Monday, October 29, 2007

socks are made for walking

Yesterday, we drove home from Asheville, SAFF (Southeast Animal Fiber Festival). This is the last festival I'll attend as research for my book. As the professor drove, I finished these socks. The color is not quite right, they are a bit darker in person, but this lovely yarn was dyed by the Barefoot Spinner. The design is mine--toe up, and the cuff uses a combination of slip stitches, ribbing, and a special cast-off that uses increases to create a "lettuce knit" frilly edging.

We've been to more than 10 fiber festivals and other events this season in order to take pictures and do research for my book , from May through October. Briefly, in order, those events were: A sheep shearing, Maryland Sheep and Wool, New Hampshire S&W, Missouri's Heart of America, Estes Park in CO, Black Sheep in OR, Michigan S&W, Tennessee State Fair and Fleece Auction, Taos Wool Market, Rhinebeck, and SAFF in Asheville, NC. It's been a lot of time on the road!

During this time, we have taken lots of planes, long drives, and more. We haven't had one late or cancelled flight or any car trouble. We've been enormously lucky. Here are some of my hints in case anyone else undertakes such an adventure:
1. Take your vitamin every day and eat lots of fruits and veggies to stay healthy
2. Pack an extra nylon duffel bag inside of your suitcase--just in case you need to bring something home!
3. Go early--to the festival, the airplane, whatever. Early birds get parking spaces and get on planes.
4.Don't be afraid to wear dirty clothes. No matter what you pack, you might need to reuse. So you smell a little sheepy? So what?!
5.Talk to strangers. Strangers at fiber events are wonderful people.
6.Pet animals. Yaks, friendly llamas, sheep, goats--pet them all...and no, I haven't gotten any weird animal-borne diseases!
7. Wear cushy handknit socks and sturdy shoes with good support since walking all day on concrete is standard.
8. Eat well at least once a day, and eat early to avoid the lines.
9. Bring a (handknit) sweater just in case you're cold.
10. Try to spend less than you want to, and you'll only be a little over budget!

The Professor adds:
1. A short line is a great excuse to have lunch, even at 10:45 AM. In someone's time zone, this is lunch time.
2. Short line? Eat lunch twice!
3. Always be prepared. A photographer never knows when he'll be called to:
a) delete that photo! my work is mine! (or "copyrighted"--neither of which is applicable legally in a public setting, but we always oblige. Don't want to have your work in a book? No problem.)
b)take pictures with anyone's camera, at any time. A large camera means you must be a photographic genius...
c)leap into the show ring to shoot photos of prize winning sheep
d) be willing to act as a livestock photographer for farmers who ask
4. If you get lost, don't count on the cell phone working. It's better if you know your partner's yarn and fleece preferences---that way you can usually find her right away.
5. Yes, it is possible to pack 30 lbs of wool in a 10lb duffle bag.

More soon, when I've finished the laundry. I feel as though I have a permanent date with the washing machine!


Blogger sarah said...

I second the 'pack a duffle bag'. We had to buy one on a recent trip. It's astonishing how much yarn packs down... if the seams had given way, I'm sure the luggage compartment would have been completely filled with yarn.

Welcome home! It must be good to be back even when there's so much to do.

October 29, 2007 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger e's knitting and spinning blog said...

Woo hoo! You did it:-)

October 30, 2007 at 5:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the two lists! and that goat still makes me smile on the second viewing (and third...)

October 30, 2007 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Peggy said...

HA!!!!! I love the Profs number 4, too funny. Love the socks, what can be better?

October 30, 2007 at 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck with the book, Joanne. You've worked hard for it!

October 30, 2007 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Mary in VA said...

Good luck with the book. Tell the professor that my first thought after reading #4 was "good thing I haven't poured the first cup of coffee this morning." I second the idea that the smaller festivals can be nicer. Yes, you can't find everything..., but the vendors are more relaxed nd have time to chat and that's the real fun at these events.

October 31, 2007 at 4:32 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

LOL, the professor's list numbers 4 & 5 totally cracked me up!

November 4, 2007 at 10:03 AM  

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