Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Spokane Continued

Sorry about the delay. I got busy with the garden. It’s so nice to see it get a good start in the warm sunshine. Much better than the poor plants shivering under a cold rain as in the usual spring weather. Last June was ridiculously cold in comparison to this one. Global weirding. Yup.

Meanwhile back in Spokane, we left our intrepid Damselfly stranded somewhere between the vendor isles and the keynote speech, skipping the fashion show all together. Must remedy that. The fashion show was very entertaining for a change and we had good seats in the second row at the side of the runway. The local a cappella group Pepper, members of the Sweet Adelines International, performed for us and for once I actually enjoyed their music. (I have a problem with that type of harmony in that it sounds to me like there are way too many notes crammed in, kind of too-cluttered so I can’t distinguish the melody. But don’t listen to me – I’m hard of hearing!) They were very funny and spirited and we were treated to them also joining in with modelling the garments. The best part was one of them strutting down the runway wearing a felted hat in the shape of a peacock. She got the peacock’s character perfectly and I was rolling in the aisles with tears of laughter.

The garments were well-presented mostly one at a time with details and the creator’s name and photo projected on the big screen above. The commentary was read by Anita Luvera-Mayer, well-known weaver and stitcher, and the models were all different shapes and sizes including a token man (also a weaver). Later the next day we got to see the fashions up close and personal in an exhibit. Here’s some of the highlights, at least for me:

Fashions (Don’t forget to click to “embiggen”, as Yarn Harlot would say.) The top-right vest is felt with exquisite needle-felted flowers, bird and butterflies. The centre-bottom jacket was actually a very dark charcoal chenille with discharge shibori and I had to use the flash to see the patterning which in real life is much more subtle. It was my favourite of all and very wearable as were most of the garments in the show. I like that. Who says big impact rates over functionality? Take that, Tim Gunn!

SpokaneRiverOn the Sunday morning early, three of us went for a walk on the Centennial Trail along the Spokane River towards downtown. It was mandatory that we get back before it got too hot (and we nearly didn’t make it)! Gonzaga University campus is only a mile or so from the centre of town and the trail is very easy to walk with lots of foot bridges over the river. We got to the scenic waterfall, which is right in the centre of town at River Park:

SpokaneFallsThe river actually provides power generation through an underground turbine. Very sensible. Unlike here in Vancouver, there can be many low bridges nicely separating vehicle and human-powered traffic because they don’t have to accommodate big boats under them. Any boat would get swept down the spectacular cascade! I wish we had more pedestrian-only bridges here.

Later that afternoon, four of our podmates went on a wine tasting tour. First up was Arbor Crest, high up on the bluffs. The estate was once owned by an eccentric inventor and the house and many outbuildings etc. are built using the local basalt stone. I particularly liked the pavilion:

CliffHouseInside it had little niches with seating and a mosaic table in each. You got to it from the house by a narrow stone bridge over a deep gully. There was a gatehouse and a small swimming pool and a chess board all built on the grounds. Even the doghouse was made of the ubiquitous stones. Oh yeah, they make wine there. Even grow a few grapevines. I bought one bottle of sauvignon blanc.

Next we went to Mountain Dome where they made sparkling wines. I’m not particularly fond of those so I didn’t buy any. The geodesic dome house totally reminded me of the one my friends in Dunster, BC, built in the 1970’s. But the gnomes were the best part of this place:

Gnomes They all had red hair and beards! And they were everywhere.

The last winery we went to was Latah Creek (as in “see you latah”!) This one was the slickest by far and had the most different wines and a gazillion gifts and souvenirs. I almost bought a t-shirt that said “Winey Woman” on it but it was too pricey – and too sparkly for me. So I got a bottle of blush wine as the most tasty one (to me anyway). Two bottles was all we could bring home across the border each anyway. I refrained from drinking any immediately. Aren’t you proud of me? I am.

So I think I’ve exhausted the subject of my trip to Spokane and the ANWG ‘09 conference. On to other things.


fleegle said...

It looks like you had a good time!

Sorry about the lateness of my purl decrease post--but better late than never, and so om :)

Louisa said...

Well how were you to know that I needed it for my Papyrine Wrap? You are amazing, Fleegle hon', but I don't think you can read my mind. Even I can't sometimes!

(If you haven't seen the post we're talking about it's at - sorry about the non-clickable link.)