Friday, June 15, 2012

Fiber Train Festival 2012

So, I moved from Portland, Oregon, to Boise, Idaho, early last fall, did you know that?

I realize now that I must have taken the creative atmosphere for granted.  I loved going to knitting groups, especially at Wynona Studios in Oregon City, various fiber events and gatherings like Sock Summit, meeting the Seattle to Portland Yarn Train and the Spinning Guild events.  I went to a couple of Knitting Guild events, too, but they were a little stiff.... perhaps that's a story for another blogpost.

There is a great new book, Craft Activism by Joan Tapper after a wonderful chapter about Ravelry, she describes Portland:  'Portland, Oregon, may be home to more than half a million people, but to outsiders it sometimes seems as if all of them are artists. "Portland is the kind of city that fosters creativity"...'  Oh, yes, I miss that.

Boise is a whole other place, craft-wise.  Before I got here, I was scoping out Ravelry to find what events happen or where the shops were, hoping for a knit group close to me.  The posts I did find weren't very current, and some out-right outdated.  Not to worry, I would be bold and figure it out.  I hope.

Turns out, as far as knitting gatherings go, knitting together was a new concept.  There are a couple of gatherings, one that meets every other week at various restaurants around town (I went once because they had decided to meet at a place not far from my post office, so I could find it.  Haven't gone back yet, because a.) they have been meeting a places I couldn't find and b.) food seems to be as big or bigger deal than knitting, and since food is one of my least favorite topics, well.... ) and a Knitting Guild meeting.  There was a stitching group that met at a library.  That was disappointing too because they meet once a month, and I was the only knitter.  A yarn/quilt shop relocated to within 10 miles of me after I'd been here a couple of months, so, finally, I found a regular hang-out. 

As far as events, things haven't gotten too far there either.  There is a minor league baseball team here, but as of yet, the season hasn't started (don't they know it's summer?!?) and I wait and search and hope, but have not heard if there is a Stitch & Pitch. I've heard rumors that at the farmer's market, someone is selling alpaca yarn, but the details on that factoid were iffy too.

And then finally there was this:
  This event took place over the Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend, located where the usual Saturday Farmer's Market happens. The website is still up if you wish to look at how fun the event was going to be.
I have not seen my Ravelry button since the move, but they had them there for the first (number) of people who showed up so now I have two.  I guess when I find my other one, I will have a pair to make earrings out of them or maybe wear them front and back so other Ravelers will know me coming and going...      But clearly, I was under-dressed.  I did not know this was a pink tutu event.  I would have worn my purple tights, too, then me and this little girl could have been twins!

Two alpacas (I think the lady said they were a year old) and a mohair goat made star appearances.  The chocolate colored alpaca was singing in a low tenor voice.  I would have sung along, but did not know the words.
I met a lady who was displaying her hobby of turning grocery bags into other, better, bags.  I hope she can get stocked up before they are banned everywhere.  One of the gals that I see at knit-night here picked one up and loves it, lightweight and stands up for holding her current project.  I loved to see her product and told her when I was in elementary school and lived in Seattle, my mom made a rug from plastic bread bags that stayed by the back door as a great mat for wiping the mud off your shoes!
There were lots of ready-made products to see, a blacksmith was there with his fire smoking.  These yarn bowls were from the local shop that was instrumental in organizing the event.  I liked the leaf designs, and the
way the 'Y' on the YARN bowls made the natural slot for the fiber to flow through, but my favorite design was the ones at the top that also had given place for your needles to rest.

One vendor I went there to see was Knit Girl in Idaho, who I had not met before, but whose stitch markers were displayed in the first Jane Austen Knits magazine.  I picked the one that says 'An artist cannot do anything slovenly ~ Jane Austen' and she gave me a freebie marker for being there early.  It's the little sheep one on the right.  She has her product on Etsy but she is also on Facebook as Knit Girl in Idaho.  Her website/Etsy page is:

The rest of these images are of the yarn bombing done in honor of the event that we saw on the way home.

Many thanks and deep appreciation to Superman for taking me, driving me so I could knit en route and not get lost either. This was the first time he and I went together. I think he enjoyed seeing everything and he was the one who pointed out the yarn bombing.

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