UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

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.

December 27, 2009

End of the holiday weekend, what was spun and done.

Filed under: equipment, fiber, patterns, spin — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 11:13 pm

Having a real spindle really does make a difference. My Eichheim spindle (hollow whorl dragon) spins practically forever.  It spins long enough and fast enough that I can get fingering singles from head to floor. If I was standing on a scaffold, I would not need to stop even then. It weighs next to nothing so I can actually spin tiny singles without experiencing the “drop” in drop-spindle. I am quite pleased. The brick-like spindles I tried at [hack, spit] Yarn School sell for $20. This was $70 with shipping. It is definitely worth the difference in price.

So far the negatives are the long wait times and the whorl size being just large enough that I am having trouble finding a non-awkward basket for it. There will definitely be pictures, but please wait.

Pre-drafted and spun half of the overdyed SW BFL fiber. Found a shaped hood pattern using short rows, am thinking about making this mottled green yarn into a “Robin Hood”, but that might change after plying.  I was so excited by the hood thing that I actually printed it. My relationship with my printer is contentious, so that is a big deal. It has been easier to load PDFs onto my phone and view them that way, which says something.

Someone should write a sock book that promises HUGE charts and no purling. While I had the printer going, I figured I would print out some other things. I have dozens of sock patterns faved and apparently it was from before I had actually made socks because they are all ridiculously complicated motifs.

I will probably end up charting my own variant of the Monkey chart. Between the no-purl, offset, no-hole versions, I am not sure what I want. I rather like the YO increases because it provides flexibility in fit. No purl is important.  I like the offset idea. Many of those options do not have a given chart, so I would end up creating it anyway.  There was an interesting double increase I found during the search, a V-inc. It combines the Right-leaning Increase (LRinc in Bordhi nomenclature, the “Riley” in mine) immediately followed by a Left-leaning Increase (LLinc/Leelee), without knitting the superlative stitch between. That was part of the no-hole version. The YO increase version has adjacent YOs and requires some machinations. I need my own chart.

Paradise Fibers sent me an email saying they are having a 10% off sale. I am thinking about buying some undyed things since I invested in the dyes already.

I did not end up receiving the Crown Mountain Farms fiber club from someone else whose credit cards are liked by paypal.  I guess there are still a few days left and I could call them myself.

I saw someone saying she was starting her dye work for Stitches. I do not think I am going to Stitches. There were a lot more fiber vendors last year compared to the year before, but the quality and value were a lot lower. I would like more Royal Hare, but the first year there were things like mottled brown… last year it was 6 shades of orange-pink or clown-costume. RedFish Dyeworks had some of the most phenomenal stuff I had ever seen my first year. And last year it was all garish and ugly. I was there Friday and a lot of popular places were picked over already from the people who had gone to the Thursday night preview.

That is it for tonight. I am hoping to get the pictures taken tomorrow. I have a basket full of things I should photograph, but holidays are a difficult time for projects requiring equipment and setup and a solid block of attention.

December 8, 2009

CMF pictures.

Filed under: fiber, yarn — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 6:20 pm

[click any thumbnail to be taken to the page with the larger photograph.]

The Adonis yarn I dislike, pictured with a dime for comparison because the picture with the Addi #00 needle was blurry:

The fiber, BFL:

The fiber, corriedale pencil:

December 4, 2009

Lots of status update.

Filed under: fiber, I hate sewing, knit, project lists — Tags: , , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 1:39 am

The fiber club did not work out. PayPal hates me. It is mutual, so I do not feel slighted. PayPal refused to allow me to use my credit card for the transaction for no apparent reason.

This, however, did work out rather positively. Crown Mountain Farms announced a sale on BFL, SW Merino, Corriedale pencil roving, and some sock yarn. 20% off. That more than covered my shipping expenses. I like how their fiber spins up better than almost any other dyer. $20 for 8oz of hand dyed BFL is a good deal especially if you like that dye work. I got more fiber and spent less money than the club would have cost and I got to pick exactly what I wanted in which fibers.

I would have asked for the fiber club as a holiday gift, but, even though it was a good price/fair deal, overall it is too expensive to be a gift.  Family say I am as hard to buy for as my father ever was. I am an established, childless adult. If there is something I want, I buy it. If I have not bought it, there might be a reason I am waiting.

I solved my need for woolly socks in a hurry. I ordered from sock-dreams.com . I really like them and their service. They have great selections of kneesocks (and who wants to knit kneesocks when their feet are already cold?). There were no good woolly kneesock options, but shorter wool socks and cute cotton kneesocks were both ordered.

I got personally invited to the Knit-One-One show tomorrow. I imagine that I would like the space better if I was not planning to sit for a long time. Their chairs made me feel like a Peanuts character. A Verb For Keeping Warm is having a something tomorrow too. I might go to something but I suspect I will end up at the World of Good warehouse sale hunting for last minute gifts for people I have not seen in years and who do not like me. But better to shop than to waste knitting time.

I have knitted the legs and body of my elephant. The yarn I spun is ideal for this, I just have to say.  Today did not go well for other reasons and there was a time when I was laughing to myself remembering the song Hugh Jackman sang on Inside the Actors’ Studio about an acting job where he was the hind end of an elephant. One of the lines was about him winking at a pretty girl from the hole in the elephant’s bottom. My elephant is being knitted flat, so right now it feels like it is all hole and no bottom and certainly no elephant. But if you send Hugh Jackman, with advanced notice, I promise to finish it in time to hand it to him to autograph. (I am not serious about sending Hugh Jackman. That was supposed to be funny.)

The hand warmer issue was resolved with very little active effort on my part. A really nice pair of commercial socks (fair isle, soft!)  has enormous holes in the heels. It went from “thin” to “gone” in one washing. So I will be cutting and running them through the sewing machine to keep the edge from unraveling. Still 5-10 minutes is a good investment to have really cute things ready-to-use.

I am itching to start on the legwarmers because it has been frigid. I do not have enough hands for foreplay that I can expect to seduce the weather.

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