging from 47 in the mornings up to 82 yesterday afternoon. I suppose it wasn't so good for selling yarn, but it's nice to be able to move between the venues and visit the animals without either freezing or getting drenched, both of which have happened in past years.
Hali, Diana, and I left on Friday afternoon at 4:00 and arrived at our hotel around 8:30. The lobby was full of knitters, and we joined them for a while before heading to bed. Up early on Saturday to head to the venue. We enjoyed looking at all the offerings, but for once, I wasn't buying everything that caught my eye. I had a list, but managed to get less than half of what I was looking for, which all-in-all is a good thing. Here's what finally came home with me after a full day of shopping.
This happened only because I forgot my #5 dpns and needed them to finish the hat I was working on.
Although I haven't spun much in the last couple of weeks, I really enjoyed picking it up again, and couldn't resist this beauty. It's a Greensleeves Spindles Shirley Mjolinor, 1 ounce. Bois De Rose/Canary wood whorl, mahogany shaft.
In the outside venue, I found a big display of hand carved porcelain sheep of all breeds, alpacas, donkeys, camels, llamas, lion with lamb, cattle, animals of the zodiac, and dogs. Each has it's own expressive face and wooly coat. I could not resist this little lamb and I'm saving for a black Scottie dog next year. You can find him and his animals at Colin's Creatures.
At both the last several SAFF events, as well as an art show I went to in Asheville last summer, I've admired Neal Howard's beautiful weavings. I finally dug deep and bought one for myself - this amazing "shawletta" that can be worn several different ways. It's silk! Very, very fine silk. I'm so happy I finally took the plunge.
I've been doing a lot of knitting, as usual, but lately it's all gifts for the holiday that shall not yet be named. One of the items I've made is a baby sweater. I searched for buttons around town, but realized that the antique button vendor would be at SAFF. I didn't want to take the sweater with me, and decided to just bring the leftover yarn. Then inspirations struck (something that doesn't happen often) and I knit a partial button band to bring along. Worked perfectly and I found just the right five buttons.
After the sweater and accompanying hat are given, I'll post a photo.
As for yarn, I was pretty restrained in my purchases. One of these skeins of Gale's Art Shiny Happy is destined to become a cowl - Nell's Shiny Happy Cowl, of course. The other will become something equally as lovely, I'm sure. (I couldn't decide on which one for the cowl, so I of course bought both.) "Black Magic" and "Misty" (the variegated)
Shop vendors always suck me in with their shop models. Clever them! Kismet Fiberworks had some amazingly beautiful gradiant kits, but one of my friends kept me from buying the one of my dreams by doing so herself. But when I spied the model of Oyez and the yarn to make it, all was right with the world. "Lark's Song" (yellow) and "Skein Cocaine" (purple - much lighter than the photo)
The last yarn purchase was some wooly, natural yarn to make myself some mitts and a hat. I had an ideal yarn in my mind, and this one pretty much fit the bill. I would have liked a darker shade of gray, but I'm very happy with this purchase. I'm planning something with cables. It's from Thirteen Mile Lamb & Wool Co. and is soft and sheepy.
The last item is some roving. I want to learn to use a support spindle and learned that I should use a short staple fiber. So I bought two ounces of yak! Oooooh!!
Of course, there were sheep and alpacas and llamas and goats!
Did you stick with me this long? Hope so. After all this excitement, Hali, Diana, Linda, and I went back to the hotel and then out to dinner where I had the best pizza! Never had one with so much cheese!!!!! Then we went back and knit until bedtime. Thanks to the purchase of those dpns up there, I finished my hat - Snowlynn Hat with Cascade 220 superwash. This is an easy pattern, and I like that it comes with sizes from toddler to adult.
We had a lovely Sunday, too. It started with breakfast at IHOP, a SAFF tradition. Then we hit the road for home, stopping at the Spring Hill Diary for ice cream, in Dillard to look around the antique shops, and finally Jaemore Farms to pick up fresh apples, tomatos, pecans, and pumpkins. They had plenty of pumpkins!
The drive back was beautiful, with many of the trees turning autumn hues, shining under the bright blue sky. It was nice to get home, of course, but it really was a fabulous weekend. They've changed the date of SAFF for next year, so I don't know yet if we will be going, but I have plenty of good memories from this year to keep me happy for a long time.
I leave you with two photos, the first of Linda, Hali, and Diana, my partners in all things fiber. (They really are much cuter in person - a gust of wind hit at the wrong time!) The last is the trees in front of my house. Fall is sneaking in around here, too, despite the 84 degree temperature!