This weekend past the first mate and I headed out to the Florida Fiber-In, held in Orlando this year. (The earlier part of that day was taken up by our visit to the local landfill to rescue what we could of our Trashed Belongings — but that's a topic for another post.)
Historically, I've been pretty bad about hard-core socializing at the fiber-in, even though that's a large part of what it's about. I just have this separation in my brain between stash/knowledge acquirement and socializing. At Dragon*Con, I socialize while I'm waiting for one of the other two things to happen — I don't go primarily to socialize (any more; arguably, socializing was more important to me when I first started attending). And I treated the fiber-in a similarly antisocial way for the first two years I went, but this year I was determined to be one of the Cool People chatting it up in the knitting/spinning circles.
Wearing name tags is a good way to encourage people to find you accessible. Wearing a knit name tag at a fiber event is an even better way to provoke interest and random spurts of conversation from passersby.
And I win! I did what I set out to do, and there's even a small amount of photographic evidence. ;) (For instance, I am the spinner with her back to the camera sitting closest to the table in the foreground of this photo. You can also see a bit of me in this photo.) I met a lot of new people, hung out, had fun, and learned some new skills: First, how to make a skein on a niddy-noddy (I had until then used chairs, a swift, and been spoiled by my skein winder), then how to knit continental — without twisting my knit stitches. And I even got to spin on a neat Pipy Wendy spinning wheel, which has a crazy metal flyer frame and a lovely, addictive spinning rhythm. I got to see the inestimable Ginger spin on every kind of spindle under the sun, including a trindle, a Navajo spindle, a takhli, and a Russian spindle. And I had two yummy new kinds of tea served up by the knowledgeable and pleasant Pat.
I admit I did a wee bit of shopping as well.
Clockwise from top left: Yellow vintage mohair yarn and tatting shuttle, two balls of Cascade Fixation and a lace shawlette pattern, five skeins of ladder yarn, a skein of superwash Merino, some blue roving (or is it top?), a large cake of rose-colored Merino roving with a skein of bison/cashmere/nylon yarn, and, in the center, most of three skeins of dishcloth cotton. At the far left edge of the photo, you can see the corner of a knit handbags booklet.
The two bits of spinning fiber, I bought from official Fiber-In vendors. The rest of it I acquired at the auction to raise funds for running the event and at the "destash" garage sale on Sunday morning. I also bought some purse handles and other handbaggy accessories that were supposed to go to the garage sale, but that I got late late Saturday night (or early early Sunday morning, depending on how you demarcate your days ;)) from the person who was meant to bring said items to the garage sale.
I imagine I'll make some kind of shawly thing out of the yellow mohair and put it up in the Etsy shop. Come to think of it, I bought something nearly that same shade of bright yellow at the Fiber-In last year, so maybe I was actually compelled to bid on the mohair out of some awareness of a yellow-buying theme. I also now have a tatting shuttle, which will hopefully inspire me to figure out how the crap tatting works.
Oh, and yesterday the first mate and I went to a local thrift store to check out what was there in case some of our Trashed Belongings were actually Donated Belongings (the person who "cleaned" our place while we were at Dragon*Con has been known to donate things to a specific local thrift store, sometimes even with permission ;)). We didn't find any of our stuff, but I did pick up a miniature easel that I'm hoping to use with my triangle loom, and a vintage book of men's sweater knitting patterns that has some wonderfully cheesy photos in it.
So while there has, indeed, been loss this month, there have also been fresh gains. And the space once taken up by the belongings I lost is quickly being filled up by new ones. So there, evil Loss! Fie on decluttering! At least, fie until I decide to do my own decluttering. I do want a clean space in which to exist. I just want to clean it myself, rather like I want to do my own learning and growing rather than having someone else's learning and growing agenda foisted off on me. How weird of me. ;)