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.

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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).

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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.

February 27, 2009

Stitches West 2009, just the market

Filed under: fiber — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:05 pm

I made it to Stitches West today. I was disappointed by some of the places I had liked last year but found several new places. I spent less money than I had allocated and was able to leave by 2pm which should have improved the drive home (but did not.) 

I know I have lots of things that I owe pictures of. Please wait. 

RedFish Dyeworks finally has a real website: http://redfishdyeworks.com/magento/index.php/ but this year their colorways were nothing special and with the same kind of premium pricing they had last year. That was the biggest disappointment. The people who had dyed my lapis lazuli fiber now have orange and pink and puke green colorways (yes, all together), just like everyone else. 

The Royal Hare had some wonderful superwash merino last year, in a really gorgeous brown colorway… this year it was all clown colors. 

I was surprised by how much I disliked the Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn. I had expected, when I saw it in person, to really love their various black-overdye colorways. But they were all too subtle for me. I might have liked it better if they had had some of the blue and purple ones, but all they had were pink and green variants. 

I stopped by the Mountain Colors booth because  every online store selling their stuff has a different picture for the same colorway and it is impossible to tell what it will really look like. I was told by the MC people that “everyone’s monitor is different”. I took that rather badly because my monitor is the same between websites I view and the pictures are still different.  I did find several colorways I like, but they don’t sell it there and the other places selling it do not have it arrayed similarly. One place just had boxes of it on the floor for people to dig through… which guarantees I would not want any of the yarn from that place no matter what. 

I meant to buy another skein of sock yarn but there were no deals.

Everything is so crowded, and remember I went on Friday, that it is hard to buy things most places. 

I came home with everything I paid for, and all of the items weigh what they say they do. But most places did not give me a receipt and that is scary/frustrating. 

Right now I am home, I have my feet up, and I still feel strung out and overwhelmed.

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