Sunday, May 11, 2008

Shepherd's Harvest

Shepherd's Harvest was as delightful as could be. The day started out with an hour+ drive. I'm not a huge fan of driving but the majority of the trip was a straight shot on Hwy 494, so I could crank my music and sing along. If you knew how seldom I drive alone, you'd know what a treat it was for me to sing as loud as I wanted without embarrassed kids groaning and rolling their eyes at me.

I arrived at the Washington County Fairgrounds a little after 9 am. As per my habit, I made a round of all the vendors before buying anything. I even swung by the sheep/goat and llama/alpaca barns before shopping.

I've had a hankering to process my own fleece, so hand cards and a flick card were already on my shopping list, as well as a WPI gauge. Once these were purchased, I was on the hunt for the right fiber to use them on. I took my time looking at different bags of raw fleece and locks for sale. After awhile, I decided that this white Coopworth looked the cleanest and was within my price range. Having been spinning Coopworth already, I knew it would spin nicely for a beginner like me. Being white, it will also allow me to experiment with dyeing locks and blending colors.

By this time, it was after 11 a.m. and I wanted to stop by and say "hi" to Ellen at the MKG booth. The booth was very busy, with many people stopping by to get information about the guild, so we chatted for only a few moments before I had to leave her to fulfill her official duties for the afternoon.

I lugged my purchases back to the car and picked up the wheel and headed into the 4-H building, where the classes were being held. I had plans to meet with Tonyia for lunch and a little shopping during her hour long break in the Spinning for Scandinavian Knitting class.

I was a little early, so I wandered around and checked out some of the other classes that were already going on. I'd already decided that I'd like to take an advanced spinning class of some sort next year but the basket weaving class looked like so much fun that it also went on my list of classes to take.

At 12:00, Tonyia and I had lunch and shopped. It was so nice to meet someone I've chatted with via blogs for so long. I enjoyed it immensely and feel like I have made a wonderful new friend.

At 1 pm, the beginning spinning class started. As soon as I arrived, the teacher (Melanie Galligher of Fiburzzzz in Breezy Point, MN) asked me how much spinning I'd done. I mentioned that I'd already plied 6 bobbins worth of 2-ply yarn and she asked, "What are you doing in this class? You aren't a beginner!" I laughed and admitted that when I signed up, I didn't even own a wheel but once it arrived, I couldn't wait to practice. She was able to help me learn a few new tricks and I picked up some more basic spinning knowledge, so it was worthwhile to me. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with some of the other students and ended up heading over to the Fiburzzzz booth to buy some alpaca fiber.

After class, I headed home. Dancing Diva had been taking an Italian Cooking class and last night was the "final project." The teacher had all the students over to her home to prepare a full Italian dinner and dessert for the parents. It was a wonderful meal and time of fellowship with good friends.

The perfect ending to a perfect day.

P.S. I figured out how to finish the back pack! It was so funny how it happened. I asked my engineering genius husband for help. As I was trying to explain to him how the back pack should cinch closed and I suddenly had a picture in my head of how it should work. My hubby just sat and looked at me the whole time with this baffled expression as I explained the problem, how the solution should work and then snatched the backpack back and excitedly started threading the cords through the eyelets and danced around in joy when it worked.

What can I say, he's my inspiration.


livnletlrn said...

Sounds like a glorious festival! Happy Mother's Day!

Sheepish Annie said...

Oh wow! I really should be spinning now that I've finished that shawl. I guess you are inspirational in your own right!

Tonyia said...

It was SO NICE to spend time with you!

It's the first time I've met a blogger I read. It was amazingly comfortable, and I'm SO glad we got together.

Thank you!!

Guinifer said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend to me! I can't wait to see what you actually knit with all that handspun!

trek said...

Sometimes, explaining things to someone else just makes it crystal clear, doesn't it?

Rani said...

Ooooooooo. I (again) had to go to the Fiber Festival in my dreams. It sounds like a heavenly day. What fun to meet Tonyia!

Can't WAIT to see more of that fiber spun up into something scrumptious. And maybe dyed, too?!?!? Lovely.

RandomRanter said...

Oooh pretty!

Ellen said...

I bought rovings from Fiburzzz! A lovely grey roving overdyed pink - GFMelissa said it should be called "Come Hither Pink" - that I'll be working on this week! I may have the ugliest, messiest flower beds in Saint Paul but I'll have lovely yarn. Nice to see you again!