Saturday, May 26, 2007

Meddling & Lateness: A Cautionary Tale

So today was the Massachusetts Sheep & Wool festival, and Dragonmaille and I were planning to go up, enter our respective skeins into the handspun contest, and hang around. We had also planned to go for both days.

I got to D's house, where she was almost ready to go except her skein entry hadn't been wound long enough to twist back on itself, and was too thick to dry properly from the night before. (Don't worry if you non-yarny folk don't understand this; suffice to say that there was stuff that needed to be done to it before we could enter it in the contest.) I took it upon myself to wind it for her while she hopped in the shower. Big mistake.

Upon untying it and getting it ready, I managed to pull out the wrong end of the yarn, and immediately tangled the entire thing. No, wait--I didn't tangle it--I made it EXPLODE. Cue much frantic scrambling by me and then D and then me AND D to get it into order. A few hundred yards of Romeldale went SPROING and then CLUMP and I think it was then we realized that I had royally screwed it up.

We got a late start, with the nearly-always-Zen D actually showing irritation (well-deserved by me) and trying desperately to restore order to what was essentially a slightly damp ball of sheep that kept reverting to its pre-blocked curly state. I drove for 45 minutes from her place to the fairgrounds, and the entire time she fiddled with knots that appeared and disappeared at some cruel cosmic entity's idea of funny.

Of course, the late start coupled with some rotten slow (FOR NO REASON) traffic on Route 9 meant that we were late getting to the fairgrounds, which meant we were late getting to the building where the judging was being held. Which meant that we staggered up to the doors about five minutes after they had finished judging the skein contest entries. Which meant...yeah. No skein contest for us this time around.

I suppose it was karma, since I had--no matter how unwittingly--made D's entry impossible through my own meddling-in-helping's-clothing. I don't know how she felt inside, but I know I was ready to cry. Actually, we talked about it a lot, and I think she was pretty much at the same point. At least her problem was that someone else made a mistake, not her. *hangs head* It sucks, because I was really happy with all the yarns we both planned to enter, and I think we both had a shot at placing at least.

OK, so the crappy part is over. Now the fun.

After I chucked my bag of skeins into my car, we walked around the booths to see who was there, what was for sale--you know, the REALLY fun stuff. We ran into some vendors we'd met a couple of weeks ago at WEBS's tent sale--it was nice that they remembered us. It's ALWAYS nice when a vendor remembers us. It's harder for them than it is for the customer; they see so many people everywhere they go, so standing out (in a good way) is always a pleasant surprise. They even remembered what we BOUGHT. That was cool. :)

One booth had silk waste, the stuff used for spinning recycled silk. SO cool, and a good price--we each picked up a bag. We also grabbed a knot of silk thrums, though I have no clue what to do with them. I think they're for weaving, but I'm not sure--got to figure it out. Til then, I'll be playing with the knot and admiring the deep turquoise color. :D I also found a trio of dyed mohair locks in cobalt blue, bronze, and gold. I really mean those colors, too--the bronze & gold are almost metallic, they're so deep. Last, I grabbed some casein needles (made of milk protein) and some maple spread & candy. Some people will be receiving maple candy from me in the next week or so...some of you have specifically mentioned missing/wanting some. :)

We decided not to go back again tomorrow, since we didn't have stuff to pick up from the contest, and we had pretty much spent our budgets, and we'd seen everyone and everything we'd wanted to see. I actually uttered the words "I'm tired of looking at yarn." I thought D would pass out in shock. ;)

It really was nice to walk around, and though we didn't do any of the contests/spinning/workshops, we still had a good time. I think next year it will be easier to participate in stuff, and the staff was really nice about us being late and they were very apologetic. We'll just have to make sure next time, our stuff is ready way ahead of time--and next time I will NOT interfere with D's yarn, no matter how well-meaning I am. Because meddling cost us both the chance to show off our badass yarn, and that sucks.

And now, if you don't mind, I'm off to spin some of the fun stuff I bought today. :)

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