Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Where to begin . . .

I know I've been MIA for awhile. What can I say? First there was the Shepherd's Harvest Prep week, when I could do nothing but make lists, plan and pack because my excitement level made concentrating on anything else impossible.

Then there was THE WEEKEND. Yes, those are red letters because it was a red letter weekend.

Then there was the Post Shepherd's Harvest let down.

To say I had a wonderful weekend would be an understatement. It was fabulous. To start with, although the weather was a little chilly, the predicted rain never showed up. It was a true blessing because I had to carry around my spinning wheel and accessories and the last thing I wanted was to shlepp everything through mud puddles, like I had to last year.

Because I've been to the festival in very cold weather, I was prepared with warm enough layers, hats and gloves and such. I even remembered a cushion for the chair, so my rump stayed warm this year. Good planning and preparation are the first step in preparing for a red letter weekend.

In addition to the better than expected weather, the classes were wonderful. Patsy Zawistoski taught the Luxury Fiber class on Saturday. Of all the teachers I've ever had, her teaching style was the most perfect for my learning style. When she explained things, lights went on, bells rung and all the pieces fell into place. I learned not only how to handle the more tricky luxury fibers like mohair, llama, alpaca, angora, etc., but learned how to properly card and comb fibers for specific effects. I ended up purchasing a DVD from her on how to spin specialty yarns. I am so impressed with it, I hope to buy all of her DVD's and booklets to make a complete library. All I can say is if I ever get the chance, I'll take more classes from her in a heartbeat!

On Sunday, Carol Wagner taught us how to make novelty yarns. In spite of some technical difficulties with her wheel, she managed to do a great job teaching us how to make slubby singles, knot yarn, marled yarn, and beaded yarn. I walked away with some new techniques in my basket of tricks. So much fun.

I managed to buy plenty of new toys and fiber, too. First, I picked up a mini niddy-noddy and a new flicker first thing Saturday morning from Mielke's Fiber Arts. I visit their booth every year because they have such useful tools and supplies. I can count on them having exactly what I need every year. I knew I would need a much smaller niddy-noddy for the classes and Andrea came through for me.

Saturday afternoon, I picked up some silk hankies, two bags of merino/silk blend slivers and two balls of navy blue wool top from The Fiber Studio. I had a lovely chat withPam Angier about joining them for their open spinning sessions. I'm so excited about finding a spinning group to join that I'm hoping their classes will fit with my schedule. It's not a great photo of the fibers but it's kind of a gloomy day here in Minnesota.

Sunday, I found some mini double row combs so I can keep experimenting with preparing fibers for the novelty yarns. I'm sorry I can't remember who the vendor was because they used generic sales slips and didn't include a card in the bag. I suspect it was Earthsong Fibers but wouldn't bet one of my children on it. There were so many fabulous vendors and I circled all four buildings so many times, things began to mush together in my brain.

My last purchases of the weekend were two baskets and some sock yarn from Tall Tale Yarn Shop. The small basket hangs nicely from the spinning wheel, to hold tools and accessories. The larger basket is the perfect size to carry my larger accessories to and from classes and such.

To make the weekend even more perfect, I had a very nice stay at Holiday Inn Express in Stillwater. I reserved a king room with a whirlpool tub for the night and it was the perfect choice. After sitting in a cold fairground building for six hours, taking a warm bath was heavenly.

When I got home on Sunday evening, there were cards and flowers waiting for me. Talk about the perfect ending to a red-letter weekend.

Now, there are only 360 days until Shepherd's Harvest 2010!


Rani said...

BRILLIANT! You're back! That sounds like a heavenly weekend! What an adventure . . . and no offense, we love our children, but were you sans children?!??! WHOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!

Tonyia said...

I hope I didn't walk right past you at the festival. I was walking around gawking most of the time!

Sounds like a wonderful weekend!

livnletlrn said...

The whole weekend sounds divine. Good for you, in more ways than one! ;-)

Guinifer said...

Oh - it sounds like a blissful weekend! Lovely goodies as well!

Sheepish Annie said...

I drool with envy over that perfect weekend. But I can't think of anyone more deserving of it than you! I'm so glad you had a fantastic time!

Ellen said...

I have been wondering if I did the right thing being thrifty and all - I keep thinking I should have done another loop through those buildings - I want a Shepherd's Harvest do over!

And you looked quite perky in your new sweater and warm socks!