Jag, Griff and I headed to Asheville (well, Fletcher, NC) for the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair on Friday night. We had packed the car the night before, so we were able to head out right after work. After stopping for dinner and being slowed by some annoying construction-related traffic, we arrived at our hotel around 10:30pm.
Griff had fallen asleep in the car around 8, but he woke up while I was checking in at the front desk. Because he’s outgrown the Pack n Play and porta-cribs, we brought along a Peapod toddler sleeping tent for him to sleep in. He had a great time playing in it on Thursday night, so we figured all would be well. Once we got into the hotel room, though, he was way too freaked out by waking up in a strange place to sleep in the tent, so we brought him to bed with us and tried to get some sleep.
At this point I would like to note that all during Griff’s infancy, I desperately wanted to co-sleep. All the hippy crunchy Waldorfy blogs I read at the time said that co-sleeping was the only way to go for a nursing mom, that it ensured everyone a great night’s rest, that it was the awesomest snuggliest way to bond with your baby, etc etc. We bought a really nice breathable mesh bed rail and we made many, many attempts to co-sleep. The main problem with sleeping with Griff is that he is the WORST HUMAN BEING ON THE PLANET TO SHARE A BED WITH. The kicking, the restless rolling around, the grunting, the poking, the tuneless humming, the stretching out full length and smacking everyone in the eyeballs and the crotch. It goes on ALL FREAKING NIGHT.
As you may surmise, the only person who got any sleep on Friday night was Griff. After an hour of flailing, babbling, paci-juggling, and various contortions, Griff finally fell asleep. Jag and I did not. Griff squirmed and wiggled around the bed all night into various physically improbable configurations. Meanwhile, there was a pack of loud idiots bellowing to each other in the hallway around 2am. We dragged ourselves out of bed in the morning and managed to shower and stumble out the door towards the nearest IHOP, desperate for coffee.
Despite this inauspicious start, we had a great time at SAFF.
Even the cars were into the whole fiber show thing.
The sales arena was packed with vendors.
There was yarn as far as the eye could see.
There were bunnies…
…goats (mohair comes from Angora goats, in case you didn’t know)…
…and my favorite, the alpacas!
The sweet lady at this barn held up a three-month-old cria (baby alpaca) so Griff could feel her. She was like a little brown cloud.
Griff enjoyed communicating with the sheep during one of the judging sessions, as well.
I had three main goals for the trip. I wanted to buy a whole fleece (preferably Shetland in some interesting color), buy a big 560-yard skein of Miss Babs yarn to make a sweater for Griff, and try out a Schacht Sidekick spinning wheel to see if it was something I would consider buying. I got to do all of that and more.
It’s a good thing our enabling friend Michelle was also attending the festival, or I probably would have wimped out on the fleece. It was pricey, but it won third prize in its judging category, and it was really gorgeous. There was only time to snap a few photos before I carried it over to Fleurry Sheep and Wool to fill out the paperwork to have it processed into roving. In about 4 months, I’ll get around two pounds of my little three-pound Shetland fleece back, all clean and fluffy and ready to spin into a sweater.
(The reddish bits are the sunbleached tips of the outer part of the fleece.)
And here I am trying out the Sidekick under Griff’s watchful eye. He was so amazingly patient and well-behaved during the trip (except for that whole sleeping thing).
I liked the wheel, but I have a big investment in my current wheel and the bobbins, plying head, etc, and I’ll need to do some soul-searching before spending that kind of money.
Griff passed out in his stroller around 1:30 and didn’t wake up even when we loaded him into his car seat. He slept for three hours straight and had a cheery run-around at a rest area on the way home.
Here’s my official SAFF haul (minus the fleece, which was in my personal possession for around 5 minutes). I got a SAFF tshirt, two bags of CVM fiber, two additional braids of mixed fiber, two skeins of yarn, a handmade pottery mug, some hard-to-find knitting needles in short lengths, and two shawl pins, one burlwood, the other hand-forged iron with a nifty leaf motif.
I think we’ll definitely go back next year, but getting up at 5am to do an early morning drive would definitely be preferable to another nightmare of a hotel room stay!