Order of business: Emily is the winner of the second prize for being commenter number 9. Congrats Emily! I wish I could give yarn to all my blog friends. I will have to host more contests in the future. Now on to my post…
The weekend all started with Kara and I flying to Denver on Friday morning. We got a lot of flack for flying from people…the SnB ladies, the front desk guy at the hotel, our horseback riding guide. But we flew and we are happy about it. See flying gave us 3 days to enjoy all that Denver and Estes Park had to offer.
Okay, so I was fibbing a bit when I said we enjoyed all that Denver had to offer. We basically spent the afternoon shopping at a mall. A really nice mall mind you but a mall all the same. I know we should have gone on a tour or the US Mint or something but we were so focused on Estes that when we arrived in Denver we realized we didn’t do any research or make any plans. So we went to the Cheery Creek Mall, shopped, and ate really large onion rings. Don’t believe me?
It was too big to enjoy fully you know? The only activity we did have planned in Denver was dinner. I got a recommendation from my friend Tony to go to Carmine’s on Penn. This restaurant did not disappoint. It is amazing homemade Italian food served family style with big shared portions and amazing bread. We got this chicken dish with sundried tomatoes, spinach, artichoke hearts, and fontina cheese with a side of homemade pasta in garlic and olive oil. It was heavenly.
After dinner we retired to our cheap hotel which was kind of depressing looking from the outside but decent on the inside. The beds were nice but I had crazy dreams all night and kept waking up nervous that I would oversleep and not get to the Wool Market when it opened and then miss out on all the great yarn and then I would remember how excited I was and so sleep was not an easy thing for me.
We got up early and rode to Estes Park. We went directly to the Wool Market and Festival grounds and waited outside the vendor area for the shops to open at 9am.
When they did open, we walked in and started making the rounds. Talk about a crazy, paralyzing, and overwhelming place. Both of us had no idea where to begin. It was way too much. Should we purchase the first yarn that catches our fancy? Or wait until we have surveyed all the offerings. But what if the yarn is gone by the time we get back? Will this work with that project that I brought all the specs on but am not even looking at because adding another level of complexity to the yarn buying process was not appealing. I was freaked for the first 20 minutes or so…Kara even longer, but we got our acts together and started buying and I don’t have a single purchase that I regret. I love all my yarn.
Side note : I am not a yarn photographer. I wish I was. I am extremely envious of all you bloggers who take accurate pictures of yarn that shows of the color, sheen, and texture of the yarn. I know I am not doing my yarn justice but I wanted to share anyway. So when you see the pictures don’t be like “really, that is it? That yarn doesn’t look all that cool.” Because it is cool and beautiful and 10 times prettier in person. I have good taste in yarn. Really.
My haul (and potential projects):
Brook’s Farm became my favorite vendor and I ended up buying from them on 4 different occasions.
Wool/Silk/Viscose Blend in Wine (I am thinking Somewhat Cowl…it is a different gauge but I am wondering if I could adjust the pattern?):
Wool/Silk/Viscose Blend in Light Teal-ish Blue (think I will use for a shawl):
100% Mohair in Teal (A sweater project? Who knows. I just love, love, love this stuff–you can’t even begin to know how beautiful this color is and how soft the yarn is):
Larkspur Farms had this amazing array of 100 yard skeins of soft 100% alpaca in every conceivable color. I wish I took a picture of the display.
100% alpaca in Orange and Purple (Okay, the orange…I know it is bright. But I swear I asked my sister and everyone around if it looked clownish and they all assured me that it went with my coloring and would look great as a knitted sweater for me. I am thinking Circus Knits soon to be available Lucy. I still don’t know though. I would have to double the yarn and see what kind of gauge I get. I am still debating. Am I crazy for buying Orange?!? The purple I bought for baby booties or a bonnet.):
Plain and Fancy Wool
100% single sport wool in Avocado (I bought 2, one for a giveaway and one for me):
I don’t remember the name of this vendor but they had stunning lace weight wool. So I bought 3.
Lambswool laceweight in Deep burgundy, teal, and green, abt. 1325 yards each (One will be used for Mim’s Mountain Peaks Shawl ):
So that is the extent of it. When I lay it out like that it doesn’t feel like much but it did that day. I am very happy. At the end of the day I went a little crazy and almost bought a drop spindle. Then my inner voice firmly told me…put the spindle down. It is only a matter of time I am sure.
At the festival we had all kinds of fun. I wasn’t as outgoing as I would have liked. I wish I had organized myself more and really got to meet all the interesting people that were there. But it was fun to bond with bloggers and knitters and to get to know the Utah knitters better. We went to lunch with a few which was so much fun. My favorite part was sitting at a restaurant table with people who don’t even blink at the thought of getting their knitting out while waiting for food.
Here is a pic at the blogger meet-up of mainly Utah peeps.
I would name everyone but I don’t want to forget anyone and I will. I know myself. I will give you some shout outs though in the form of my “picks”.
Blogger I met/saw who…
talked me out of the most money…this would be Mim. She may not realize this but she is personally responsible for the loss of about $100. But I got my lace and another brooks farm purchase out of it so it is all good.
has the coolest not-so-secret-life…Carole. She is a Civil War reenacter. How cool is that? I couldn’t have more respect for that level of obsessive interest.
is the most famous…obviously, Margene. The grand duchess of all things Estes and blogging. It was cool because I heard some bloggers talking at a booth that Margene walked by and they were like. “Look, that is Margene.” in these hushed and revered tones. Thing is, she really is that cool.
bought the exact same yarn as me…all I am going to say is Michaele is a little copy-cat. Or am I the copy-cat? I don’t know but we bought two of the same yarn (the teal and wine colors from Brooks Farm).
has the coolest blog name ever…WandaWomanKnits! Wanda is super friendly too. I am so jealous of her blog name though.
Finally, my trip to beautiful Estes was made even better with a stay at the Stanley Hotel.
See how happy Kara is to be there? After staying here I decided that I want to stay at more historic hotels. Like one a year is what I am thinking. Our room was beautiful with 4-post beds and two windows over looking the mountains. Plus we got to knit on the porch.
Here is the view from the porch:
The next morning we had a breakfast buffet at the hotel that was AMAZING. Here is my first plate. (You heard me…my first.)
There were made-to-order omelets, cinnamon French toast, mini-bagels and pastries, perfectly cooked steak, bacon, sausage, potatoes, crepes, fruit, and more. I was in full on gluttony mode.
All in all it was a perfect weekend. Estes is a stunning place and my first fiber fair lived up to every expectation that I had. There was also horseback riding and walking around downtown Estes while eating homemade ice cream and more but I just can’t cover it all here. I will end this entry with this promise:
I will be back Estes…just you wait.