Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Wet Fiber Fest

Months ago, I thought I'd check out the annual fiber festival at a nearby town. We had planned it as a final detour of our last business trip. For all of last week, we drove around the flatlands, bearing heat, dust, and high winds. After spending days in the car and dumpy motels, I was looking forward to a little fun in the mountains, maybe a dip in the hot springs, a walk by the river, and, of course, fondling yarn, sheep and alpacas.
In case you're still confused, I'll confirm the news. That is the sign we saw the day we arrived. Yes, it was snowing. On May 23rd, in Pagosa Springs. Who would have guessed? The last time I was there, it was hot and sunny, and the river was full of frolicking bathers. Of course, I've been there when it was cold, but it was still nice, and I enjoyed walking along the river and checking out the steam coming up through the vents in the snow-covered grass. I was hoping for something between those two extremes, and I tried to ignore the weather forecasts. Surely it wouldn't snow much, I thought.
I was wrong. It was very pretty snow, and it was warm enough that it didn't stick (much). However, it certainly discouraged any touristy activities. We ate lunch, drove around a little. (Driving around to sightsee doesn't hold many charms after you've spent several days in the car.) It was fun to see snow after being in the heat all week.

Nonetheless, I feared it did not bode well for the festival, even though there were two large tents set up in the park. I've done set-up for events before, and I hated to see the vendors setting up in such wet weather. And wet it was. The next morning, I quickly learned that while one of the tents was relatively dry, the other was sitting on a large puddle of ice-cold water. The puddle was about 2" deep in spots and it wasn't going anywhere. The vendors weren't happy about it, and were concerned about their yarn and fiber getting and staying wet. I heard one say she was going to have to "dry out all this yarn when I get home." Her booth was the largest, with a beautiful variety of hand-dyed yarn, fiber and knitted samples. I felt for her.
However, the vendors remained cheerful, friendly, and, most important--they had yarn. K didn't follow my instructions when I said, "This won't take long, pick me up in 45 minutes." I was glad, since 45 minutes saw me just completing a cursory tour of the booths. I took another half hour or so deciding what to buy. In the end, it wasn't much, but I'm very happy with it. A pretty hand-dyed hank of sock yarn, enough for a pair, very reasonably priced, and a hank of super-fine alpaca. I'll tell you more about the alpaca in the next post. For now, I'll just tease you by saying, "It's better than caashmare, dahlink."

I stuck my purchases in a waterproof bag, and hopped in the car for the ride home. It had stopped snowing, but was still cloudy. I enjoyed the beautiful views from Wolf Creek Pass, especially those of fully-leafed aspens surrounded by snow-covered evergreens, an uncommon pairing. There was no snow at home, and it was clearing off, even on the continental divide. Of course, all the traveling time meant a lot of knitting time for me. I think I've committed to the top in Alchemy bamboo, and I finished a Koigu sock. I'll post knitting photos soon, to make up for last week's silence.


taelixev said...

Would you go again? I heard about Pagosa online and I've travelled there before. I'm kind of curious if it was worth the drive.

I went to the Alpaca festival they had at the Western Stockshow complex. There were just a handful of vendors and the show was free, so I'd most likely go again because of the fiber weakness. :)

Luni said...

Hi, Luni here, replying to the comment above--
Yes, I'd go again because I like Pagosa Springs, and I like fiber fests. There's classes and events, food, animals, and fiber, just on a small scale. I'd just make sure the weather forecast says sunny and warm.

Bron said...

We haven't been to Pagosa Springs in over 16 years. It's a shame, too. It's just a few hours north and I love it up there. :) Thanks for the travelogue!

Sam said...

The weather here in Colorado can be so very changeable. Glad that you came away with goodies :)

kimberly said...

Glad to find you (guess you found me!) on Ravelry - I can't wait to see how your project turns out!