Monday, May 14, 2007

I'm just...

...A girl who can't say no. At each festival, there is just something I have to bring home. Above, the Finnish Landrace fleece from Maryland as backdrop, handmade deer antler buttons from NH, a Corriedale batt from Grafton Fibers, a turkish spindle from Hodgepodge Handicrafts (more on this later) and a small skein of black alpaca I spun on the spindle from my $5 bag of jet black huacaya alpaca seconds. This fiber was from Champlain Valley Alpacas and even the seconds were stellar. (psst. They have more bags of 2nds and some prime blanket fiber. Just check out the webpage and give them a holler) We saw an enormous number of alpacas, llamas and some sheep--and had a great time at the sunny cool, breezy festival. Great weather, both days!

New Hampshire... What a wonderful place! Beautiful scenery and people were open, warm, brisk, and friendly. Straight-talking and clear, everything from signs to waitresses were easy to interpret. I mean, we assume that everyone in North America can just automatically understand one another, but that's not always true...I sometimes have trouble with Kentucky accents and slang, and I grew up only a state away, in Virginia! This weekend, we were bathed in a rich true New Englander accent and the history of its textile traditions.

I ate lobster rolls and Indian Pudding for the first time, too and went back for seconds. Indian Pudding is a mixture of cornmeal, molasses, and something like pumpkin pie spices, served hot with vanilla ice cream on top. Mmmmh. Good.

I managed to sneak in visits with several important people, including my best friend since I was 12, Anne, who lives in Vermont and is a doctor (should I say doctah?) at Dartmouth Hospital. I also saw my college friend and study partner Kate, who I've now known for 16 years! In fact, she knew my husband the professor before I did. I met my agent in person for the first time, too. So much smiling and laughter--it was a ball.

We couldn't conclude this serenade to New Hampstah (ok, the accent, I keep thinking about it!) without talking about two other things. The first? The town we stayed in, Warner, had an independent bookstore, a kitchen shop, and a great toy and rubber stamping store. They weren't big box chains, which we see plenty of locally..and we don't even have a kitchen store in our town. We thoroughly enjoyed the shops' character and style. A book and a couple of mighty fine layer cake pans were purchased in our celebration of small, quirky, fun retail establishments.

Finally, at the kitchen store, we found the professor's version of crack. No kidding. His drug of choice--locally produced maple syrup. 20 oz of that came home with us, too! The professor himself is winging his way to Britain at this very moment to go do professorly things like give talks at universities. I can't wait to find time to wallow in all this fiber--and take a seriously long nap.
PS: This is why I needed a new flat turkish spindle immediately. They lay flat in suitcases. My marvelous spindle from Ray's Spindles in Canada, bought for me for Valentine's Day a few years ago by the professor, got broken in my suitcase. It's all my fault, I was careless. Ray will be hearing from me as soon as I find more time in each day..

8 Comments:

Blogger Romi said...

It sounds like an incredibly wonderful time! :)

May 14, 2007 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Oh, sorry to hear about your beautiful spindle. But the new one is equally as beautiful. It all sounds so serene and surreal. Glad you are enjoying yourself.

May 14, 2007 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Hello from Ireland!

So sorry about your spindle!

I meant to buy one of those lovely Grafton Fiber batts last year at Black Sheep but managed to forget. Maybe this year! You're going to be there, right? Angela, Holly and I will all be there.

May 14, 2007 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger annmarie said...

Well and what's the point of going to these things if you can't walk away with a few souvenirs! :)

May 14, 2007 at 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Cynthia Blue said...

Wow those are some nice pictures. :) I want to touch.

May 14, 2007 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

I'm greener than the green in that batt. It does sound like an incredibly wonderful time, even if it is (speaking technically) work. I am so pleased that you're enjoying yourself! I doubt that Woolfest will be quite so kaleidoscopic, but there's Ally Pally to look forward to as well.

In the interim I'll just go web-browsing....

May 15, 2007 at 3:08 AM  
Blogger vanessa said...

indian pudding, yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and now you will have all the songs from oklahoma in my brain all day ;-)

May 15, 2007 at 6:16 AM  
Blogger Romi said...

Tag! Come see my blog for details. :)

In your spare time, of course. ;)

May 15, 2007 at 3:35 PM  

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