Friday Fun and Winter Woolfest 2014

I’m using this weekend as another opportunity for some serious stress relief, and so far, the universe is with me on this.

Last night, after taking Jon to gaming, I hit the gym for a short but effective session before meeting up with the crew at Terry and Erica’s place. During times of high stress, I tend to withdraw. Last night was a reminder of how therapeutic “friend time” can be. We visited, discussed books, and watched a really bad horror movie, complete with our own little Twitter party. There is something hilarious and fun about sitting in the same room with people and only talking via Twitter.

Jon was done with gaming by the time the movie was over, so I picked him up. During the movie, I got a notification that a new geocache went up. We decided to go get it before heading back to Wamego, figuring that since we let about three hours go by, someone would have gotten there before us. It seemed as if the snow kept people in, however, and we got the First to Find! Yay for us! We finally made it home, and after reading a few chapters in the second Iron Druid book, I crashed.

Today was Winter Woolfest at the Columbian Theater, so I was up early to shower and gather my knitting supplies (nothing like waiting until the last minute). I packed light, deciding to take only a set of needles and a small ball of yarn for the instructional sessions. I also walked instead of drove, a daring choice since there were still several slick spots on the roads and sidewalks. I managed to make it without falling.

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Since I was limited on spending funds (and the last thing I need to do is add yarn to my current stash), I took advantage of the classes that were going on throughout the day. The first one I took was one on Bavarian twisted knitting. I love the pattern this makes, and though it was a little nerve wracking to cable knit without a cable needle, I loved how easy it was and the look of the finished product.

Practice swatch. I bet I could fit this into one of my upcoming projects.
Practice swatch. I bet I could fit this into one of my upcoming projects.

The second class I took was on new methods of casting on. I’ve done nothing but long-tail for a long time, and I hadn’t bothered to learn any other methods, so this was a good opportunity to try something new. I learned three cast-ons, including the basic knit cast on, a cable cast on, and a modified long tail (I can’t remember the name right now) that makes the cast-on row stretchier (perfect for socks).

I met up with two friends at the ‘Fest, and we went to Toto’s Tacos for lunch. Tortilla soup and a “Burrito Jr.” were today’s choice. The Burrito Jr. was just meat and cheese. It was not small, but it was delicious. There was a line when we got there, but it was worth the wait.

After lunch, we did some vendor browsing before the afternoon sessions. There was tons of beautiful yarn and fiber, but I managed to hold back. I did entertain the idea of trying drop spinning again, but decided to hold off. I might get into spinning someday, but for now, especially with a pending move and a tight budget, I’ll continue to wait for the right time.

The first afternoon session was about blocking. Blocking is one of those things that seem really easy and basic, yet every time I’ve had to block something, it seems hard and nerve-wracking. The session was great. I’m no longer intimidated by the thought of blocking. Now I just need to buy some supplies.

The second session was a demo on braid cording with a lucet, though the technique was also taught with the use of fingers. I liked it, though it will take me some time to really get the hang of it and get it right. Apparently, you can use the technique with torn up t-shirt material to make cowls. I want to try this. The young man from RJ’s QTs (RJ himself, in fact)  gave the demo, then sold me on the idea of buying a couple new project bags.

I know someone who loves penguins!
I know someone who loves penguins!

The final session of the day was a lesson on Brioche knitting. It seemed pretty easy, so I think I may have been doing it wrong. However, even if I was, the technique I WAS doing was pretty fun, and I liked the finish product, which looks like regular ribbing except it’s nice and soft and squishy.

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We stuck around for door prizes, but no luck this year (though since I’m still loving the  Hiya Hiyas I won last year, I’m set for like the next ten Woolfests).  V made a suggestion that we go across the street for coffee and pie, but sadly, the restaurant was closed. Not to be thwarted, we moved on down the road and tried two other places before we finally found a place that was 1)open and 2)offering coffee and dessert. Thank you, Rambler’s of Wamego!

I had the brownie sundae, V had the blondie sundae. So delicious!
I had the brownie sundae, V had the blondie sundae. So delicious!

While indulging in dessert therapy, we chatted about writing and conventions. V is one of my writer friends, and since she’s more knowledgeable on the subject, I like to pick her brain and get her feedback. We drank coffee and visited for a couple hours, finally calling it a night before the sun went down completely.

I walked home, and I walked fast since I didn’t have the foresight to use the restroom before leaving the restaurant (fail). Luckily, many of the ice patches from the morning had melted, so it was a pretty smooth walk. The temperature was perfect, though the slight chill did cause a little bit of lung discomfort (nothing to worry about…it’s happened for years).

Besides the fact that the day was a blast, it also served as a good way to mark some strides in my health and mobility. Though last year was fun, I remember not being able to stand and walk as much. I remember taking frequent sit-down breaks, taking the elevator, and taking as few extra walks as humanly possible. In fact, I’m pretty sure I didn’t take any extra walks. And I drove.

This year, I walked to and from the event. I took the stairs going up at least four times (took the elevator going down, but that’s because going down stairs hurts my knees with legitimate “have to stop walking” pains). I didn’t mind making extra trips, and even took an extra trip back to the restaurant to get a bottle of water. It was seriously awesome.

I’m going to finish up some things online, maybe play some Candy Crush, then lay down to read. The weather is supposed to be really nice tomorrow, so the plan is to go to the zoo to see the animals “open” their enrichment gifts. I love a trip to the zoo. Plus, if it’s as nice as it’s supposed to be, I’m going to soak up as much outdoor therapy as I can to prepare for the coming work week.

Until tomorrow…

A.

 

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