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MSWF '05May 10, 2005

Oh, boy. Where do I start?

Let's start with the plain facts:

1. We had a GREAT time.

2. I slipped, fell, and bought a CRAPload of fiber on the way down. There was none left in my wake. None. People cried. They saw me sailing through ahead of them, buying ALL the fiber at the festival, and they pleaded with me to stop, to leave them just a little bit, an ounce of roving, an inch of combed top, but no, I took no prisoners and left no survivors. There are way too many metaphors in this paragraph. Oh, well.

3. Lala is a really, really good traveling companion.

4. I'm tired. I left work Friday morning after working all night and flew in to DC (boy, were my arms tired). I got home Tuesday afternoon, had an hour at home, and came back to work. A full, four-day weekend, extremely well-worth it. But I'm sleepy.

5. I am organized. Before we left, I'd made a little packet. I was semi-embarrassed to admit it, but I'd gathered together our plane e-ticket info, rental car reservations, directions from DC to our hotel in Maryland, from the hotel to the Sheep and Wolf Estival, from the hotel to Cari's house, all put in order in a plastic sleeve as we'd need 'em. And the most amazing thing? The papers worked! On Monday, we woke up in the Maryland hotel, got in the car, and drove to Cari's. In Brooklyn. We had no real map, just verbal directions from Google maps (which were really good, btw), and we had no earthly idea where we were going, only that it was north. We didn't know which states we were going to go through (since we apparently both slept through all of Geography). And eventually, after driving a long time, we pulled up in front of Cari's very door. Amazing. But I get ahead of myself.

Maryland Sheep and Wool:

The people! The wool! The smell of those fried little cakey things that I can never ever remember the name of, have to think "bear claw" before I finally get to.... no, still don't have it.... Funnel cakes! That's it! Oh, just think of the smell of those wafting through the air, mixed with the scent of lamb cooking up, which is both disturbing and reassuring at the same time. To me, anyway. I can imagine how it could be only disturbing to others.

Best parts (becase apparently I am still in List Mode):

1. The people. I can't even begin to remember to list all the people I saw and hugged, so I won't. But I got to meet a bunch of readers, every single of them sweet and charming and funny and lovely. And I got to love on a lot of old friends, which did this heart right.

2. The fiber. I had to buy a storage tub from Target to get it all home (thanks, Claudia, for the idea -- I hadn't the foggiest about what I was going to do before you mentioned that). A storage tub! A huge one! It took all my body weight and a whole roll of strapping tape to get it closed. Then at the airport when the guy told me he'd have to open it, I said, "No, it'll explode if you do that!" That's not the right answer, if you were wondering. I managed to convince him that it was just a slip of the tongue before he evacuated the terminal, but it was close.

3. The wheel. Oh, yeah, did I tell you I bought a wheel? I was out of CONTROL, people. I bought the one I wanted, the Ashford Joy, from Morgaine at Carolina Homespun, like I promised her years ago I would do if I ever started really spinning. Yes, I went to Maryland to buy a wheel from a woman who lives fifteen miles from me. Oh, well. It has its own cunning little backpack, and I adore it. I might sleep with it. You never know. (I carried it on the plane with me, and when the security guy saw it on the screen, he said, "Whoo-ooh-oow." I agree.)

4. The food. We ate nothing that wasn't sugared or fried for three days. I am not exaggerating. It was like Disneyland, only you could get a coke for less than seven dollars. I feel like I have never run a damn day in my whole life.

Want some pictures? You've been very patient. I actually didn't take very many. Lala has the good ones -- I'll ask her to either blog them or send them to me in the coming days. But from my camera:

This lil lady has dreadlocks.

Lala's getting into it.

Okay, really into it.

