Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair!
OK, this knitting/yarn addiction thing has gone drastic. On Friday Oct. 21, I arose at 5:15 a.m. (::shudder::) in order to get an early start on the drive to Asheville for SAFF. Being a dedicated night owl, this was painful -- but the yarns beckoned! Cynthia Johnson, owner of Two Knit Wits, my favorite LYS in the whole wide world, fired up her RV and drove four of us to the fair. If you gotta get up at the butt-crack of dawn to get somewhere, I highly recommend getting there via RV. Once you're awake enough to be reasonably coherent, you can knit during the drive.
Anyway, we arrived at the Western North Carolina AG Center shortly after 9:00 a.m. This was the first sign we saw:
Um, yeeeeaaah, this was DEFINITELY not the tractor show. The main building was stuffed with vendors selling everything from raw was-on-the-sheep-yesterday fiber to breathtakingly beautiful dyed yarns of every weight and color. Oh, the notions and the wheels and the looms and angora bunnies!
The main building looked like this:
Note that there are vendors on the upper level as well as the floor!
There was also another arena stuffed with vendors, and over in the animal barns you had sheep and alpacas:
We spent a few hours doing our first run of the booths, then went back to the RV to eat lunch (another huge benefit of RVing a trip like this is that you've got a fridge for perishables, and electricity to run the slow cooker, so you can have a really good lunch without paying concession stand prices. Oh, and the on-board bathroom is a major bonus, too!) It was freezing cold in the morning, but warmed up to reasonably comfortable by midday.
Although I wanted to bring home ALL THE THINGS, I limited myself to one skein of sock yarn--and a few T-shirts and a sweatshirt. The prices were great, and the vendors were all very friendly. And the admission fee? Only $3!
On the way home, we swung through Black Mountain to stop by the Black Mountain Yarn Shop. (What? It was there, right off Hwy 40, and - you know - the millions of yards of yarn we'd seen at the show weren't quiiiiiite enough to sate our appetites.) We didn't stay long, though, because we had this little cutie waiting in the RV:
He's a 9-week-old English Angora rabbit, and he's now lives at Two Knit Wits. His name is Hank. (Get it?)
In addition to my new sock yarn and shirts, I came home with approximately eleventy thousand ideas for dyeing yarn. My dear friend Jane, she who is responsible for encouraging me to set foot on this path to yarny addiction, had given me a big box of fiber dyes some years ago. I got into them, starting Googling for instructions and dug out my book on dyeing. Most of these dyes are over 20 years old, but a very nice (and helpful) guy named Jesse at Cushing's Dyes tells me that shelf life is not an issue, and I should be OK using them to dye yarn. Sooo I've got four skeins in the pre-soak stage, and I'm about to begin some mad experimentation with colors and technique.