Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Victoria Fibrefest trip part 4
Where to begin? Ursa asked me to be there for setup around 8:15am. Yawn, says I, having been up until 1:00am the night before putting labels on yarn. Okay. I stopped at the Breakfast Store (read: A&W) for a Sausage & Egger (got two, actually, just in case) and saw no Coffee Store on the way. Hoped there would be coffee there.
All the stuff had been carted to the place, so I helped erect a few tents. I say 'a few' because the tent the organizers had originally allocated for Gaia's Colours was a)too small (U was promised a 10x10 and this one was barely half that, not to mention short and b) missing some important pieces. (It seemed to me the organizers were disorganized, but I digress).
Eventually someone came with the Thrifty's tent that we used. Ursa had another helper there as well as her husband, so the four of us worked our butts off to be ready for a 10:00 start. Even then, we were still putting yarn on the racks.
There were probably eight or ten vendors there, as well as some tents representing some of the local organizations, such as the Victoria Knitters and Spinners Guild. The vendors included Knotty By Nature (LYS in Victoria, a sponsor of the festival), Knits by the Sea (my LYS from Tofino), Twist of Fate (LYS and yarn goddess from the Interior of BC), someone from a yarn shop in Sidney that was closing down, and a bunch of other people, mostly selling (dare I say ugly?) roving or crappy mass-produced yarn.
As a fibre fest market to a knitter might seem like a liquor store to an alcoholic, I had set myself a budget and had a list of things I was after. I particularly wanted lace weight yarn, pale pink if I could get it, for my first foray into lace knitting. It seemed only three stalls had lace weight yarn: Gaia's Colours, Knits by the Sea, and Twist of Fate. That explains why the lace weight yarn sold so well...
There were no food vendors! Apparently there was supposed to be a Sandwich Lady but she bailed at the last minute. By mid-day, everyone was hungry. I guess someone went and got a sandwich platter from Thrifty's but I only saw it go by... Luckily Ellie's guy bought me a bagel with cream cheese along with the coffee he brought me in the morning - I didn't ask for it but I was sure glad it came! (Ellie is the owner of Knits by the Sea). The second Sausage & Egger came in handy too, that was Ursa's lunch.
I should note too that right from the start, Ursa's tent was non-stop action. It was a good thing she had arranged for two helpers (me and the other gal) because we were _busy_. Some of the roving sold out within two hours and I'm sure half the stock was gone by the end of the day. We knew early on that there were record breaking sales but we underestimated by, well, a lot.
I did have a chance to walk around a few times. I took one tour in search of aforementioned lace weight yarn. I also nabbed the Toast Mittens I had knit for my husband's stepfather last Christmas and brought them to show. People need to see that knitting can be adventurous.
Lots of people laughed, took my picture, and I hear I even made it into the local paper. I brought out the fish I had knit as well, wished I had also brought the Chicken Toaster Cosy and the Frog Tea Cosy I had made for family members in Christmases past. Maybe next year.
I was also working on some swatches (I posted about this before I switched blog providers). Quite a few people were interested in that too - the book I was using, the techniques.
I did, in the end, find my lace weight yarn. Twist of Fate, as luck would have it (pun intended), had just the sort of thing I was after even though I didn't know it. The fuscia/purple/pink yarn is 45% camel/55% silk, 1400m for $35.00. The blues are 40% bamboo/60% silk, 1695m for $33.12. I really couldn't decide and, as I'm not likely to go to Kamloops soon, I got them both. That should be at least five years of lace knitting for me.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I knew I would be getting a store credit with Gaia's colours for all my help, and all day long I had my eye on this hank of reds/oranges/yellows. It was in the 'single and available' basket (This is a nod to the local grocery store, Thrifty Foods, who advertise their lone bananas as 'single and available'. The irony was unplanned but we were, after all, under the Thrifty's tent). Lots of people picked it up and loved it as much as I did, but it was still there at the end of the day and was obviously meant to come home with me. Me.
So what you see here are three hanks of the same base: Pales Superwash Merino Sock. 400yards/366 meters for $24. I didn't have enough with my 'Slave Labour Credit', as Ursa called it, so I chipped in with my remaining cash.
All in all, it was a good day.
Note: if the photos seem backwards from the text, it's because they are. I'm still getting used to this format and honestly, after such a long post it seemed way too much effort to go and rearrange the photos. Sorry!