One week ago right now, Peggy and I were pulling into the hotel in Oxford, MS. It was a long day of driving from here in Cat Spring, TX. Pulling a trailer it takes us about 12 hours to get there. This time we went northeast through East Texas, crossed through Louisiana on I20 and crossed the Mississippi River at Vicksburg into Mississippi. Then just a few hours east to Jackson and north to Oxford.
The cause for our journey was the Knit 1 Oxford Fiber Festival now in it's third year. Knit 1 Oxford is a wonderful knit shop just off the main square that's owned by our old friend Patsy Engelhard. Patsy and I grew up together but like so often happens, we lost track of each other along the way and just managed to reconnect a few years ago.
We love going to Oxford. Patsy is wonderful and we love the process of catching up on our lives. Oxford is a lovely town with hills and tall trees, stately red brick buildings, gracious old churches and of course, Ole Miss University. The first winter festival we attended was cold - so cold there was ice and snow on the ground that stuck around for most of the time we were there. That is so cool! These people know winter and snow and cold weather and what wool is for.
We love the people of Oxford, too. Like any college town, it's a wonderful mix of locals and out of towner's and even some out of countryers. I must admit I'm not sure how I would handle the unrelenting youthfulness of Oxford when school is in session but our trips are always great.
We arrived in Oxford last Thursday evening and tried to get lots of rest because the weekend is always exhausting. Friday morning we were up bright and early and parked in front of the Powerhouse. The Powerhouse used to be a real power house so it's built heavy with lots of brick, cement floors and seriously rustic. No gilded chandeliers here - just a solid powerful space for the festival. We have a wonderful booth location - right inside the door. We get pretty good light through the high windows and get to see everyone as they come in. We got unloaded and the booth set up so we could be open by 2 pm. Whew! The opening festivities include a presentation by Shannon Okey, creator of Cooperative Press, author, knitwear designer along with drinks and tasty treats. Shannon gave a great talk and we were off and running.
Saturday was a blurr for me because I didn't hardly move away from the sales desk. We had lots of folks we'd seen before and met some great new people. Sunday is always a bit slower which is good since I had a dye class to teach and Peggy manned the booth all by herself while I was teaching. Interestingly everyone in the dye class had the same pallet. We just about used up the blues, greens and purples and had lots of yellows, oranges and reds left over.
I started to feel really lousy Saturday afternoon and went to bed early praying it wasn't the flu. And praying Peggy wasn't going to get it from me. Peggy ended up having to pack up and load up the trailer without me - or at least I wasn't much help. She finally made me sit in the truck and stay out of her way. I woke up Monday morning feeling only a bit off and felt better and better throughout the day. We taught a Cricket weaving class at Knit 1 all day Monday so it was a good thing I was on the mend. And it looks like Peggy is still going strong so I didn't spread the pesky virus around. We had a great group of weavers for that class.
We left Oxford about 6 am on Tues morning..... it was an eventful trip. More about that tomorrow.