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.

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July 13, 2011

updates, project plans, and a report on the Oakland Fiber Fest

Filed under: project lists, summary — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:34 pm

Let me see where things are:

Tardis socks, “Phantom Phonebooth” have heels turned and decorative motif stitch repeat counted and set up. Still looks like blue blobs on a string though. Pictures might be forthcoming if I can get my husband to model his feet.

Still spinning on my “Black Sun” BFL from CMF that I bought when they first starting having BFL. The stuff is awesome and Crown Mountain Farms remains one of my top vendors. Some of that is because both the roving and the yarn are beautiful but the yarn is still a surprise. I should take pictures to illustrate what I mean. The “Black Sun” colorway is visibly mottled black with lots of bright color splotches. The yarn is purple. There is no way this will make sense until I show the pictures, but that will be later.

I received a late birthday present (birthday is in April, husband’s birthday is in July, usually a shared box arrives in July) from the SIL who sent the great yarn last year which I made into the ill-fitting tank top from the Knitty pattern “Askew”, and which I titled “Blue Hawaii” and which is an “Ugh!” on my Ravelry projects page. Not because of the yarn, which was perfect for that project, but because it really did not fit. (I am now even more of a different shape than when I started it, so I am glad I waited to frog it and start over.) The new yarn is another skein of the Lumpy Bumpy, but is obviously intended to be a Christmas hat since it is red&green. There was a skein of corriedale single in a matching green, and a skein of fingering yarn in cotton made from recycled jeans— but the yarn itself is a dusky red. It is pretty shocking that someone sent me $50 worth of yarn, in three skeins, where none of it goes together except by color. There will definitely be pictures of the incoming gift yarn.

What I have in mind for that is to make a Santa hat (where I will use undyed roving for the brim and puff) from the Lumpy Bumpy. I am going to add the green single to the Blue Hawaii tank project when I frog the current sweater, and I’m thinking about making another tank using the cotton yarn held together (or plied together) with some sock yarns that I am really, honestly and truly, never going to use. If I were a sewer, I might weave the cotton yarns, but it is a low priority project.

____

Last Sunday was the Oakland Fiber Festival. I was there from about 11 until about 2:30. I had made arrangements to meet up with two different people who both bailed. Even with that, I had an excellent time. The weather was vastly improved from the previous year. There were more booths and more variety. (Last year it was pretty much just alpaca, this year alpaca was still heavily represented but there were people selling other things, including Jordana Paige.)

I saw a demonstration of Danish medallion weaving, which I found somewhat inspirational, although it definitely left me with the impression that weaving is not ever going to be fun . It looks like a lot of very fussy work to get something fancy. Plain weave requires sewing to be of much use. There was also a booth from Saori Berkeley (allowing people to try Saori weaving, but I did not try myself), and there is definitely something to that. It looks more fun, but unfortunately I did not much appreciate the aesthetics of the resultant fabric.

I had an excellent discussion with Katharine Jolda of Felt the Sun, who buys wool from the Navajo reservation (which is the kind of traditional outreach I heartily support after reading most of Tony Hillerman’s works) and uses a self-designed bicycle powered carder to create batts which are then felted and turned into unique vests. Even at hundreds of dollars, I experienced sincere want. Her wools are astoundingly beautifully colored andundyed. They are precisely the kinds of wools that inspired my username.

The best yarn I saw was from Shaggy Bear Farms (no website, despite the listing on the card, but they are carried by A Verb For Keeping Warm and members of the Oregon Wool Association who have been fabulous when I needed something breed specific) which had an excellent colorway, “Berry Pie”, which was implemented in several kinds of wool. I liked their BFL yarn for the texture, but the same colorway was outstanding in the Jacob. I took a card and annotated it carefully so I can email them once I get over my inability to buy without reconsidering.

I bought some really nice German Angora rabbit clip to spin, but that was all I bought.

There were some strange things. Like the “welcome” booth is at the far corner, away from where the bus stops, and away from the direction of the parking lot, and there they were doing “door prizes” but “I do not think it means what you think it means.” because they were raffle prizes. You had to pay to play. I did buy a dollar’s worth of raffle tickets because I still had pocket money remaining. They announced the winners today on Ravelry. I did not win, which was not a huge surprise since a few people bought dozens of tickets. Hopefully they call the winners (one was supposed to write name and phone number on the back of the ticket and keep the stub) as well. But it turns out one must go to Piedmont Yarn to collect one’s prize. It costs $2/hour to park near there, paid at meters which are usually a block away but which require you to put the receipt on your dash so it is a lot of walking (which would completely violate the ADA except those people have public parking comped already), if you can find a space. If I stopped for a coffee or wanted to go to lunch to assuage the hassle, I’d spend more on the trip than I would have spent buying the prize directly. Is it weird to feel grateful for not winning? But if I am grateful for not winning, then I am angry about wasting a dollar buying the raffle tickets. Never let it be said that I was easy-going, hmm?

Several people I know had booths.  I would like to support these friends, but do not want what they sell. Of course I tend to be much more independent than most crafters. When I started, you could not buy stitch markers for sock yarn (or sock yarn, for that matter) and patterns never went larger than a 40″ bust. So I tend to assume I am going to have to find my own way. Of course this leaves me on the fringes of a community I might otherwise be a part of. Even people I taught to knit are more included than I am. I feel sad about this, but not in a way that would change my habits.

