But yesterday morning, I woke up at FIVE THIRTY IN THE MORNING and could hardly keep myself from fidgeting with excitement. It didn't help that there was a very loud group of baby birds outside who were obviously very hungry and trying to wake Mama Bird. Fortunately, my little chicks were all still asleep.
I fought off the anxiety, got myself prepared for the day, packed my bag and left my house at 7:30. I expected much more traffic than there actually was, and I got to the fairgrounds in about 30 minutes. Even though it was eight o'clock, there were tons of people going in already, so I wandered into the grounds, picked up my directories and started scoping out the vendors. My friend wasn't due to meet me there until 9, so I had an hour to kill.
I wandered with the knowledge that the gates don't technically open until 9, ogling yarns and rovings and animals and then happened upon David Paul at The Merlin Tree's booth. I stopped to smile at all the cute little wheels lined up and Dave started chatting. I told him who I was (we talked on the phone last week about saving me a wheel) and before I knew it, he and I had picked my specimen from the row and I was seated, being shown how this little beauty works and taking a practice spin. After I spun for a bit, the deal was cinched. I paid up and Dave even autographed the wheel for me (after all, he builds them by hand -- they're a work of art):
To complete my early circuit, I went up to the main exhibition haul to scope out the Koigu booth (I wanted to be there when the Koigu frenzy started so I could watch it ... it's like a 10-cent panty sale at the department store.) I walked the whole hall, but alas, no Koigu. Apparently they were a no-show and rumors were floating of a broken foot. I consoled myself with a much-sought-after-and-coveted Grafton batt. I think that the vendors who actually had Koigu (like the Mannings) really cleaned up.
From there, I started heading back to the front gates to wait for my friend when I ran into Knitty D and The City. They drove down on their own (as opposed to coming with the rest of the Rosie's crew) to make it in time for the Koigu rush, and so I had to break the news. Wendy and I left Christina in the Socks that Rock line at The Fold and we went to check the main hall one more time. This is what Knitty D had to deal with. She's on the far left bending over (sorry Christina!) and Wendy's on the other side in the pink tee:
Wendy and I walked through the main hall and then parted ways back at The Fold's booth. We swapped cell numbers and I went to meet my friend. Sadly, the mayhem of the day prevented us from hooking up again.
Memories from the rest of the day are far less linear. Animals, shopping, animals, more animals, more shopping ... My friend, her husband and I wandered through all the barns and booths, fondling fibers and talking about what spins well and what doesn't, how uncontrollable a stash can be without a plan (her stash rivals mine) and just having a lot of fun. We work together, you see, which is why she's going nameless here, and it's always really nice to do things outside the office with someone that's as much fun as she is. Her husband was a real trooper, too. He carried the Hitchhiker the whole day!
We saw the dog demos:
We wandered a bit more and then parted ways. I headed to get some lunch (got a lamb sausage from the Boy Scouts) and finally plopped down on a bench to rest and eat. Ran into Caroline from my spinning group and chatted and then, at 1, headed out to the blogger meetup.
The blogger meetups always drive me nuts. No matter where people say they're going to meet, it's hard to find -- primarily because we rarely see each others' faces! Unless you pick out something totally awesome to wear (like the socks I saw on the hill -- I don't know her name, but they were amazing), it's very tricky! So I plopped down with Sarah and a few other gals from spinners group and looked around, trying to pick out Gryphon with no luck. Oh well. It was a chance to take a load off, anyway.
By then, it was about 2 o'clock and I had just about had it. So I started heading back to the gates, stopping here and there to pick up little things (like some lovies for the boys -- even the wee one). I finally made it to the car and headed out. So here's the haul:
Clockwise from back left: HitchHiker Wheel from The Merlin Tree, a white batt of California Red from Apple Rose Farm, three ounces of alpaca fleece, Grafton fiber batt (dead center), silk hankies from A Touch of Twist, along with a few cocoons to process on my own, Cormo roving from Winterhaven Fiber Farm. The stuffed llama is for the wee one (each of the boys got one too, but they were asleep when I took this picture).
What you can't see in the picture is a ball of Jacob Sheep roving and a combo sett-stick and orifice hook from Woodchuck:
All in all, it was a good day. A fibery day. A friendly day. I'm seriously fighting the desire not to race back today, but I was very good with my budget and there's a lot to do around the house. There isn't anything else that I can't live without and truth be told, yesterday took more out of the pregnant lady than she cares to admit. But last night's dreams were sweet and I can always play with my new toy today to take my mind off of the festival itch!