Hellooooooo! I’m in the SF Bay Area, happily ensconced in a lovely home somewhere up on the ridge in the redwoods.
Yes, I know, life sucks.
The past few days have been busy, so let me summarize the wonder that has been the trip so far.
Wednesday: Flew in on Air Canada. What a GREAT AIRLINE. Seatmates not so great. However, great food service, free movies and TV episodes and lots of knitting helped to distract me from not-so-great seatmates. Also: No invasive scans of body, no pat-downs. Thank you airport security.
Was met at airport by Diane, who first hugged me ferociously and then asked the key question: Are you hungry? (Answer: Starved.) The follow-up question was even better: What kind of food do you want to eat?
She took me to a taqueria (Taqueria Mi Ranchito in San Carlos) and I nearly died of happy. Plastic tablecloths with garish designs,
Spanish banter in the kitchen, colourful murals on the walls,
Bright lights and decorations in many colours from many seasons. All the authentic good stuff.
Plus, be still my heart, the first genuine chili relleno I’ve had in seven years.
And a Fanta, just to round out the deliciousness of it all.
I ate the ENTIRE platter of food, plus four corn tortillas. I never eat that much. I was HIGH on the entire thing, I tell you. HIGH.
Then we ran a few errands all about the area, so I got a nice tour of my old homelands. I used to live in Redwood City, we literally drove right past my old apartment and stopped at the Michael’s I used to shop at all the time.
We drove around San Carlos, we drove to Woodside and just all kinds of fun places.
HOG HEAVEN. I love you, California. I missed you sooooooooo much.
Then home to Diane’s little lovely home perched in the redwoods. First thing I did on getting out of the car was hug a redwood tree and I am totally serious. Laugh if you must.
Then she fed me, and we spun, and then we fell over into bed and I slept.
Thursday: We packed up the car and drove north across the Bay to pick up Ba (woolyba) on our way to Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR. Well, to be more accurate, we drove to Ba’s house so Ba’s truck could swallow every article we had brought and laugh at us because there was still space left. (Ginormous truck. No, I don’t know what kind it is, I’m not a gearhead.)
On the way across the Bay, we drove through San Francisco…and across the Golden Gate Bridge. And that, my friends, is where I lost it. Sobbed like a baby. The light on the water, the gorgeous bridge, the views…the well of homesickness inside me just overflowed and I couldn’t do much but blubber for a bit.
Bay Area, you are a jewel in California’s crown.
The drive from Diane’s to Eugene was about twelve hours, give or take; we got there, set up camp…and found out that (a) we were camping on grass; (b) some of the tents were dusty and (c) Sandi is allergic to the point of asthma if too many things like that are combined.
Friends saved the day (or rather the nights, to be precise). Terry (spinpygora) of Rainbow Farms Pygora fame had a spare bed in her spiffy new trailer, so I bunked with her. (What a delight she is! And her pygora fiber…really, it’s crack, just accept that fact, buy some, and be prepared to want more.) And the one night Terry had another guest, Jennifer and David brought an extra tent with extra everything and I took extra meds and camped like a champ.
In other words, I was totally spoiled by my Ravelry friends. You all rock, all of you: Ba, Jennifer, David, Diane, Terry, Heather, Laura, Barbara….
For more pics of my adventures at the Black Sheep Gathering, check out my Flickr set. And I’ll have more stories to tell in future entries. Promise.
I have been to a lot of fiber fests, and BSG is one of the best. Great vendors, great size, great venue, just wonderful. Go next year if you can.
One of the highlights was getting to watch and hear Judith MacKenzie do the open judging of the handmade items.
She talked through each item’s strengths and weaknesses, whether it was a skein of yarn or a knitted shawl, and it was like sitting through a master class in the little things (and big things) that take a project from merely good to greatness.
Speaking of Judith…
Anyone know what this is? (Click to make any of the photos bigger.)
This item and an identical one were picked up at an estate sale (or on eBay, I’m unclear on that bit), and Judith was showing it to folks trying to figure out what it was. It’s adjustable; it has little felt or rubber pads on the ends of the “feet,” and it does not sit level no matter how you put it down.
Here are a couple more pictures in case it helps anyone identify it.
Judith and I thought: drum stand (weird angle), casserole stand (very weird angle), skein winder (weird all around), and that’s pretty much all we could come up with.
Leave your ideas on the item’s origin and purpose in the comments. You never know if there might be a wee prize in it for you if you are right, especially now that Canada Post has decided to provide service to us nice Canadians once again.
That’s all for today! There will be more later, as I need to tell you about the kitty that is desperately in love with Truffles the Llama. But that’s another story for another day.
Oh yes…and I have a new spinning wheel. Patience, my dear readers, patience…all in good time.