holy wow. so, forgive me for being behind the ball on this one, but thank goddess i made it (not a typo). since i haven't really been doing my crafty duty in the real world - or virtual world, i guess (only on the homefront), i totally missed that this was on the horizon. lucky for me, it took place where i live = portland, oregon! i didn't make it there as soon as i had hoped, but i got there saturday and had to go back sunday. i have not smiled so hard in a long, long time. wow. (oops. i said that already, didn't i? it was just that good!)
now let's see if i can give an inkling of the fabulousness that was - i was all a-swoon, so it may be something of a blur. after a zombie-like pass through of the marketplace (actually i think i accidentally kept going the same route a few times looking for this specific shop...), i asked the people up front for help locating the yarnery. this was the place i went to buy yarn in college. it was the place i purchased an insane amount of encore to make marc a blanket (at the time, i thought he was allergic to wool - some sweaters just make him itch. oops). it's sort of like where i learned to knit, and i still have some patterns i bought from their stock of singles. sentiment aside, i still had a card with store credit - and things being how they are, well, the longshot of presenting this tattered card was within my capacity.
still good! i almost wept, i swear. and i almost bought up a skein of that bright green mohair that i made into a beret back in the day. that hat made everyone think my hair was lime green (it was purple, well blond then purple...then black. ahh, college). i put it back, cause i can actually get that yarn anywhere. what i did get were some awesome felted patterns, locally designed in mn and found online here: woollysomething i linked to the page with the patterns i picked, though she has many more. i chose the owl and the gnome + mushroom. and i couldn't resist running to my local yarn store (lys for those of you into it) with a frequent buyer gift card to get yarn for the owl and start knitting it up! yes, another project in the works... and not yet finished. hee hee.
so the next thing i remember (and i could be wrong here), i was dazzled by the display of spindles, next to a harry potter poster that made me think they might be magic wands. lo and behold, they are! not only that, there was an amazing sorceress spinning away nearby, and she actually taught me how to spin there on the spot. when i am blessed with more fortunes, i will be bringing my business back her way, because she was incredibly nice and wonderful and she had some absolutely beautiful fibers. you can check out her wares here: fiberoptic i can't thank her enough for taking the time to teach me!
so spindles, it turns out (ha!), are not only spinn-y. they are rather spendy! i kept trying a small (cheaper) one, but it wasn't working out, and kimber (fiber optic yarns, see above) told me that you would know when you found your spindle - maybe i would even like a turkish spindle that makes a ball with a center pull? whaaa? i was actually very attracted to one in particular, but went home to talk it over with marc and play the gamut sunday.
i ran into a friend from lll, whom i didn't know was a fiber artist, whose fibers i am also ogling! our babies (who are now more accurately described as boys, really) are close in age, so perhaps we will be able to connect again for a playdate (that *may* include wool...). her shop is here: knittedwit and she has a blog link there as well! it also just so happens that she connected with the lovely people of the yarnery, who are now carrying her fibers! yay! she also pointed me to a 'rock & rest' room where colden and i could take a break. he kept saying, "more yarn! more ladies! boys?" the boys were fewer and farther between, but we met some. we also did a quick viewing of the sock museum. i took pictures, but they're so inferior, that i won't share them, just visit the site.
at that point, it was clear that colden was pretty tired of being wrapped on my back, and we had to get out of there. on our way, i saw those infamous ravelers (jess & mary-heather, specifically), and was so struck i couldn't even say hi back. eek. then i saw the yarn harlot conversing with another sock summit team member that i probably should have recognized, and i was floored. i had no idea i would be so starstruck.
back on sunday, i went for the spindle with marc's permission. i checked out some others, and got some good advice from another spindle shopper. the people who attended were just about the nicest ever, and everyone said so. she advised me not to get one too small and i know she gave me more valuable advice that helped my decision-making. i also tagged along to see the turkish spindles: jenkins oh la la. if i had seen them first, i think i would have gone that way, but my heart already belonged to another. some day though...
here's a pic of me trying to test spindles out. i think you can see how crazily excited i am, and how over it colden is. thanks goes out to gail for taking this one and sending it to me. she takes beautiful photos and knits gorgeous socks (and other things too!), both of which can be viewed at her blog: weheartyarn
i don't seem to have a picture of the spindle, but you are sure to see it here in spinning adventures to come. right now all i have to spin is the rest of that beauteous camel/silk and some straight up white wool roving (though i am dipping my toes back in natural dyes again... so it could become something incredible too). the stats on the spindle, for anyone who might be into this sort of thing, are: whorl: 2 3/4; mulberry (israel) w/ ebony- inlay: silver - shaft: 10" goncalo alves - weight: 40 grm 1 1/4 ozs. - made by avi wasserman, hand-crafted dropspindles in israel. purchased atthefoldatmc (if you're looking, it has dots on it and is similar to 7, 14 and 15). intense, huh?
i also went back to the boys of laurelhill for a treat. i chose an ebony crochet hook, made from an old instrument. all of their fancy wood needles are made from salvaged finery - instruments, furniture. and beautiful. the double-pointed sock needles made of forest palm were slightly bendy, which could be advantageous if you end up sitting or stepping on your needles (ahem), but boy did it feel strange to knit with them!
you probably can't see all the great things in this booth below (city-knitting), but i took a picture hoping to get a good shot of their banner. each letter knit up differently in a really eye-catching and sweet sign. i actually bought a pattern for felted bootie/slippers, since i've made a few pair and haven't loved them. theirs looked solid. but they were really popular for their 'know your cuts of lamb' t-shirts (check out the site. so funny).
i didn't get pictures of many other things (like the aforementioned a verb for keeping warm), and i am sure i am missing many other wonderful conversations and booths and smiles. like the woman at berroco who photographed colden because he is the cutest baby ever - she said if we were on the east coast, he could definitely model for them. it was simply spectacular. and i didn't even attend classes, or the many other going-ons.
oh, and that goddess reference up top? well, none other than barbara walker was present. and as i was about to leave on sunday (having totally over-extended colden's good graces), whom should i see coming down the escalator? none other than barbara walker, inventor of ssk (slip slip knit), barbara walker, author of the skeptical feminist, barbara walker, author of restoring the goddess, and also author of the four knitting treasuries most well-known and widely used. i was scooping colden up, as he was trying to climb the descending escalator, and i locked eyes with her. did i smile? did i bow down? struck again, i gathered up colden and our things and walked dazedly out of the convention center. wow.