What a weekend.
I flew to Sacramento last Thursday morning and began my adventure. I have a lovely new group of friends out there whom I hope to see again. Unfortunately, for the first two days I didn’t pull my camera out much, so I don’t have a lot of pictures of them to show you. But I would like to share the view from the back porch of a certain Gnostic mystic whose acquaintance I had the pleasure to make on Friday.
My first comment on seeing this place was, “what a shit hole.” I was being sarcastic, of course. I could really get used to waking up to a view like that every morning.
It also helped that this man had a really, really lovely Bull Mastiff.
Don’t get too close — that puppy has some projectile saliva that could take your head off. When he shook his head in the kitchen, it wasn’t pretty. Thank god we’d already put most of the food up.
Much of Friday was spent driving out to the mountains for supper and driving back. Saturday was when the main event went down: journey to Dixon!
The town of Dixon, CA transformed itself for the weekend into Lambtown, USA. It was free to get in the concessions were pretty reasonably priced. Like many other fairs across the country, the theme was All Things Sheep. (MYKP has a good rundown on the event too.) There was a little bit of jingoistic patriotism as the festival opened – the Star Spangled Banner was preceeded by “I’m Proud To Be An American”, which the announcer requested all gentlement to remove their hats for. I caved to peer pressure, I’m sorry to say.
The first thing we saw was some sheep shearing in preparation for the sheep-to-shawl competition. Three teams were given baskets of freshly-shorn wool to card, spin, ply and weave into a shawl as fast as possible. We didn’t stick around for the conclusion, but while we watched, the shuttles were flying. No pun intended.
In the center of the fairgrounds, they’d set up a large pen containing several sheep and several breeds of sheep dogs. The handler would bring out each type of dog in turn and explain how they had different herding styles. I never realized how much nuance there was in scaring the poop out of a bunch of walking sweaters. It was really very entertaining. One dog, Roo, was particularly professional about his work.
This little fellow didn’t actually do any herding that day, but he seemed exhausted just from watching the grownups do their thing.
Inside the fairgrounds building, all the fiber arts vendors had set up shop. There were tons of incredible yarns, but I won’t bore you with pictures, mostly because I was so busy diving into hanks that I forgot to take any. But I had to get a shot of what I call the James Bond spinning wheels. These wheels fold up into little tiny cases the size of small brief cases. The one in the background is an honest-to-goodness foot-powered wheel. How utterly cool is that?
I also got to meet Joan McGowan-Michael of White Lies Designs, a woman who knows how to incorporate curves into her knit designs. What I mean is, she knits for boobs. And she was very down-to-Earth. She was happy to explain how her samples were put together and she gave a big laugh when I shook her hand and told her I thought she was a total stud. If I ever get through my current projects, I’d really like to give some of her patterns a shot.
Finally, there were a few things that struck me as incredibly funny at the fair. Some were intentional, some not. Take for example the following banner:
Weird sense of humor if you ask me.
Then there was what I can only describe as the unfortunate relative placement of some of the childrens’ entertainment. If I ever have to design a fairground, I will make very sure that these two things are nowhere near each other.
Maybe I’m just a sicko pervert. You be the judge.
In the coming days, I’ll post some shots of the awesome Alpaca and silver buttons that I picked up, as well as that groovy bike I mentioned before. For now, I am a tired kid who needs to send spam to 1,400 unsuspecting people tomorrow at 8:00, so I’m for bed. Roses on your perch.