I must be honest, I kind of dread the post-festival blog post. It is just such a sensory overload and even one day after, it kind of feels like a dream – a sweet fibery dream – of meeting amazing online friends and seeing beautiful animals and the lovely yarns. And after four years of attendance (and subsequently blogging about it), I always feel like I am going to forget something or someone.
As you might expect, I took a few photos - but not nearly as many as I planned. I was pretty busy handling yarns and hugging people. For the full set of MDSW 2008 photos, go here. Here are some highlights:
Amazing people: Isel, Jenna, and Kate. I met so many people that my mind is a little dizzy. Long-time blog friends (so many many many many more!) and some new(er) Ravelry and Flickr friends alike. I was thrilled to meet everyone!
So many beautiful animals! The sheep breeds are probably the most ubiquitous animals at the festival, but it is common to see the goats, llamas, alpacas, and (sometimes) bunnies too. Amazing coincidence: this handsome llama is actually owned by my old friend that I used to work with (in my first year of knitting!) We reconnected at the festival when I was up in her llama’s face taking photos! It was amazing to see Holly again! (remember Holly? she helped me overcome my fear of DPNs so many years ago!)
YARN! oh my gosh. I bought a lot. I really need to work on this attachment to material objects philosophy. It seems to get me every year around this time. I enhanced the stash, as they say. Surprisingly, I did not buy any sock yarn this year. A big step, considering that that has been the bulk of my purchases in previous years. Nope, this year it was all about sweater yarns, and some drapey luxury fibers for elegant accessories. My companions bought a few things too; I am sure they will be talking about them very soon!
It was not clear to me until I saw them all grouped together, that this year’s yarns are not my traditional color palette. You may have noticed that I tend to group around certain colors, namely blues/violets, pinks/reds, and greens. I also love brown, and have a lot in my stash, but not as many FOs in that particular color yet. However, this year seems to be all about neutrals, or subtler shades of my usual choices. Maybe it is a subconscious nod to the upcoming Project Spectrum AIR element with the grays and whites? I got some very unique things this year – namely the beautiful handspun yarns from the Navajo Churro Cooperative. The natural colors and wonderful texture of the yarn was enough to put them in my bag! I also ran into some fabulous deals that were too good to pass up(Fingerlakes Wool and The Fibre Company). I splurged for the linen up top, but I figure the stuff will last forever (if they found it in Egyptian tombs…) I was also very happy to see the Botanical Shades booth again this year – I used their indigo dyed alpaca blend for my Aftur pullover, and this lovely grass green will make an amazing garment as well.
Saturday’s weather started out a little gloomy, but the day brightened up and actually got a little warm. I got a minor sunburn, even when rocking the SPF 45. Sunday, always my favorite day to attend, was milder weather-wise and crowd-wise. Mom, Jenna, and I had a lovely relaxed time. We even got to sample some goat and sheep cheeses, drink some lemonade, and try one of the yummy dip ice cream cones. At the end of the day, we sat out and reflected on the experience. We smiled with contentment… one of those tired genuine smiles after a great day.
The real highlight of this year’s festival was observing the very real success of Ravelry in a relatively short time period. I joined Ravelry in it’s infancy, and it has grown into such an amazing community. Casey, Jess, and Mary-Heather (and all the volunteers!) have poured so much of themselves into it, and we all reap the benefits in the form of the website and the activities surrounding it. For this, I am so grateful. Maybe a little less knitting since I find it so hard to click away from the forums, but no less gratifying or enriching! There was a festival meetup for Ravelers, as well as a wonderful post-festival Ravelry party at one of the local hotels.
I had met Jess several times at previous festivals, and it was wonderful to see her again. This time, I got to meet Casey and Mary-Heather too. They were the stars of the show! Mary-Heather and I have corresponded for years, and I was so happy to finally meet her! …and Kris (who came to the party with me! surprise!) chatted with Casey and met so many of my online friends. I think he was surprised that he was recognized a few times as well!
We stayed at the party and witnessed the way that Ravelry has touched the community. Everyone was so friendly and excited to be a part of it! I met so many nice people, and reconnected with some old friends as well. I don’t have the time to link to everyone, and my memory may fail… but know that I was very happy to see you!
…and now, back to real life… the fiber event of the year has come and gone, once again.
It was so sweet while it lasted!