Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Meet Me at the Fair . . . .

"Meet me in St. Louis, Louis,
Meet me at the fair,
Don't tell me the lights are shining any place but there;
We will dance the Hoochee Koochee,
I will be your tootsie wootsie,
If you will meet in St. Louis, Louis,
Meet me at the fair."

Ok, so it wasn't St. Louis (although to be that close to home would be nice!), it was Salem, Oregon; but it was the Fair!

ToolMan and I drove down bright and early on Sunday morning so I could spin in the Fiber Arts Tent in Artisan's Village.

The weather wasn't too warm, but it was certainly nice to have the shade of the tent!

That's Audrey Sinner, "The Spinning Sinner", who organized the schedule for spinners, knitters, weavers, and all sorts of fiber artists for the week.

Trish of Tanglewood Fiber Creations was the financial sponsor for the booth. Unfortunately, her elderly mother became very ill just before the Fair opened, so she wasn't able to send her wonderful yarns to fill the booth. So, I took some of my own hand spun and knitted items to display and help fill up an somewhat empty booth.

Thankfully, I had all those fiber samples to take along. It was such fun to show people all the different raw fibers. One little girl, about 6 or 7, was especially interested. I even brought her behind the wheel with me; I treadled and let her draft the fiber. She was a natural! She wanted to touch all the different fibers and know where they came from. I had some 2-yard samples of hand spun to hand out, so she left with a length of purple merino yarn for her hair, and a little bag full of bits of fiber (merino, cotton, alpaca, mohair, flax, and a silk cocoon). She even twisted some of the fibers in her fingers and let them ply back on themselves. Her grandmother, a knitter, was especially encouraging to her. I fully expect that someday in the not too distant future that little one will be treading a wheel of her own.

While I was demonstrating, ToolMan took a little walk around Artisan's Village. There was a potter, a couple doing glass blowing, a moccasin maker, a wood carver, a jewelry maker, and a chain saw sculptor. This is Eric Grip, the blacksmith; ToolMan and I met when we arrived. This picture is deceiving; I stood next to him and the top of my head was only about his elbow height. This guy is huge! He introduced himself as "Eric, The Blacksmith", so I introduced myself as, "Bobbie, The Spinner." When he reached out to shake my hand, I felt I was being introduced to Shrek!

By the time the afternoon warmed up, the sawdust and exhaust fumes from the chainsaw sculptor, who unfortunately was located directly in front of us, was almost too much to tolerate. Fortunately, during his breaks we could listen to the live bands. This was the Celtic group, who were later followed by a bluegrass group and then a Dixieland jazz band.

And now that you've had that song bouncing around in your head for awhile, here's Judy Garland with the original version:


  1. the fair looks great! I love listening to that song too!

  2. What a thrill for that little girl. Like her, I too hope to be treading a wheel of my own some day!


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