Monday, January 17, 2011

Fiber Festival

The “Purple Iris” in Marshall is a specialty yarn shop.  The owner, Janna, was asked by the manager of a mall in Marshall to have this Fiber Festival in conjunction with the “sidewalk” sale they were having.

So Janna organized the fair and put flyers up about it.  Candy and I were at the Purple Iris one time when in Marshall (a dangerous but required visit nearly every time we are there) and Janna asked us to come.  We both said yes - I would bring my loom and Candy would bring her wheel.

However, Candy works during the tax season at H&R Block and had to work this past week.  During the weekend, it was Wayne’s birthday and he wanted her to come home to be with him, so she didn’t bring her wheel or plan on “working” the fair.  Weather did not cooperate (as normal) and Candy had to stay in Marshall so she and daughter Cookie stopped by on Saturday for awhile.

Candy stays with Cookie during tax season and Cookie gracefully allowed me her couch for the four days I was up there.

Now my faithful readers (all millions of them) know that I am by nature a hermit so to go to a strange place and meet strange people is a near-impossibility for me.  BUT .... put a thread in my hand and tell me I will teach people about my obsessions and I am good to go!  So I went up, knowing full well that Candy would not be there to morally or mentally support me and I had a GREAT time!

During this story, I will not mention names (sorry, gals!) ... I remember some of them, but not others and I don’t want to get them mixed up.  These gals from the area were totally welcoming and friendly and just down-right wonderful to me.  I not only had a great time, I had a blast!  

The plan was that customers and friends of Janna would come and do their fiber-y things to demonstrate to customers of the mall. Thursday it looked like a wash - only three of us were there all day and very few customers came through the mall.  But Friday and Saturday, there were so many people that we needed to collect more chairs; the customers wandered, did the “mall walk” and stopped to see what we were doing.  Sunday was a little slower but still there were quite a few around the tables.

So, Thursday I arrived about ten - driving through ground blizzards to get there and stayed until about five - then went to Cookie’s to be with her, Candy and her daughter, Binni.  They made a fantastic soup for my birthday present and we watched “Greatest Loser” - which I have never watched before.

Friday I went back to the mall, worked until five, again, then went “home” to spend more time with my family.  Saturday, again the same.  Sunday I packed up the car, said goodbye, grabbed a few non-freezable items from Walmart, went to the mall and worked until about three.  Then I packed up the loom with the help of a wonderful young woman, got groceries from Hy-Vee and headed home to get home before the “promised” snow during the night, again driving through ground blizzards.

So, that’s the bare-bones of the story - now for more details.  First of all, I celebrated being in a big city (well, big town - bigger than MY town) by having all lunches from fast food places and two out of the three suppers (dinners?) being delivered to the house.  What luxuries!  Now back to home-made meals!          

We had a lady come by to show us how to do Shirret rugs - crocheting strips of material with rug warp and a tool very much like a crochet hook.

We had a group of ladies come that do Viking Knitting - taking gold, silver or copper wire and wrapping it around a dowel.  The “diz” is a piece of wood with different sizes of holes to stretch the wire through; each time going through a smaller hole makes it skinnier and longer.  The finished projects are breathtakingly beautiful.

We had Alpaca fiber and yarns and finished products; Dave owns Alpacas; he wanted to bring some but the mall’s rules didn’t allow them inside.  Cookie got Candy a small white fleece.  I bought a ball of roving for Joy to spin and knit.  I said she could have the leftovers if she spun yarn and knit me some socks.  I also bought a pair of commercially knit socks - they are warmer than the wool ones I have.

Janna brought her triangle loom and worked on it over the weekend and finished Saturday night.  As she was taking it off, we were singing the “Stripper” song (“da dum dum dum!  Da dum dum duuuuuuum!” and saying “Take it off, baby!”

All in all, it was lots of fun.  I was invited to join the group that does different crafts each month - the Viking Knitting this month, paper making next month, etc.  I was also invited to go to a show in March but it’s the same weekend as Stitches so I can’t go on Saturday but might be able to go on Sunday (if the weather holds).  I gave out many Stitches in Time cards and invited many to come join us in good weather.  I met a gal who has Finns and Llamas who wants to learn to spin.  Another one wants to learn to weave.  So, not only fun, it was worth the trip for spreading the news about Stitches in Time.

I WAS going to stay until closing on Sunday and then come home this morning (Monday) but they were promising that snow so I cut my visit shorter than planned.

The weather was cold but not unbearable ... however I was so glad I was just in and out and not having to BE out in it!  Today is supposed to be in the twenties, but tonight it will “plummet” they say and the highs might make a plus degree or so!

The table runner was interesting - I had a plan and a pattern but it was not what I had hoped it would be and it was difficult to keep track of what I was treadling, so I quit after about six inches and switched to a twill, which went much faster and was prettier, in my mind.  Now that it is done, I have another project in mind to put on Cherry and still have projects on Matilda and Harriet Dare.

It is an overcast day but beautiful with all the new snow.  You have a beautiful day!


Far Side of Fifty said...

Hi Connie, Cold today..but your blog and photos are terrific! That Viking Knitting is really something..very pretty. I would love to learn how to do the crochet fabric rugs..a few like that in the sauna would be great. As usual your pieces on the loom are just are so talented! AND a triangle loom..very cool.. stay warm we are headed into the deep freeze:)

Mary said...

I enjoyed reading your post. Now I want to learn how to do some of those crafts!

Candy T said...

I have the tools to do the Shirret rugs. And the instructions. In fact I have one started...just haven't gotten back to it yet. Want me to bring it for Stitches?