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Archive for August 13th, 2003

Off to Michigan Fiber Festival ’till Sunday

Wednesday, August 13th, 2003

LynnH's Schwinn Suburban bicycleWell, I have been changing my mind and waffling and not committing, but I’m going to the Michigan Fiber Festival tomorrow/Wednesday, in Allegan, Michigan (in the southwestern area of our state, not very far from Lake Michigan if I’m not mistaken). I’m leaving earlier than I usually wake up, and I will plan to stay until Sunday. If camping gets me down, I may come home earlier (predictions are for temperatures in the mid- to upper-eighties Farenheit all weekend but possible thunderstorms on Sunday).

I have never camped alone. I have done many road trips alone, slept in my car when it was safer than driving tired, slept on many folks’ floors or sofas, stayed in guest houses and discount hotels and a youth hostel. I have gone to New York City, Washington DC, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco and more. Alone. Because I want to go, and because in many cases, going alone means I do exactly what pleases me without giving up boundaries.

Brian and I do travel well together, but when it comes to a fiber festival, what would keep him happy? I’m sure I’ll know people when I get there. I have met a few of the instructors of some workshops, and I also know that my friend Sue who is a partner in the yarn store in Marshall, Michigan, will have a booth. So if I need a friendly face to hang out with, I’ll find one or two.

But, camping! Well, that is not my cup of tea. I don’t like dirt, my allergies make me a poor sport outdoors (I can get monster headaches so I’m doing my best to plan ahead for my health). I don’t enjoy baking in the sun although I love sunny days if I can sit in the shade. I don’t enjoy the physical work of setting up camp, but at least in the last 7 years I’ve learned some tricks from Brian in that regard.

I didn’t camp from about 1975 until after I was divorced over 10 years ago when I went on a group trip once with some friends. Since I met Brian we have gone to some music festivals, particularly Wheatland. At the music festivals we can buy food, though. This trip I’m planning to take food for the most part, as I’m pretty sure I can’t buy food that I can eat and be healthy.

I’m a little anxious, but I get anxious before any important trip. I’m a lot excited. I have no idea what yarn I should bring, what fiber to spin. I’m bringing a lot of knitting needles, some crochet hooks, and my spinning wheel. I’m going to let the knitting machine sit aside until I get my manual in the mail from Canada, whenever that is.

I will have fun no matter what I do. I’m going cold turkey on the computer, I think. I can’t imagine how I could get online even with this laptop, and I hate worrying about it in the car baking in the sun or lugging it around. In addition, my digital camera holds only 32 images in its current configuration, and I can’t see buying a smart card when I’m already spending money on a vacation trip. So I’ll do what I can to get a few nice shots and just enjoy myself.

I am not signed up for any workshops so I’ll see what I can get into when I get there. There is a class on freeform knitting (which involves some crochet as well, if I understand right) by Traci Bunkers (Bonkers Fiber) which sounds good, and I would LOVE to get in an acid dyeing workshop with Merike Saarniit (Liisu Yarns) if at all possible. She’s doing two full-day workshops and I’m going to cross fingers I get in one. I also would enjoy a felting class by Jill Gully (Outback Fibers), but I think my limit is two classes so we’ll see what I get.

For my farewell picture, I offer (finally) a shot of my wonderful “new” bicycle. It is a Schwinn Suburban (which currently has a flat tube but that is easy to fix when I get time). I think it is approximately a 1971 bike. It is a “girls” bike with a lowered bar, and it has 5 speeds. It has front and back lights that are powered by a little generator that runs off the tire itself, if I choose to use it. It has a very nice shelf on the back for carrying bags of tortillas home from La Perla. It looks shiny in this picture because I’ve worked at shining up the chrome… on this side. The other side of the bike still has surface rust I need to work on… in my “spare time!”

You can’t really see it well, but the bike is in front of the only real garden we have in our yard. It contains a half dozen or more hostas of several types, two red-leafed coral bells, one very wonderful plant with coral and green arrowhead-shaped leaves whose name I do not know, and a large container with coral and white impatiens and some green plants… directly behind the front tire.

We have other flowering plants and bushes, and a few herbs growing around the yard, but they are mostly inherited plants that came with the house. I love gardens, but not the time they take. I did spend 2 days in the last week or so, pruning out dead vines from our abundant climbing roses. We have them on three different walls of the house and garage, and they just take over! When they bloom, you can see the bright fuschia-red flowers for blocks.

I will look forward to reporting how the trip went, when I return. Have a grand week. I’ll post on Sunday or Monday.