Monday, December 1, 2008

A Jolly Good Time was had by all! Surprise!!!!

Girls Week-end at the Kid n Ewe and Lamas, Too festival in Boerne, Texas (that's "Burney" to the uninitiated). Five Sisters of the Wool set out on Thursday with an unbelievable amount of luggage in two cars on the back roads through the Hill Country to arrive in Comfort by nightfall. The same B&B where Susan and I stayed last year, very funky, hot tub and killer breakfasts, owned and run by the lovely Sandi.

Now you would think that much knitting would be done, that we would loll around in the hot tub with Margaritas? Hah! After a hot tub the first night, we usually collapsed pretty early, very little knitting, Lucy Neatby's videos put us all to sleep (glad to know it's not just me that is lulled into dreamland by Lucy's soft voice), the wine we brought came home unopened. Susan did get her loom set up and warped finally, after a year, with lots of advice from the peanut gallery.

The first night's dinner was in Comfort at your typical German/Cajun (???) cafe, Guenther's. OK, Weiner schnitzel and blood sausages. Stewfish and the Couch Potatoes were playing...loud, very loud, really really loud and totally off key. Although the more they drank, the more notes they hit. We finally fled to a porch room that was a decibal or two quieter. We ate well and went home a bit deafened.

After one of Sandi's fantastic breakfasts, we headed off early to Boerne for the main event, planned to arrive just before they opened the doors.
We saw lots of fiber, the above being the loveliest combed and carded, hand dyed silk bats.
We saw Alpacas!! This cutie is Cuervo, a bit on the shy side. He kept up the sweetest little nervous hum. You just wanted to cuddle him and tell him it was OK. No lamas, though.
This super adorable six month old is Midnight Star. Taya was trying to figure out a way to get him home in the car. Although they won't sell just one, nor even two, but insist on three so you have a herd. That neck fiber is just the softest stuff ever.
We saw Cashmere goats, including this impressive (and rather bad tempered) ram.
We watched some of the judging and were shown the cashmere fiber and taught how to evaluate it.
Taya investigated the Great Wheel.
Doreen was seduced by the glorious Pegasus. She caught serious spinning lust.
Micki, Susan and I caught Market Days in Boerne. It was a bit of a disappointment. Shitloads of beads, but nothing very special. There was one jewelry maker who tempted me with a pair of "rainforest" mineral earrings, but not much else. It was so sunny and hot that we were shortly searching shade.
Stash was accumulated Day One. This is the entire groups goodies, just sayin'. My part was limited to Brooks Farm Solo Silk and some of that lovely Plain and Fancy kettle dyed. As well as a skein of Schaeffer to do a one skein shawl, bought from a charming daughter and mother who've just opened a knit shop in Comfort, The Tinsman's Wife. Wishing them luck. And oh, five skeins of Jo-JoLand to do a Swirl Shawl. Plus I found a lovely hand carved darning egg in cedar from some delightful ladies from Louisiana.
And more stash Day Two. I missed Day Three's haul, but there was still more.

