Blanket forts come in all shapes and sizes

And this weekend, mine came in the form of approximately 9 hours (out of 36) driving a car, 5 hrs at a wool festival and 36 hours in the company of some really wonderful women.

My weekend compatriots

We've all had times when we've felt like running away, as fast and as far as our little feet will carry us (in my case, not very fast and, two weeks post-marathon, not very far, but you get the idea). Over the last few weeks I've found myself envisioning just saying fuck it and packing up my kids and my husband and my dog and running off to live in the woods. And come Saturday afternoon when Wonderful Woman #1 and Wonderful Woman #2 showed up at my house to pack into the car and head west to Malvern, Wonderful Woman #3 and Wonderwool Wales*, my sigh of relief was probably heard in Bangkok. I needed to head out, not think about Real Life (TM) and have some down time, preferably with wool and one or two adult beverages of various stripes.

Still life with Lager and SweetGeorgia Superwash DK

Saturday night was spent in an extended SnB, complete with Thai food, prosecco and chocolate with sea salt. There was discussion of knitting and spinning and designing, about various and sundry life things, about whether or not it is possible in an intellectually honest way to be atheist**, about boys and kids and grandkids and the future. All those wonderful wide ranging topics that get covered when you are together with some opinionated, smart people who are willing to discuss and listen.

Which one is Gaga?

Sunday morning we rousted ourselves, managed to produce reasonable coffee with a tea pot and tea strainer, and headed off to Builth Wells for what I think (with apologies to Unravel) is my favorite festival yet. Wonderwool Wales this year was bigger and better then ever, and (by virtue of going on Sunday) relatively uncrowded. I had a wonderful time wandering around, actually buying things on the spur of the moment (8 skeins of Blacker Yarns Jacob DK, I'm looking at you) (and fantasizing about the fantabulous sweater you are going to become), chatting with folks, salivating over fleece and drum carders and all manner of other things. It was blissful. And then we got in the car and headed back to London, talking about designing adn dyeing and collaborations and What The Industry Should Do. I suddenly realised that I was feeling the same way I feel after scientific conferences: inspired and excited and full of ideas and plans and things that must be started immediately! It's a wonderful feeling, one that I've been missing, and it was such a joy to sit there, speeding down the M4, knowing that the three people knitting around me were in the same place.

The haul: ChiaoGoo Twist complete set (because I am weak, weak, weak...), two skeins of BFL/alpaca laceweight from Eden Cottage Yarns, a boat shuttle/pirns from The Threshing Barn, one skein of self-stripin Ullcentrum 2-ply from Midwinter Yarns (who I believe started trading on Saturday. Way to jump in to the deep end guys!), and 8 (!) skeins of DK weight, woolen spun Jacob from Blacker Yarns, slated to become the most glorious cozy warm sweater ever.

So for that, I'd like to thank Allison, Catherine and Dani for listening to me, encouraging me, and inspiring me with all that they do. It was an absolutely phenomenal 36 hours, and I can't wait to do it again.

*There's a lot of wonder in this sentence. My apologies.
** We finally agreed on "Intellectual agnostic, emotional atheist". And giggled. Repeatedly. (That might have been the wine, except we were still giggling the next day).