Monday, September 10, 2007

Endless Mountains Fiber Festival

My weekend at the Endless Mountains Fiber Festival was very enjoyable. The weather was a little bit warm and humid, but it didn't get in the way of having a good time.

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When I first arrived, I did a quick scope of the area. It was nice to see that the number of vendors had increased since the last time I attended. I was helping out at Fred Hatton's Antique Spinning Wheels booth. I had few offerings, so it was easy to set up. I looked around to say hello to our booth neighbors...

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This guy was very well behaved and gregarious...besides, he had wonderful eyes. Deep black- brown pools with long black lashes. I loved his "milk mustache".

On the other side, I saw Greta and her beautiful display...

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I took a quick walk around and saw Annie's booth...I just love to see the Great Wheels and wonder about where they came from, and where they will go....

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Back at the booth, things were already getting busy. One of the signed wheels that Fred had restored had been sold to someone who had a collection of over 100 spinning wheels. I've never seen so many old spinning wheels together in one place like that, and imagined what it would look like to view them all lined up together. As the day went on, occasionally a person would wander in, holding an old wheel, (sometimes in pieces)...in need of help....looking for consultation from "the wheel doctor"....Is there hope? Can it be fixed?? Is it valuable?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket "the spinning wheel whisperer"

It is so interesting to see some of these old wheels and hear the stories about how they came into a person's hands. Sometimes, they have been handed down and belonged to a distant relative, others have been purchased for peanuts at a barn or yard sale. But always, they carry with them a bit of the past that we can never know about...how many miles of yarn have they spun? How many hands have had the pleasure of spinning on them...what types of fiber have they known...wool, flax, silk? I wonder....

On Sunday, I was behind the Great Wheel spinning, when a woman ran up to the wheel, got down on her hands and knees and looked up at the underside of the bench! I was startled by the urgency of this behavior, and was careful not to step on her! She rose to her feet and explained her actions to me. It seems that her family used to own a Great Wheel that belonged to a relative, and somehow it had been sold. She knew that it was dated 18?? and signed with the name "Lydia". She told me that she has been on a quest, checking the underside of the bench of every Great Wheel that she can....until she finds her Lydia.

One of the highlights of my weekend was meeting Phiala of string page fame. She has wonderful information and instructions that I have learned a lot from. It was nice to meet her in person, and be able to tell her how much I appreciate the page.

I also taught a 6 year old boy how to spindle spin. I hope he is practicing.

Fiber festivals always amaze and delight me. There are so many creative people, with so many different talents and abilities all under one roof. I like seeing all the vendors and their wares...and I love watching what people walk away with, the treasures they carry home. It is fun being around so many people with a love for fiber...a common thread...

11 comments:

pacalaga said...

Looks like a lot of fun! One of these years I'm going to save up and do a tour of the northeast during festival season. There aren't so many down here in the southwest.

Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

That sounds like a fantastic festival to be a part of!

Judy said...

You also got lucky as the booth had such a great view of the mountains. I had a good time and I am glad the man didn't make it to Richmond otherwise I wouldn't have made it. I hope that woman finds "Lydia".

Kathy said...

Milk Mustache it is. So cute.

Kathy said...

Milk Mustache it is. So cute.

judy said...

Sounds like a great weekend. I can't view your photos. Have you changed something?

Donna B said...

this was at the Harford fairgrounds!!! I've been there many times...my grandparents live a mile or so from Harford and I used to spend my summers with them...oh how lovely. That's my country.

meresy_g said...

You've been so busy! I've missed to many posts. Harvesting and spinning and mushroom hunting! Thanks for worrying about me, btw. I'm fine and was just busy and then away. I can't believe it is fall already.

Beth S. said...

Sigh! What a lovely day that must have been. I love your pictures of all the antique wheels.

I hope that woman finds her Lydia again. :-)

annmarie said...

What a beautiful picture of the yarn from Persimmon Tree Farm! I did a google search to find out more about the festival. My son's at SUNY Binghamton and I've made that drive many times. Next year I might have to try to time a visit right around the time of the festival. :)

Artis-Anne said...

Oh what a wonderful day that looks to have been. I too love any fibre festivals and I saw a Great Wheel for the first time this year at one. I was totally mesmerized by it and how the lady spun with it. I do so admire your skills with yours

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