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Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Disclaimer: Dang! This post is long. So go grab a cup of tea or coffee, take a deep breath, and dive in.

That means Maryland Sheep and Wool to the non-fiber obsessed.

My travelling buddy Mary and I headed out of our burg at 9 am on Friday morning. We (I should say I since I rented the car and did all the driving but I don't mind that) drove 9 hours to get to Frederick MD. There is something special about two people who can talk so much that they never need to turn on a radio for 9 hours. Scary, isn't it? We stayed at a hotel with other knitters from SC, as well as from NY and NJ. I really have to love those Courtyard Marriots. The one in Frederick and the one in Greenville BOTH let us completely take over the lobby and knit away for hours on end. Being the obnoxious, crazy knitters that we are, you would think they would eventually take the free coffee away from us. But no, they have not learned their lesson. We should come with a sign "DO NOT FEED THE KNITTERS CAFFEINE. WE WILL NEVER LEAVE."

Muggles stop and gaze in horror at a group of ladies and men of all ages sit around and knit and, dareIsayit, laugh? Can people who knit really have fun? I mean, there must be SOMETHING wrong with us. Because thank Gawd to some peoples' learned perverted sense of feminism, the domestic arts JUST AREN'T DONE ANYMORE, right? We have been saved from them, haven't we? I do have to say, that fortunately on this trip we left the wine alone. However, (as mentioned in my last post) we would have been WAY outperformed in this regard by a wedding party. (And another aside: Young ladies, if you think you are way sexy and bold when you are stumbling drunk, and that everyone loves you...please think twice before accosting strangers on an elevator. Especially those with needles. We are friendly sorts, but don't be rude. Oh, and lay off the tanning booths/sprays. It does not look natural... :) )

Anyway, fellow knitters, do share the love and stay at Courtyard Marriots since they love us. So please give them your business.

We woke up at 7 in the morning both mornings, left the hotel by 7:45 am. I mean that rocks, doesn't it? Two women who can shower AND eat breakfast in 45 minutes? I am so proud of us...all those 2 minute showers in the Army have paid finally paid off! No, I did not take 2 minute showers, now that I am a civilian I can handle like 5 minute showers...ooooooh, the luxury! Because we were then able to drive the 30 minutes to the fairgrounds and have no problems parking. We even had parking right up front on Sunday. Amazing.

On Saturday, I headed straight for The Fold's booth. Well, honestly not straight, since I stopped to look at some yarn at the entrance. But then Mary reminded me of my mission and obligation to a friend back home in Greenville. Must buy Socks That Rock. Must buy Socks That Rock. So then I headed straight to their booth. I was something like 20th or 30th in line before they opened. Thank goodness I had my choice of all of their colors since I was so early. Ladies, I was the one making a megaphone with my hands asking for two skeins of Fire on the Mountain to be handed back in line to me. Truly, I love you all, but I was getting worried that it would sell out on me before I could even reach it...even though I was only 3 people away. I know it is hard to make a decision on what colorway you want when one is truly overwhelmed by the choices...but it was totally SLOW GOING. I am thankful though that we were able to avoid the STR grabbing frenzy that happened at Stitches East. No mosh pits. Some of us were saying that they should only allow a few people in the booth at a time and to give them a few minutes to choose and then bing! you are done. I honestly think that would be the best approach. Because there are some people out there who kept wandering back and forth to the point that they never left the booth and others couldn't come in. (I know I am exaggerating here.) There is a point where you should figure it out and it is only fair to others that you have a time limit or some other system...maybe those later in line would have a prayer then of getting a skein...just in case you forgot to get one under the time pressure. :) Anyway, I think the people who took the longest were the ones who were toward the front of the line. I guess if you think you earned the right to be there first, you can be leisurely. But, understand y'all, leisure and STR DO NOT GO HAND IN HAND!
Anyhoo, I have often been told I am too much of an optimist, and care too much about sharing for the greater good of the community. Which explains my comments above.

The STR for the friend, Seastone and Fire on the Mountain.

STR for sale to friends: Little Bunny Foo Foo (sold!) and Cracked Canyon. I tend to go a little bonkers on STR, so I pick a few colors and sell at cost to my friends.

After The Fold, I was left to the rest of the festival on a more leisurely schedule. I wandered through everywhere at least twice I think. And then again on Sunday. I had a few shopping missions that I was on:

MISSION #1: Try not to go crazy buying sock yarn for self.

Yeah, right. Well, see below. Not too bad.

From L to R: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Wild Raspberry. STR Fire on the Mountain. Cloverhill Yarn in Cloverhill. I did buy a Tess' Yarns baby Lace Leaf Cardigan pattern that uses sock yarn. It is one of my plans to use up all this darn sock yarn.

MISSION #2: Yarn for sock yarn swap pal.

