Thursday, November 19, 2015

SAFF 2015

One of my favorite trips of the year is the annual Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) held just outside Asheville, NC.  This year, because the dates of the event were moved to the last weekend in October, there was no tractor show, so we were able to use the entire grounds of the Western North Carolina Agriculture Center.

This year I took two classes.  On Thursday I took an all day spinning class with Judith MacKenzie.  I still consider myself very much a novice spinner, so I really learned a lot in this class.  Unfortunately, as is usual when I get immersed in what I'm doing, I didn't think to take a single picture of Judith or anything we did in this class.

Friday morning I took a class with my secret boyfriend Franklin Habit. This class was on doing steeks (aka cutting your knitting on purpose) and installing zippers into knitting.  I had never done either one of these techniques, and while I'm generally a "learn what you need to know to do the project" type knitter I thought it would be helpful to actually have someone physically show me how to do it.  And of course, I had to take at least one of Franklin's classes (secret boyfriend remember?)  While I wasn't particularly doubtful of my ability to do either of these things before, now I know for sure how to do them, and I'm currently scanning patterns to do both in a sweater.  Fortunately, I had a little more focus on Friday and did get a picture of Franklin with Dolores in the background.

Friday afternoon was the first chance I had to do some shopping with all the vendors.  I had a couple of specific projects I was looking to find yarn for, so I focused on those mostly Friday, although I picked up a few things not on my list as well!

Saturday I had no classes, so I decided not to get up at the wee hours with the rest of the group, and instead slept a little longer and got to SAFF about 11:00 am.  One of our group has a vacation home about 45 minutes away from SAFF and she graciously lets us stay there.  Not only is it a huge money saver (more money for yarn & fiber & classes!) but it's nice to have a comfortable place to sit around together in the evening and show what we bought or made that day & just knit and socialize.

This was the day I made it over to the barns to see the animals.  Alpacas and llamas and goats and sheep.  Just about any fiber animal you can think of.  And because they're all so cute and furry I took lots of pictures.  I won't subject you to all of them, just some of the cutest.

Baby Suri Alpaca

Baby Alpaca

More Baby Alpacas


I admired this sheep's dreads

Nosy Sheep

This one just wanted you to scratch between his horns

Saturday night we joined Ann & Janis of the Carolina Fiber Girls podcast and a few others for dinner at the Sierra Nevada Brewery just down the road.  I'm not a beer drinker, but the food was pretty good and it's undeniably a gorgeous building.  I think I need to take Rob there the next time we're in the Asheville area.

Outside of the brewery

Vats of beer

Something to do with making beer

Sunday morning we took our time getting up, packing, and loading up the cars for the drive home.  Michiele was riding with me and we decided to make one more quick stop at SAFF on the way home.  A couple more purchases were made, and we headed home.  I'm so glad I took Monday off work too because besides needing to do laundry and grocery shopping, I need to some time to admire and inventory my haul from the event.

It's quite a haul, but almost all of it was bought with a specific project in mind.  That gorgeous teal grouping towards the bottom of the picture is already being knit into a sweater in fact.

All in all, another great year at SAFF.  The classes, the yarn, the fiber make it worth the trip every year, but the weekend with such great friends that share my love of all that SAFF offers make it more than just a trip.

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