UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

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 7, 2009

My Peace of Mind made me Upset.

Filed under: yarn — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 11:16 pm

My Crown Mountain Farms order arrived today. I ordered right when the sale was announced, was told there was going to be a delay while some items were dyed, but it shipped Saturday and arrived today.

I got 4 8oz bumps of BFL and 2 8oz bumps of corriedale pencil roving in various shades of blue. I also ordered a skein of Adonis sock yarn, which is 100% SW BFL. That is dyed a multi-color colorway called “Peace of Mind”.

The sock yarn is what I want to talk about. I am upset and disappointed. It has been my experience that “fingering” is developing a ridiculous variance as sock yarns become more popular. For the most part “sock yarn” knits at 8sts/inch. Almost all sock patterns want that. Therefore, sock yarn must have that gauge in its range.

I complained about the Knitpicks “Essential” which has now become “Stroll” sock yarn because I had to buy #0 needles and it looks like I will get 9sts/inch so I will have to do all my own math even though I have a specific pattern in mind for that yarn. The Knitpicks yarn is about half as thick as the Pagewood Farms sock yarn I used in my best socks to date.

The CMF Adonis “sock yarn” is about half as thick as the Knitpicks Stroll. It is, no question, laceweight in my own parlance. CMF also sells a laceweight yarn, but that  must be what the Emperor’s New Clothes are woven from. Adonis is pretty close to what a double-ply of  heavy-duty sewing thread would look like. The description on the website says knit with #1 or #2 needles. (If I knit this with #2 needles I would get something airier than cheesecloth.)

Now. My question is this: Should I complain to CMF? It was, theoretically, custom-dyed for me. I did not get a bargain price on it because it was not included in the sale. Custom-dyed sale items, those could not possibly be returnable, of course. Should I keep it in case I have a project wanting a laceweight yarn, or need a gift for someone with a lot more patience? Or should I try to find someone to trade with?

If you are looking for normal sock-weight yarn, consider the Apollo which is 18WPI compared to Adonis’s 22WPI. I have not tried it, but there is no hope for Adonis being considered sock-weight. Probably at this point I would suggest buying your sock yarn from someone else entirely.

I looked online after writing this and Ask The Bellweather has “fingering” yarn at 19-22WPI and a citation to make me accept those numbers. Which means I cannot validly complain. Although I am still very unhappy with my purchase, I can afford to chalk it up to a learning experience. Out of a dozen brands of sock yarn I have bought, all of them have said “fingering”, and all of them have been significantly thicker than this despite how none of them gave a WPI measurement. There was not enough information for me to have known I was going to be unhappy.

February 13, 2009


Filed under: socks, yarn — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 6:59 pm

Does it feel like the world is coming to an end? It sort of does here. I actually *gasp* ordered sock yarn.

I had been really enamored of the Schaefer Heather yarn (55% superwash merino wool, 30% silk, 15% nylonwhen I found it. That is what I want to knit my next socks from.

I had been interested in the Fleece Artist Sokomo, but it was spendy. Then I saw the Nyoni sale and I had to have some. I plan to use it with the Estonian Lace book.  I could not pass up a $20 for 800+ yards of 65% merino wool, 20% kid, 10% Nnon, 5% silk. I expect I will think it is a laceweight yarn despite the “fingering” tag, but that was keeping me from ordering it when it was 65% superwash merino +++ at $23 for 325 yards. 

And with another Pagewood Farm skein, I got free shipping.  I will say how happy I am when I receive it. Right now I feel more than a little ill.

February 12, 2009

Buying of stuff.

Filed under: stuff — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 1:15 pm

No idea if this interests you, the reader, at all, but my Knitpicks order, which shipped on 2/5/09, arrived today, 2/12/09. It says shipping time is 5-14 days, so I am pleased to have been at the low end of the range while still getting free shipping. 

I ordered on 2/3/09, so that is 9 days from ordering to receipt. I have not yet done a thorough examination of the contents for quality assurance purposes, but I received everything. 

It takes me about a week to get up the gumption to go to the LYS because of the hassles about their hours and parking. (Shockingly there was a post in the local Rav group saying how great the local LYS is. I must have completely different expectations.) So even with slow shipping, I am still getting about the same result.

The postal carrier said that there were no packages at the warehouse because shipping volume is so low. I think that will encourage me to send more things. Or it could. I have been really irritated at the massive increase in retail shipping costs, but if it means better service, it might be worth the money. 

I bought myself 6 circs, 2 #0, 2 #1, 2 #2… That means no matter what the sock yarn knits like, I should be able to deal with it. I have a set of 2 #1 Addi turbos, but I hate them when I have to pick up wraps at the heels and k3tog.  That meant I preferred the slovenly short-row methods where you pull tight and hope. 

I splurged and bought new yarn needles. I don’t think $2 for 4 is a terrific price, but I keep losing mine and it would cost me more than $2 if I had to drive all over shopping for them. Since the new ones are metal, I will magnetize them and put a strip of magnet tape up to hold them. If they had a nice home, I think they would not vacation as much. 

