UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

February 28, 2010

Pictures post.

Filed under: project lists — UndyedYarnpire @ 3:06 pm

Second elephant, in the “skin” stage, waiting for more yarn so the head, ears, and trunk can be knitted.

From elephant

Easter Egg Sunday Scarf, in the last row and almost ready for bind off.

From eess

Cowl three, waiting for decision on what to do because it is too short.

From cowl3

Buttons I made to go on cowl 3.

From buttons

Still missing photos of my sock mittens and the legwarmer that is nearly completed.

February 26, 2010

Stitches 2010 market results

Filed under: fiber, yarn — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:59 pm

Keep in mind that I needed absolutely nothing to add to my stash. This is purely buying stuff to be buying stuff. Normally I am terrible about buying myself things and I rarely believe in retail therapy, but this was extremely enjoyable.

I bought buttons. $6 worth which I will not post the picture of because they are banal and the picture is horrible.

I bought a skein of heavyweight Blue Moon Fiber Arts because I was there early enough to get one of the Raven colorways.  It is not like their stuff is a deal at Stitches, but I wanted it and have wanted it for years now. So I bought one.

I also bought fiber from Royale Hare and Lisa Souza and RedFish Dyeworks. The RedFish is amazing stuff, baby camel + tussah. It was ludicrous but I loved it. Lisa Souza has awesome prices. Royale Hare has better superwash than anyone else at the show and Romi makes me smile.

$28+t $16+t $53+t $38+t
From stitches 2010

I also bought my first stand-alone pattern. I fell absolutely in love with this double-layer wrap from Bijou Bison last year and they would not sell me the pattern unless I bought the yarn from them. This year they were happy to sell me the pattern by itself. $8.50

I also bought myself a swift from the Oregon Woodworker. I have wanted it for a long time and it was time. They are the nicest people, despite having a sign saying they do not work on Sunday (which usually signifies the kind of Christians who are intolerant of absolutely everyone else on Earth), they were extraordinarily kind. That was $73 with tax for the walnut wood version.

With the $7 entry fee ($8 – coupon + convenience fee for online tickets=$7) and lunch ($10)
was about $250.

February 23, 2010

pre-pictures post, with pre-Stitches update

Filed under: stuff — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:45 pm

I am going to Stitches on Friday. I will be driving. I am going alone since there were no takers on the invitations I sent out.  However, should you wish to tag along or meet up, please do send an email (listed in the sidebar if you click through from the feed.)

I have finished my legwarmer except for the bind-off row. I have 3 more rows on the scarf. And the woman who wants the elephant just lit up when I told her I was working on it, so I expect there will be more progress.

The two cowls I sent out as holiday gifts were not well received. I have a hard time with gifts because I do not believe in exchanging money and hold myself remote from my husband’s family (with their enthusiastic participation) so often wish not to be involved in the gifting what-so-ever.

There will be pictures soon. [easter-egg sunday scarf, half-a-cowl, legwarmer A, elephant skin, repurposed sock-mittens]

February 21, 2010

Still here.

Filed under: discussion, project lists — UndyedYarnpire @ 9:08 pm

I am probably in my least creative phase of the year. Tax season. Every year looking through the forms makes me feel like I have been pounding my head against the desk.

Status report:

Stalled on cuff of first legwarmer. Found sketches of possible legwarmer designs in notebook now being used for tax math. Intend to make non-matching, significantly more awesome second legwarmer.

Started an all-garter scarf using stash yarn because, “Hey look, progress!”

Second black cowl stalled due to lack of yarn and no clue about what to do about it short of ordering another ball.  It might be long enough, but when I tried it on, it was unfortunate.

Second elephant still waiting for more spindled yarn. No spindling to report.


I read that the Stitches dinner Friday night is serving salmon because Catholics are forbidden meat on Fridays during Lent. Seems like they should have offered something less environmentally destructive than salmon. Plus I doubt other religions’ dietary restrictions are ever considered, so it seems unreasonable and unfair to enable Catholics unless there is some statistical anomaly saying most Stitches attendees are Catholic (in which case I would like to know so I can stay away from known sources of prejudice.)  Finally, if I were Catholic and attending a public dinner during Lent, I would have indicated a preference for the vegetarian meal already. So it seems to me, as a fish-hater, like everyone else is being penalized for a few people’s religious beliefs when those beliefs are already accommodated by the vegetarian option.

February 15, 2010

Arguing with the wind.

Filed under: discussion — UndyedYarnpire @ 11:32 am

I am nearly finished with the first legwarmer. I started the cuff ribbing last night.

The second elephant is 80% done, I have started on the neck. There looks to be a yarn shortage, so I have been spindling up more. But it is probably a few hours from being done then.


