Friday, August 08, 2014

Nevada County Fair

Wednesday morning I loaded Jane up for her first trip over the Sierras. What a difference that trip is with this car! No more deafening road noise or down shifting. This is the first of all my four-cylinder cars, and they've all been four-cylinder, that hasn't required down shifting on the grades.
I dropped my stuff off at Sue's first, and because I arrived at the fair in the afternoon, parking was horrible. I ended up parking at the far end of the lot near the exit and would have had to go further but managed to squeeze in next to this rock. It was close to a half mile walk with my load and I would certainly do it differently another time. One of the young parking attendants said - I love your license plate! My dad does libraries. We both laughed. My plate says BOOKIST.
My first demonstration shift was in the Ag-Sperience area. It's an ingenious use of farm pens to expand the fair display area and my favorite of the two areas that Footfhill Fibers Guild sets up to demo weaving, spinning, felting, knitting and basketry. We are next to the Master Gardners and FFA.
This is our area. Everyone was getting food when I thought to take this, and let me tell you that the food on Treat Street is not your usual fair fare. Shan is teaching her six-year-old granddaughter Tula to spin.
One of the huge hits in Ag-Sperience is the chick incubator. Kids keep come back to it all the time they're at the fair to check on the hatchlings. Shan also had her 12-year-old grandson with her. He came racing up to his cousin and said - Come on, let's go check out the chicks. Oh man, we laughed. He'll be saying that soon enough but with an entirely different meaning.

One of the things I love about this fair is the vintage farm equipment display.
It shares an area where hobbyists display their gas-powered, belt-driven machines. Grass Valley is in the heart of Gold Country and many a mine required pumping from something like this.
This is a whatchmacallit. On the left you see a stone sharpening wheel and on the right in the back you see a hacksaw, which was sawing back and forth into the air.
Looking through my pictures I realize that my bias toward spinning in Ag-Sperience is reflected in my absence of photos of our magnificant display area in Ponderosa Hall - beautiful tihings! I had two shifts yesterday, the last ended at 10:00 in Ponderosa when we closed it down. My favorite part of the entire day was my afternoon Ag-Sperience shift. We get a lot of families with children and have baskets of fleece to feel and storyboard that that explains shearing. On occasion one of the kids will ask if they can try our equipment. We direct them to the display and suggest they visit Ponderosa where they can actually weave.
This little girl stropped by with her family. She watched me on my drop spindle for quite a while and then with an intelligent open face asked, Can I try it? Most kids want to try a wheel. Of course you can! I explained what she needed to do but she had been watching and intuitively got it. Her family went photo mad, taking pictures, and told me that she has been displaying an interest lately in fiber arts. Later she returned to thank me and then - can I do it again? Of course! They had to drag her away. In all my years doing this, that was a first and it was awesome.
And yes I did enter something and yes I got a ribbon. I came in behind Ingrid Knox who took first place but she is such an accomplished weaver and warm friend, I was busting buttons on my proud chest when I saw this hanging on my scarf. I love this fair so much and am so lucky to be able to be a part of it. I love it all - staying at Sue's and talking into the night and then getting up in the morning and talking again over dark coffee.
I got home this morning and after lunch (cottage cheese and beautiful tomatoes that Sue sent home with me from her garden), I got things ready and packed the car for the Doyle Days craft fair tomorrow. It should be interesting - lizard races and three-man outhouse races?


Cindie said...

What fun!

Our fair is this next week - always a fun activity to spin and talk to the public.

So, no close up parking for you all demonstrating??? If we demo we get free entrance and parking passes that let us park right up by one of the gates where the vendor/organization booth people get to park. We still have to walk across some asphalt to get to our air conditioned building but it's a world of difference from having to park with the general admittance folks. I think you all should campaign for up close parking next year since you're carrying equipment.

Cindie said...

Forgot to say congrats on your scarf taking 2nd place - that's great!

Sue said...

Congrats on the ribbon!

I love that feeling when someone new (adult or kid) really "gets" spinning. My niece asked to use my Golding spindle while I was visiting in June. I'm working on lace weight yarn for a wedding shawl, but figured I could always take her efforts off later. A quick lesson & she was spinning so well I will incorporate her single in the shawl. Later she brushed the family dog and spun up some chiengora too. She's hooked!