I got a few extra interchangeable tips and a few more cables. I decided from the beginning that I wanted to have a cable for every set of tips I owned and I do, but the 60″ cables do not get a lot of use, so I wanted some spares in more managable sizes. I am hoping there will not be any quality issues where the tips are not threaded inside like there were with the Harmony tips I bought last year. I did opt for only the nickel-plated tips in hopes of avoiding that. Sometimes I wish they had different colors of cable available for those of us who do the 2-circ method since there is no way to distinguish the needle tips. 

I bought the Priscilla Gibson-Roberts sock book and 2 skeins of Imagination in the new color “Mermaid”. The Mermaid is really cheery without being garish. I like it a lot in the skein, we shall see if it knits even tolerably. It will not be especially durable since it is only 2-ply, but the alpaca made my Ceris Major socks very warm. My feet were warm enough that I could go through my apartment shoeless in January. And the price is good. If they were selling it for retail-store prices— like the Lorna’s Laces prices, since that is a similar size skein– I might have higher expectations. 

From yarns

Shopping wise: I was turned onto Little Knits, and they have some excellent prices though their shipping costs are opaque. I also found that Colorsong is having free shipping on yarn and their prices on Fleece Artist are better than most everyone else’s. I have been seriously considering the Bearfoot sock yarn from Mountain Colors. I like the fiber combinations, but the pictures most sites have vary so much that I feel like I should shop in person. I hate being this grouchy about shopping.

February 7, 2009

Various updates on the weekend

Filed under: knit, socks, spin, yarn — Tags: , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:10 pm

[[All pictures can be clicked to view larger.]]

New sock yarn purchased… It looks mediocre compared to the Pagewood Farm, which I thought was pretty mediocre. But this was the best of the sock yarns at my nearest LYS. I do not agree with their categorizations of yarn; if it is 2-ply and 100% merino and loosely spun, it does not matter if it is the same fingering gauge, it cannot be sock yarn. They have not heard of cabled yarns. Next time I will see if the shuttle is launching soon enough to put me into orbit around Saturn where maybe I can see if Purlescence lives up to its reputation? I hate that I had to pay for parking to visit the LYS here and I had more information than they did. Plus I was like the only one there, so I felt obliged to buy something.

New sock yarn from LYS ($23 sale price with tax) 450 yards “100% wool” (it says superwash on the back of the tag) 3-ply [1.5] yarn:

Old sock yarn from Knitpicks (4 balls Essential, $16 total, superwash merino+ nylon (75/25) 800+ yards, [1.5] yarn):


“Candy Butter” progress. I divided the lump of fiber into 2. Then I divided one half into 4. I spun 2, then plied them (first quarter). Now I have the remaining 2 spun into singles. I will ply them today, and then ply both the 2-ply yarns together. I will end up with 3.5 ounces of 2×2-ply yarn. It will probably be thicker than sock weight because I am not very good at spinning finely.

Picture of the first quarter (2-ply), then the second quarter which are single ply (and were plied this morning). Please excuse the really horrible winding on the 2-ply bobbin. I dropped it and it rolled away.

One thing this project has done, my fine gauge spinning has improved. I put my wheel into the largest ratio whorl and I just zip through it. Since nothing can happen to this that will make it any uglier than the color started out being, I am not being uptight about my spinning and that really helps. 


Raspberry Friday Sock progress. I have finished 4.5 repeats (the pattern started right past the toe). The pattern is 18 rows high. I figure I will need another 1.5 repeats before it looks sock-height. Then I get to start the second one.


I ordered that Estonian Lace book that everyone raves over. It took 2 months to get here. I am hoping it really inspires me for my Siduri. That is the name for the Source of Gilgamesh yarn’s project. I should really wash that yarn. 

I requested a motif dictionary from the local library. I went on Monday, but right before they unloaded the books from other branches. I meant to go one of the other days but my priorities shifted. Plus I was peeved that they had been open for 2 hours and still had not unloaded the bags, but by the time I got home, the email saying I should come get the book was waiting for me.

October 13, 2008

RIP ArtFibers

Filed under: discussion, yarn — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 7:03 pm

ArtFibers is closing their SF store. That is the only in-person store, but they plan to still sell online. 

I recently bought a ball of Satori because it was the first yarn I fell in love with, back when I was still an acrylic knitter and was appalled that I would need >$100 to knit a sweater. It was $15 for 50g.  It would have been cheaper back then, but not a lot cheaper. I got the one ball as a souvenir more than anything. I think it might knit into a skull cap, but there really is not very much yarn there. 

There is a sale, but all the good yarns are only 10% off.  Many of the yarns they sell are singles. As a spinner, I have learned the power of ply. Now I do not mean to say that ArtFibers has nothing good. They have fabulous dye jobs and some unique blends of fibers. It just is not what I want to spend my money on. I would definitely have gotten a sweater’s worth of yarn in Satori before I spent a dime on Malabrigio, for example.

It seems odd that more yarn stores have closed since knitting became pervasive. But maybe if you cannot make a significant profit during the high times, it must seem really pointless during the lulls.

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