Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Where in the World Have I Been?

Well, certainly not in the blogging world, that's for sure. I'll just say that I've been busy--job hunting (or what passes for it), knitting, working, hiding out here at home...and, of course, at SAFF!

And, while I was gone, Blogger has made some, er, improvements, that I wasn't expecting. The result is these big blobs of white space. Sorry--maybe I'll learn to control them over time.

So, jumping immediately to what is most interesting, what about SAFF? Debra and I drove up to Asheville on Thursday afternoon. We got off to a little later start than I had planned due to my having a phone pre-interview with a recruiter that took a little longer than I thought it would. And the job is probably not a starter, but would be one of those amazing jobs that you just have to try for, even when you know you don't have a chance!

Of course I've been reading all the blogs and the Ravelry posts about SAFF and the first thing they tell you is that it's wayyyyyy smaller than Maryland Sheep & Wool. Well, thank goodness for that...I barely survived and my checkbook is still whimpering.

So, let's begin with the hotel. Not a good story--in fact, the only real disappointment of the weekend. Let me say from the start, Hampton Inn at the Airport - NOT GOOD. Well, the hotel was okay, but there was a little problem with the reservation and the manager refused to make it right. So we will not be staying there again. No, we will not. My recommendation is that you don't either.

But by Friday morning we had (mostly) put that behind us and were only mildly resentful, and we set off for the Ag Center. Lots of cars, even at 9 am. Lots of people. Right off the bat, we ran into Katey with Ravelry buttons (yay for Ravelry and yay for Katey). We had our buttons, we were ready to go down into the fray. We decided right away that we would not buy, we would only look.

(If you don't know who that dog is -- his name is Bob -- you better go right now to and sign up. Hurry!)

Debra was happy ...

SAFF is about 50/50, maybe 60/40 knitting/spinning. So that means a lot of fiber, some of it spun and plied and some of it as roving waiting to be spun, some of it just the way it came off the sheep (including vegetable matter and, ahem, other extraneous materials), and some of it still hanging out on the animal.

And Debra is at her happiest when surrounded by fiber. Any kind of fiber. You could put her down in a field of grass and she'd figure out some way to make it into yarn. So she was in her element. (In fact, she made a basket that might have come from a field of grass, damp grass at that.)

I, on the other hand, am a woman of much more discriminating tastes... I had no intention of buying willy-nilly. I went with a plan and intended to stick with it. And here's the way it worked:

THE PLAN: Buy nothing on Friday, look only. Buy enough Brooks Farm yarn for one vest. Buy some alpaca yarn. Buy some sort of roving so I can work on my spindling. NO NEW SOCK YARN. DEFINITELY NO NEW LACE YARN. Spend only cash.

THE IMPLEMENTATION: Bought immediately, continuously, and often. Bought the Brooks Farm - Acero -- photos later this week, along with a gorgeous pattern for a diamond vest. Bought sock yarn, bought lace yarn, bought roving of every description. Spent all the cash, wrote checks, used the debit card.

THE RESULT: Not altogether spot on, as the Brits would say.

The most amazing thing was the number of people we met that we knew. Well, Debra knew approximately 63% of the attendees--they were either knitters, spinners, or knitter/spinner wannabes. But even I knew a bunch of people. And if I didn't know them when I started, I did when I left.

Here are some of the Gainesville knitters I met while resting my tired back on Friday. Debra was taking a class and I was so happy to meet some friendly folks and even happier when they told me they were from just up the road in Gainesville (Georgia, that is).

And, of course, there were those Atlanta blogger girls -- Melissa and Claudia and Janice and Jane and The Real Diana and Kim Nickels of Knitch. And the lovely Debbi Light of The Whole Nine Yarns. And Nancy T (Sassafras on etsy) and Nancy W and Jean K and ... and ... and .... well, I can't even remember who else from the AKG. Almost forgot the boys--Lou and Brett and Steve and Doug, though they disappeared so fast I almost thought they were figments of my imagination. And those sassy south-of-Atlanta girls Jody and Kathy and Maggie and their friend Grace from Michigan.

Well, there's more news but I don't have time to tell it all--the trick or treaters are coming. (Just to whet your appetite, I took a great class and we visited a wonderful Asheville LYS. And, it goes without saying, that we played with animals, or attempted to.)

And ... drum roll, please ... Lily Chin comes to Atlanta tomorrow so it's a big week. She'll speak to the guild tomorrow night, then I have two classes with her, one on Friday and one on Saturday. Then a potluck at Whit's house. And there's lots of homework before the classes. My, oh my, by Sunday I'll be a quivering mass of fiber overload.


Janice in GA said...

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Airport and it was GREAT. They even provided a free shuttle to and from SAFF. Highly recommended.

KarenR said...

I was just as successful at sticking to my rules as you were. Nice to see I am such good company. :D

Sheri said...

Oh, if only I lived closer to Atlanta! I wouldn't have missed Lily Chin, STAFF or Kaffe! Sure glad you guys all blog about it all. It's hard on those of us without a local yarn shop nearby! Sounds like great fun, all of it.
Sheri, down here in the South (GA)

Gail said...

That's too bad about the hotel, we stayed there, too and it worked out well for us.