Monday, August 23, 2010

OK, I'm back, maybe

    I have not really been away for 6 months; well, mentally perhaps, but physically, not really.  I have not blogged.  I have thought about it, stared blankly at the screen, and just not had much to say.  I took a couple of trips, I was sick for a while, I decided that no one read my blog, except perhaps my husband, who thinks it is the only way he can find out what I am up to (I know, you'd think he could figure that one out).  'Nuff said.  No one seemed to miss me.
    But I did knit, and I did spin, and did a couple of sheepy/wooly things.  In February I attended the NETA Spa in Freeport Maine.  This is a rather loosely structured fiber event held in a couple of hotels in Freeport, the East Coast hub of outlet shopping as well as home of LL Bean.  I attended SPA a few years ago in Portland Maine and had a really horrible time.  Really bad.  But I needed an escape and some fiber revival and a weekend outing with my daughter.  So, we went.  It was awful, worse than I remembered.  The organizers of this event have an have no agenda.  Quite honestly it has grown in scale and attendance enough that it now has the feel of disorganized pandemonium.  A few folks have tried to organize classes, etc, but their efforts are thwarted by others who just want to sit around and, well, drink.  There was a nice, but very small marketplace and a fashion show and worst knit item show.  I put my spiral shawl in the fashion show and got third place in the worst knitted item show for a perfectly ghastly orange sweaterish thing that I got at Goodwill in Concord.  Well, I won't go to that again.
   In May I went to New Hampshire Sheep and Wool in Contoocook.  This has always been a favorite event of mine, and it was great this year as well, except the weather really and truly sucked.  It was cold and rainy and horrible.  A few of my favorite vendors were not even there, and I don't blame them.  And I had a raincoat failure. In addition,  I went with a friend who was having, perhaps, a worse time than me, partly due to the fact that though she is a knitter, she is not a spinner and New Hampshire Sheep and Wool is rather weighted toward the sheep breeder and the spinner.  We left early to get hot soup and for me to buy a much needed new, truly waterproof raincoat.
Mass sheep and wool purchases
   Later that month I went to Massachusetts Sheep and Wool in Cummington.  What a great event!  It is smaller than New Hampshire, with many of the same vendors, but it has a different vibe.  It is more down home/4-H oriented with perhaps a higher proportion of small indie dyers and fiber producers.  Though I did not buy a lot I had a really nice day, and the weather cooperated, at least while I was there.  It was raining when I left, though.  I came home through Shelburne Falls, Mass which is certainly one of my favorite towns in New England.
Class in the courtyard
Photographed fiber/mittens
    Last Fall I read about Knit Camp UK  to be held in August in Stirling, Scotland. And after much discussion with my husband, who is not what I would call world traveler material, I decided to sign up for the entire week-long event as a part of a longer trip to Scotland.  Over the winter I joined a Ravelry group, planned the remaining 10 days of our trip, and really started looking forward to the whole thing.  About March rumblings began on Ravelry about the whole planning-or perhaps non-planning of the event.  I remained optimistic, signed up for 4 classes and hoped for the best.  A few weeks before we left, the bottom seemed to fall out of Knit UK.  Three of my four classes were changed when teachers pulled out due to contract problems.  There was a lot of pissing and moaning.  But I had the rest of the Scotland trip to look forward to so I remained optimistic.  In the last week before I left things went pear shaped.  But I was already in Scotland, having the time of my life, and all I could do was continue to hope for the best.  Well, to make a long, convoluted story very short, it was great!!  Really wonderful.  My classes were perfect, though not what I originally planned to take, Stirling University was a perfect setting for this event, and I met many, many inspiring and fun people, all making the best of what could have really been a nightmare of unknown proportions.  Unfortunately  most of the blame fell fully on one poor person who got in over her head planning an event that really needed a staff of 4 or 5 full time people.  Instructors pulled out at the last minute, Ravelry pulled out of their sponsorship if the Weekend part of the thing, Rav Forums went nuts, and yet, when we all got there, it was just hunky-dory.  Not without problems, but it ran surprisingly smoothly.  I doubt that this particular event will ever happen again, but I think anyone who was actually there would probably go again.
  Pictures, well, I actually took a "photographing your fiber" class with Mary Jane Mucklestone at Knit UK.  I found out that my cheap crappy camera from Best Buy actually has some great features and that it takes far better pictured than I ever imagined.  But I don't have many pictures of actual fiber events.  I have over 1000 pictures of Scotland, but only a few from Stirling. 
      Will I try to do better posting?  Well, no, I don't think so.  When I started this whole blog thing I thought it would be fun; a good way to keep in touch with friends and family who might be interested in my knitting and spinning.  Not so much.  I am not an enthusiastic writer, I was about a far from an English major as one can get,  though I like the computer I don't like being chained to it.  I may to try to blog about knitting and spinning now and again, but expect this blog to go away by the end of the year.


  1. i enjoyed reading your blog and i am sure there are others as well that are outside the family.. sounds like you had a great fiber filled summer and i am jealous. wish we lived closer, i could learn alot from you..sue t

  2. Hey Susan! So great meeting you. We'll have to rendezvous this winter sometime!