We had a very good time at Spa. We made landfall in Portland on Friday night, and I really liked the Hampton Inn, but the event was at the Doubletree, so we had somewhat less social than we might have. The hotel offered a serious breakfast, as well as clam chowder and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches offered free the night we came in. They also had a hospitality room for the knitters, which was too small, so we moved into the breakfast room. But we didn't last too late.
I wish I had taken a picture of the eggs at breakfast; they were tasty but widely considered scary-looking.
I finished the vest I have been working on as we parked at the event Saturday morning, so I had something knitted to wear besides socks.
I intended not to buy much and to do a lot of spinning. I spent the first day talking to people in the dealer's room and making small, sensible purchases: some patterns, a pair of earrings I split with Doug. I showed a couple of people how to drop-spindle, and I hope I corrupted them well. MedStudentWhoKnits and I co-enabled a young woman whom I next saw spinning frog hair (one of those annoying beauiful young and gifted people, evidently), and Leslie the Shawl Pin (and hair-pin, as my hair is long enough to put back again)and I worked together for while; she has someone who will loan her a wheel. It was good seeing Linda Diak and meeting Kim Kaslow and re-meeting a bunch of people (some of whom I will need to meet several more times, but it's my problem, but theirs). I was spinning with my Spanish Peacock heart-whorled spindle and I have never had so many requests from people to let them have a spin. Perhaps because he is an SCA merchant, whose wares were new to this audience.
(There was an interruption as I was writing this last night, when the orange kitten came and fell asleep on my right hand).
Anyway, the vendors' room was quieter and cooler and had more air; the spinners' room (not that that there were not people spinning quietly everywhere else they could find that did not block fire lanes) was beyond labyrinthine and the press of chairs made it impossible to circulate. I was delighted to be with so many people who made perfectly civil, sensible conversation, even if it tended to be about wool.
It was being able to wander to and fro and meet people I knew a little or would enjoy knowing and chat and be able to breeze away with no sense of loss; I would see them again, at least that day.
I was sort of hungry. Doug said he had just had a banana. Leslie the Shawl Pin ran away from her stall and we found the bar had a menu. This did not mean it actually had food, just the promise of food. After some delay they did feed us, and then they even fed Too Much Wool. She was vexed with me because I would not tell her I preferred her new hat to her last year's hat. But later she took me to her room and produced PG Tips( hey, Cassie, they have a knitted monkey mascot; I guess the real chimps became too political) so neither I nor Leslie would faint dead away from caffeine withdrawal.
I went to try to sit down in the spinning room again, but I was distracted by a fiber event going on in the swimming area. I didn't actually get to it:About two years ago, I taught someone to spin at the Canterbury Shaker Village Wool Day, and since then Pam pops up and says "Thank you!" and I say, "You're welcome! Who are you?" I saw her several times in 24 hours, recognized her DESPITE a change of clothes, and maybe now I will know her again. (Did I take a picture of her? No. Nor of the lovely Meg Swansen Turkish Maple Leaf sweater worn by the nice woman nor the illusion knitting... Am I like, emotionally disabled, or just dumb?) Anyway. PAM (use her name several times not to forget her)'s very nice and a great spinner, with a penchant for Babe's Fiber Garden products. I had not seen the Babe Charka before. Her mother(in law?) wants her to make enough khadi homespun to weave a sari for her and a dhoti for her husband; Pam is planning to use a tabletop Western loom. I don't think Gandhi's Authenticity Police will come after her. I hope not. Pam had found a place of peace, airy space, and reasonable noise: when your wheel is PVC you have no worries about spinning at the poolside.
I was becoming kind of spacey from the socialbility and ended up again in the vendors' room, now closing for the day. But not soon enough, for I was looking at the Hitch-Hikers from Merlin Tree. I tried one last spring but I could not work the single treadle; it went in both directions. The wheel that had caught my eye this time (not a particularly unusual one, just butternut and plywood) was a lefty. I knew I was mixed brain-dominant and arhythmic, so it was not altogether surprising to find I am a left-footed spinner. David Paul and I bonded over butternut blight. He said he has only sold about 7 left-footed Hitch-hikers and two of those were for people with injured right feet. I am special.
Then 15 of us went to the Portalnd Margarita's and it was dark and noisy and two margaritas and a decent conversation and I went home and went to sleep. Doug stayed up a bit later in the hospitality room at the hotel.
The next day I wanted to get better at this single-treadle thing, so I had to buy roving. Indigo Moon is ceasing operations for a while. Wish her luck. I bought some eye candy colors from her and from Friends'n'Fibers (no website) and actually sat and spun whie the last set of doo prizes were given out. Then Doug and I found Juno and Too Much Wool and Jackie and Stitchy and Kelly and Laurie and sat and waited for lunch. I had the Hitch-Hiker and was able to spin, discreetly, under the tablecloth. People became pale and listless from lack of food and Cassie euchred Juno into doing the finish work on her hat.
Eventually, we ate. The food was good. We were all reluctant to leave, but but It Was Time. It is indeed possible to use a Hitchhiker in the front passenger seat, and I spun two ounces on the way home. Which is why my left foot was tired. It is better today.
The cats were all alive and not even too angry at us.