Couldn't resist this sign. Admit it's hilarious. Actually it was the town of Welfare, but a bit more imagination might have made for a more appropriate name.
Phenomenal biscuits were had here at PoPos, as well as chicken fried steaks and huge racks of ribs. A serious winner.
And now for the surprise, possibly the most incredible surprise I think I've ever had. Are you sitting down, gentle readers? On Sunday as we were leaving, actually already in our cars, an automobile pulled up and parked on the far side of mine. Sandi was panicked that she had forgotten a reservation. A lovely bearded gentleman came up to me speaking in French and shooting photos of us the whole time. He knew my name. I was thumbing rapidly through the rolodex in my brain trying to figure this one out. I must have met this Frenchman last year, or somewhere before. I do know a handful of people in the Hill Country, but this just wasn't computing. Finally he said in English, "You haven't a clue, do ya?" with the slightest Irish lilt and it all clicked. Richard!!! Celtic Memory's Richard. Which meant Jo must be close at hand. Look at this!!!!
Look at the faces of the Sisters. Susan was crying. Micki was floored. Taya was levitating and we have a photo of it. Doreen was mystified since she had never met Jo. And I was completely overjoyed. Jo said although the internet was very useful for some things, she thought I needed a hug so she came all the way from Ireland to give me one.
These two were certainly proud of themselves. They found tickets on Friday morning, caught a flight that night and arrived in San Antonio Sunday morning to drive out to Comfort. None of us had any idea whatsoever that they were on their way. I had only given Jo the name of the town where we were staying. This is the kind of crazy I want in my life. Daft, mad, and ever so welcome. Thank goodness the weather was splendid to give them a couple of days break from the miserable weather at home.
A very happy sun-warmed group in front of the Carrington House in Comfort. So, no question of Micki and I heading out early, we all trooped back to the Festival with our friends to show them around.
Now Jo had to try the Pegasus. It is a dream of a wheel.
And she was seduced by our lovely Brooks Farm display. In the meantime Richard was out in the park trying to photograph some butterflies with a camera lens the size of a Gatling gun.
It was sad to say good-bye, but now I must plot how to give them an equal surprise.
Micki and I finally headed out through Fredericksburg with the car stuffed full of luggage so the other three could make it home in the convertible after a day of classes.
Gorgeous skies with strange ploughed cloud formations. It almost made up for the incredible amount of road kill we saw. Deer, deer and more deer. One carcass, minus its rack, in the middle of a street in Fredericksburg. Gross. We had to pay phenomenal attention for errant wildlife while on the roads.
Planted these lovely cyclamen on Thanksgiving. I always thought they were an indoor plant when actually they love the cold (which it doesn't say on that tag) and make it through our winters with just a bit of cover when it drops below freezing.
And here you can see I've completed the front of my Hoxbro Cables sweater. While I'm dithering about how to do the collar and sleeves and if I'm going to like it as designed or want to change it, I swatched for another sweater and fell in love.
This is Brooks Farm Solo Silk and it is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Patterned after my favorite cashmere Eskandar. I've almost finished the front already. I'm so bad at startitis, but I do see myself wearing this for the holidays. The color is more of a persimmon red. I had to get a new camera and it's still in learning curve mode.And this arrived on my doorstep last week. I was most confused as I hadn't ordered anything from Blue Moon and that's where this big box was from. There was a card inside and a friend, who would like to remain anonymous, said perhaps what I needed was some exciting new knitting in Raven colorways. OMG. There is a Sock Monkey Kit and two skeins each for three pairs of socks and a humongous skein of laceweight, all in Ravens except for the fabulous Brick. I don't know what to knit first. Although I think the Sock Monkey may be calling my name and demanding precedence. What a thoughtful friend! I cried.

Survived Thanksgiving, thanks to friends. Last Thanksgiving was the day I realized Steven was very ill, although I didn't have a clue how seriously. But it was a normal day with Steven preparing the dinner. Now here we are a year later and he's gone and it's surreal. Thanks to everyone who has called and written to make sure I got through this time.


Longhorn Diva said...

It was so lovely to read about your fantastic weekend. You know, to have such remarkable friends, one must be a truly deserving person; and I'd say you must have it in spades, and deserve all the love and more. Here's hoping your year just gets more brilliant from here.

Cindy/Snid said...

What an amazing and wonderful surprise! Sounds like a beautiful weekend. It is really something how we all get to know each other and are there to support one another as well. It really is a wonderful world.

Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

Darling darling girl, it was worth any amount of jetlag just to hug in real time. Can't begin to describe what a lovely time we had with you. Memories are made of this.

Jenn said...

That sounds like a fabulous weekend - someday I'll make it down. And the surprise of Jo - how wonderful! One must be very lucky to have such great friends.