westward ho!

August 23, 2012

i’m kind of sick.
i’m that kind of sick where spending the day in bed isn’t a choice.
i’m that kind of sick where my body feels the need to be entirely empty.
i’m that kind of sick where i hope mo will just pee on the floor so i won’t have to get out of bed to take him outside.

but for you, blog,
i’ll crawl all the way to the next room
to get my power cord out of my bag
to recall a happier time
just last sunday.

though i’ve been enjoy my summer hermitage,
i discovered lynae and adrienne,
dear friends of the knot hysteria variety,
were coming to my state for the michigan fiber festival.
lynae undertook quite a twitter campaign to ensure my presence.
and if she and drin could come from chicago,
i could make the trip from lansing.

i’m thoroughly unfamiliar with this side of the state
and my initial impressions reminded me a lot of my childhood;
allegan is similar to the small towns i used to frequent as a michigosling:

almont
armada
berville
capac
imaly city

though allegan seems to have held up better.
it felt like time passed a little bit slower there
and has been a lot kinder than in towns of my youth.
once i got over the initial uncanny nostalgia,
i felt right at home at a country fairgrounds
especially at a fiber festival.

the michigan fiber festival is what i’d call a diamond in the rough.
the fairgrounds are perfect for a really large festival,
something comparable in size to rhinebeck, honestly,
but it’s much, much smaller and lower key.
add that to the fact that i arrived at church time
and i got to enjoy the fairgrounds without the stress of the crowds.

perhaps that’s what’s reflected in these photos.
i didn’t feel the need to ‘just document everything’
and sort it all out later as i normally do.
instead, i took a more leisurely approach.
this is what i saw.

wait!

before i continue,
i have to preface this by saying most of these photos were illegally obtained. the man on the loud speaker announced that everything in the booths was proprietary and photography was forbidden. that little admonishment came right before the one telling parents not to let children maul the yarn with their sticky hands. (needless to say, being put in the same category as a child with chocolate-covered digits miffed me to no end) so this is just to warn you that, if you enjoy these photos, you may be aiding (and abetting?) in a crime after the fact. i just feel it’s my responsibility to warn you. and if any vendor sees a photo of her booth and takes issue with it, i’ll be happy to remove your free publicity.

first up
i need this sweater in my life.
it’s sticks and stones by ann hanson knit with briar rose glory days
(as the tag clearly indicates)

briar rose definitely has one of the best booths, aesthetically.
it has a great mix of organization and planned carelessness
(read overflowing baskets of yarn here and there)
i’ve never had the chance to actually look at her stuff
since normally there’s a mob in the booth at rhinebeck.
overall i was drawn to her color aesthetic,
and she has some really nice bases,
but nothing needed to come home with me.
still, it wouldn’t have hurt to throw a ‘hello’ my way
as one of only two people in the booth at the time.
just sayin’. can’t hurt to be friendly.
(don’t worry. you weren’t alone. i wasn’t greeted at most of the booths)

then i saw this old familiar signthis bitch is at every festival.
i swear she must live for these shows. honestly, i loved that she was there. she’s like 10 feet tall and looks exactly like storybook spinner. i totally observe her every time i see her. she has this potent energy that just exudes ‘fiber festival’. someday, i’ll work up the courage to kinnear her, not just her sign. though part of me believes she’s a witch. i’m not sure camera’s will work on her. (her name’s even morgaine for christ’s sake! i’m just sayin’. don’t spill water on her, just in case)

then i yearned for boat shuttles.
the weaving goddess lisa kobeck told me using a boat shuttle will improve my selvedges, so i’ve been in the market for one for a bit.
(she also says buying a floor loom will help, but i need to be realistic)
i knew i wanted something handmade and fancy looking like these guys,
but they were just a bit too pricey for me.
i often forget my taste far exceeds my budget.
i think this display was part of the kessinich loom booth,
but i might be wrong.

i strolled the ‘midway’
(just noticed that little dude in the corner popping his hip. work!)

listened to some real country tunes as i passed the carousel corral

stopped in on miss babs
(if you like that shawl drin’s wearing, go here. she designed it)

miss babs is another one of those booths that’s generally mobbed
so it was nice to be able to take my time and really see her yarn.
again, i left without buying any yarn
(a testament to either my will or my poverty)
but did return for some fiber i just couldn’t pass up.
funny how the only thing i bought was from the place where someone actually said hi to me. it wasn’t the most enthusiastic welcome, but it was nice to have my presence acknowledged.
(these are presents so it doesn’t really count as buying anything right?)

there was this dress
about which i have no information because i was unprepared and had no notebook. i vaguely recall overhearing the pattern is forthcoming in knitty, but that could be total lies. i did give her my card so if she sees this, hopefully she’ll leave a comment and i’ll update the info.
(outtake: i even accidentally kinneared the dress. it needs to be seen!)

there was also this sweater
about which i also have no information
(so i was off my game a little)
again, i gave her my card.
hopefully she sees this.

i saw this coyote
(he looks like he knows, ya know?)

and these foxes
(zing!) i took their photo for my fiber festival friend in absentia, andrea,
who has ‘a thing’ for the farm boys at these fiber events.
thus far, she hasn’t gone home with one.
(that i know of)

then i suddenly found myself right in front of the parade of sheep
in costumes no less.

this girl and her sheep are obviously the best in show.
diy sun costume + diy solar system on your black sheep (space!) = ?
genius.

but i’ve forgotten the best part!
a giant fucking rooster at the entrance!
i take this as a sign tina will one day come with me.
the chicken/rooster is, after all, her totem.

