Monday, October 25, 2010
Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival... ahhhh... SAFF...
...an annual delight.
Unfortunately, SAFF falls on the same weekend as Upperstate band finals...
...which means that I can not participate in all three days of fibery goodness.
It means that I am awakened, far too early, by my husband, who did not attend the post-Upperstate games of cornhole and burger consumption, so that he could welcome the SAFF-going bonus child and so that he could sleep, thereby making him both able to drive to SAFF safely and in shape to be the morning organizer for the Sunday event.
This is a man who, having stopped at SAFF on the way home from a Boy Scout event several years ago, has become increasingly excited about the day. Last year, he awoke me, and when I declined to arise, he was rather forceful in insisting that I sleep in the car on the way there. Turns out, he'd packed a fine picnic for a surprise, complete with tablecloth. After a second fine picnic this year, I now expect that when he is SAFFing, that he should plan and prepare all picnics.
Funny what you learn about a man after being married to him many, many years!
Who knew the man was so good at picnics?
Anyway, I get up... I take the big gun anti-inflammatories, in order to be able to move and get in the car.
Now the car was loaded on the way UP the mountains, and loaded even more on the way BACK...
The drive up was beautiful... the leaves just beginning to turn and the mountains on the horizon were beautiful as always. I did not take pictures, for I was all over the place... conversing with the lovely bonus child (she's a grown woman, but my bonus child, thereby earning her the right to be called 'child' long after the name actually fits)... dizzy as all get outs from being mountain bound too early... probably dehydrated and whining and complaining the whole way. I was just generally being fifty and post Upperstate.
Then we got to SAFF... and I forget that everything aches and that I am exhausted.
And we're OFF....
Yeah for finding everything knitting, spinning, weaving in one location!
There are hands on opportunities. Coming 'armed' with your own spindle can net you a sample of luxury fibers and a moment to try your hand and get advice. (It can also net you an addition to your shopping bag!)
Look, under that felted wool hat... what I found!
There's not a nursing baby on the planet that doesn't steal my heart away.... little cria with her mom... just beautiful!
"Look into my eyes!" Such dreamy eyes...
A deep thinker!
Two posers... 'just look how gorgeous we are!"
And this year, unlike last year, I did not have to retrieve the 'picnic' man from an end of day bargain sale on alpacas... This time, he remembered that we were in an economy car instead of the van. (and I almost regret that...)
Last, but not least, at the end of the day, with the last remaining, 'count them out and still need to borrow a dollar' funds, I headed back to a 'bargain' booth with some knitting needles that kept calling my name.
Here, dear. hold this pink purse, and these needles and stick your pinky out so that I can unwind this yarn sample and test knit for a minute or two. A friendly vendor kindly snapped this photo, right before I paid for 7 pairs of needles.
This is the official reason that you should take a non-knitting man to SAFF... he is the holder of objects, the 'come look at this, dear, I WANT this' man and the 'fork-er over of the extra dollar, because I'm one dollar short' guy! It is plumb rude to expect perfect strangers to manage these things for you. Though there was a precious older gentleman who stood buy and giggled something fierce at the notion that he was not the ONLY man on the place that day whose wife had the same ideas.
Headed back to the car, we met this little lady...
who was chilling in the car. Her tag stated that she was a certified therapy dog, and I can only imagine that she's amazing in that capacity. Her gentle wag, her calm demeanor, her beautiful face... she's proof that everyone and everything comes to SAFF.
Then, we saw the sheep barn.... HOW could we forget the sheep barn... the picnic man offers to chill in the car alongside the therapy dog, so that we could make a quick pass through the barn. 'Quick pass' and the picnic man do not belong in the same sentence... really.
Thankfully, I remember that we're not in the van... oh... sheepy sweetness... soft and tired, they're ready to head home to their own pastures and barns too.
Goodbye, SAFF, until next year...