I am up early and trying to pack everything I have accumulated while here in Salt Lake City into my (now-small) bags. It is time to go home... or at least that is what our plane tickets say. The time has been full, almost hectic at times, but also very rich. I am grateful that I am affluent enough, even as a preschool teacher in the U.S., to be able to afford to leave home periodically and see what it is like somewhere else. While I still often dream of traveling to other countries (Cuba and the Himalayas have both been on my list for a long time), I am happy enough just to come and visit friends a few states away.
I will have photos, especially of the Salt Lake City Library, where I spent part of the afternoon yesterday. The building is a radical design and won a Library of the Year award last year... it is also truly people-friendly, with many, many reading nooks on the five floors, as well as rooftop gardens (one even had a portable firepit!). There were tons of computers providing free Internet access, and even fires going at the large indoor fireplaces, since the day was windy with brief snow squalls several times over the afternoon.
I had to browse through the knitting section, and decided that Handknit Holidays wasn't just a trendy book, but had some very good things to offer, and that Latvian Dreams exemplifies what a true classic knitting book should offer... but my opinions about knitting books will be the subject of another post.
I will also be able to show you my first tiny skein of yarn produced from roving on a spinning wheel (my past spinning wheel history is checkered but always involved the long process of skirting and cleaning wool of unknown origin, then tediously carding it into rolags that produced questionable yarn, which still needed to be dyed to turn into someting to knit or weave with... another interesting post, but not for today). I got to have a visit with Margene's EmmyLou yesterday afternoon, and was very pleased with the results. I will be following Sharon's good advice of tuning up my old Ashford Traditional and working with the small portion I have at home out of the vast array of prepared (and even already-dyed) fibers now available, while I check out a variety of friends' spinning wheels to find which is the most compatible to my style. I do so love how travel leads to self-discovery:)
What I can't readily show (though I might have one or two photos) is how wonderful it was to be able to attend Margene's Stitch N' Bitch group with her last night. (Yes, I know it's not "her" group - just happens I was lucky enough to attend as her chauffered guest). I got to hang out at the very cute little Jitterbug coffee shop, knit with and get hugs from dear and lovely friends I mostly see online, and meet some new ones! Anne was there, and I got to get a live update on Wooly Wonka fibers (the news is that she has had a great response, is doing three fiber fairs this season, and her DH is even exploring constructing spinning wheels after the positive response to his other tools), as well as order some yarn from her for Susan's latest shawl pattern. Susan brought me some fabulous fuschia mohair she had been trying to get into the mail to me for several months, and we got to chat about her round of college visits for her son last week to California.
I also had a good visit with Mim, discussing work, books, family, creativity and even knitting! Laurie arrived late, but with boxes of goodies to give away, as she is getting her house ready to put on the market. I was so delighted to see her and we caught up as fellow teachers... Karen, of Sleeping Dragon Yarns (who just put up her blog, finally, yesterday - though I didn't get the address yet) was also there; I have her to credit with inspiring me to try spinning again in the first place, as she spindle-spun her way through our stay at Estes Park last year. I was glad to hear about her new house and impressed that she still travels a further distance each week to meet up with such a lively and fun group.
Time is always too short, and I was lucky to get to see Katherine, who arrived just as we were gathering to leave. She looks so finely pregnant, and I got to rub her belly, something you just can't do virtually. It is a blessing and a challenge to have friends I like so much but who live so far away. Several people asked if I would be returning for the Great Basin Fiber Festival, and I just might have to!