On the Road
Rach-made

MD - NC - VA

My mom's turned 80 today ~ and that's why I'm just getting around to my MS&W recap: We headed to Carolina Sunday before noon to make Mother's Day, then I stayed there yesterday to celebrate her birthday a day early. What did I give her? A hat kit from Cloverleaf Farms, which I cast onto her new DPNs for her yesterday. And how was Maryland? Amazing, of course, as dozens of other bloggers have already reported. Greta was the perfect guide, having made her first foray a year ago. She knew where we should stay, the hotel where we bumped into other knitfriends at every turn.

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Theresa and Julie

Joan from Reno joined us in the bar, where I attached the sleeves to my Ribby (I added the collar after dinner). Suddenly Greta jumped up and ran into the lobby to throw her arms around Nathania, so I went out to greet her and Sheila, too, and soon all those Westerners joined us in the bar before we headed out to dinner.

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Vanessa, Lolly, Joy, Sheila, Shannon, Sarah, Nathania

Msw050003 We woke early and excited and made it to the fairgrounds before nine,  making our way immediately to the swag shed for commemorative gear, together with Sara, Cece and Cate. Having forgotten my sunglasses, I bought a visor, the intended totebag, and Ts for me & Wee C. We waited awhile, but I found it a nice time to acclimate to the hugeness of it all. Msw050004 And soon we were off to the main exhibition building, where I joined Kristine and Ann in what Kristine has appropriately named the Koigu scrum ~ and my seven sequential mill ends were worth the effort (the blue eighth will go elsewhere), especially if I turn them into another lovely shawl for only $22!

Msw050005We stepped across the aisle to greet our friend Mary Ann, a first-time exhibitor, and show her that I was wearing the scarf I'd knit from her silk-merino I got at the FFF in October. Happy to see Kristine report that she made some Three Waters Farm purchases herself, as I'd pulled her in to the booth behind me!

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Lala and Rachael

And then we found our girls! We met bloggers all through the day (Leigh, Carolyn, Norma, Silvia, Claudia, Anmiryam, Jill, Jane, Sarah, Chelsea, Rose, Lara, Katy, Beth, Barbara, and more!) and it was grand, but I was really wanting to see me some Rach, and meet her good Lala. After a healthy lunch of ice cream and curly fries (this vegetarian isn't the only one who can't eat lamb amidst the lambs), we took off in search of the Harlot, but were waylaid by vendors and critters and friends, including Wendy, to whom Greta presented a SpongeBob surprise:

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We did eventually locate Stephanie, who graciously signed our books before going off in search of food. I'm grateful for Claudia's tips that she posted before the show, because I did visit most of the vendors she recommended. And I found some others on my own, which was also fun. But like the average newbie, I overdid it, shot my budget, lost control. I'm not gonna rue it, though, because the fest was such fun and the fiber so tantalizing, what's a knitter to do? I'm certainly well-stocked (as if I wasn't before!) and will try to resist further stash enhancement for the foreseeable future. So, wanna see the haul?

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clockwise, from the top: solar-dyed in seawater wool in the basket with Mom's hat kit, Tess's microfiber ribbon for a tank, the spindle Greta got me, the KPPPM, three shades of Socks that Rock, 175 yards of a chained mohair, sock yarn from Ellen's, four fiber fluffs for spinning or thrums, a big hank of Wensleydale wool in case I take to the spinning, and in the center, a wooly panda and glass-star hairband for Wee C and a set of glass buttons

Whew. What a good time. And I knit. More than the Ribby. More on that later. Thank you, Greta. Thank you, Maryland. Thank you, sheep.

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