There was an interesting-bad post on the local knitters Rav group. Someone actually came right out and said people should not forget their LYSs during Stitches. There are a number of problems I have with this. I have my reasons for not shopping at nearby yarn stores. (If I want to shop for yarn in person, I travel.) But the main problem I have is that no yarn stores are open during Stitches. If the store staff is not vending, they are attending.

The first year I was at Stitches, I was at the Purlescence booth and they said they only had a skeleton staff and most of their stock was at the show. So I have never shopped there. Why bother if my only time that far south is when they might as well be closed? That was the Malabrigo year when no one had multi-ply yarn. It was a good experience for me because I finally understood that yarn was not popular because it was a superior product but because it is hyped and because popularity breeds popularity.

I hate the popular store here. Some of it is because I was treated badly when I went the first time. However the main problem I have with them is how one of their staff poisoned a newbie knitter in front of me by saying that Clover needles from the LYS were different from the ones at craft stores (they are not. Though there are definitely better choices at the LYS, the Clover ones are the same.) The newbie knitter was told to only knit from patterns so the garment would fit and there would not be any mistakes in the instructions.  (No pattern I have ever knitted from has ever fit without adjustments, so that seems beyond foolish. And it has been my experience that there are no instructions without errors. Paying for a pattern means nothing in terms of quality. There are (supposedly) paid patterns which have been carefully reviewed, vetted, tested, corrected; but one finds those rarities by word of mouth and they still never fit anyone normal size.) Between those two ideas they poisoned the newbie knitter with, I decided they were not a store I wanted to patronize.  Add in the broken glass covering the side streets’ parking and the heavy traffic, then it starts to seem even more distasteful to go there.

I drove out to the suburbs and visited a LYS that is heavily hyped (by the owner and staff) to find that they told me superwash makes no difference in the felting of socks. (!!!!) The majority of the floor was covered in boxes, to the point of being a fire  hazard. They did not have, and had not heard of, the Jared Flood book which had been out for 2 months at the time. And they still did not have a sweater’s worth of yarn in a single colorway.

I have been considering going all the way out to the Alpaca Direct store, but I do not think those are the people the nasty poster on Ravelry meant.

There are times when I am ashamed to be a knitter. If I admit to it in public, people are going to think I am like the Ravelry poster, like the LYSs’ staff; people are going to think I am intolerant and foolish both.

I am still planning to go to Stitches on Friday if I go at all. But regardless, I will not be spending any money at the LYS the nasty woman patronizes.

February 7, 2010

I can spindle.

Filed under: spin — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 1:04 pm

There have been some spinning experiments.

I wheel plied spindled oatmeal BFL singles with remainder (gray, white, tan) singles and some under-plied yarn I had stored on TP tubes on a shelf to get a mottled gray effect.  It turned out wonderful since I am looking for more elephant yarn.

Last night I also did my first spindle-ply yarn. It came out really nice.

I do not enjoy it like I enjoy wheel spinning. There are some ergonomics issues that irritate me. Like there is no good place to grab the spindle to add spin once the stick is full of yarn (top whorl spindle). Also it is hard to unwind a spindle onto storage bobbins for plying. There needs to be a snap-on collar near the whorl and one for the other end and the whole thing should be sold with a rack like fancy wine rack inserts to function as a lazy kate for the spindle. My fancy spindle spins wonderfully and these issues do not dampen my adoration, but it is hard to imagine a time when all cloth was woven with spindled yarns.

I think I would like to have a bottom whorl spindle with a hook. (The whole half-hitch knot business seems stupid.) But I keep imagining it as having a huge open space so it would be easy to get my hand in to flick it into spinning. Obviously there would be the same problems once it had yarn on it but my imagination is stuck in its own reality.

There are some yarns I have not shared pictures of. I am really thrilled with the “Calico Cat” yarn, and have been browsing for plush animal patterns because that is what I want to make from it.

The mottled green yarn that looks like the very beginnings of fall colors looks to be wanting to be a lace triangle. I am hoping it will be large enough to go over the head so I can call it after something from Robin Hood.


Things did not end well with my volunteer knitting teacher gig. For once it was not ill-handled on my part, and I felt like a grown-up when I kept my even keel and quietly realized I would never have said that.

There are several positives about this. I will have more time and less fiber-related frustration. I was not the person leaving someone in the lurch so I burned no bridges. And my perspectives about knitting were refreshed if not expanded.


I am still wavering on attending Stitches. I feel obligated since it is so close and so many people cannot go due to distance. But I am also thinking that I bought almost nothing last year, and I still have fiber from 2008’s Stitches West that I have not spun (I was saving it until I got better enough to be worthy.) I would like a companion with whom to attend. I can drive and I do not need you to kick in for gas money. I am really terrible at buying stuff, so if you are concerned about going because you might spend too much money we would balance each other. The email address at the side (if you are not reading this via feed) is valid, or send a Rav PM. I am in Oakland and would prefer to go on Friday but would make an exception.

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