I always feel like my approach to fiber-centric festivals is different than most.
The majority of people I know spend at least one full day at something like SAFF. Me? I think that sounds fun but I'm cool with a couple of hours. It's not that I don't want to spend time at the event but I get worn out by the crowd. And now that I'm travelling with a toddler, taking my time and easing through the event doesn't really work for me. Which is why I am so glad I came in with a plan.
You'll remember that I had a few very specific projects for which I wanted to shop. I also brought my budget in all cash so that when I ran out I was done. That kind of worked, but I had to switch it up when my soap purchase (a vendor not factored into the yarn because I was buying at least six months worth of supply) was having trouble with the internet. Overall, I think this system worked out perfectly as I got some amazing yarn and I know what I'm doing with it!
Because we had toddler nap time to consider, Mom and I got up early and were out the door first thing in the morning. We hit our favorite coffee shop on the way (note: if you need it this is the only place I've found where the decaf doesn't make me sick) and made it to Fletcher by 9:30, not long after the doors opened. It was raining, but we hit the ground running, starting at one end of the vendor market and working our way across with Pasha in the stroller. I only made one purchase on that first pass, finding the 50% off bin at Twist Fiber Studio too irresistible to resist.
By the time we took a break it was getting later in the morning and the crowds were definitely picking up. Mom volunteered to sit with Pasha while I made my purchases. There was so much amazing stuff by I landed on a sweaters quantity from Green Mountain Spinnery for a Veronika, three skeins of A Hundred Ravens for an All Points South, and the aforementioned Twist Fiber Studio DK for Pasha's Ridgeline set. Mom then got me a single skein each from Deep Dyed Yarns and Miss Babs as a late birthday gift (thanks Mommy!), so those don't count against my no single skeins of sock yarn rule (which we know isn't a real rule because I tend to break it too often).
It was raining the entire time we were there, so we did not get to take Pasha over to see the animals as planned. He was too tired and we were all rather cold. He did get to see a sheep in a diaper on the festival floor, but was too timid to pet it. Next year I'll probably have to restrain him from touching everything within reach.
Part of what made this SAFF such a success for me is that I did not feel any guilt about the amount I was purchasing or spending. I stuck to my no online yarn purchasing resolution for nine months before I broke it, and that meant that I had a lot more discretionary income to work with than I have in the past. I don't know if that is a specific resolution I will stick with in the future, but it definitely made the entire experience more enjoyable to not have financial or stash related worries to contend with while shopping. I'd love to become one of those people who uses festivals to buy their stash for an entire season. Ultimately, for me, shopping with a plan worked and made it possible to function within the time constraints of my kid. Now if only I'd remember to take more pictures next year.