As I process some of what I saw over the weekend, it occurs to me that there were three important things that were different about me affecting how I saw MS&W this year. But first, I feel that I failed you in that I devoted an entire post to MS&W without one cute widdle fuzzy lambykins picture
and without providing you with the obligatory sheep-shearing photo:
There, that's better.
One of the things that was different about me this year is Charcoal. This was my first fiber festival with a bunny in the family. I found myself entranced by Angora and other rabbits all over the festival. Like this one:
and this one:
and even one of those white ones with the freaky pink eyes:
All joking aside, it was amazing how interested I'd suddenly become in rabbits, and how much I wanted to pet all the cute ones I saw along the way. Even the ones that were the size of a pig, instead of Charcoal's demure 4 pounds.
The second thing that's different about me is my newfound love of dyeing yarns. All of a sudden I was not only admiring beautiful handdyed yarns, but also analyzing them, wondering what techniques they used, or what dyes, or what colors. I made all kinds of mental notes about color combinations to try and different yarns to play with. Instead of coming home with a bag full of colors, I came home with a bag full of this:
Finally, this is the first fiber festival I attended since I began my blog. Hard to believe, isn't it? But blogging and getting to know some of you has enriched my perspective. I found myself looking at the festival from a blogger's perspective; thinking about what someone who reads my blog but couldn't go would like to know about, or just trying to remember certain images or impression that I wanted to share with you later. And I did take more photos than in years past.
I also made much more of an effort than in years past to meet other people at the show. One of the first things I did was stop at the Kid Hollow booth, to meet my virtual friend Mindy, a frequent commenter here. It was great to put a face to a name and to feel like I know her a tiny bit better having spoken to her and seen her and given her a big hug.
At 1:30, there was a knitblogging meet-up outside the main stage area. Reader Coleen brought this to my attention (thanks, Coleen! Sorry I didn't meet you there) and so I sidled over to the stage area. I sat, staring out at knots of people, wondering which group was the bloggers. To my surprise, not only were two crowds part of the knitblogging meetup, but the total number there had to have exceeded sixty people. I never expected that many. It was fun to mingle a bit, but I think next year I need to have some identifier -- a shirt or a button -- so that people could more easily find me. It was very fun to meet Amiryam, a Rosie's customer and blog reader, and a few others; and it was very humbling to tell people the name of my blog and hear them say, "Never heard of it."
Looking back over my checklist, I did pretty well in accomplishing most of what was on it. I did, in fact, check out skeinwinders and spoke to Jennifer of Spirit Trail about her druthers -- and I thank her for her helpful words. I did find the Wick yarn I was looking for, and I did pick up some undyed yarns and a bag of roving to play with. I did meet a handful of readers, although I would have liked to meet more of you. (I'm not scary in person, really; ask Mindy!) The only thing I did not accomplish was picking up some random patterns that I was looking for; I could have done better on that score, but decided browsing and mingling and checking stuff out was more important than waiting in line.
P.S. Kudos to my readers for figuring out the name of the spinner/dyer who created the gorgeous Angora blend yarn, and for recognizing the fair isle pattern on the child's vest (but let's ix-nay on saying the name aremore-Stay, shall we?)