UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

February 21, 2011

status reports: playing it as it lies

Filed under: knit, summary — Tags: , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 1:06 pm

I did end up skipping this year’s Stitches West. It was definitely a self-spiting gesture but I feel mostly good about it anyway. After reading the Stitches West Rav group where people talk about their favorite vendors and they are universally the known and popular indy vendors, but not the ones I particularly love, I felt somewhat bad. I know RedFish Dyeworks does not get the attention that Sanguine Gryphon does, and this makes sense if you are only talking to knitters because the RedFish spinning fiber vastly outclasses the yarn/floss they sell. But I am a very lazy knitter and have zero use for laceweight yarn and almost no interest in that monochromatic kettledye kind of yarn. I either want variegated or I want solid, variation in solid color might be attractive if one is a skillful and careful knitter, but in my work it looks like I do not have a clue.

I am making progress on the Phantom Phonebooth socks (using the Tardis pattern). I have about half the arch increases done. The problem is that this is very boring but whenever I am not paying enough attention I drop stitches. I have about an hour before I get to the heels, and immediately after the heels begins the iconic patterning. That means the project will improve soon. Probably just in time for the warmest weather of the year. Is that not when most people want wool socks?

The interesting part about my dropped stitches is that the method I have for fixing dropped stitches, which is picking up the lowest stitch in the drop column, then the overhead bar yarn, then “casting off” the stitch, and repeating until I have reached the current row— which works abysmally in knitting group where everyone is doing all-garter– is perfect for my own needs. I do not need a crochet hook, I never get the stitches twisted, the tension stays pretty even, and I do not end up with purls when I meant to get knits. I am somewhat 3D dyslexic, so this happened a lot when I was first learning to fix dropped stitches. I could rescue something before it became unstable, but it never looked right. Now it looks perfect… as long as I am fixing from the front side of a stockinette section.

There has been no weaving progress. I am nearly to the point of sending the intended recipient a gift certificate and cutting the warp. If I had any interest in weaving something else, I might actually do it. Rather obviously, weaving is not my thing. I feel okay about getting an excellent deal on a small rigid-heddle loom that I can comfortably store in its box and only taking it out when I have something that calls out to be woven.

I need to get back to doing more spinning. That is the only one of these fiber crafts that resonates with me so I remember why I love this. I need to remember why I love this so I can finish the gifted blanket without sewing all the negativity I have into it. There will definitely be pictures of this and I will give anonymized credit so you all can see that I did not do this alone. I am definitely ready for the blanket to be completed.


  1. I skipped Stitches too — the workshops are generally for things I already know how to do, and it seems like a giant excuse to shop, when I’m full up on yarn and Oakland is already well stocked with indie dyers I can find on my own time.

    Comment by Arlette — March 2, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  2. Classes do not seem to jive well with my learning style and speed as a crafter. So I tend to see them as a waste of money.

    I do not like any of the Oakland indy dyers I have met. They have all tended toward the insipid colorways or overpricing or both. Plus I am not heavily involved in the “fandom” aspect of knitting and crafting. So I do not encounter these people very frequently and they do not have stores. So if I am ordering online from strangers anyway, it seems like I should not pick based on apparent location.

    I do like a lot of the semi-local dyers that I encountered at Stitches.

    Lisa Souza does really nice work and it is much harder to order from her than to buy in person. Not because her website is bad, but because her best work is not in the named colorways but she does not photograph the dye sops.

    Redfish Dyeworks does some of the most amazing jewel tone fiber blends I have ever seen with the gentlest handling because the fiber is very cloud-like.

    But I still have Redfish from 2008.

    Additionally, I like the yarn that results from the Crown Mountain Farm fiber even if the dye work is visually ugly in the wool.

    There really is no reason to go to Stitches when you are not shopping. I wonder about the people who take the classes… I might have wanted those things when I was a newbie knitter, you know, before I even heard of Stitches. Even their most advanced classes seem like things one would figure out between the time of registration and the event.

    If I went as an excursion, with friends, so we could see everything for ourselves in person, then it would have been worth it to go even this year when I was not planning to buy. But that would involve me having a large pool of friends or very specific kinds of friends. After sub-selecting for friends who were free on a workday (but who were still up for a shopping trip), friends who are knitters, and friends who did not already have plans with other people… well, I am either going alone or not going. I went alone for 3 years in a row and chose to stay home this year.

    Comment by UndyedYarnpire — March 3, 2011 @ 8:45 am

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