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:

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.


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!) = ?

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.

15 Responses to “westward ho!”

  1. Nicole Says:

    Sorry to hear you’re so sick. At least it was after all the fun! I went last year and really enjoyed myself, but was disappointed that I wasn’t greeted at most booths either. Funny though – I chatted with (and bought from) someone at the Briar Rose booth, and was ignored at Miss Babs. Guess it depends on who’s working! I’m hoping to go back next year and take classes again – they were excellent!

  2. Susie Says:

    Hope you’re all better soon. Love Miss Babs! Just finished a Color Affection with one of her kits, I suck at putting colors together, and started another yesterday. Hoping to see her at Rhinebeck and perhaps put something together myself.

  3. Sue Says:

    I almost spewed when I read what you wrote about Morgaine. She is most definitely a good witch. Unfortunately, I missed you and your posse- or I would have kinneared or just flat out grabbed my camera (which went wonky and wouldn’t turn off) and done a Steven A photo shoot. I agree it, it was like a light version of Maryland or Rhinebeck.

  4. cauchy09 Says:

    Yikes, I hope you’re feeling better! Are you sure that Morgaine didn’t put a spell on you?

  5. Kris Says:

    What is it lately, you aren’t the only one with tummy problems, drink plenty of fluids, peppermint tea is really good.Tea and toast, poached eggs, and maybe some .bananas. Wisconsin sheep and wool festival is the second weekend in September, maybe will see you there.

  6. Cinnamon Says:

    Bleh, I hope you feel better! I did throughly enjoy this post though. Especially all your tips to the people working the booths ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Kerry Says:

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better! I’m really bummed that you didn’t get warm and fuzzy at the show. I probably would have freaked the shit out of you if I saw you! I recognized Queer Joe when he stopped by my LYS booth at Rhinebeck and I had to hold myself back from jumping across the table. Meeting the writers of the knitting blogs I follow is like meeting rock stars. Of course meeting knitters in general is always quite a thrill for me. It’s always so nice to be with your own! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Caitlyn Says:

    Hey! I’m the girl with the dress. It’s from Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2011, and it’s called #07 Mohair Lace Dress. For some reason it’s not for sale on Vogue’s website, so one would need to buy the back issue to get it. The yarn was something I dyed myself. Here’s my project page: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Caitlyn1701/07-mohair-lace-dress

    My friend Elizabeth was the one in the rainbow cardigan. She designed the cardigan herself, and the yarn was handspun from superwash merino, dyed by a local dyer.

    (I’m going to steal your pictures and put them in my project page. Hope that’s ok.)

  9. Anonymous, too Says:

    Feel better soonest — or consider training Mo to use a litter box!

    The fair looks like it was small enough to be both manageable and fun. The sheep parade winner was lucky Franklin’s Delores wasn’t there! I, too, am envious of the Sticks and Stones sweater and the combination of skill and time possessed by whoever knitted that dress.

    And that coyote brought back bad memories of some that kept me up nights, a long time ago on a relative’s farm. The coyotes kept trying to raid the chicken coop, which was about 20-30 feet away from the guest bedroom’s window. The relatives joked I was turning into some kind of vampire, because I was sleeping all day and threatening to kill coyotes at night!

  10. Elizabeth Says:

    Hi — I’m Elizabeth with the rainbow cardigan! As Caitlyn already said, it was handspun and a random design I pretty much made up as I went along. It was nice meeting you and I hope you feel better! (Also, I was greeted at a lot of the booths — maybe that was the sweater’s fault?)

  11. sonyaphilip Says:

    I followed the link over from Cauchy09’s blog and have to let you know, I am fortunate enough to live within a short drive of the home of Carolina Homespun, bought my wheel, drum carder and many other things there. Morgaine is AMAZING. She does indeed live for fiber festivals, she loads up her cats into a motor home and roadtrips it out. She has the pagan-wiccan-goddess thing down and more textile knowledge than you can shake a stick at and very generous about passing it on. Gush, gush, gush I know!

  12. Kathi Says:

    I’ve lurked on your blog for some time now and thought I’d pop in to say “hi.” First off, I hope you feel better soon. It sucks being sick in the summer.

    Elizabeth may have something going there with being greeted at every booth. It must have been the beautiful rainbow sweater. I’ll be going to our Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival next month. Hopefully the Oregonians will shout out a little more love.

    That rooster reminds me of my childhood. My parents owned a restaurant that specialized in chicken. We had a big white Ford pick up with a huge rooster bolted down in the back of it. When we would participate in parades (it was IL, everyone participated in parades) my dad would dress up in a chicken costume and sit on top of the rooster waving at everyone. We would sit in the back of the truck throwing out candy and trying not be too embarrassed about our dad being in a chicken suit sitting on top of a giant rooster.

  13. Natalie Says:

    Looks like a good time, despite you apparently wearing some kind of cloak of invisibility. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  14. Lynae Says:

    I’m so happy my twitter campaign was successful. You’ll see us at Rhinebeck!!! We’re getting the details worked out and I’ll start that twitter campaign soon. Doing the happy dance here. And you know, I’m always happy to be your sugar mama. Hope you feel better!

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