Sunday, June 12, 2005

happiness is.....

- the advice Laurie sent me before the fiber frolic: "Have a delightful, guiltfree time at the Frolic. Give my best to Rosemary and Julia. Buy."
- meeting up with Julia, who re-taught me how to join fiber to create a more "seamless' join
- Liz, who is so thoughtful that she made sure to get an extra spoon so she could share her black raspberry with chocolate chips frozen yogurt with me (I owe not melting away into a pile of protoplasm to her and wish I'd been able to spend more time with the virtual local)
- Rosemary teaching me the sexy join, how to ply, and not laughing too hard while I giggled at the process
- having a bundle (it's a wee bit small to be a skein) of yarn that I made
- sheets and pillowcases that were dried on clothslines outside; I've been waiting 8 months for that smell
- my parent's midlife crisis

My time at the frolic (albeit short) was good. The sun somehow got the idea that it needed to make up for lost time and was hot enough for both May AND June, and the humidity left everyone looking like we'd all just run several miles, or as though we were glistening Goddesses of fiber. I thought I'd stick around for all of the afternoon, but wimped out after a few hours and retreated to my air conditioned car for a trip back to my parents house (where a glass of fresh brewed ice tea was waiting for me). I wish it had been a bit cooler, or less humid, and not just for me but for the people there selling things; it's hard to be excited about wool when you feel like you have too many clothes on while wearing a t-shirt and shorts. The venders all do better when it's cooler, and I'm hoping they were able to make up for lost profits today.

I started out watching a sheep dog demo. I love sheep dogs, and someday hope to fall madly in love with someone who loves sheep and sheep dogs, and maybe (hopefully?) already has both. (the joy of being single is that I can dream - I'm choosing to try and think of silver linings; anyone know how to meet a sheep dog trainer?) I could have stayed there and watched them work all day, but it was hot and I wanted to see if I could run into other people. As I was contemplating leaving the demo area a sheep jumped over the fence of the entire pen, and then a dog jumped over after it. They called the dog back in, and the sheep (after a quick glance around) took off. Everyone stood there stunned as the sheep ran off, and the guy running the demo wasn't sure how to react. In 30 years of demoing sheep dogs he's never had a sheep jump the fence before. There's a first time for everything!

In terms of wares I left with a few things (because doctor's orders were to "Buy!") but now wish I'd picked a few more things up. (I blame it on wandering around by myself, without enablers ) I met up with fellow bloggers at The Woolen Rabbit's booth and couldn't leave three "balls" of the most beautiful green roving I've ever seen. I think it's 40% angora (I'm going to double check that after other people post pictures of what they got, because I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm not sure what the fiber content is; lesson learned, always write down what it is at the time, because I won't remember it after the fair.) It's so cloudy today that the real colors aren't showing up, but the pics give you an idea what it looks like. (it's very very soft too...that's part of why I couldn't leave them there.) Kim was wonderful and patient while there was a quick spindle lesson going on in front of her area - I think I will be buying things from her for a looong time. (the soap I got is going to be hard to use because I'm not sure what I'm going to do when it's gone...I suppose I'll just have to order more?) I also got a chance to meet Woolybuns Chris and a few of her (beautiful!!!!) rabbits.

I wandered in and out of the vendor barns for awhile before buying things; I was willing to buy what caught my eye, but wanted to get enough of something to have a plan for what I could do with it. I made a point to get "beginners" roving so I wouldn't be disappointed with spindling attempts, and next year I'll probably leave with more fiber. I picked up 7 skeins of the Barlett wool for a cabled sweater for me. I was more sure of the color yesterday, and once I start knitting with it I'm sure I'll love it even more. (though it did help that my mom said I could indeed wear the turquoise-ish shade that it is!) The rabbit mug is from Amy's famed King's Pottery, and was an impulse purchase. I'm calling it my "boards are done" mug, and love using it.

Rosemary had offered to show me how to ply, and she made good on that offer. I learned how to make an Andean bracelet and used my spindle to ply the singles together. The process was magic, and I'm anxious to spin up some more so I can do it again. I have no idea what I'll do with the finished yarn, but it's not really about that, is it?

My dad keeps giving me a wary eye and saying "you're making yarn now? you can't buy it anymore?" when I'm at my parent's house. I simply say, "yup, and I think I'm going to get a spinning wheel later this summer." He's never really sure how to reply to that. This leads me to say a bit about my parent's midlife purchases, and how I feel I can justify such a purchase. My dad had motorcycles after he was out of high school, and was riding one when he met my mom (their 30th first date anniversary is tomorrow) and he rode until they decided to settle down and think about a family. He's always said he'd get another motorcycle, and he waited until we kids were more or less out of the house and on our own.

It was actually my mom that pushed him back into looking at (and eventually buying) a motorcycle; her ulterior motive is that she too is going to ride this time. Yesterday she took the state run class and came home with all her gear: a protective (think the terminator) jacket, helmet and gloves. She has a Honda Rebel bike that they bought a few weeks ago (complete with Lawless Rebel painting) and my dad has a Harley Davidson Road King. The two of them are just smitten with the whole project, and I can only look at them and laugh (and remind them to ride safe because I don't want to see either of them wind up in an ER). They are investing a lot into the gear, the bikes and such, and after seeing their whole process I think I can justify a spinning wheel. My next disbursement of "living funds" comes out in August, and even after I pay off my credit cards from this summers adventures, I will have plenty to live on. (and this gives me to the summer to look at them and figure out if/what I'd want to start on...)

Overall it was a good weekend, and not a bad way to recover from brain mush. I hope to meet up with Liz again this summer, and will see about another trek to Boston before rotations start (and life as I know it ends). We have another three weeks of "classes" (a few hours a week of small group work and required lectures) and then I'm officially free for the summer!

(in my mind summer has already started; this is affirmed with the pile of "fun" library books I have sitting here next to me. The pickings at my local (parent's) library were slim, but I've got enough to get through the next two weeks....)


Anonymous Etherknitter said...

WHat's a sexy join?

Sounds like a wonderful frolic.

5:24 AM  
Blogger J. said...

I am so glad to see that you survived. My dad always gives us a hard time about wool to but we are dragging him to a fiber fest. Poor boy will never be the same.
Enjoy your new treats and the study free time that you have before you have to start up again.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

It was so great to meet you, Kristen, and I do hope that we can meet up in Belfast soon (with a detour out to the farmette, of course).

My parents' midlife thing was a motorcycle, too (a very similar story), only theirs is a classic BMW w/a sidecar. Oh, and an Indian. And a Triumph...

Your first plied yarn looks great (so much better than mine...I'll show you if you promise not to laugh too hard). And that roving from Kim spins like a dream!

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Danielle said...

I hope you do make it to Boston this summer! If you do, let me know and we can meet up. I STILL haven't had time to practice much with my spindle, but hope to play with it soon!

10:30 AM  

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