Well, I made it to New Hampshire for the Knit and Crochet Show. And I finally got the wireless figured out, so here I am!
First of all, put me down as an epic fail on the Tour de Fleece. Too bad. Between the real estate agent and packing, I was up until after 11 the night I left, and when I was finally done with (not even all of) the essentials, nothing was standing between me and bed. Oh well; it's probably good for me to lose so thoroughly--maybe I'll learn to quit being such a perfectionist or something.
Meanwhile, I did end up with an extra half hour the morning I flew out, after I knew it was 100% hopeless, so I just spun for fun (on the same project). It went smoothly and magically, and if it wasn't for the fact that the end result would probably have been me paying the airline $25 in baggage fees to smash and then lose my spinning wheel (even just typing that made me cringe), I was very tempted to bring it with me. It was only half an hour, but it really reminded me how much I love spinning. Looooooove spinning.
Anyway, the current news. It is chilly here in Manchester, NH. It's presently 68 and cloudy. I'm actually wearing a long sleeve shirt and pants and thinking I should put on some socks. Very surreal after leaving behind temperatures in the high 90s or more. It was funny, when I landed and was standing outside the airport waiting for the shuttle to the hotel, I'd been standing there for about 15 minutes, when suddenly I realized "hey, I'm not hot!" I think the highs are supposed to be in the low 80s all week. Aaaah.
Also, my hotel turns out to be about a ten minute walk from the Mall of New Hampshire. I really don't think of myself as a mall rat--I think I've been to the mall a total of two times in the year since I moved back to Huntsville--but for some reason I found it really exciting to walk to the mall yesterday. I guess it's because I had time to just goof off. I'm miles from my yarn, my job, my house, et al, and last night I couldn't even get the computer to work. Nothing to do but shop! :) Plus they have an A. C. Moore, which was one of my favorite places when I lived outside Erie, PA., so I was excited to check that out. Like Michael's, they've gotten rid of all of their interesting yarn, though. I think I was there less than five minutes. But it was still fun to just wander around the mall and look at things. They're already starting with the fall clothes up here--summer stuff was on clearance but all the good stuff was either really tiny or really huge. I actually saw sweaters for sale! Having been here only a few hours at the time, just the sight of them made me feel like melting. Today I can see the appeal.
Anyway, about the yarn festivities. Today was professional development day, so I attended a lot of interesting talks, mostly about being a designer and/or author. Very cool. What I didn't anticipate is that as designers, we're targets for free goodies! Oh yeah! Here are Robyn Chachula and the Crochet Dude announcing some door prize winners.
One talk that was a bit out of the ordinary for the rest of the day was about crochet as art. The talk was given by Sharon Mann, who is quite talented and very nice. She gave us some helpful pointers on developing your career and getting recognized as an artist with your crochet. She was very encouraging, in contrast with the talk I attended right before that, in which I was basically scolded for being a boring individual and for not wearing any of my work. Sorry, it was really freakin' hot when I packed and I barely had room for two works in progress--I didn't pack a sweater, or even a cape. (I have no excuses for being boring.)
Part of what I wanted to find out was at what point you can start calling your crochet or knitting "art" as opposed to just a sweater or whatever. Sharon's philosophy is that it's all creative, so it's all art. I'm in favor of that idea but not sure I quite buy it. Anyway, here she is with a piece that she created while we were there.
And here's one of her other pieces, very cool.
I really like her stuff, and it actually looked like art to me, unlike most crocheted stuff, including all of mine. Maybe it's because it had other stuff besides just yarn in it, or maybe it's just that she was confident and convinced herself that it was art. Anyway, her talk was super cool.
I also loved the fact that during any of the talks, you could just whip out your knitting or crochet, and it wasn't considered rude! Three cheers for yarn conferences! In fact, we were actually encouraged to make squares for a charity afghan during the morning talks. Believe it or not, that was actually the first time I've crocheted a square of any sort, granny or otherwise. I get the appeal now--it was really easy. I should have taken a picture before adding it to the donation box. Yes, this was the perfect project--just make the square and throw it in, no sewing all those pieces together, no weaving in ends, just mindless bliss. Also, nearly everyone failed to follow the directions, which were to make a square either 6" or 12" wide out of all one color acrylic yarn. The other lady at my table who made one made an 8" cotton square. Most people did multi-colors. Even I, as it turns out, did not follow the pattern, which I wouldn't have noticed except the 8" cotton square lady announced that she had made the pattern, and her square looked nothing like mine. It's kind of funny to watch from my perspective--I know that if I was the person who organized the effort or the person stuck sewing them together, I'd be really mad. I hate it when people don't follow directions. But since it's not my problem, I have the luxury of thinking it will be a more interesting, better afghan this way.
Anyway, tomorrow if the wireless still works I'll post some pictures of my haul! Free stuff, oh yeah! The only drawback is that I totally failed to anticipate this in my packing calculations. I hope I can fit all this stuff and the yarn that I actually buy into my luggage.