Friday, July 9, 2010

1st annual Oakland Fiber and Textile Festival

I sure hope they do it again next year.  I really had a good time.  Julia and I joined the Machine Knitter's Guild of the San Francisco Bay Area in March I believe.  MKGSFBA for short.  There was a call out for volunteers to man their booth at the 1st annual Oakland Fiber and Textile Festival.  Julia and I thought it would be a fun trip and we volunteered.  We got the 11am to noon shift.  Great hours for us since we were traveling to Oakland from Orangevale.  It's about a 1 1/2 hour trip if there is no traffic.  I thought on a Sunday morning we'd be pretty safe.  We were.  The trip started off with my directions completely disappearing from my house to Julia's.  So, we had to print out new ones.  Not such a bad start to the trip.

We stopped at Starbuck's and treated ourselves to a cup of coffee and a toasted bagel.  We were off.  It was an absolutely beautiful sunny day.  Only blue skies ahead of us.  My map was great.  We found the free parking at the elementary school just fine.  Next thing we knew we were walking into the Fiber Fest at 10 am.  It turned out a lot bigger than I thought.  We signed in and got out volunteer badges.  Next we looked around to find our booth, so we'd know where to be at 11am.  Lots and lots of yarn to oogle.  Lots and lots of wool to fondle.  There was even a quilting booth with lovely quilts hanging and a big sign that said, "Touch Quilts."  I couldn't believe my eyes that they'd actually let us touch.  I thought what a humorous sign when normally we are not allowed to touch anything.  I walked up to the first quilt by the sign.  My better judgement made me take the brochure I had in my hand and push away the quilt hanging next to the sign.  Just as I thought "Don't Touch Quilts."  The "Don't" was perfectly covered up by the hanging quilt.  I chuckled and thought I let the gals in the booth figure that one out by themselves.

Right at 11am Richard and LaMata were ready for a break and we were ready to take over.  Richard picked up his items off the front table leaving it a little bare, so I set my machine knit bag and machine knit entrelac on for viewing.  I got a lot of "I can't believe you did that on a knitting machine!"  Hopefully, we were able to convince some people to join the guild in the fall.  That was our mission to pass on our love of Machine Knitting.

At noon we were relieved by the next crew and Julia and I decided to get some lunch.  I really needed to find a restroom.  I was told port a pots were in the parking lot under the freeway.  It wasn't too far away, but I really wanted to avoid them.  Little did I know at the time that finding a restroom was going to be a challenge.  We walked for a couple blocks and found no restrooms.  Kentucky Fried Chicken had no restroom.  The gal at the counter had no idea where we'd find one either.  That port-a-pot was looking really good to me by that time.  Fortunately, being a smaller event and the port-a-pots being in the shade it wasn't a bad experience.  Feeling greatly relieved I could continue walking in search of a place to have lunch.  We were starting to get discourage when we turned a corner and there was a Subway Sandwich shop.  A sandwich sounded very good about then.

We returned to the Fiber Fest and Julia went shopping.  I went for a knitting lesson.  That was one of the great things about this fair.  You could get knitting lessons, crochet lessons, fiber felting lessons, quilting lessons all for a small donation.  Since I've been having a hard time knitting and purling I took the knitting lesson.  My knitting gets so tight I almost need a sledge hammer to drive my needle into the next stitch.  Not good!  Deborah tight me a new cast on and then I began to show her what I was doing.  She gave me advice from the first stitch.  Since I've learned to knit from pictures in a book I was doing a few things wrong.  I wasn't putting my needles into the stitches correctly and I wasn't wrapping my purl stitch correctly.  The way I was doing it was giving each stitch half as much yarn as needed.  Once I wrapped correctly everything went smoothly.  It was a gorgeous day sitting with fellow knitters ages ranging from 7 to 67.  They gave us all a pair of knitting needles and a ball of yarn for a $1 donation.
My hope is the Fiber Fest was as successful as Bente of Piedmont Yarn and Apparel hoped it would be.  That way there will be another next year.

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