Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Field Trip Report

I feel overwhelmed this morning. I have paperwork to complete, work to do (the paid kind) including an internal Wiki to develop, all kinds of holiday functions coming up; I need to bake more bread (Mark didn't refrigerate the last loaf, and it's growing mold), make more blueberry muffins, make a dessert for a potluck tomorrow, and fold the heaping mound of laundry currently languishing in my corner of the bedroom.

Burgundy's 9th grade Region band auditions are tonight; she has an Algebra II major exam tomorrow (and she doesn't understand the material); she has a big opportunity with beta testing some music education software; I have a swap package to mail, two sold yarn packages to mail, and another swap package to compile. I feel overwhelmed.

In light of that, I'll write about last weekend. In 2008, I planned a field trip for our local knitting group, CLACK (Clear Lake Area Crocheters and Knitters). We planned to stay in one of those places with a cheesy euphemistic name; this one was called Canyon Lake. At the time, I couldn't remember the name, so I called it Camp Light and Eagle Fart. It stuck, and we referred to it as Camp Eagle Fart. The retreat centered around a moderately sized fiber festival held annually in Boerne, Texas called Kid N Ewe. Cute, huh? Last year was a shopping extravaganza of epic proportions, so I started saving my spending money very early this year.

I started planning Camp Eagle Fart II several months ago. Last year's accommodations included brown water, a spider in the shower, a creaky bed, a creaky pull out couch, scary bunk beds, and a 30 minute drive to Boerne. This time, we decided to stay in Boerne at a hotel or motel.

The festival was fantastic. We shopped until we literally were dropping from hunger, then ran off to lunch.

I scored two skeins of Buffalo Gold Lux after negotiating:

An ounce of cashmere fiber for spinning:

A skein of Dream in Color Smooshy in the Petal Shower colorway:

A batt of 3 oz of Suri Alpaca, Silk, and Cashmere from Butterfly Girl

A drop spindle - also from Butterfly Girl:

And a hank of undyed 3-ply wool, ready to dye, for a swap I'm participating in. I don't have a good picture of that, and anyway, it's just yarn.

Last year, the Dodging Duck was a huge hit on our trip. Great food, great beer, great service. This year? Not so much. I have a big post brewing about the perils of small-town visits, but I'll save it.

The next day, we rose early and drove to Austin. After a quick breakfast at Mozart's Coffee, we went over to South Congress for some proper shopping.

Our first stop was Creatures Boutique. I know, it looks like you'd have to pay a cover charge to shop. My goal was to try on their Fluevog Shoes so I could figure out my size and then buy a pair online for much cheaper. I tried on a size 6.5 and 7.5 flat Mary Jane with a square toe. The 7.5 shoe fit perfect, but in turquoise, it wasn't my favorite. Certainly not for the price. So I went on to the sales girl about how it was too bad they didn't have black ones in my size. My goal was to politely leave without purchasing. However, score 1 for Foul Temptresses: She called the store owner, and they offered me a 30% discount on the shoe in my size, color red. I fell down hard, and now I own these, only in Red.

After that, we browsed. I knitted while the rest of the gang shopped at Hill Country Weavers after lunch, and then we relaxed at Hey Cupcake before starting the next long leg of the journey to Paige.

We arrived at Yarnorama about 20 minutes after their official closing time, but the owner, Susan, had graciously agreed to stay open for us. While there, we all learned how to buy a proper spindle, and we learned that most of us bought unbalanced spindles the day before. I put a dot of hot glue on the bottom of mine when I got home, and it helped. I'm looking forward to trying it out again this evening. Susan showed us how to spin on a charka, and several of the girls bought new spindles.

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