(we visited your yarn at the fold booth, tina!)
all in all a lovely day.

p.s. thanks for being my sugar momma, lynae,
when there was no atm to be found.
p.p.s while i began this post last night, at one point, i just couldn’t go on. i finished it this afternoon. i’m feeling better, but i’m still afraid to eat.

on dec 1,
at midnight,
the bitches get stitches world aids day project will go live.

i could never have pulled this off without the help of my gracious sponsors. they run the gambit from big yarn companies, to independent dyers & designers, to some of my favorite knitter/friends.

with their help, i have gathered an amazing array of loot to give away to raise money for the pittsburgh aids task force.

make sure to be here on december 1 to find out how you can enter to win one of these amazing prizes.

***you will only have the 24 hour window on world aids day to enter, so make sure you’re here on dec 1***

below is just the list;
there will be a gallery of photos for you to drool over later.

dah loot!

1. 5 e-patterns
sponsor – spillyjane

2. 3 e-patterns
sponsor – jane richmond

3. 2 braids of gradients merino/silk top – 1 in the ‘bitter lime to rose’ color way & 1 in the ‘copper to verdigris’ color way
sponsor – fiber optic yarns

4. 2 skeins of kashmir sock yarn – 1 in the ‘blood moon’ color way & 1 in the ‘pomegranate’ color way
sponsor – fiber optic yarns

5. 1 skein manchester sock yarn in the ‘kimuru’ color way & 1 braid of 80/20 merino silk top in the ‘pasch’ color way.
sponsor – into the whirled

6. a pair of herrevott man mittens, hand-knit by misa erder & a copy of her original pattern, vagabond fingerless mitts
sponsor – misa erder aka craftivore

7. 3 skeins of handspun yarn – 1, 2, & 3
sponsors – yarn old kim, sarah aka paknitwit, and natalie servant designs

8. 1 sock pattern of your choice and one skein of sock yarn to knit it
sponsor – blue moon fiber arts

9. the mothership, handmade by yokoo
sponsor – yokoo scarves & accessories

10. 1 skein abstract fiber hepburn in marionberry color way
1 skein abstract fiber picasso in smith rock color way
2 patterns from fibre isle international, suitable for dk weight yarn
3-1 oz packettes unicorn power scour
1-2 oz jar woolen rabbit hand cream
3 jul pedestal buttons
1 stonewall bonnet pattern, plus the yarn to make it, snuggle, from the alpaca yarn company
sponsor – yarnsuperhero llc

11. 1-7 small shawls ebook, 1-7 small shawls y2 subscription, 1 pattern only subscription for the pins and lace club x1
sponsor – designs by romi

12. 1 skein hand-dyed serenity 20 sock yarn from zen yarn garden, in the exclusive ‘go pittsburgh’ color way
sponsor – natural stitches

13. 2 skeins of tess designer yarnssuperwash lace
100% Merino, approx 500 yards each
sponsor – yvonne a.k.a. knitnat

14. 2 skeins of wabi sabi yarns trumpet vine dk in magenta hibernating colorway, & three patterns: lilas cardigan, gemma, & cloudy sunday
sponsor – hilary smith callis

15. 1-4oz braid of yarn hallow mixed merino top in the ‘red rocks and spruce’ color way
sponsor – the spinning loft

16. 6 e-patterns – french press felted slippers, breckenridge cowl, montebello texture cowl, aravis, 3-in-1 felted baby booties, and legacy
sponsor – french press knits

17. ebook subscription for knitspot’s upcoming “bare naked club”
sponsor – knitspot

18. $15 gift card for knitspot’s online pattern store
sponsor – knitspot

19. $15 gift card for knitspot’s online pattern store
sponsor – knitspot

20. 3 skeins of kolláge yarns’ luscious in the ‘cherry’, ‘walnut’, ‘color burst’ color ways
sponsor – kolláge yarns

21. 2 skeins of roxi in the ‘signature red’ color way by the grinning gargoyle & 1 copy of schmetterling
sponsor – the grinning gargoyle & mushroom knits

22. HizVest e-pattern
sponsor – stephen hizknits houghton & blue moon fiber arts

23. 1 pair of hand-knit socks knit with silkie socks that rock, hand dyed by me.
sponsor – yours truly

24. 15 balls of cashmere trend in red
sponsor – skacel

25. 1 addi click set in your choice of bamboo, turbo, or lace
sponsor – skacel

whew! now that’s a list, bitches!

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