Yep, there's my baby. The wheel, not the Harlot, although she is babelicious (you know you were thinking it). All that fiber in those bags?  Mine, also. But I lied through my damn teeth about it:

None of that is mine. I swear. Nope.
Also, speaking of lying to Stephanie, we pulled our very best prank on her -- Lala made me buy some cotton candy and put it right on the very top of all my fiber. "Just LOOK at this pretty roving!" Stephanie ooohs and aaahs and says it looks like the color of cotton candy. "It IS cotton candy!" Fits of giggles as Lala and I fall about, thinking ourselves the cleverest twelve-year olds at the Festival, Stephanie undoubtedly thinking it was high time to run for the hills.


There is nothing sweeter than a shorn alpaca. It's like when a three-year old cuts the whiskers off a cat, so wrong-looking and so funny.


Now that's cute.


Saturday night was a rare treat -- after an Indian dinner with Greta and Maggi (both of whom I'd been dying to catch up with and love on) and my fiber-genius friend Deanna and her cool friend Shelly, I got to meet Joan-in-Reno, one of my favorite readers. She was an absolute delight.

And our Maggi learned to spin! Greta was her teacher, and Mogs picked it up like nothing I've ever seen. Lala was impressed, as you can see.

Me, Nathania, and Wendy. All I can say is, what happens in Maryland, stays in Maryland. But I believe there was gin involved.


I got fiber and a wheel -- Lala got yarn and a hat. I know who scored more.

Tomorrow, some New York pics, as Maryland could not come to our girls, we brought Maryland to them.


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Oh you had fun! And you wore your new flame stitch cardi! :)

Looks like so much fun! I hope to go one year to meet all you crazy festival goers.

Your lists are hilarious. You're lucky that (after saying "explode") they still let you and your giant tub of fiber onto the plane! That cotton candy joke is great too. Looks like you had a great time!

Wow. Does anyone else think they were now at the Festival after reading your post? There is fun wherever you go, girl!

You got so many great pictures!

i knew i would find an enthusiastic review here :)

having seen only maybe 1/3 of it in person, you did get a mighty impressive roving haul!! :)

WOW! What an amazing time - looks like it was worth the travle for both of you!

giggle. I fell for the cotton candy joke, too...but watching you two was WORTH it. Dang, you guys are ADORABLE!
I only ENABLED the spindler...Deanna and Shelly did the actual teaching....oh jeeez, I miss all y'all so much!
Let's do it again SOON, k?
This time without the Migraine.

I cannot BELIEVE Stephanie fell for that old 'cotton candy as roving' joke. Geesh.

Sounds like you took the East by storm. Extra pillaging!

xoxoxo Kay

One year the Sydney contingent will be there. Every time I read about it I want to get there more. Thanks for the great report Rach.

I've *GOT* to meet you next time around! =) You're such a hoot! And I thought your cotton candy prank was quite hilarious (I told Kaitlyn over at knitbits that she could be my friend now cuz she's proven our combined maturity is about 3 years old! Hee!) Thanks for sharing your memories of MSW 05 and I'm lookin' forward to seeing your Ashford Joy in action (yup, I think I'm catching a spinning bug, too!)!

AWwww, wasn't it great? I see Greta's already given the teacher credit to Shelly ~ but of course it was she who gave me the spindle. Get that wheel going good, girlfriend ~ can't wait to see what that fiber becomes!

so glad you had a blast! :) i also bought WAY too much yarn - stupid vendors with their unbelievably soft and beautiful wares! don't they know that we have NO WILLPOWER, especially when they lure us into a sugar coma with all the funnel cakes? i swear, it's all part of a conspiracy...

Looks like you had a great time! I have to admit that I saw you and Lala there but couldn't find the courage to go say hi (but I did love the Flame cardi - beautiful from afar!). Next time, however, I'll give you my funnel cake (turns out I don't like them). Can't wait to see your spinning progress!

