One of the things we did when I was in Maine recently was to attend the Maine Fiber Frolic. It is always a treat to attend a fiber festival and even more fun to find one where you know not one of the vendors. They were all new to me and it was great! Most (probably all) of the vendors were from the northeast and these people know cold and windy and wet so they really know wool and mohair and silk. There was one natural dyer who only uses sea water to dye in. I thought that was really interesting although I don't think her colors were markedly different than other vendors there with stunning natural dye colors. There was a lovely woman with all manner of glass implements - stitch marker and earrings, etc. There was lots to see.
The food was wonderful. My gyro was amazing and the fudge and salt water taffy were worth standing in line for.
One of the booths had a wonderful shawl on display. It really caught my eye. It was knitted in sport weight hand dyed merino/silk yarn in colors I love. I was smitten. I asked about the pattern and was told it was available on Ravelry. I picked out colors, bought the yarn and noted the name of the pattern. I should say that I am finally figuring out what kind of shawls I enjoy knitting. I have always loved fishermen knit designs with bobbles and cables and lots of texture using knits and purls. I love the occasional yarn over but I struggle with intense lace work. Rather than being an easy knit, it becomes something I have to focus on too intently for it to be enjoyable for me. I don't necessarily love boring but if the pattern is too complex for me to memorize I won't enjoy it and that translates to I won't finish it. So I loved the shawl pattern I found, loved the yarn and found four colors that will be beautiful.
After I'd been home about a week I pulled out the yarn and went to Ravelry to find the pattern. Oops. Where did I write down the name? On the receipt? Nope. There is nothing on the receipt except the name of the yarn I bought. Not even the name of the vendor is listed. OK. Let's look through all the paper I came back with. There are various receipts for food and yarn and clothes. There is a pile of business cards. Yes! Surely I kept a business card. Lots of business cards but none of them rang a bell. I went to Ravelry and tried to find the pattern that way. I should point out that there are literally tens of thousands of shawl patterns on Ravelry. I could sort of figure out how much yarn is needed based on what I bought and I knew what weight yarn was needed. After what seemed like days of searching I still hadn't come up with anything that looked like the shawl I had seen at the fiber frolic. Well, crap. I would have called the vendor if I knew who it was.
Then as I was shuffling the paper debris into a pile to throw in my drawer, I spotted it. Written on the margin on the back side of a totally boring business card was "Exploration Station." OK. Now we're talking. I rushed to Ravelry to look this up. OK. Well. Interesting. It's a Stephen West pattern. I had seen the shawl in my search earlier but had passed right over it because it was horrible and garish. Now that I know it's a pattern by Stephen West it all makes sense. For those of you who haven't discovered Stephen West, he is .... well .... impossible to describe. Horrible and garish. Wait. Let's try to be more diplomatic. He is inventive and creative. He has a color sense that is markedly different than mine. He is productive. He has lots of patterns out there. In general I find his stuff horrible and garish but that is mostly the colors he chooses, but he is also decades younger than me so I'm not hardly his demographic. I have never knitted one of his patterns so this may be an adventure or a disaster. I'll let you know how it's going along the way.