UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

February 12, 2011

Stitches West 2011: Thursday’s child has far to go.

Filed under: discussion, stuff — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 1:57 pm

This is a list of vendors at Stitches who are offering Thursday night specials. If you patronize them on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, you will be paying more than other people and getting less selection:

From this thread: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/stitches-west-2011/1521105/

Alpenglow Yarn / Ranch of the Oaks / Little Red Bicycle #1048
Knotty Knitters Calendar (sold by XRX itself)
Ellen’s Wooly Wonders #1445
Faerie Mountain Fibers #1040
Twisted Sunshine Designs #1146

added later:

The Fine Needle #718

I have blacked those places off my copy of the market map because I do not want to pay more than the supposedly fair price the vendor has chosen.

Admittedly those were not places I have highlighted, so it would not be a loss to me, but I will probably refer back to this list so I do not accidentally patronize them in the future either.

This Thursday night sale basically says, “We treat some people specially and you are not one of those people. We would prefer to do business with other people than you. Please go elsewhere.” So I plan to abide by that request and take my money elsewhere, forever.

Bijou Basin Ranch has coupons on their website, so you will pay more if you do not pre-prepare, but they are at least good for the whole show and for anyone. (#602 – 700) I would feel less put upon if I could “mention their website” or a special code word and get the discount, but that is because I cannot print at home so self-printed coupons are a huge hassle. Pico Accuardi Dyeworks is running specials throughout the show (#1144).


Last year I asked if there was anyone reading here who wanted to accompany me to Stitches West on the Friday market day. I have never gone with anyone else. This year I invited people from the learn to knit group where I volunteer and no one wants to come with me. (One woman does want a ride there if I am going, but did not see the invitation as being to a social outing with me as her friend.)  If you want to accompany me, please do speak up. Email, Rav PM, or comment here. If you know me, feel free to call too. I am seriously considering not going. I have only three booths highlighted and I could just as easily order from their websites later. Between gas and entry fee and lunch, staying home would more than cover any shipping costs. Plus I need nothing. I still have untouched things I bought at my first Stitches in 2008.  It would be different if I was going with someone else and doing something social and fun. Many of the comments in the Stitches West group talk about how great it is to meet other knitters and make lots of friends. I do not think I have spoken to anyone who is not a vendor, ever, at the show. It usually seems like everyone travels in groups of their own friends and have no need of conversation with strangers.

January 25, 2011

Your prejudice, it bothers me.

Filed under: discussion — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 3:20 pm

There’s a local Ravelry (not sponsored, or technically affiliated, but they are allowed to call it that) meetup. They are holding it at the Women’s Building in San Francisco. The link to that location specifies that the building is to be used in support of women and girls. Shocking how extremely inclusive that feels, right? Obviously they are not going to come right out and say men are not allowed, and the meetup group does have a parenthetical comment saying men are welcome, but seriously, how welcome would women feel if there was a building saying “this space is intended to support men’s endeavors”?

That would be why I do not go to YMCAs. If they want to rename their organization to the effect of actually including old women and a-religious people, then sure, I can see them being a community organization for everyone.

I am honestly offended by how universal and understood the prejudice in the fiber arts is. I would really like to see other women stand up and say, “I like the idea of getting together with other knitters and crafters but not if your event is only open to some kinds of people.”

January 11, 2011

Let me give you five reasons. One, two, three, four, five!

Filed under: discussion, knit — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:17 pm

I was working on a giant post about grafting, but it has devolved into a list of links and rants about really annoying things in the world of knitting.

There are a lot of really annoying things in the world of knitting. These five are the ones making me crazy today.

Kitchener Stitch is a specific kind of grafting, only for stockinette. If you are grafting another texture, or not using a sewing needle, or any of other parameter change, it is just grafting. Plus Kitchener most likely did not really create it himself so his name is on it for mythical reasons.

I dislike it when anything is named after a specific person in knitting. I appreciate when things are credited to their developers, but I find myself really annoyed by the phrase, “I used Judy’s Magic Cast-On.”

I am outraged by the people who say that if you substitute yarns (or worse, yarn colors) or change textures or have to do your own math that you no longer have what was in the pattern. There gets to be a point where a project is merely inspired by a particular pattern, but most of us have to do our own adjustments.  If there is a pattern and you have only tweaked it, then you have used the pattern and should credit the originating source. If there is a designer who cannot let design elements go, if they only want people to use certain yarns and only for certain body shapes, then they need to sell completed garments or kits at the very least.

Then there is the polar opposite of this, someone who created a pattern last week, making a hat in the round using stockinette and with a roll-brim, and Cascade 220, arguing that other people “stole her idea” even though they made their hats 5 years ago. We do not have to credit the obvious and if anyone should give credit it is the new knitter who did no searches of prior art before claiming originality.

