I'm home, I'm happy...and I'm catching up. Prepare yourself for a wicked long post. (You know...since I'm usually so brief and pithy.)
Thursday started with a wicked drive from the lilacs of Amherst MA,
to Essex Junction VT. The sock enjoyed the drive and the view.
Once there, the sock and I went to Kaleidoscope Yarns and met up with the charming Jill and Marc and their exciting yarns customers.
From the shop we went on to dinner. (Margene, a thousand apologies for leaving you in the car. Thanks for guarding the yarn.)
Margene is pictured here with Cassie's socks in progress, my socks in progress and the sockies that Cassie made for Norma. From dinner, we retreated to the Bat Cave Norma's office, where the three of us executed the first official triad knitblog simulcast.
Note that my spot is on the floor. This would be a downer, except that I am closest to the bottle of wine. (I am trying to pretend that group blogging is cool...not profoundly dorky. Please don't burst my bubble.) This confluence of events marked the beginning of the first Annual St. Albans Sheep and Wool Festival. Located in Norma's scenic basement, and attended by only Cassie, me (and Margene) with only one skein of yarn for sale. (Located, as Norma has mentioned, in the Main Barn.) The skein of yarn was partly spun by Cassie, partly spun by me and overseen by the executive branch of the planning committee for the festival. (That's Norma.)
The St. Albans Sheep and Wool Festival featured three glasses classes. "How to oil your spinning wheel" subtitled: Why this wheel isn't working. (Taught by me) " How to organize your yarn stash" subtitled, "Holy crap you have a lot of closet space" (taught by Cassie) and "The wine is over here" subtitled "How to organize a sheep and wool festival, taught by Norma.
Margene taught nothing. (Slacker).
Not only did Margene not teach a class, she made us late leaving for our date at The Elegant Ewe this afternoon. Norma and Cassie reported to the front gate of the Sheep and Wool festival,
But we had to go looking for Margene. We finally located her (in the front hall...hanging with the yarn.) and rustled her out to the gate.
The astute among you will notice that Cassie is wearing Rhinebeck. Rhinebeck is my sweater (though I have been dealt the cruel injustice of having my self-designed masterpiece look better on her than me) but I am staring to get the feeling that I will be prying it from Cassie's cold dead hands. Every time that I mention that she's wearing it I get it back, but the fact that I have to keep saying it means something.
Once we had Margene whipped into shape, we headed out of town, heading for my next book date. I'm not sure what I thought would happen, but I should have been completely unsurprised to discover us in an unplanned yarn shop by lunchtime. (We are helpless. Completely helpless.)
Meet Jill and her lovely yarn. We introduced Margene, and Norma acquired a little mascot for our trip.
The Mascot has many, many woolly friends. I'm sure Norma will come clean about it any minute. Norma may have gotten a little "loose" in the yarn shop, if you catch my meaning. No other yarn shops were picked up on the road trip radar and we arrived on time to The Elegant Ewe. (Please. Let us not consider that I was completely willing -and had accomplices- in flushing a fledgling career down the drain by not turning up for a signing if we had found more yarn shops. It's a disease.)
Many new friends here. You will note that my fully visible friends Norma, Cassie, Theresa, Julia and Margene (who at least gained some sort of corporeal body in this photo) have been joined by Sandy. (We missed her. It seemed reasonable.) Absent from this photo is Laura..who entertained me to absolutely no end. (Laura has a largish plan involving a pregnancy, a purple mohawk and several photos. I like her.)
Laura is also a woman of a subtle nature (or a woman with a deeply misguided idea of the size of that pole), as you can tell from this picture where she is holding the sock up to a New Hampshire point of local interest.
New Hampshire sheep and wool the next day was stunning. The weather was ideal, the crowd humane and the fibre stunning. We discovered Mamacate spinning on her new wheel (I loved her new wheel) and listening to the fleece judging and with the exception of one exceedingly loud and hostile sheep with anger management issues, everyone I met, I loved.
Here's Cassie, making friends with Cate's new wheel. (It's the Hitchhiker.) I loved the wee little guy, but declined Cate's offer to test drive him. It's better not to know... Kindly ignore the large bags of stuff.
Pictured above is the day's haul, presented by our lovely spokesmodels Margene and Sandy. (They really went nuts on the fibre scene didn't they? I mean, for bloggers made of cardboard they really know how to shop.)
This is, well. This is bloggers getting out of hand. I'd say something about what might be wrong with us for posing this picture and forcing Marcy to take the shot...but there is really no defending it.
We lay on the grass with stash and beer....
Then booted off to dinner with Sandy, Margene and Laurie (Yes. That Laurie.) who were fast friends.
There is more...so much more, along with an update on the state of the home I've returned to, but you will need to wait until tomorrow. If I owe you an email...I'm working on it. Due to some cruel twist of fate I was able to receive email while away, but not send any. Bitter.
My warmest thanks, admiration and joy to all who made this trip an incredible jaunt. I'm a lucky and exhausted knitter.