27 October 2008

SAFF

Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair. Doesn't sound too dangerous, does it? Okay, here's a wide view of the main market area:
I would like to point out that I was very well behaved. I bought one skein of TOFUsies in a colorway that I could have bought earlier in the summer, but had balked and it was gone. And I bought a nifty little wooden box thingy for transporting in-work projects on double-pointed needles. I did spend a lot of time talking to independent dyers about a whole lot of special sock yarn, which is part of why I was so well-behaved.

This was my first time at SAFF, and I really didn't know what to expect. I went up on the bus trip that Elyse of Only Ewe and Cotton Too had organized. Many thanks to Elyse and Bill! There were lots of AKG and NGKG people on the bus. We left about 7:15 AM. Had to ask the bus driver to turn on the lights so that we could knit, because the sun wasn't quite yet up. But it was a lovely morning with beautiful fall color by the time we got to Asheville.

There were even more AKG and NKGK people already at SAFF. Many of them were taking classes. Lois took a sock class with Charlene Schurch! (Envy, envy.) The guys were, of course, the talk of the show.
I saw lots of Ravelry buttons as well. And I bumped into lots of people I know. I guess between two guilds and the shop, I'm getting to know a lot of fiber fanatics in the Atlanta area.

This fine gentleman had something I had heard about but never seen before -- a sock machine. I could see that operation of it required the proper balance of weights on the fabric and tension on the yarn. And it doesn't hurt to have good dexterity for using that little hook to move stitches around. At this point in the process, he was bringing the purl bumps from the cast-on edge up on to the needles so that the folded-over cuff could be formed on the next row. This is like making a very large tubular cast-on. An impressive demonstration of a machine that truly could be used for a cottage industry.

And as there were animals, I just couldn't resist one picture of the bunnies:They are so cute. And these two weren't quite as silly as some. There is some breed that has long fur on their ears, so that they look as if the ears are made from leftover 1970s shag carpet. These two rabbits just look like very shaggy rabbits, nothing weird otherwise. I have to admit that I am maybe just a little bit sorry that I didn't buy any loose angora fiber to spin on my drop trindle. Well, I suppose that will just give me a reason to go again next year, yes?

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