Friday, May 11, 2007

Maryland Sheep and Wool

I'm such a bad wool festival attendee! Not only did I not take any pictures (although Kevin tried to make up for my poor blogging skills by taking pictures of me as I waffled about some sock yarn), but I only made 2 fiber-y purchases, and one was for someone else!

Kevin and I left for MD at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning. Incredibly, our scheme of getting through New York and Philly before they got traffic-y worked, and the worst traffic we saw in the last mile or so, when the knitters backed up at a couple of stoplights on the way to the fairgrounds. I knit the whole way, except for a brief nap, because I was trying to make an emergency sweater for a stuffed bunny named Cookie, whose person has been having a rough time recently. So I started a cardigan for Cookie as we left and finished it up as we arrived at the fairgrounds. (Note to self: next time you knit a sweater for a bunny, take pictures!)

Kevin dropped me off at the fairgrounds and went off to bike (53 miles, as it turned out), and I went in to meet up with the SnBers. After several phone calls we found each other, and wandered around shopping for most of the afternoon. I missed the frenzied shopping for Socks that Rock and Koigu, so the grounds were only moderately crowded (I heard a woman telling the hotel staff on Sunday that there had been 100,000 people there the day before, but Wikipedia says there are usually about 60,000... and remember, that's spread over the whole festival, and not everyone goes both days). I found some sock yarn for my sockapalooza pal (who was going to receive socks made from Anne, till I discovered that she prefers socks without any nylon), from a vendor called the Barefoot Spinner. I also contemplated some roving from that booth--a pretty rusty orange color, with brown bits--but I waffled a great deal, and when I finally decided to buy it (Sunday at lunch time) it was gone.

For a while, it looked like I might come home with just the one skein of sock yarn but then last thing on Sunday (about 2, because we had to be back at work Monday morning), I found some roving that looked like me: a mixture of purple, deep blue, and black. The little silvery-grey bump is the merino and silk from the CT festival. I had this idea that including them both would provide some scale, but it doesn't help much, does it? The big one is the size of a watermelon, and the small one is a bit larger than a grapefruit.

The big adventure of the weekend was Kevin's credit card. At about 4 on Saturday, I took out my phone to call Kevin and discovered that he'd been calling me all afternoon. I called him back, and it turned out that he'd lost his credit card while biking, and needed me to call the credit card company and cancel it (I also have a card for that account, so I had the 800 number and the account number). I tried, but the credit card people wouldn't let me--since Kevin signed up for the account, only he can cancel it (there goes that plan!).

As I tried to call Kevin back, I heard his name over the PA system. We went to the information tent, and discovered his credit card--in a zip lock bag with some money. Weirder and weirder, I thought--that's how he carries his credit card when he's biking, but how had the bag gotten from his bike to the fair? As far as I knew, he left the grounds after dropping me off, drove to the hotel, and biked near there.

When I talked to Kevin again, it turned out that he'd actually biked back over to the fairgrounds in the middle of the afternoon, to see if I wanted to have a fried snack. he called, but I never heard my phone--and in the process of taking his phone out, he'd dropped the zip lock bag. The nice knitters returned it with money intact (probably imagining a panicked knitter without yarn money, not a dehydrated biker without Gatorade funds). Fortunately, his keys hadn't fallen out of his bag, so he was able to get back in the car, and once he picked me up he got his credit card back too.

Sunday was much less eventful--after running near the hotel, we went to the fairgrounds for lunch. Over Labor Day, Kevin, his parents and I go to the Canfield Fair, and all we do there is eat and plan what to eat next, so even as Kevin and I had First Lunch (ribbon chips) we thought about Second Lunch (lamb stew for Kevin and funnel cake for me), and tried to decide whether there was time for dessert (soft serve ice cream) before we had to hit the road. In between these important decisions, we wandered and I waffled and finally bought the purple-y blue roving--a pound, with the idea that if I spin well enough, I could make a vest, or maybe a 3/4 sleeve sweater.

The way back was traffic-y, and took ages longer than the way there. Kevin drove, while I napped and worked on my sock and Argosy wrap. We had a moment of navigational brilliance in NYC--there was construction on 95, of course, and traffic was crawling along. We noticed that we were right near the parkway we'd biked on during the biathlon, so we decided to exit 95 and drive on the parkway around the traffic. Incredibly, we didn't get lost (we have a GPS for the car, so maybe that's not so impressive... although we did deviate from the route it suggested), and when we got back on 95, the traffic was back to normal.

I'd been thinking about brining my wheel to the festival, but left it at home thinking I wouldn't use it. I probably wouldn't have, but I really missed it after looking at all that wool. I started spinning the second we got home--not my new roving through, because I'm trying to be good, but the blue roving I bought a while back. I've kept working with it since then, and it's not going well--the staples seem to be kind of short, and there are these weird clumps (plus more vegetable matter than I'm used to). So the singles and yarn (I've turned some into 2-ply yarn) are pretty bumpy and uneven--and I can't tell how much of the bumpiness is me, and how much is the roving.


Anonymous said...


Looks like you had a great time !!

I've got a fabulous idea for your Sockapalooza socks !!

~Your Pal

knitseashore said...

That's great that Kevin's card was returned to him with no problems. You both must have been very worried!

I'm amazed that you were able to knit a sweater on the way to the festival. On Sunday, the NYC Five Boro ride might have caused the traffic jam on 95. I'm not sure which highways are closed for the cyclists, but you may have run into that on your way home.

Sunflowerfairy said...

Tag, you're it.

(See my blog)