Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fiber Folly

I haven't had time to post the last couple weeks due to the madness of Fall Fiber Fest in Virginia and Stitches East in Baltimore. I had booths at both events and dyeing enough yarn, traveling, loading, unloading, then loading and unloading again and sitting there for days and days, took all my time. Fall Fiber Fest is my favorite show (besides my own studio tours where I don't have to haul) because it is outside on the grounds of Montpelier (home to Dolly and President Madison) and is a low-key fiber show. It's held under huge tents so I'm safe from the weather. Except last year the weather didn't cooperate and it rained 10" the day before the show and it was a mud pit. I arrived, pulled into the field, got stuck and had to pulled out by the tractor and a couple big angel guys. I had them pull me to the highway and off I went back home without ever unloading. This year was the opposite, a dry, dusty desert with dust like fine, red powder, settling over everything, yarn, hair, cars, and into lungs. Oh yeah, and the temperature was around 95 degrees with the same number for humidity. Whew! Hard to sell yarn in that! But we all drank plenty of water and used the programs as fans. The customers did buy yarn (not in the massive amounts I would've liked) in hopes that someday the temps would go down and fall would finally arrive and they'd feel like knitting.

This past weekend was Stitches East, a large knitting event held in the Baltimore Convention Center. (That's Camden Yard across from the BCC). It's four (FOUR!!!) days of classes and selling/buying yarn and other fiber related stuff. It's my hardest show as it is four days of selling, hard to set up and take down, long hours and it's all indoors. I'm not used to spending so much time inside. When I got home Sunday night, I gave my son a hug and he said, "You smell weird." I then gave my husband a hug and he said, "You smell funny." I think it was just an 'being inside for four days smell'! It was nice to see so many familiar customer faces and walk around to see what other vendors had to offer. I was disappointed in the felting scene though. I thought there'd be more felt stuff. This is a knitting venue so maybe that's why.
Another couple things that made Stitches harder both for vendors and attendees was the Baltimore marathon on Saturday morning and the Ravens game Sunday afternoon. Both events brought thousands more people out and hundreds more cars to jam traffic. Of course the Raven's game got out precisely the time that we were to load up. Traffic and people were snarly and I'm surprised physical fights didn't erupt. There certainly was enough bad attitude. The vendors had to wait 1-2 hours to just get into the convention center to load up. I felt sorry for the folks who had to drive for hours after loading. I'm lucky that I live just over an hour away. I'm seriously considering not doing this show next year.

This is the felted crocheted bag that a customer made from one of my patterns out of the color Briar Patch. Sorry it's blurry, but it turned out so cute, I had to get a pic.

And this is the Slubby Nubby Cardigan knit out of Spring Meadow. I love it when customers wear things for show and tell!

This weekend will be a piece of cake type of show. It's the Countryside Artisans tour and I'm home, home, home and all I have to do is get the studio put back together and see what colors I have to dye. Oh, and work on my horrible excuse for a yard. This drought is just killing everything. We don't have the water to give to the plants. I can water for about 20 minutes, then it's just gone and I have to turn off the pump for an hour and let the water come back up. My fear is that some day it won't come back. We all have to e more water-wise, especially in times like this. But it should just become a habit for all of us. Without water, we'd die. Bottom line.

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