First I choose the Cloverhill shown above, but then thought better of it. I mean, really, you are thinking that sock yarn is more my taste, right? Right. You are so right and thank you for pointing that out to me. So now this sock yarn is MINE.

So now here is the real sock yarn for the swap. She says she hates pastels but likes lavender. Unfortunately, lavender is not a popular sock yarn color this season. Don't ask me how they decide what is IN season. I am sure the dyers look at fashion magazines as well as follow their own muses, but lavender is NOT IN. This was the only real other choice other than KPPPM. And anyone can find KPPPM, but who can get their hands on Sheldridge Farms? Not many on the East Coast. Plus it is super soft and quite heavenly. The swap theme is May Flowers, so I hope it is flowery and bright enough.

MISSION #3: Find yarn for a Rogue pullover.

I was auditioning Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair since I had read online that it made a beautiful rogue. And they were going to be there at MDSW. But honestly, after I felt it and looked at it and the yardage vs price, it was just not rocking my world. So I shopped around. I probably should have picked up some Peace Fleece worsted at $6.20/sk sale price, but by the time I settled on that, they did not have enough yardage in colors that I liked. So I figured out that I will probably do it in some Lamb's Pride Worsted, which I totally adore as a yarn. Since I need a wool with a touch of mohair, it should work. And it comes in so many colors, one can be REALLY picky as to what they can choose. So I left MDSW empty handed, but with a better idea of what I will do.

MISSION #4: Find yarn for another Clapotis.

I have already finished one Clapotis this year. And I loved it so much that I decided to step it up a notch and buy more of a luxury yarn that the pattern originally called for. The answer: Tess' Yarns Cultivated Silk and Wool (50/50). I really wanted more of a white to grey to black colorway, but this is the closest she had. I will say it cost me a pretty penny, but I think it is slightly cheaper than the original Lorna's Laces the pattern calls for.

MISSION #5: Try not to go crazy buying something other than sock yarn.

Honestly, I had a coupon for Morehouse Farm, one of my old favorites from my days in NY. Who can resist a coupon? This Melody's shawl is knit in the round with a steek. Too cool. It is Morehouse Merino variegated laceweight. I was torn between this colorway and another with navy blue, forest green and rust. It was too hard, but I could only afford one.

And this yarn was a steal at $6 per hank, normally sells for $16/hank. Gorgeous. By Terra Yarns, called Blue Spruce, 60% merino, 20% Baby Alpaca, 20% silk. It reminds me of home. It will make a lovely scarf or something for me.

MISSION 6: Buy artisan jewelry for Mom's Christmas present.

Durn camera. Sorry. That is two swan heads forming a heart with a celtic knot in the middle. By R.E. Piland.

BONUS MISSION: Buy a present for DH.

C'mon, we all know what this is. To distract him from the fact we bought way too much yarn. Appease him with chocolates, food, yarn for him, or whatever. This time it is in the form of a mug, cause he loves bunnies!

One side of the mug.
The other side of the mug.
Pottery by Greenbridge Pottery. Supernice people with the cutest pottery. Go visit their website for good presents. They let their daughters help draw the designs, like the one above.

Oh yeah, and I only remembered that I had a camera for a brief period. Below is a pic of the crowds on Saturday...the weather started to look stormy and there was a cold wind so it thinned out a bit. Hah! never rained. I guess all of that NW upbringing paid of there...knowing when the rain is just trying to psych you out. That and knowing to always pack a raincoat. :P And lots of lambies being sheared.I forgot to take pics of the 5 new lambs. I am sorry. I will remember next year. They wanted me to bring them home with me, but I just couldn't take them from their mommies. :)

We left the festival around noon on Sunday. I managed to make record time driving back. We were back home in Greenville around 9:30 pm. Even with a big dinner stop at an Outback. I think I drove 85 mph most of the way home. It was weird, no cops! Not even in NC, where they tend to set up camp on I-85.

I present to you a picture of one of my first daylillies of the season.

I am spent.


Isis said...

Wow--sounds like an amazing time. Your pictures are making me drool, which is not pretty.

Diana said...

I am so very jealous! I know it was all more than fantasic, fiber in all shapes and sizes galore! I just ordered my first STR so I am waiting patiently for delivey!

Beverly said...

What a haul! I'm sure having a great traveling partner made it even better.

Knitting Mama said...

Do you still have Cracked Crayon for sale?

Let me know! Email me at my hostess email!

Kim said...

What a time you all had! It sounded like so much fun and I am just soooo jealous! Love reading your blog too.

MJ said...

Looks like you had alot of fun! You did great with the yarn choices! Making a list good! Must remember that for Estes-haha! I am so easily distracted!

Love the STR!!!

kat said...

wow that was quite a trip!