And finally, last on today’s rants, I hate when truly profound techniques are distributed through quantity-limited media. Magazines without online-access archives (paid or not) are not the correct distribution method for a fundamental technique change. I find that I feel no interest in summarizing the various grafting techniques, even though I found something I have not seen anywhere else, because the one hidden in an out-of-print issue of IK (Interweave Knits) is supposed to be paradigm shifting. Right now, I do not care if it does change grafting throughout the entire knitting world, because that knowledge is lostto all but a select few.

December 8, 2010

Fixing a dropped stitch.

Filed under: discussion, instructions, knit — UndyedYarnpire @ 10:24 pm

Sock progress:
I noticed when I was doing the Tardis socks (nicknamed “Phantom Phonebooth”) that the method I had used to pick up stitches along the side of the square while making the toe… (if you have the Cat Bordhi sock book I, it was the “pontoon toe” as described in the master toe section.) left an unpleasant texture on the inside of the sock. So I frogged and restarted. I am still in the midst of the toe increase section (toe-up socks.)

That got me thinking about my method for fixing dropped stitches. I have not seen anyone else do this and I should probably photograph it so you can see. I put the good stitch at the bottom of the ladder on my right needle tip. I lift the first ladder onto the right needle tip. Then I pass the good stitch over the ladder, like for casting off. Then I grab the next ladder and repeat. It works really well and is extremely helpful if you do not happen to have a crochet hook. However it is not a flexible method. If you are fixing garter stitch or are on the purl side or pick up a stitch inverted, it never looks perfect again. I can, with the diagram in front of me, pick up dropped stitches with a crochet hook, but when I have 3 people waiting for help, I need something faster and where I look like I know what I am doing.

July 12, 2010

It feels like progress, but there is nothing to show.

Filed under: discussion — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 9:18 pm

Let us see where things stand. I am currently working on a lacy bias-knit scarf. Still.

I am doing a Fair Isle hat project in KnitPicks WotA based off a design in the Starmore book on Fair Isle knitting.

I have chosen my next project (Askew from Knitty) to go with the birthday yarn.

Friday I made myself some new stitch markers. I was at Michael’s desperately searching for food coloring and got some new beading wire while I was there. It spoke to me and I knew I needed it.

The past week or so has had almost all the creative effort devoted to baking. I needed an impressive but casual desert for 25 people at a World Cup party. So this was my first time baking rolled cookies (I am an adept baker, but sugar cookies are boring and often chalky or pasty. It just never came up.) and first time doing piped decorating. On the whole it came out tolerable in appearance, but the flavor was phenomenal.

Yesterday I looked at my neglected wheel and wound the tenth of a bobbin of merino/tencel onto a “storage bobbin”. I have not spun in a long time because I have zero interest in working on that project. I pulled out some Lisa Souza dye sop (she calls them “Wild Things”) Wensleydale and have it pre-drafted to be three-ply.

I owe pictures from the Oakland Fiber and Textile Festival purchases. And I would love to share pictures of my new stitch markers, but they got kind of lost when baking took over my life. Not permanently, but the box of things removed from the table will need to have its contents  exhumed so I can find them.

Personally I have also picked up another interest which is a massive time sink. I had rather assumed it would come out of the chore time allocations but it seems to come out of knitting time. I joined a gym and have gone down two sizes in 3 months. (Which should dramatically speed up the knitting for that forthcoming sweater!) But losing 4 hours per week of leisure time has really hurt my productivity that I can share here.

March 12, 2010

I am making a list, you should check it twice.

Filed under: discussion, knit, lace, project lists, stuff — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 7:49 pm
  • Pictures are still owing. I hate posting pictures. I know pictures are what sells this. But there has to be an easier way than my dozen-step process.
  • I have new spinning. I should enpicture that too. I finished 8 ounces of CMF BFL. It is three-ply. It looks like twilight (but not Twilight) or a thunderstorm. I tried for different weights of singles. I had one bobbin that would make fingering, one that wavered between lace and fingering, and one that is sport or worsted.
  • I have started and frogged Evelyn Clark’s Swallowtail shawl. I am using the Madelinetosh sock that was given to me by a friend. It waited and taunted me because I needed a worthy project. I love the motif in the Swallowtail. It looks like little turtles. I am unkeen on the triangle shape for myself, but assuredly someone will want this. And I really want to make it.

    (I sent the friend that skein of SW BFL sock yarn from CMF that I had been so upset by. She moved and I called it a housewarming present. She likes itty bitty yarn, so I was not even giving bad gifts. Or so I thought.)

  • There was a request to publicize the Oakland Fiber Festival that Piedmont Yarn is putting on. It is being held June 27 (that is a Sunday) from 10am to 4pm at Splashpad Park. I was not able to find a website mentioning it, so no links, but it is a real thing. They are looking for vendors and artists and guilds to participate and asked that people call them. Posting is on the Bay Area Knitters and Bay Area Spinners groups on Ravelry.
  • Can someone personally recommend a spinning guild? Other than Spindles and Flyers? I went to one S&F meeting and it did not work out.
  • I am needing of a local (Oakland) source for bulk flours. Especially whole grain flour. Or somewhere that has larger quantities of oat and rye flour than the 1 pound plastic sacks from Bob’s Red Mill.

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.

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