Last weekend I was lucky enough to participate in a 3-day spinning workshop taught by New Zealand spinner and weaver, Ann Field. She is an amazing woman - so talented and so willing and able to share her knowledge. I am very grateful that I had this opportunity - and I feel like my spinning took a quantum leap during the intense study. The workshop was held in Lamar, Missouri (very hightech website for this little country town! :-) ), and sponsored by Fiber Folks of Southwest Missouri and the University of Missouri Extension.
I headed South at 0 dark 30. I was glad that I had packed most of the car the night before! Before I got to Lamar (birthplace of President Truman!), I made a stop about half way, at The Loopy Ewe, in St. Louis, and got to meet the owner, Sheri! that's her, looking very excited to be spinning! Since I was passing through, I picked up an order that I had placed a couple of days before, and Sheri got to try out my Lendrum spinning wheel. Please be kind. I had been on the road since 5:30 a.m. that morning . . . I'm looking quite a bit the worse for wear, I'm afraid :-D On my way out, I could not resist taking this photo of the red hutch / sideboard. Cedric, my travel gnome, was quite irritated that he had been left in the car, particularly after he found out about the elves sign (gnomes, elves - cousins? I don't know). At any rate, to appease him, he's been digitally inserted, which is why he's looking a little tippy ;-)
After a lovely visit with Sheri and, of course - some shopping, I got back on the road, and headed West on I44 and it was like greeting an old friend. I have driven across the country a number of times, and in the late 1990s, I drove all of Old Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. In Missouri, I44 parallels the Mother Road pretty much all the way across the state.
I am always amazed at how the geography changes as you cross a state line. Illinois is flat. In fact, there is an old joke about Illinois being the only state where you can sit on your front porch and watch your dog run away. For 20 miles. Yes, it's really that flat :-D But once you cross the Mighty Mississippi, you are pretty much instantly into the rolling hills of Southern Missouri. It was enough warmer there than in Chicagoland, that I got to see some really beautiful fall colors along the road.
The afternoon sped by, and I made it to Lamar by 5:10 p.m., got into my room at the Super 8 and unpacked. I met my friend, Judi (she was the reason I went to this workshop! She talked me into it), and then took a quick drive to the town square to scope out where we would be meeting the next day. Lamar is truly a small town - this city girl felt like she was really out in farm country! Nine hours behind the wheel was enough to ensure that I hit the hay very early - plus, I wanted to be well-rested for Friday . . .