What a great long weekend we had! Full of good friends, lots of spinning, a bit of buying, and a successful weekend of sales. We just got home from the annual spinning conference; it was held in Coeur d'Alene Idaho this year (that's about 7 1/2 hours drive from our house).
I've got oodles of photos to share - and a tale from our journey home. It's been a wild ride. You know, someone once told me that if you wanted to inspire a close knit family, go camping.... but I am getting ahead of the tale a bit... back to the beginning:
We set off early last thursday morning, driving up through Snoqualmie pass - it was spectacularly beautiful going through the mountains. I was knitting, of course, on my most recent sock. It's the colorway "Happy Together" - I'll share completed photos soon, it is drying as we speak. Yes - I actually finished three socks on this journey... how did I do that when I was spinning all day long?.. read on...
It was a long drive, on a hot day, yet we were content with the breeze coming from the windows, and a few times of turning on the AC. The majority of the drive looked alot like this.... desert. Hard to believe that 4 hours worth of desert exists in this "Evergreen State" of ours (WA).
We arrived mid afternoon, and set up the booth. Spinning conferences are very laid-back, casual-type affairs... translate that: the spinners descended upon our booth in droves as we set up (big grins) and "helped" (bigger grin) - fiber flew out of my hands, before I could even put it up on shelves! (gotta love those buddies of ours!) We laughed, and totally enjoyed ourselves. A wonderful friend, Celeste, showed up and helped us set up - she was a godsend! Thanks again, Celeste - you're the best! (sorry I didn't get a photo of her.. we were too busy shelving fiber!) With her help, the set up went quickly and soon the booth looked like this:
The conference was held on the North Idaho College campus; we took over the gymnasium and the student union building. Hundreds of spinners everywhere! Here's just a few of them. Have you ever seen so many wheels?
Spinners came from Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Oregon. I also snagged some photos of other booths that were at the conference:
the basket lady
Marcia Adams booth - Rainshadow Farms - all of her work is dyed fiber from he coopworth sheep - all nautral dyes. gorgeous!
You've seen bits of Marcia before on this blog, she's also our wonderful shearer!! Yay Marcia!
Our friend Jim was there, of Herndon Creek. He makes a delightful array of spinning and weaving tools.
Sarah Anderson was there too with her lovely hand dyed fibers. Sarah won the spinners prize for a four ply cabled lace weight yarn. It was amazing.
I taught a bunch of folks to spin on Turkish drop spindles. There were so many - I didn't get photos of them all, but here's Patty with her first time ever spinning! Woo hoo! Another spinner is born!
There were demonstrations taking place all day long, and well into the evening every day. Here is one my friend Marilyn Knapp held. She is an incredible weaver - and this is a technique of three dimensional weaving design - It was even more dramatic in person. Marilyn made it appear easy, yet as I even attempt to reconstruct it in my mind to describe here, it eludes me. Perhaps one day she'll teach a class on it!
We played from 8 am to 10 or 11pm every day. Then on sunday, we loaded up to head home. We were happy and weary - it had been fun! Our pack and load went super fast, and we congratulated ourselves on the early start we made, thinking that we'd be home in time for dinner on sunday.... famous last words.
We were about 2 hours into the drive - yes, that's me knitting on another sock, colorway " Glad All Over" (notice the awesome knitting bag... thank you Mom.. (she makes them)). We were in the very middle of the desert - it was hot, we were exhausted from all the play... when all of a sudden, Klaus noticed that the blinkers didn't work on the RV - then he noticed that, hmmmmmm... the battery gauge was registering zero energy... not good. We pulled off into the next rest stop, and found a helpful trucker who chatted and agreed that we should pull off the road asap. So, with a bit of concern (only a bit at this point) we drove to the next exit (still in the desert)... bless everything, it was actually in a town: Moses Lake. Moses Lake is a hot place in the summer.
The truck stop boasted two gas stations, and a Shilo Inn, and Shari's restaurant. We were in luck. (remember it was sunday... all the other things were closed). Klaus hiked around, trying to find current phone books, auto mechanics (hah! on a sunday?? ) or something - all the while, we didn't dare turn off the RV. It was getting even hotter outside.
After an hour or so of evaluating, asking around, and coming up with no good solutions, we pulled in to the Shilo Inn and rented a room for the night. It was time for a cold beer. The bartender told us that it was reported to be 107 degrees outside (gee, no wonder we were hot and thirsty). Wonder why we didn't just sleep in the RV?? hmm... it looked something like this inside: - still stuffed with fiber, even though a bunch of boxes were empty... plus it was just so danged hot.
Dinner and a good night's sleep in a motel with AC improved our outlook considerably. (and now you understand how I was able to knit three socks on this trip!)
The next morning, we called and got a jump start, then found (to our great pleasure and surprise) there was a chevy dealer less than 1 mile away, AND, they had time to take a look as soon as we got there. (yay!)
Four hours later, we were back on the road. Man were we glad!... and fortunate... what they discovered was that a mechanic who had installed the new alternator last week, had accidently hooked the cable up to charge the wrong battery (there's 3 of them in a motor home - yeah, it's very confusing!)... The cable had literally melted from the heat it had generated - we were so fortunate to not have had a fire. Phew! Talk about your guardian angels riding on one's shoulders. wow.
And so, as I mentioned in the beginning of this post, they say that it inspires closeness in a family by going camping... why? Well, something always goes a bit wonky (grin... don't we know it!) and it is the retelling of the tale in years to come that creates fond memories.. we made it - everyone will say.. and remember when....
Man-o-man, I figure this story will be retold for a few years (grin)... we made it.