Monday, November 15, 2010


One week later we were locked and loaded for another big event: the Western Fiber Festival, held annually in Torrance by what was formerly SCHG. What fun! And this time it was just a one-day event, so we could leave the mighty Mouse at home with our farm feeder. It was dark when we left - 4 something, by the "new" time - but the skies lightened by the time we arrived, revealing strange cloud formations over Long Beach.

As we got closer we decided that it was a phenomenon due to the still weather; lack of wind allowed heated air from the refineries to travel straight up, like chmneys or tornado's tails. Interesting to watch, to the point that we had to turn off our book on CD - Malcom Gladwell's What the Dog Saw. And that book is hard to turn down.

WeFF is a feast for the eyes, a bonanza for the buyer, and our happiest day of the year. We earned more in one day (10 to 4) than we did in FIVE tortuous days (and one evening) at Convergence.

Plus we had great fun, the people (both public and organizers) were wonderful, and ... AND... they served us coffee and donuts while we set up and gave us little sandwiches, soda and chips for lunch!


How many posts have I begun with that exhausted "gasperation"? Or maybe it just seems like a lot, because that is the mantra that assails my mind the minute I find time to sit down for an update. Nevertheless, whew is a pretty good descriptor for the last month.

We prepped and packed for a weekend at the SWFF (Southwest Fiber Festival) in Amado, AZ, one of my favorite areas to visit. Only this year (the festival's third) we were vendors instead of visitors, a whole new ballgame!

We made the trip (trailer and the ever-present Mouse in tow) in good time, but it was a no-frills trip because ML had to work the next week. We spent two nights at the Amado Territory Inn, two days traveling, and one day selling.

Traveling the stretch of I-10 just west of Tucson was a humbling and numbing experience. I have been coddling and nursing along a small hand full of natural colored cotton plants, painstakingly grown from seed (another post, for sure!) and here we were, driving past miles and miles and MILES of cotton. We passed endless acres of fields with fat green plants sporting tiny white bolls, monstrous mega-machines harvesting row after row, hundreds additional acres of skeletonized plants with more cotton left hanging on the bare limbs than I can ever hope to grow, enormous gray tarps staked over mounds of compacted cotton the size of my house, and drifts of white cotton waste covering fences, weeds, and filling the roadside ditches. Wow.

We had a double booth space because I was teaching some classes, so we had plenty of room to spread out.

Midway through the afternoon, winds gusted and blew my shelf of roving over -- fortunately NOT during class!

True to course, Mouse was an excellent trooper, spending nights quietly sleeping in his dog kennel in the back of the car and days in his pen behind our booth. He had his own shady tree and a bevy of admirers.

Feeding him was a bit of a challenge, since he is still on the bottle (one that prophetically says "The one and only...") and refuses cold milk, but we carried a thermos which helped.

Mouse supervised loading and unloading,

took the thousand mile trip in stride,

Small traveler, big desert.

and came home to appreciate all the comforts of home and hearth.

Especially hearth.