The market place is huge, and there's a point where I just can't take any more visual or tactile stimulation. This makes me less likely to buy things (which is mostly good), but also makes me retreat like a turtle, so I miss doing things with internet-friends that I don't otherwise get to meet (which is mostly bad). Next year I hope to not only plan well, but actually execute said plan.
My favorite things from this year:
- going to the marketplace with two of my fabulous colleagues who are also fiber enthusiasts. (This was also a favorite thing from last year.) Both of these ladies have been in the area for a long time, so they can't go a booth-length without running into someone they know, and that means I got to meet all kinds of new artists, as well as spending time with friends without talking about work... well, there was a little work-talk, but only because Dorothy teaches the third graders how to weave, and wants to incorporate natural dyeing into the art/science curriculum next year (yes, please!), and Esther teaches a group of middle school girls how to knit so they can contribute to the Mother Bear Project, which ranks with Heifer International in terms of my favorite charity programs.
- talking color combinations with the ladies at Jill Draper Makes Stuff/Jenni the Potter. I went to their booth early-on, so I had the benefit of two people with a better eye for color helping me pick out Cormo. Also, this highlights one of the things I really love about events like Stitches, and BSG which is another annual tradition for me... being surrounded by people who will happily tell you all about their art for ten minutes at a time, and feeling completely nourished by the interaction. I love the online community, I do, but face-to-face still has something that message boards and emails can't do.
- seeing a shawl in progress out of handspun at Abstract Fiber, and then going to the Yarnover Truck to buy the pattern... from the designer. It's this one, if you're curious, and I'm so close to dropping my other spinning projects immediately in order to spin up a gentle stripe or fractal and cast on forthwith! It was awesome, and Robin, the spinner/knitter, was equally awesome.
- getting a chance to talk to Roy at Clemes and Clemes about their wheel oil bottles, and which kates he recommends.
- taking a class with Melissa Leapman, who helped my fix my wonky decreases-- because I purl funny, my decreases didn't lean the way they're supposed to, but now they can (without me having to mess with my purling so much I refuse to knit anything flat). I do have pictures of my funny-looking swatches from her class.
Today's about getting ready for the six-day work week (conference at the end of it), and maybe getting a skein pied and off my wheel so I can start spinning for that shawl. It was seriously incredible!