UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

March 25, 2012

six months later

Filed under: fiber, hat, knit, project lists, summary, yarn — Tags: , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:45 pm

I said last September that I was getting back to my fiber crafting now that things were looking up. It has been six months since then and I am doing things but not writing about them. My productivity is odd and taking pictures of things is a huge chore. Posting the pictures and linking them into Ravelry is such an enormous task that I would snap a few shots begrudgingly and tell myself I would work on sharing if I ever felt like it. Then I started just piling new things to the side to be photographed and would only take pictures of things if I was sending them out. There was even one project that I sent out without photographing it. But all the pictures have been taken now. Some of them have been uploaded. I plan to work on this in small stages in the forthcoming time.

I finished spinning a pound of CMF BFL which sat unfinished on my wheel for 1.5 years. It came out at a different gauge than the previous half, so that is not good for my consistency with a huge gap in the project. (The pictures for this are not up because I took them when it was too bright and without a diffuser for the sunlight so you cannot see anything.)

I spun half a pound of dyed-by-me fiber (from Yarn School, it wasn’t all hellish craft-wise, just the worst social and travel experience ever, you really do not want to go to that if you are a grown up. But it was such a neat idea that I wish someone would create the Club Med version.) It was fiber everyone complimented me on at the time but which I knew was awful. The spun yarn really is ugly.

From yarn school fiber

I made myself a hat.

From 2012 January

The Tardis socks are at the window level. I made 2 scarves and a hat to give away. I created a stole which was so far off in gauge it was 4 times bigger than expected and will need to be frogged. I finally put up pictures of the Kindle bag I made myself last year. I dyed socks that I bought from Sock Dreams. [Feel free to browse for these pictures, as they are being uploaded. If you have “followed” or “subscribed” or whatever to my Picasa albums, UndyedYarnpire, then you can receive an email update listing everywhere I have added pictures. I subscribed to myself and use those as a list of things to tick off when writing these update posts.]

I went to Stitches 2012 with a friend I met at what was my LYS’s knit night. They have since stopped being my LYS. Which is, I suppose, news related to crafting, that I started going out to things more, meeting people, and found a place I liked so well, I started to consider them my store, where I would shop first. It did not work out. For such an urban area, it probably was not a feasible model. How much yarn does anyone need? I personally have a huge stash to tide me over during lean times when there are no stores and so there is something ready to go for almost any urgent project. But one ball of Tosh chunky would certainly take a month of work to finish (unless I was doing something overly simplistic) because that would be for me. Even though I thought nothing of dropping $10 on dinner before knitting, I was really put off by the idea of buying $20 in yarn even monthly. Where was I going to put it? I bought a pattern and a book, and 2 skeins of yarn in 4 months. The store owner kindly announced the change in policy before Stitches, so I felt free to spend the earmarked “support the LYS” money at Stitches instead. I will still shop if I ever need daytime in-person yarn shopping, but it was at the far edge of my normal range. There are a lot of people I met there that I would like to keep up with, so it is somewhat sad that there isn’t another group we can all migrate to. Some I got to know well enough that we can go out separately.

I have pictures of all the Stitches 2012 purchases.

  • I got 3 braids from Redfish Dyeworks. They remain my favorite dyers. (Crown Mountain Farms is my second favorite and one I buy much more of.)
  • I bought solid fiber from Opulent Fiber. A 5 pack sampler in shades of blue, a really awesome gray, and a copper colored silk
  • I got one braid from Royale Hare, but not the “Napa Nutmeg” colorway. They turned out not to be sharing a booth with Romi this year, I missed pretending that she remembered me while she was just being polite to yet another stranger.
  • I got a really great skein of sock yarn from a new place, Forbidden Yarn. There was a card in my bag saying they were looking for fiber festivals and I was sort of hoping to tell them about the Oakland Fiber Festival, but there is no email address anywhere. You can leave a blog comment but why would I want to post in public if I am likely to be rejected (it is a long trip)? I am not going to add hobby related things to Facebook or twit about it. So if you, the Forbidden Yarn people, google for yourselves and see this, contact Bente at Piedmont Yarn because I really liked your stuff, just not enough to jump through hoops, yeah? Forbidden Yarn named their yarns after the deadly sins. I have a variegated purple skein of their Gluttony, which is an 8-ply sock significantly less crunchy to the touch than Everlast.
  • And I bought a bag. I have always wondered why people spend that kind of money on bags for their knitting, but I do not use my Namaste bag for my knitting. I use it for everything else. [bag is not pictured, but is the purple mini-messenger if you are familiar with Namaste]

Speaking of OFF (Oakland Fiber Festival), I did finally take a picture of the rabbit fiber I bought last Summer. It was really hard to get a great shot of it because it would blow away when I breathed before pressing the shutter button.

October 10, 2010

Brighter outlook is more productive.

Filed under: fiber, knit, patterns, project lists — UndyedYarnpire @ 4:16 pm

Knitting group has improved somewhat. There are days when I see that I do some good. And days when I can see that I really have learned something despite not being even a mediocre teacher. (Teachers learn as much from their students as the students learn from them.) I can regauge a pattern on-the-fly now. I can look at a previous project, estimate whether the knitter is loose or tight, and give a pretty good guess as to the gauge; it is good enough for a seamed hat, which is astonishing without a ruler.

