Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cashmere and Camel and Lama Oh My! (Color: A Fiber Festival 2008)

For those of you who are not into spinning and fiber, you might just want to pass on this blog posting. The only thing that saved me from utter madness was the fact that I ran out of cash and resisted the urge to break out the credit/debit card. For those of you who are interested, view on :-)
Let's just say that Colour: A Fiber Festival was a lot of fun for me and my sister. Yes indeed! The last three pictures of fiber are my sisters purchases . The orange and orange green roving's were from Girl On The Rocks and I think they are Flame, South African Finn (the orange) and California Poppy also in a Finn (orange/green). The three roving's together are all superwash Merino from Tactile Fiber Arts and the brown/grey roving is polworth from A Verb For Keeping Warm.
At the top of the blog you have a selection of "exotic" fibers that I got to sample/taste which we kept in order with this handy plastic card holder they gave us. You can make notes, keep a sample of the fiber and a sample of the spun yarn. Very neat! Color had classes, some spinning, some knitting and some fiber "tastings" where you could try rare breeds, exotics, etc. Whatever you were interested in. I took the course from Kristine Vejar who was really great. She provided different fibers and we all spun them trying to get yarn to highlight the best characteristics of the fiber. The exotics consisted of cashmere, baby camel and silk tussah, baby alpaca and silk, baby lama and baby alpaca. I did not bring a wheel, I just borrowed a spindle from my sister. Though I have spun all but the cashmere, I did not know that you could get more fluff by spinning from the fold with a larger drafting area to catch the air, that spinning it looser would help maintain the fluff factor and that either long draw or supported long draw would work the best. My singles really came out nicer so I will try to remember this when I go to spin all the stuff I got. It's a small festival that has big potential. there were about 4 vendors. Tactile, Girl, Verb and Pigeonroofstudios. Let me just say, that Pigeonroofstudios sold out of fiber in the first 45 minutes. I was lucky to get anything at all. That said, I did not go begging for fiber!

Now for my haul. The Brown roving is baby alpaca from A Verb for Keeping Warm. The colorful green/pink/yellow stuff is merino from Girl On The Rocks. The two small bundles of roving are two colorways of baby camel and tussah silk from A Verb for Keeping Warm. The "snail" of braided fiber is baby alpaca/merino from pigeonroofstudios. The red/orange roving is Gradient Dyed ie from lighter to darker and is superwash merino from Girl On The Rocks. Below that is BFL that is indigo dyed and then BFL that is Madder Dyed, both from A Verb for Keeping Warm.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Knitting Baby Stuff (Lace Down-time)

I'm afraid no pictures of lace for you. I'm currently knitting Baby Stuff for a niece who is "expecting" so I'm in the middle of"lace down-time" with very little lace being done. I've made three more points on the edge of Princess, plied up the Camel/Silk and bought beautiful fiber batts from "Spritely Goods" after seeing her lovely shawl in Spin-Off Magazine. The batt is made of Merino, Alpaca, Angelina and Firestar in a colorway called Palo Verde. It's the first fiber I've ever spun with sparkle in it. I usually don't go for that type of thing but this is really very subtle so I'm interested to see how it comes out. I also could not resist buying yet another Sharon Miller pattern as you can see, even though I have not yet finished any of those projects I've started with her patterns. I'm beginning to get a complex! Still, I can't resist them. I will be back to knitting lace shortly since I have another co-worker about to retire. It so happens she likes to garden. I imagine you know where the International Shawl is going to end up. Tomorrow it's off to "Color: A Fiber Festival". where I hope I will not just loose my mind and buy more fiber. Faint hope I know but I will try. Until I have something better for you all to see, I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Proto Yarn (Fiber Sins)

I know this is not lace, but I swear to you it will be in the future! The moment I tried to cut back on buying yarn, my fiber purchases went ballistic! Consider this display my on-line confessional :-) Top of the list, A lovely 50/50 baby camel and tussah silk from
Anzula that I purchased at Yarn Place (colorway-Autumn). I'm in the process of plying it. It's only 4 ounces so maybe some kind of scarf or small shawlette. It's not as orange as the fiber suggests but darker than what is on that bobbin. The next three pictures are of some of my sisters Spindles since there was a request to see some of them. She keeps them standing up in a wooden container like some exotic wooden flower arrangement. She really likes to use them to spin. I'd much rather use a wheel :-) The next two pictures are of Black Bunny Fibers that I had to get because I've never tried spinning either of these. The teal is Finn Roving which is very soft and the blue is Falkland which is a little less soft but still really nice in the hands. I'm going to give in and join her fiber club if I get the chance. It will save me from having to haunt her site for updates! The two little bundles of blue fiber are a purchase I made at article pract. They have started carrying fiber from "a verb for keeping warm". These are polworth in their "Garden Series" colorway. Polworth you say? Did I not have a bad time with Polworth before? The spinning of it was lovely, the knitting, not so much. Still, I want to give it another try. Who knew I could be so Masochistic about spinning? And lastly, I had to have this small coil of Cashmere/Silk from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks that I purchased at Purlescence. It's only 2 ounces but I also purchased a 2 ounce hank of silk dyed in the same colorway to use to ply. I'm going to save this fiber to spin when I have been a very very good girl. Now that you know how bad I've been, I feel a lot better! I guess confession really is good for the soul :-) For those of you who live in the Bay Area, there is a small fiber festival that is scheduled for the end of this month "Color: a Fiber Festival" on Saturday, April 26th. There will be classes in spinning, knitting, fiber "tasting" of different types of fiber and vendors as well. I have a feeling my sister and I will be going there with big bags to carry stuff home in.
I am sorry to say I have not done much knitting in the last week because life sometimes cuts into my knitting time (who knew?) but I have actually started back to knitting the Shetland Tea Shawl which had been in hibernation for ages and I have finished the last flower in the center of the International Shawl (Yippee!) Once I get a chance I will post a few pictures of progress on these.
Last, but not least, you might like to have a listen at a podcast called "Yknit" It's nice to hear a podcast by male knitters (WonderMike & Stephen hizKNITS) and they are a nice addition to my listening line-up that includes David Reidy of "Sticks and String" and Guido of "It's A Purl Man" It's really fun to listen while you spin or knit. Hope you all had a great weekend :-)