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Welcome to Esther's Blog

The World According to Esther

Yarnival 2012- Return to Hangtown

I can’t believe a full year has passed since the first Yarnival, at the Pluckyfluff Studio in the Boeger Vineyard Orchard. July brought me back to Hangtown, and back to Boeger for the second Yarnival! And what a celebration it was!

Under the watchful eye of the Great Skein hanging in the rafters, this year the theme of The Yarnival was different than last- This year the focus was on TH8- The 6 spinners, one fiber producer and one designer that were featured as an example of the craft and their work was displayed in the Pluckyfluff Studio- that was set up as a gallery space.
The featured Spinners were
Fiber Producer:
Linda Atkinson, Sage Ridge Mill and Critters, Wyoming

Nicole Constantin, Rose Nectar Fibre Couture, Colorado

-Komuro Megumi, , Tokyo, Japan
-Ruru Mori, Tokyo, Japan
-Yamashita Zizi, Ashiya, Japan
-Brittany Wilson, Montana
-Ayako Nakata , Hyogo, Japan

Spin-to-Wear (Spinner/Designer)Reiko Usuda, Reikomono, Kanagawa, Japan

Of course the orchard was set up in the most magical way! Fiber was hanging from the fruit trees, the pink Big Tops were floating above everything giving cool shade. The vendors were arranged in a circle around the orchard and in the middle  is where people were set up to spin and card!
There was wonderful creativity swirling around, as people were sharing tips and tricks! It was wonderful to watch this incredible community support eachother! There was always something happening in the circle!

Friday night was the opening party with bands, dancing, costumes and all around fun! For me, coming to California is all about being with my friends. And a good time was had by everyone!! There was amazing wine of course, and yummy food, and did I mention great music and dancing?  Sheepie Nicks was even there for a special performance…

Melissa Nasby from SoulFibre Studio makes incredible felted art masks, and made special Fairie masks for some of us as well!!  Melissa’s mask and costume was over the top!

Friday night was so much fun! Not only was there dancing, but there was wine (I mentioned the wine?) and Hangtown coolers (which I have lived on since discovering their awesomeness last year). Of course after the main party ended, the rest of us continued on in the speak easy. There was more drinking, more singing, and maybe some archery.. but what happens in the speakeasy stays there..  Let’s just say that it was as much fun as last year…. I think I hit my bed around 2am..
**I should mention that this year myself and 11 other awesome ladies (and Arlene’s awesome sweetheart) stayed in a lovely house about 10 minutes from the vineyard. We had SO much fun all staying together! It was like camp!!**

The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind of color and laughter.

I had a full vending booth this year! I met so many fun people!!  Arlene had a yarn bombing spot for Spin Artist in the middle of the orchard. I was happily next to my bestie Deb Lambert and her friend Mary as well! SO that was super special!
For me, the most fun was I got to hang out with Lexi’s amazing children. They are sprites of profound creative energy- and a bundle of laughs!

This year’s featured lecture was given by Vithard Villumsen- an amazing knitwear designer who specializes in traditional Scandinavian designs with a modern flair. Lexi met Vithard while she was in Japan in the Spring and dubbed him the “Danish Prince of Knitting”. So in the theme of Yarnival, he actually KNIT his entire prince costume! Yarnival Indeed! Lexi also gave her wonderful lecture on the Art of Yarn, both lectures (hers and Vithard’s) included yummy appetizer pairings with amazing Boeger wines (of course)

Heather taught Vithard to SPIN– and it was wonderful to watch him fall in love with it. After everyone left, he glued himself to a wheel in Lexi’s studio (he picked it up right away– and has continued his exploration since returning to Denmark) It’s always fun to watch the beginning of the passion emerge!
Vithard picked up his first “Deb” (another addiction, I admit) and took home yarns from a number of the handspinners. He was drawn to a number of my yarns, and we decided to collaborate. I am excited to see what comes off his needles in the coming months! Patterns will come!!
Of course, it’s not a true trip to California without numerous trips to the river, carnitas, unicorn sunsets and amazing food!! We spent the extra hot afternoons cooling off in the sparkling water

We ate.. carnitas at the best Mexican place in town, grilled on Jenny and Alex’s porch and ate twice at the local yummiest place HeyDay Cafe. OH that baked brie with apircots and cherries!

Arlene had a “Spin Artiste” breakfast at the amazing breakfast place Sweetie Pies- OH the oolalaberrie blintzes are incredible!

There’s really special about getting to sit with all these creative people and share a meal!

After everyone was done breaking down and loading out on Sunday we had the chance to just enjoy eachother and our surroundings. It was amazing to just relax with our friends for the last night.

Heather grilled lamb sausage from Oregon (OH YUM), Lexi made her amazing chicken and potatoes, and we got some Thai from in town! Pot luck fun!

We were treated to a quite night with a special sunset. It was really a great way to end the event part of the weekend!!

I was lucky to have had an airline ticket problem for Monday– so I wasn’t able to leave until Tuesday!  Such a rough thing to have to hang out an extra day and decompress!

I hung out all day on Lexi’s porch with Vithard and he taught me to speak to my knitting.  I learned that I purl in a “new” way and he taught me how to knit an I-cord! Now I imagine big I-cord boa’s out of my tailspun!

He was knitting a market bag out of a sheet and fishermen net that I used for my booth display. He sat in the middle of the net and cut it into one long strip (it looked a bit like barbed wire) and then tore the sheet into strips and tied the ends!  Creative knitting at it’s best!!

Lexi took us with the kids to the top of the hill that over looks the vineyard for a yummy pot pie picnic dinner! (Yeah.. remind me later that a Pot Pie restaurant is an AWESOME idea!!) It was a special spot that was kissed by the last rays of the sun on the vines.  We had a lovely dinner and enjoyed the kids and some good beer. It was perfect.

After dinner we came down the hill and I asked Lexi if we could shoot arrows. I had seen Lexi’s photos and archery was something I have always wanted to do.  Lexi didn’t need to be asked twice and she ran inside and grabbed her bow and we went to the Orchard to play in the last light of the sun.

Let me tell you, this was the greatest part of the weekend. If I didn’t have neighbors I would have bought a bow upon arriving home. I HAD SO MUCH FUN! (and I know Vithard did too! He stayed a week longer, so he got lots more practice in! *jealous*)

We stayed out there as long as we could (that gorilla was mocking me!!) and then we were forced to retire back to Lexi’s porch for some evening wine and knitting. Jenny, Alex and Reiko came over for a short visit and I got to read the kids a goodnight story! It was really lovely.  We sat on the porch well into the late night hours, trying to hold off the inevitable end that was coming.

But there is never sadness at the end of a trip to California, just the memories of good friends (new and old) and the promise of the next time we’re all together.

Vithard is coming to North Carolina- to teach at the Winter Retreat in Asheville this January! I’m working on some workshop dates with Lexi for 2013- they are coming!

And Yarnival, it’s a party I will always attend….

Ashley made a video of this year.. You can see her go through my booth, but I’m not sure where I am when she’s filming. That’s ok though, I was in last year’s video enough for this year too (I’m still not talking about the dancing scene…)

Arlene also took a short video of some of the vendors-

For more photos check out my Album
I also want to thank Nicole Constintine and Heather Lightbody for letting me use some of their photos!