undyedyarnpire: cartoon voodoo doll, looks like knitting needles stuck everywhere (Default)
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 and undyed. 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. 
undyedyarnpire: cartoon voodoo doll, looks like knitting needles stuck everywhere (Default)
 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

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.

_____

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. 

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undyedyarnpire: cartoon voodoo doll, looks like knitting needles stuck everywhere (Default)
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January 2015

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