Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wool. Sheep. Sheep. Wool.

And alpacas!

Their frizzy little haircuts just kill me, they're **that** cute.

I'm still here - just trying to catch up with life & work after last week kicked me square in the butt. You know how it is - as soon as the weather warms up & all sorts of fun extracurricular activites start to rear their enticing heads life comes around & swats you one!

To recap:

Monday - grade roughly 75 research projects, providing individual feedback for 5 full steps per project. NOT FUN.

Tuesday - arrive at work at noon to be asked by Dean to call & check 5 references for our #1 job candidate. NOT FUN.

Wednesday - watch your 2-year old son go in for minor (outpatient) surgery that nonetheless requires general anesthesia, and which because of the "no food or drink after midnight" thing meant that when he woke up around 1 AM that night and couldn't nurse (he's a late weaning child) he REFUSED TO GO BACK TO SLEEP. NOT FUN.

Thursday - work 4 hours of reference desk. Straight. NOT FUN.

Friday - Conference 30 minutes away that starts at 8:30 AM - realize that you have only 20 minutes to get back to demo that begins at 1 PM - miss demo - make it back just in time to attend Honors Convocation dressed in stiflingly hot faculty regalia. NOT FUN.

Thank goodness Saturday was Sheep & Wool! Kim and I both went, and were lucky enough to score a seat on a bus arranged by a (somewhat) LYS, which made the trip that much more enjoyable for us. Particularly the fact that because we were on a bus we had kick-ass parking options and got to avoid the insane field that was a parking lot for the rest of the folks.
I was relatively restrained in my purchases - there is just SO MUCH to look at. It's not overwhelming (at least it wasn't to me) as much as it was just a blur that I had to keep walking past so that I wasn't mown down by the rabid fiber fans all around me. If I had about 5 days I probably could have fought my way into each & every booth that was there and fondled and cooed and coveted and purchased properly. At least five. Maybe six.

I did learn something about myself at Sheep & Wool though - I'm a major, and I mean a major fiber sniffer. Not necessarily fleece, but anything that was already spun I took a mighty sniff of. And me? I do love the smell of wool.

Happily enough, despite the fact that Blue Moon wasn't listed on the vendor list (and Kim was majorly crestfallen as her one & only hope for S&W was to buy a skein of Socks That Rock) we quickly stumbled upon the most insanely long line - and as I brazenly asked a woman standing there what the line was for, realized that while the Blue Moon folks might not be there themselves, a vendor selling STR was indeed present & majorly accounted for! So Kim and I valiantly fought our way up to the booth, fondled, chose, put back, chose again, put back, picked again, etc. until we each had what we wanted. And then we stood in line for 45 minutes to pay.
This was my view in line for a veerrryyyy long time.

FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. Ducks, that is a very long time to wait in line for sock yarn - particularly sock yarn that you can buy online. ( I heard one woman scornfully say as she shoved past me......) The wait did have an upside, though, as it gave me ample time to reprogram my digital camera to stop beeping so annoyingly and to stay set on the settings that I prefer - so time well spent, all in all, I'd say. Plus hey - it's all part of the festival experience, right? I purchased one skein of STR in .....uh, something Canyon. Red Rocks Canyon? I honestly didn't care what the name was, I was so so so so in love with the way the terracotta went to red to brown, and the way the red went into that amazing dusty sage-y green. These are going to be a blissfully basic pair of socks for ME. I think I'll divide the skein & do toe-up to use up every single fluff of fiber in them. I don't even care if that means that one will be a few rounds longer than the other. Nope, I don't care at all.

After that was finished, happiness reigned among our little group, as we had Nothing Else Official on our list of things to purchase - which meant that we could roam at will. Here is a little photo montage of what I saw that I thought was interesting enough to photograph...

I have no idea if these wheels are any good, but they're just so SMALL and cute I had to take a picture.

Many of the vendors are very very good at arranging their stuff in such a way that it really catches your eye. I thought this booth did a particularly good job of it.

(left) Yoiks! Big Horns!

(Right) Spinning a Rabbit. (Gryphon apparently does this, if anyone wants details)

Speaking of Gryphon, this is a picture of Gryphon being silly. ;) Here she is, looking totally like an Anguished Mommy because Lia, who had been sitting in her lap not 5 minutes before the picture was taken did a characteristic baby 'wiggle and lean' and by the time Gryphon was able to reach down and stop Lia's lean towards the ground (I'm guessing 1.5 seconds at the most) Lia had grazed her head against the ground. Lia loudly protested the fact that gravity worked and that she had landed on her cute little baby noggin, and Gryphon promptly decided that she was the Worst Mother On The Face of the Earth. See? This is a picture of Gryphon being silly.

And here is a picture of Lia who, once her cries were soothed by Her Absolute Mostest Favorite Mommy, promptly forgot all about it.

See? Not a care in the world!

The Anguished Gryphon and the Happy Lia pictures were taken at Gryphon's Knitblogger meetup, which was loads of fun. I got to meet several nice people including Stephanie, Mary, Mel (who I shall talk about in more detail in just a second) and Theresa whose pigtail'd hairstyle I immediately wanted to copy. I was particularly thrilled that Mel came over and sat down next to me, as I had seen her wandering around earlier in the day and had TOTALLY fallen in love with the sweater she was wearing. In fact as she started to walk past our little knitblogger group I shamelessly said (mind you, to a large group of women who I had never ever met before!) "THERE! The redhead in the cream sweater! Does anyone know what sweater that is????" and so imagine my amazement and delight when Mel walked right over to us and sat down next to me so that I could ask her myself! Happily enough Mel offered to lend me the sweater pattern when she gets it back from the person she's currently lent it to - it's in a magazine called Sandra - one that's totally new to me & that I must obviously immediately look into!

15 minutes before I climbed onto my bus for the ride home I bought 2 huge skeins of alpaca for a steal - 665 yds for $20 each. I haven't photographed them yet, but I will soon. They're destined to become shrugs for me - nice little light yet WARM cozy pieces that are much needed in my frigid workspace!

I will leave you with what was potentially one of my favorite sights at the whole festival - never say that we fiber folks don't really LOVE our animals..............right?

(Somehow, this seemed almost wrong, given the setting. I'm a carnivore and all, but somehow, I dunno' this seemed almost wrong..........)


Sockapalooza4 Pal said...

I'm loving seeing everyone's alpaca pictures on the blog. I agree that those hair cuts are one of the greatest things I've ever "seen". And how in the world can you grade 75, 5 part, research projects in one day? My record is 53 assignments or 40-ish tests and 30-ish assignments in one day. The former out of sheer masochism, the later out of fears that customs would seize them at the border, leaving me with no choice but the mark the last day of reading week.

mel said...

Great pics Susan! What an awesome time-I can hardly wait until next year!

Theresa said...

Cool pictures. I enjoyed chatting with you last week.

Happy mother's day and enjoy you panera brunch tomorrow!

The Sanguine Gryphon said...

Okay, a week and a half later and I've decided there wasn't any permanent damage done to Lia. And just for the record, I'm pretty sure my breasts weren't hanging out like that all weekend! Though judging the photos I may have been making a silly face all weekend. I think it's a symptom of excess fiber craze.