February 2, 2011

progress on projects

Filed under: project lists — UndyedYarnpire @ 10:49 pm

I have been ignoring my weaving. There is nothing like a deadline (and now we are past it) to make me feel contrary. So the plaid runner stands at about the same state as the last picture. And since the cloth is wound onto the front beam periodically, it will continue to look like that until it is nearly done. It is a lot like walking on a treadmill in that regard, in that I feel like I am getting absolutely nowhere until I realize I need smaller trousers.

I worked some on the Phantom Phonebooth socks. They are coming along nicely, albeit slowly. I have both socks knitted to about 50% footlength, meaning I have almost 20% done. They still look like blue pockets, so not much point in digging out the camera.

However, most of my efforts have been toward a generosity. Several of us are knitting a blanket in pieces to give to a woman we all know who is ill. The remaining pieces should come back by the weekend. Although it has represented a significant amount of my crafting time, I have not taken any pictures. There were several people who expressed a large amount of enthusiasm for the idea but no one who spoke up actually knitted anything. If it was not for the silent supporters who did phenomenal work, I would have ended up doing the whole thing myself as well as buying all the supplies.

Although I really like the woman who will be the recipient, I resent this experience tremendously. Apparently people will lie to your face, in detail, about how they will help; then scamper off with your yarn, even knowing who it hurts and who was supposed to benefit.

January 11, 2011

status reports and new ideas

Filed under: project lists — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:18 pm

I bought rubber feet for my loom. I am hoping that I will resent it less when I do not have to be quite so careful how it is placed. I also received my copies of Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving and The Weaver’s Idea Book. This might help somewhat in terms of less struggling with the concepts of weaving and how those concepts affect technique.

I have also been considering whether I would prefer indirect warping. The direct warping is a pain in the head, back, rear, and feet. Plus the results are mediocre due to the differences between a tied warp strand and a looped warp strand. I own an Oregon Woodworker swift, the mounted versions of which are recommended as warping boards. I have been mentally running through how long of a warp I could construct with two sets of pegs, but I think I might have to measure.

My hair has been shortened from the icon. (The icon is not me, despite the representative nature of my tendency to hold onto spare DPNs by putting them in my hair, up my sleeve, or through my sweater.) I am really cold without my insulating fur. Can someone recommend a style of hat that might compensate? I’m wearing a stretchy lace cowl today, but it scrunches up too much. Maybe I should dig out the turtlenecks instead?

Immediately after posting this, someone on my Rav friends list faved, the Lady Jessica Cowl (direct), Rav link. I happen to have 110 loops of 5 foot diameter handspun 3-ply worsted BFL (dyed by Lisa Souza) just waiting for this project. (Google’s math says that is about 180 yards.)

There has been very little progress on the Phantom Phonebooth socks, despite their presence right next to the remote control in front of the TV.

I have not made any progress rebuilding the Halfaquin sweater that I frogged. There is time for all this, but I seem to allow it to be sucked down into flash games, sending random emails to friends, and cooking. But the cooking has been nice to have done.

December 27, 2010

Projects Status

Filed under: project lists — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:13 pm

Progress on the Phantom Phonebooth (Tardis pattern) socks proceeds. I have 2.25 inches completed from the toe. It is about 2.5 rounds per centimeter and it takes me about half an hour to do that. After which I want to do something else. Two-at-a-time on two-circs is a lot of shuffling things around. But the socks match and there will not be that point where I feel “done” but am only halfway because there is still another entire sock to go. No pictures yet because it looks like a pair of small blue pockets.

My revamping of the halfaquin sweatervest is stalled while I work on the socks. I can see it in my mind’s eye but actually doing the work is much more laborious than anticipated.

These are my only active projects taking up space in my brain because the loom shipped today!

Dreamwidth does not have an automatic crossposting to WordPress tool. But the cut and paste works really well because it preserves formatting.

November 23, 2010

Status report

Filed under: project lists — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 10:32 pm

Hmm. Where was I?

The sweater pictures are still owing.

I finished the scarf I was making from the HelloYarn corriedale fiber. It came out decently well considering I was attempting to spin enormous fluffy yarn and ended up needing to add 2 #7 dpns to each #15 needle in order to have something large enough. (I added with cellophane tape. I kept seeing ads for square or hexagonal needles and this was more awkward at the pointed tip end, but otherwise sufficient. Easier than going out to the store and spending $20 on a pair of needles I will only use for one project.) The scarf is blocking now, so hopefully I can take pictures of both things at once.

I got a request from my husband for a pair of Tardis socks (rav link). They are standard socks using a chart for the top. My dear husband was shocked that I would need to purchase yarn. Because everyone has solid-color Tardis-blue hard-wearing sock yarn in their stash?

I asked around for recommendations on really excellent sock yarn and I am very unconvinced that most yarn manufacturers have any clue what the “sock” designation should mean. I have seen 2-ply 100% non-superwash merino on offer as “sock” yarn. That is only sock yarn if you need to make socks for someone who cannot walk.

I have been working on the finishing details for my teapot cozy. I found a teapot that suits it and it is now becoming a holiday gift. That means all the edging needs to be neatened up and those steeks reinforced, but it essentially looks the same as it did before.

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.

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