Monday, June 12, 2017

Three Weekends in a Row

How is it that the busier you are, the less you get done? I was home this weekend after being away from home the previous three weekends. I got some things done, but I still have some catching up to do.

My travel-to-teach season started three weeks ago when I drove north, across the Mighty Mac (the Mackinac Bridge), to Pickford for the Spring Fiber Fling. Travel went without a hitch; a small miracle with my aging car. In fact, I was the recipient of a random act of kindness. When I pulled up to the toll booth to pay my bridge toll for the crossing north, the toll worker informed me that the driver in line ahead of me paid my toll. That was the beginning of a sweet, sweet weekend.

The attendance was down a bit, but that was nice for me. I liked the extra room to spread out knitting and spinning projects at the lodge tables. It was fun to see what others were working on: beading, basketry, embroidery, quilting, crochet, and more. How delightful!
I taught two workshops: Variations on Long Draw on Saturday, and I-Cord Edges and More! On Sunday. I teach the long draw class a lot. It’s been awhile since I taught the I-Cord class; I’d forgotten how much fun it is. In the class, we knit a miniature version of a wrist wrap that I designed that features I-cords in several ways. Last week, one the folks who took that workshop, ├ůsa Chong, sent me a picture of a full-size wrist wrap that she’d finished. Here it is:

Another highlight from this trip: I bought a fleece from Selden Collins. She lives in Pickford, and she raises Corriedale sheep. Her fleeces are fantastic. I snagged Wilma’s fleece. Selden told me that she’s saving the fleece from Wilma’s twin, Willy, to possibly enter in the fleece competition at the Michigan Fiber Festival in August. Selden’s fleeces won best in show and other awards at last year’s Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival. I am so looking forward to playing with Wilma’s wool.

The following weekend, I traveled to Wooster, Ohio for my first time at the Great Lakes Fiber Show. Again, a nice, eventless drive. Except. On the way there and on the way back, I saw more dead deer along the side of the road than I have ever seen on any trip. Dead deer are not an uncommon sight in Michigan, but the numbers this time were first alarming then exhausting. 

The Great Lakes Fiber Show was Great! The folks in my workshops were enthusiastically engaged, so my teaching experience could not have been better. Oh, wait. Yes it could. And it was! My classroom was in the fairgrounds Dining Hall, near the Grand Stand and the track where there were harness race practices going on! I’d never seen sulkies in person before. It was very exciting for me.
Even though this was my first time at this show, I did see many friends that I know from other fiber festivals. I came to appreciate the practical advantages of gaining friends in the fiber festival circle: I got some excellent driving direction advice from Chris Roosien of Briar Rose Fibers (“Don’t pay attention to Mapquest. Going to Wooster, just follow US23 south to US30 east and that’ll take you right to Wooster – without a toll!”) and from Edie Bowles of Spinning Moon Farm (“Ignore the gps directions to the motel. Just take a right at the gas station and go straight through town and the motel will be on your right.”) These two bits of advice made a huge difference in my driving comfort.

Hey, on the way home at the end of the weekend, I was heading north on M115 and I noticed that The Frosty Cup is no more! I’ve been travelling along this section of highway nearly all my life. The Frost Cup was the place the family always stopped for an ice cream cone on either the way to the cottage or going home from the cottage. That joint had been there for over 50 years. When was it demolished? Anyone?

The following weekend I stayed in Frankfort to do some dog sitting. “Auggie” is a very handsome and fantastically well-mannered Weimaraner. I got to walk Auggie a couple times a day, which gave me an opportunity to learn a bit about Frankfort. It is a charming town. And how nice it is to get to a Lake Michigan beach with a 5-minute walk!

This weekend I had planned to catch up on chores: make granola, garden, laundry, put winter sweaters away. But, you know, I ended up watching Netflix and knitting. I’m nearly done with a vest that I’m making from some handspun.

Now I need to turn my attentions to the finishing touches of preparations for this week’s trip. I leave on Wednesday for Indianapolis and the Midwest Weavers Conference. The notebooks are ready. Today I’ll gather supplies, tools, and samples. More fiber fun! Woowee!



    Here you go. The story about Frosty Cup.