Sheep & Wool 2010 Day 1: Retail! Spinning Children!

I am so tired. and I need a shower. So badly. but because I love you, my bloglings, I will write a post for you with the awesomeness and stupendous insanity that was today, at day one of Sheep & Wool 2010.

I got the the fest around 8:10, and so my mummy doesn’t kill me, here is the beautiful display of my yarn and her awesome vest and pattern. (this vest is very clever. it’s mitered squares, but she manages it so you don’t have to break your yarn until after your done the armholes. If you know what I just said, you know that is very clever. If you don’t, then believe me. it’s clever.)

By 8:45, 15 minutes before we could sell anything, there was a line filling up half the Cloverhill booth.

I was sitting where Jolene was (she is in the red shirt, bottom right corner) for most of the day, swiping credit cards. That is in the middle of the outside of the booth, looking in. That means that when the line was halfway filling the booth, I couldn’t see the end of it. I did not see the end of the line once until around 11:30.

(The above shot is taken while business was SLOW.)

Advantages to our booth location: Its right next to the door, its right in front of an enormous fan, and its right behind a random and awesome Celtic band that played all day.
Advantages to our booth location: It's right next to the door, it's right in front of an enormous fan, and it's right behind a random and awesome Celtic band that played all day.

I didn’t get out of the booth for most of the day. I parked right next to the big hall where we’re situated, so I didn’t even walk past the other booths to see what was up except when I had to go to the bathroom. (I got to use the vendor stall. I didn’t mind pissing people off [no pun intended]; I was kind of entertained. Until I got to the awesome vendor stall and there was no TP.) I walked down to the other end with my mom & lil’ sis Bethany in the afternoon to see if my dress won anything. (It did not. I was even a little dejected at the constructive criticism on the tag, but realizing how obviously right they were, it was kind of cool to see how much I’ve grown as a knitter in the nearly-a-year since I made the thing.)

But I did have enough energy, after working 10.5 hours, to attend the cool thing that is the Spin In.

I did not start knitting/other crafting as a social thing to do, so these social crafting events are a little awkward for me. Fun and awesome, but awkward. I did not anticipate something like, if you happen to pull out your giant circular shawl to explain what the heck this other circular shawl is that you are knitting (when I was asked if you put your head through it, I knew I needed a visual aid, okay?) that someone might freak out and take pictures to take back home home to Missouri and someone else might parade you around the room forcing every single person to admire it. This is an eventuality I might need to anticipate next time.

I also did not anticipate random contests like “see how long a yarn you can spin in 30 seconds with plastic bags on your hands.” WTF?! I did not participate in that one. But I did really well on the blindfolded spinning thing. I won some cotton. Like a bag of cotton bolls. This feeds perfectly into the vague idea growing in my head that I want to try spinning every different kind of fiber I can find.

This lovely lady, shown above masting the plastic-bag-drop-spindling technicque, probably did not know what she was getting herself into when she let me sit next to her. But she kindly adopted me, telling me what the heck to do to participate in the “spin as much yarn as you can in 30 seconds” competition, explained what the butt to do with the cotton bolls I won a few seconds later, and in general kept me from making a total tuckus of myself.

Everyone is stupendously nice and immensely geeky about everything fibrous. Er… everything fibrous that grows out of an animal of a plant. Er… I don’t mean grape nuts.

Anywho, one more thing happened at the spin in that helped me make my day, and that was this 8-year-old kid who blew away all the stereotypes I didn’t even know I had about crafting. He’d shown up at the booth a couple hours earlier with his mom, and we started chatting it up about drop spindles. He has a ton of them, and soon he was testing out all of our spindles to see which one he could talk his mom into buying for him. He’s trying to tell me that he had taught his mom to spin, and really to knit too, because before she only knew about bottom whorl spinning, but he figured out the top whorl spinning then taught her. And he’s really kind of a better knitter than his mom, too. I asked if she would agree with this claim. “Well, no.”

Anyway, he and mom were at the spin in, both of them drop spindling away, kid determined to participate in every single competition held. Then at the end, when they ran out of competitions, he puts the blindfold from the blindfolded-spinning contest on his head, ninja-style,  climbs on a table, and challenges every drop spindler he can talk into it into some kind of drop-spindling-ninja-spin-off. Most of the people he competed against were better than him, so he gave up and was timing people, trying to get them to beat their “personal best,” like this was some kind of power-lifting competition and he was Phil Atetes.

I was impressed and amused. How to defeat reverse sexism about something: turn it into a competetive sport. Unfortunately that is just more reverse sexism. But it’s funny. Cuz it’s true.

2 thoughts on “Sheep & Wool 2010 Day 1: Retail! Spinning Children!

  1. I love this post! I was there for the first day but didn’t make it to the second. My family is currently complaining about the smell of the packages of fleece (okay, mostly the alpaca) I brought home and I’m considering withholding my precious cashmere from their future Christmas presents if such behavior continues.

    I know what you mean about not having learned to spin or knit for the social aspect of it–my sister taught me to knit to keep me quiet! And then I only kept at my first “scarf” so that I could keep my lap warm in my cold rooms at college (confusticate and bebother those collegiate radiators!). That’s the scarf in my ravatar, by the way; I was holding it up for my sister to see my progress. But I digress.

    I didn’t think I’d like the social aspect of the craft until I actually met the people involved in it–most are very knowledgeable, very kind, and VERY willing to help or share anything they’ve got. I still like to craft by myself, but I was pleasantly surprised by this community. (Incidentally, the fact that Nancy made sure to exhibit your shawl to everyone is quite a compliment from her! She’s not afraid to call anything like she sees it, but she was genuinely impressed!).

    That kid was awesome. I’m not sure exactly why it was necessary to be on top of the table to compete, though.


  2. Haha. Knitters/spinners are a surprising bunch. Not quite the “oh let’s all adopt you!” attitude you read about in knitting novels (closeness I suppose just takes time in general), but open, generous, and considerate, with no BS, but respect for each others taste. Yes I’m sure Nancy was genuine; she seemed like the sort who knows what she thinks and everyone else knows it too! I was a bit blindsided by the compliment (if you couldn’t tell), but I do thoroughly appreciate it.


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