My biggest problem with the group is how stressful it is and how uninspiring I find it. I never want to knit anything when I come home. That feeling lasts until at least Thursday morning of the following week. I get so little knitting done that I am seriously considering buying a loom just to consume vast quantities of yarn. But there have been so many sticking points to this loom buying that I have started to realize I should fix my attitude before spending a lot of money.

I stopped what I was doing and sat down to knit this week. It was fun again. I had forgotten the feeling of success and accomplishment from seeing something take shape out of almost nothing. Even without a finished object, I can see the progress. I think, however, that there might be a moritorium on projects for other people until I finish some things for me. I am feeling underappreciated and unloved.

I am halfway done with my Darkside Cowl, which I am making out of that blue SW BFL from Royale Hare (if you want to look for it, I called the post with the picture “Lady Spins The Bluesand if I am ambitious I might go look for the link myself.)

I knit myself two hotpads. I used a combination of Icelandic and Wensleydale, both of which came from the Spunky Eclectic fiber club years ago. I held both yarns together and knit large stockinette squares. I plan to felt them.

From fiber From handspun
From fiber From handspun

I am using the remaining Wensleydale, held double, and I am making myself a teapot cozy. It has a few stripes of the Icelandic.

And yes, I will take pictures of these things at some point.

September 28, 2010

Bias Knit Simple Lace Scarf, Finished

Filed under: dye, fiber, knit, lace, spin — Tags: , , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:52 pm

This has been a long project. It started with some really ugly superwash BFL fiber that came from Susan’s Spinning Bunny’s fiber club, “Fondle This!”

From Fiber Club

I over-dyed it myself to create this fiber:

From fiber dye

Then I spun and plied the fiber to create some mediocre yarn:

From fiber dye
From Fiber Club

Originally I was going to do something complex and stunning with this, but decided to keep it simple so I would have a hope of finishing it and it still took 6 full months.

From bias scarf

The Rav project notes:
Using a handspun yarn, overdyed in the wool from the 2009 Susan’s Spinning Bunny fiber club shipment of Superwash BFL which was originally a citrus type colorway. Revised colorway name is “Sherwood Forest”.

Cast on was one stitch. Easiest cast-on ever.

Did the first triangle in garter stitch, then continued in stockinette base. Edge is 1 stitch knit on outside, then yo. Lace rows are yo, k2tog. Double decrease is k3tog. WS rows (purl side) are k1, p, k1.

Finished the knitting part. Ending triangle has decrease in beginning of RS row. k1, yo, k2tog…. k3tog, yo, k… and that was not a rapid enough decrease, so an additional decrease was added on the WS.

Edging is an offset double-row of crochet chain loops.

September 22, 2010

Alpaca blends

Filed under: fiber — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:08 pm

Double Diamond Alpacas
merino-alpaca 4oz “Twilight”
merino-alpaca 4oz “Desert”

From fiber 2

September 21, 2010

Undyed Fiber

Filed under: fiber — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:04 pm

CMF Alpaca-Silk 70/30 4oz, silver undyed

From fiber 2

Ranch of the Oaks (blend of fibers) 5 oz, undyed

From fiber 2

September 20, 2010

fiber: corriedale pencil roving

Filed under: fiber — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:00 pm

new corriedale pencil roving in “Magic Carpet”
2 8oz bumps

From fiber 2

June 27, 2010

Oakland Fiber Festival

Filed under: fiber — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 1:46 pm

On the whole I found the Oakland Fiber Festival to be interesting. I saw everything at least twice. I was able to speak to the vendors and ask questions.

The “make and take” area did not seem to exist. They did have begin-to-knit lessons for $1 including supplies. The weaving demonstrations were not well situated because where weavers would need to stand was full of CD spindlers. There were some people who were doing interesting things as part of their booth. One really lovely woman showed me her sock knitting machine and allowed me to try it. Another woman showed me her cord weaving method using a foam disk. But there were no official demonstrations I was able to see.

I spoke to Yarn-A-Gogo who wrote How To Knit A Love Song, but it’s a trilogy out in trade paperback. $14 bucks per book. As much as I want to support people who write things which include my interests, and as much as I really wanted a signed copy, I find myself really put off by books which cost twice what a “normal” book costs and do not include the whole story.

There was a women’s guild there and they are looking for women who need scholarships to attend university or graduate school. They do a lot of community outreach and they have a bookclub and a knitting group. It sounds like they would be an interesting group to try.

Several times I ran into people I know from various places. Kira from KiraKDesigns flagged me down. She was wearing her new sleeveless sweater pattern with the adorable back diamond texture…. I love that sweater but I know it would look horrible on me. I kept wanting to hug her so I could get my hands on her sweater, but it was very hot (and that would be creepy).

I bought 2 merino/alpaca multicolored things ($2/oz) and 1 bag of undyed roving. So I spent under $40 total and had a good time seeing several new vendors.  (There will be pictures later.)

However, there were no chairs set up for people to sit and knit or sit and spindle. There was no shade provided unless you were in a vendor’s booth and they had an awning. No one was selling even bottled water. There was a whiteboard with a “map” suggesting which restaurants were open and that was nice. I gave my “I live near here” recommendations to several people.

There was a really awkwardly set up raffle in the Welcome Booth, and I had been through most of the show before I found it. There were several cul-de-sacs in the layout of booths and the vendor list did not have a map. Most vendors seem to be sharing booths. It was extremely awkward to tell when two people helping me with my questions were in competition with each other or collusion.

If I had had to drive an hour to get to the show I would have been wildly disappointed. Considering it is between me and some of my favorite local restaurants, I had a lovely time and I hope they do it again.

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