Friday, August 19, 2005

The non-fibery Fiberfest (or, "Trekking in Santa Monica")

I'm almost embarassed to admit it, but after nearly 2 yrs of knitting and several (obsessed) months of spinning, I've never been to a fibery festival. I wanted to go to the Black Sheep Gathering with some friends, but Monkey Boy was(is) much too young and nursing too much to be left for three or four days while I gallivant around town buying yarn and rovings. I missed Stitches West for the same reason.

Someone recently told me about the Fabulous Fiberfest, which was going to be held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium this weekend. I talked to Leigh and we decided that it might be fun to take a little trip out to LA and check it out. So this morning we met locally and carpooled down the lovely 405 freeway (parking lot) to Santa Monica with Freddy navigating from the back seat.

It took us all of about 20 minutes to walk around the whole Fiberfest. I wasn't expecting much and I wasn't disappointed. I'm not sure why the organizers called it a "fiber fest", because to me that implies that yarn and roving and other fibery things might be involved. But instead, there were about 20 quilting booths, 10 or so booths selling beads (not fibery at all!), buttons (also not fibery!) and some freakish looking "pin dolls". Not sure what that was all about.

I think we ferreted out all of the booths selling fiber in the form of yarns and rovings:

There were a couple of smaller vendors selling handpainted yarns and rovings, but nothing spectacular. One booth was filled to the brim with lots of scary novelty yarn creations. Another vendor had boxes and boxes of dyed Romney wool....cuz doesn't everyone want to make a hot pink and lime green rug from handspun?

Luckily Habu had a little booth selling such interesting things as linen yarn, some very pretty laceweight silk and super soft cottons. And Carolina Homespun had a good sized booth with several wheels out. Unfortunately they didn't have any of the Kromskis I wanted to try.

But they did have some really lovely hand dyed rovings, some Crosspatch Creations batts, and lots of other fun spinning stuff. I ended up buying some #3 Brittany DPNs, a bag of the Crosspatch Triple Play batts, 6 oz. of superwash merino/tencel roving, an ounce of camel/baby alpaca roving to play with, and 3 bobbins for my wheel. I was pretty excited to finally get my hands on some new bobbins; for some reason Lendrum bobbins are hard to find. Everyone carries them online, but they're never in stock when I try to order.

After blowing our wad at Carolina Homespun, we decided to drop the bags in the car and call it quits with the not-so-fibery Fiberfest (which we decided they should have called the QuiltingFest, or Crafting Show instead). We'd already paid for parking, so we figured we'd leave the car and walk down the street for lunch.

Leigh used to hang out in Santa Monica quite a bit when she lived in Pasadena, so we thought we'd try an Indian food restaurant nearby. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed when we walked off we went down the street since there were plenty of other restaurants. A yummy smelling bakery enticed us in and we sat down....only to be confronted with the confused waiter when the lights went out. Turns out the power was out in the whole building, so they couldn't serve lunch.

(Can you see a trend here?)

We walked back toward the Indian place (still closed- must only open for dinner), and headed toward 4th street. After putting in an emergency call to Leigh's DH to bail us out ("We're at 4th and Main, how do we get to Any Open Restaurant?"), we decided to stop at the next likely food source before we passed out in the street.

Then like a mirage on the horizon, we spied Cha Cha Chicken. Coconut Fried Chicken, plantains and fresh pink lemonade never tasted so good! Finally well fed, we hiked back to the car and called it day.

I had fun, but I'm looking forward to trying out a REAL fibery show, like next year's BSG or Stitches West.


Elspeth said...

Now I'm glad I didn't trek down there for the "Fiber Fest", as I was considering. It sounds like the TKGA Market I went to recently.

I love Santa Monica, though, and have had some star sightings at the Broadway Deli on 3rd Street Promenade and love to go to tea at the Tudor House.

Thanks for the summary!

Shar said...

Thanks so much!!! I was about to trek there NOW from diamond bar. You saved me a 45 minute drive for nothing!!

oliewogs said...

Aw - I was bummed cuz I didn't go - now I'm kinda glad - but sorry for you 2 that it was so disappointing! Beads at a fiberfest? that's kinda weird, huh? I would love to go to stitches west... Hmmmm ~ :)

Noeysmommy said...

I was wondering why they called it
"Fiber" Fest as well. Oh well....Wild Fiber is well worth the trek though. I'll be heading back there soon!

Shar said...

I ending up making the trek: You critique was right on. I did make it to wildfiber and saw Karyn. Now Wildfiber was worth the trip.