Several years ago my good friend Carol told me that she had an old spinning wheel in her attic that had been made by her husband’s grandfather. I contacted Steven McEwen of Q’s Quality Wood Work, who said that he could repair it and would try to have it completed in time for Fiber Fusion Northwest. I told Carol that I could pick it up for her since she couldnʻt to; I mean, hey. A new fiber-y event to go to, right?
Well, as it turned out, her wheel wasn’t ready but someone else on Ravelry needed a wheel that Steven had repaired brought back to this area, so I volunteered to do it. Road trip!
I knew it’d take me at least four hours to drive up there, so I set my alarm for dark-thirty. After stopping for coffee in Damascus, off I went. One thing about not having Nolemana along was that I couldn’t take a lot of photos along the way, but I took plenty at my stops.
I’d done a lot of research before my trip. I knew where to stop for coffee, where to stay, and where the yarn stores were. Of course.
My first stop was at Fiddlers Coffee in Centralia. All the reviews were right; it was fabulous. You can read my review of it here. Get photos, too!
I arrived in Monroe about 1:00 p.m. after driving through bumper-to-bumper, stop and go traffic. It sure made me appreciate living where I do, in a semi-rural area. But I got there safe and sound, and immediately went into the large building where all the vendors were.
Fiber nirvana! I first stopped by Steven’s booth to let him know I’d pick up the wheel the next day. I’d ordered a kate for my huge Louet bobbins from Steven at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, and this is it! He made it out of a lovely cherry burl, and I was thrilled! Steven did a wonderful job on it.
Then I just began to wander around, saying hi to people I’d met on Ravelry as I went. You know, at these festivals, I love being there for the atmosphere the most, and seeing what people are spinning and knitting. I generally don’t feel any need to buy anything. For realz. Now, if something happened to jump into my bag when I wasn’t looking, that’d be different.
I was very tempted to buy one of these felted bags. They were awesome! But I resisted.
I went into the adjoining area and saw these beautiful Blue-Faced Leicester sheep. BFL is one of my favorite fibers to spin and knit with, but I’d never seen the sheep up close before.
And try look this adorable Angora bunny!! Talk about soft!!
I got permission to take this wahine’s photo; her tunic was absolutely unreal – so beautiful!!
This guy was knitting twelve pairs of socks on one needle.
One of the fiber displays. I resisted again.
Try look this life size alpaca!
Qi Lou gave a demonstration of how to make silk paper!
And a kewtie alpaca who just got sheared.
Spinning wheels were everywhere!
And lovely yarn bowls, too. You put the ball of yarn in the bowl, and the end comes out through the little slot in it. No tangling!
I adored this chicken bag. It can also be worn as a hat!
By this time, I was pretty tired, so headed to Jenoʻs Italian Restaurant for dinner (recommended!), and then to my motel. Monroe Motel. No amenities like the big name motels around, but $100.00 less, so whoʻs to complain?
Beyond this lawn is a small river that runs by the motel.
The next day after checking out, I went back to Fiber Fusion to pick up the spinning wheel; I was asked if I could also take back an antique skeinwinder known as a Weasel. Yep. As in “Pop Goes The…” With every revolution, thereʻs a popping sound.
After getting the wheel and weasel, I headed back home again. I did make a slight side trip to Makersʻ Mercantile in Kent, Washington. Oh my goodness! It lived up to its name by a mile!! Fiber and yarn and dyeing/felting stuffs, fabric, and even a bakery!
I started home again; traffic was much lighter on my way home, except for a four-mile stop and go stretch because of people trying to get into a large pumpkin patch. I stopped again at Fiddlers Coffee Shop for a latté, and then at Don Pedro’s Mexican restaurant to pick up dinner, and got home about 6:00 p.m.
It was a great weekend, and I leave you with this video of two ladies spinning on two wheels that Steven restored. Behind them, you can see Lee using a picker, which separates fibers and gets out a lot of hay and stuff. Enjoy!