Road Trips, Learning and the Fastest Knitter in the Room

math for knitters

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Over the weekend I went to Hot Springs for the Arkansas Fiber Arts Extravaganza. It was so fun I can’t even tell you. You probably don’t want to know, unless you’re a knitting geek too.

It was truly an extravagant event, full of gorgeous fibers, beautiful people and long, lovely stretches spent knitting, sometimes with great conversation to go with it, sometimes silently.

There are so many stories I could share but I’ll try to keep the geeky stuff to a minimum (stay tuned later for a video if you want the geeky stuff). I mostly want to say that knitters are, on the whole, wonderful, welcoming people.

The fiber community is so warm and generous and exuberant, I’m still feeling warm and fuzzy about it.

Notes from the Road

Three and a half hours (one way) in the car by yourself makes you pay attention to things. Or at least it makes me pay attention to things. Here’s some of what I saw.

ozark mountains
Just on the south side of the tunnel, one of my favorite views on 540.

Man, I love our little mountains. It was overcast the whole way (both days) but I found lots of beauty in the gray.

ouachita mountains
A mountain looming in the distance.

I drove from one mountain range to another in the span of a few hours. The Ouachitas kind of freak me out. I think it’s because they’re so round and looming. Am I alone? Discuss.

There’s a guy in Waldron who will dress your deer for $50. That seems pretty cheap to me (we may need to discuss that, too). You can also get it barbecued by Burl’s Smokehouse in Crystal Springs, if you’re only interested in shooting the thing.

The Mount Ida Cafe claims to have tasty vittles. That’s a word that’s not used nearly often enough.

Working theory: if a town in the south is big enough to have a school, it’s big enough to have a Sonic.

Fun town names: Packsaddle, Needmore, Hurricane Grove.

Fun with Knitters

math for knitters
This is how knitters take a class.

One of the great things about fiber fests is the classes. I took one on log cabin knitting with the Mason-Dixongirls, who are exactly as lovely, warm and funny as you’d expect, but who I got no good pictures of in class. I also took the class pictured above, math for knitters. At 8:30 on a Saturday morning. I still do not know what I was thinking. But I did learn a lot.

fiber arts extravaganza
One small part of the vendor hall.

Another great part is the shopping. I bought way more than I expected but there was so much yummy stuff it wasn’t possible to pass it up. Really. I made a video I’ll post in a bit to show you all my goodies. Some of them I didn’t even have to buy because I won the speed knitting competition and got a really excellent prize. So I can now say I’m the fastest knitter in Arkansas. Or at least in the vendor hall.

kay gardiner rug hooking
A fiber fest is a great place to pick up a new hobby.

Of course people were knitting everywhere, all the time. They were also spinning, crocheting and rug hooking. That’s Kay Gardiner up there, the Yankee of the Mason-Dixon knitters. She took the rug hooking class and was actually hooked. That’s Ann Shayne, too, with her back to us.

OK, that’s enough, except to say that I was so inspired and learned so much. My new motto may be knit more for me and knit only with the good stuff. I’m definitely prepared for both of those things after this weekend!

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  1. I’m even more jealous that you got to go now! Maybe next year, and we can stuff as many people from NWA as we can into my minivan. lol

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