I've been attending NETA's SPA since the last year it was held at the Doubletree in Portland, ME. Since that year, it has been held at the Hilton Garden Inn and the Harrasseeket Inn in Freeport. The Hampton Inn runs a free shuttle from their hotel to the other two. The vendor's room is at the HGI, the fashion show Saturday night at the Harrasseeket. All the hotels open up conference rooms and lobbies for knitters and spinners (and their pelvic affiliates) to sit, chat and be in the company of understanding fiber addicts like themselves. For those who aren't aware, there is no registration. No fees. No structure. Just show up and enjoy the company of like minded fiber folk.
The HGI opens up the Town Hall building next door as a spinners' room. One can see just about any sort of wheel made in that room, and most spinners welcome talking about their wheels, and are sometimes known to allow others to touch them and even spin on them.
Last weekend, while at NETA's SPA 2011 in Freeport, ME I fell in love with a character named "Abby" made by the wonderfully talented women at Mountain Fiber Folk in Vermont.
Some of the women make the clothing for these dolls out of vintage doilies, others wet felt things like vests and embellish them, others contribute animal fleece for hair, and Amy Felske is the doll sewer extraordinaire. Her dolls have energy and life in them - Abby made friends all over the Hilton Garden Inn on Saturday!
Abby has wonderful details like a felted embellished vest, a tail, vintage lace doily overskirt, a Battenberg lace cap, a carved swan staff, a rusty key on her belt, Birkenstock shoes, and a basket of wool in her other hand.
The co-op members all knew the dolls by name, and said goodbye to her when I purchased her. They even got me a box to put her in for the long ride home - her "car seat". Then one of my SPA 2011 companions, NH Sara went to the freebie table, found some dark green yarn and knit Abby a blanket to keep her warm on the ride home as well.
Abby wears bloomers, covered by a dark screen gassamer skirt, then the vintage doily overskirt. She sports a calico blouse and wet felted, embellished vest. Her tail is even adorned with ribbon. Her platform is old barn board found inside the artist's own barn. Soon, I hope to have some formal modeling pics of her that Amy took after her creation... AND Amy created Abby especially for coming to SPA!
I've commissioned another creature from Amy - it will remain a secret until he arrives!