Oh gawd! You sound like your were the bull in the M fest! Glad you had lots of fun and treated yourself! And to think, awhile ago you both though you might not be able to make it. Love your list too, and L's hat - cool. Terry in SF

I'm so sorry I missed you at MSWF, I was looking forward to introducing myself in person. Congrats on the new wheel!!! I just got my Ashford Traveller last week. (The husband adoringly had it set up by the time I got back from the Fest that night). I think I left with a bag as large as yours too. We must have been working from opposite ends. Got to love new spinners! I can't wait to see the progress on new finds!

My two favorite things...funnel cakes and fiber! YUM! The shaved alpaca (ooo, that sounds mildly pornographic, doesn't it?) pic is too funny, looks like he's (she's?) wearing a powder puff for a hat!

Thanks for your comment to my leaving post.
This time it wasn't a hard decision.
You know, I'm not going anywhere, though - I'll be reading (you, of course!) blogs leaving comments and knitting for sure.

I know it's not very becoming and also not very emotionally mature, but I an SO JEALOUS!!! of your MSWF fun! Way jealous!

And Mz Rach - that Lala is *just* the cutest thang! Not cuter than Mz. C but damn close! I can't help but wonder how the four of us would hit it off?!? Personally, I think we'd have a real good time!

(((Big 'Ol Hug)))

That review almost made up for me missing it. Glad you had such a great time, and REALLY GLAD I got to meet you on your stop through here!

Thanks for allowing us to accost you on the way out of the festival! Your flame sweater looked even better in person than it did in the pictures and Lala is just the nicest!

I thought that was Lala. Now it's confirmed, although I didn't spot you. This was my first year at MS&W and it was great. Took a charter bus from Philly, spent more than I really should have (but oh! that Brooks Farm merino yarn...)
Looking forward to next year. Oh yeah.

What? No picture of The Trunk?

I'm a long-time reader, first-time poster, and I just wanted to thank you for the vicarious trip to MS&W! Your flame cardi is adorable, and I think your girl Lala is a keeper (especially in that hat!). Thanks, and keep writing!

Augh! Lala's hat is TO DIE. She looks SO very, very, very, very fine, and I'm a straight girl. Mostly. Jeebs. I'm glad you guys had such a great time! What a haul!

I was there, but I never saw you. It was so crowded on Saturday that I couldn't see anyone! (Yogi Berra, eat your heart out.) I bought one, count it, one skein of yarn (wool and angora) -- my kids were not able to stay for more than a couple of hours, so I really did not have a proper opportunity to shop. (Next year I'll leave them home!) I'm glad you all had such a good time, and come back next year!

I must confess, I have been Impatiently awaiting your post of the weekend!!! (where is she, where is she..each morning I said!!!) I am green with envy..you guys have soooooo much fun ... coast to coast!

I may not be a blogger but I am one of your fav'rite NY Fans! Loveya!

It has been so much fun to see you all over Blogland! You make it look like TOO much fun with you BAGS and BAGS of stuff! LOL

Love the adventures, and the pic of La in the hat and red jacket - very styling! I've never tried to spin cotton candy. Wonder if it can be done?

Oh lordy, you said explode in an airport! Lucky you didn't have to greyhound it. Get some sleep and it was great to see you and Lala.

dang girl! i wish i'd seen y'all.... you look like you had a BLAST.

The east coast will never be the same now. You know how to have fun!!!

I'm so jealous, my teeth hurt! (I think shorn alpacas look like Dr. Seuss characters.)

I'm glad I got a chance to say hi last weekend. You guys were having so much fun it was infectious. Can't wait to see what you make out of the haul.

The cotton candy was inspired!

I was so happy to meet you and Lala this weekend even if we did have to go the right coast to do it. It sounds like you were lucky to be let on airplane to come home after that explosion remark. They seem to have remarkably little sense of humor these days.

I was so glad to finally meet you and Lala. You two are really cute. :)

Seriously, that haul was incredible. I can't believe you told the airport guy it would explode. *giggle* but imagine if he HAD opened it...

It was so awesome to see you and Lala both, however brief. Next time, longer.

p.s. you in that sweater and Lala in her hat...d-a-a-a-amn, girls! hotties!

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