Monday, October 29, 2007

SAFF--southeastern animal fiber fair

Blogger still seems to be having picture problems---so I will post them later.

We went to SAFF this past weekend. It was of course a beautiful drive through the mountains of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. Very nice weather and the leaves are turning a bit of color. Of course this year rain would have been my preference but I wasn't horribly disappointed to not have to travel on the highway pulling a trailer while it rained----but I wouldn't have whined if it did.
Anyway---this was our first time to SAFF. We were going to take a dying class but things didn't work out for us to get there in time and we had to cancel out of the class. Our friend, that we met there, did take a space dying (fiber) class and said it was very well done and she liked it a lot. They still had some openings for Sunday classes---some that I would have liked to take---but we weren't staying that long because we had to pick up our guinea hog. Oh well---maybe next year.
The festival was nicely set up but smaller, about 1/4 the size, than the Michigan Fiber Festival. It had quite a few vendors types there---- some of who stopped off on their way back from displaying at Rhinebeck New York---so the selection was good: Pelts (no Icelandic pelts though!), lots of different color yarns and different fiber content yarns, felters and felting supplies, wheels, carders, hand carved needles, knitting shawls and clothing, bags to carry your projects in and many other "necessaries".

I spent some money on some felting needles and bright red/burgundy/purple merino/silk roving and saw the next big purchase I will make-----a circular sock knitting machine. I have been perusing them on line for a while---but I had never seen them in action. See what they look like here. This is how "commercial" socks were knitted in the 1800's and early 1900's. While we were looking around we happened to stumble on a vendor who makes and sells socks with one of them and her husband buys them and repairs them. I know what to save my money for. You can make a PAIR of sock in about an hour once you get good at it. Even at 4 hours----that's still way better than me hand knitting them since I am very very slow when knitting. No production knitter am I. AND I love love wool socks----but at $15 a pair I do have a tendency to buy only a few every year. I know you can buy cheaper one's at Target and such----but they are not as thick or warm and sometimes they are itchy from the cheap wool they are made from.

Over all we had a good time there.

On the way back we went through a town called Hendersonville North Carolina. Very nice place. A tiny bit touristy but it is exactly what I thought Gatlinburg Tennessee would be like (but wasn't). It it a cute downtown, old looking brick buildings, full of antique stores, craft and art stores, artsy clothing stores, food places, candy places toys, bags, pet stuff ----something for everyone. Here is the historic Hendersonville link.
We also went into a couple of art places there called Wickwire fine art/folk art. Both were very nice---one was paintings and higher end art (unique wood tables etc) and the other was smaller knick knack type art things: bowls, frames, mirrors etc.
Overall a cute town. We would go back again someday but we didn't spend too long there this time since we had a pig in the trailer waiting to go home.

Over all a fairly nice weekend. Maybe next year some of you will get a chance to go to one of these places and enjoy some of the festivities.

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