Last year I went to my first fiber festival ever, and it was Rhinebeck. It was insane and overwhelming and fun but really – way too much. This year I decided to make a trip up to Asheville, NC for SAFF and it was a fantastic decision. Not that I don’t want to go back to Rhinebeck, and possibly hit Maryland Sheep & Wool … but SAFF was a ton of fun.
I was lucky enough to have some awesome ladies from my Friday night knitting group be willing to include me in their plans. We rented a two room condo that sleeps 4 (or 5 with the couch) just outside of Asheville and stayed the weekend. We drove up on Friday and bummed around Asheville a bit in the evening and then woke up and moseyed on over to the Fair grounds.
It was pretty freaking cold, but that didn’t slow us down. We hit the open air barn first and perused the offerings. I was strictly instructed not to buy anything on the first go-round. First look is for looksies only and then we could come back later to do damage. This is strikingly different that Rhinebeck. In NY you really don’t get the opportunity to retrace your steps, you are too busy going forward and trying to see everything to go back.
After being pried away from a couple of vendors we went into the Arena where it was considerably warmer.
There was so much to look at and feel, but not so much that I felt antsy that I wouldn’t get to see everything. We were able to take our time and leisurely survey our options. I want to note here that all of the photographs were taken when I returned on Sunday and do not reflect the attendance on Saturday. Also, the lighting sucked. I did the best I could but the pictures are not the greatest. There were plenty of new-to-me vendors and old favorites that always manage to sneak their way into my bag. I will try and get some photos of my loot and do a yarn porn post in the coming days.
One of my main goals of going to SAFF was to finally see The Unique Sheep gradients in person. I have been pouring over their site, but it is difficult to really wrap my brain around how they work. I wanted to lay hands on them to get a better idea of the bases and the colors. I must say I was not in any way, shape or form disappointed. Both Laura and Kelly are just as vibrant and interesting as the yarn they dye and I wish I could have brought half of their booth home with me. Obviously something gradient will be in the works in the near future – any suggestions of what you would like to see?
While new loves are always exciting, long-standing passions cannot be denied. Dragonfly Fibers has been one of my favorites since my very first Stitches South. The colors that Kate achieves are stunning and her yarns fill my dreams. You know I did not walk away from here empty handed. There might have even been some plotting.
As a group we spent what might be considered by some to be an excessive amount of time in the Dragonfly booth, but the ladies there are so much fun we ended up actually having dinner with them. We went to Tupelo Honey and it was absolutely delicious, if you are even in Asheville I highly recommend a stop. But beware, the shrimp & grits are quite spicy, like take a bite and then wish for milk spicy. But so tasty that you have to come back for more.
Thus ends the first entry on SAFF. There is way more to talk about but this post is getting a bit long. I will leave you with another shot of Dragonfly’s booth for you to drool over.