fiber

Hey there. I spent last weekend up in Seattle with my lovely friends Izi and Rocko…I mean Noriko and Ari. =D

Izi is a mega-derp-a-licious cat. And Rocko is a haphazardly Chi puppy who desperately wants to play with Izi…who refuses to have anything to do with him besides the occasional BAP.

But anyways. I was up to assist my friends with their booth at the Fiber Fusion at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe Washington. Yay! My people have a booth! The week leading up to it I couldn’t remember where exactly we were going. Monroe? Who’s ever heard of this place? Not me apparently. And despite my name, I couldn’t remember it in casual conversation.

So what did I come home with? FIBER!!! Fibah….FERberrrrhhhh  Continue reading My Name is What?

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Last month I went to a fiber festival called Black Sheep Gathering, (read about it here). It was my first time to this particular event, and my third fiber related event overall, aside from the Rose City Yarn Crawl. My particular interest in this event stems from this years additional hobby that I picked up last fall: spinning.

My prize items from that festival are my Jenkins Manzanita Aegean Turkish Spindle and a sampler pack of roving from 30 different breeds of sheep from Wool Gatherings. 30 Breeds!! Each sample is a full 1oz of fiber. Since I am new to spinning and fibers beyond merino and polwarth, I’m hoping this will be the introduction I need to expanding into more exotic fibers!

aaahhh....

aaahhh….

I have split it with Norichan and we will be spinning and swatching each 0.5oz sample.  We will each be doing a series of posts reviewing each breed in reverse alphabetical order, on the 15th of the month, starting in September. With personal projects and christmas knitting coming up fast, July is almost over, this will be a definite challenge in the pursuit of knowledge!

Stay tuned for all the awesome!

 

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Success! I didn’t get the flu this year so I was able to check out a few of the shops!

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This year the rcyc started a day early! WHO DOES THAT? I was a little irked that the stores were making their exclusives and having trunk shows starting on Thursday. A lot of people have jobs, a lot of people are coming from out of state, a lot of people are  attending! That last bit though is probably why they extended the crawl by a whole day. This year they didn’t have a yarn ball either (pre-party).

Enough of the self-deluded griping and on to the goodies!!

rcyc haul

From leftish to rightish:

A. Thoroughly Thwacked 60/40 Merino Bamboo fiber braid gradient Bleeding Heart

B. Alexandra’s Crafts 50/50 Merino Yak down fiber braid. No official color way name, but it is a dark red/black

C. Twist and Turnings 2.25″ African Padauk Whorl with a 9.5″ Maple shaft. 26g/0.95oz

D. Ashland Bay Cheviot natural roaving. 0.5oz for testing purposes

E. Alexandra’s Crafts Custom Colorway for Pearl Fiber Arts. Cedar Creek 85/15 SW Merino Neps in Mushroom

F. Alexandra’s Crafts 2 skeins Black Butte 60/20/20 Merino, Silk, and Yak down. In the color way Deep Purple.

G. Solstice Alpenrose DK SW Merino in Lake Washington

H. Solstice Luna Sport 80/10/10 SW Merino, Cashmere, Nylon in Cherry Blossom

I. Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Targhee-Columbian Wool in Postcard

J. Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light SW Merino in Filtered Light

K. Chiaogoo Red Lace  size US15 24″ fixed circular needles

L. Unicorn Wash!

rcyc

Most of the items are brands that are new to me or material that is new to me. For spinning the Merino/Bamboo blend was my first spinning project. I like it a lot and have since learned how to navajo ply so I picked up a gradient specifically for that purpose. Additionally the yak down was just too poofy and soft to pass up. And at $30 for a whole 4oz of a luxury fiber? Yes please!

I had been avoiding using Brooklyn Tweed because of reports of the weakness of the ply. So I decided to go with Shelter, the worsted weight yarn they offer. It sure is spongy and hopefully lives up to it’s name. This is the only skein I purchased at the crawl that is not some sort of merino blend. I’m not settled on what I want to make with it, but signs are pointing towards hat.

Additionally I had my eye on splattered yarns. I’ve seen some people around town sporting this type of hand painted yarn in hat form and I want one for myself! I’m familiar with Madeline Tosh yarns so I know it will turn out really well. Also I’ve used Thoroughly Thwacked’s Vixen single ply yarns I find myself liking the stitch definition a lot more than other yarns, especially with lace projects. Tosh Merino Light is a single ply so this skein probably won’t end up as a hat, and if it does I may hold it double.

Next comes the Solstice yarns dyed in Portland by the Dublin Bay Knitting Co. gals at the same named shop. I have already started a project with the Alpenrose Dk. First impressions? This is a really sturdy yarn. It is super wash merino at a reasonable 280 yards for $26.   Perhaps it is because I’m making a hat, but at this point the semi-solid nature of the dye job is making some areas pool with the darker dye. The yarn itself also has some variation in thickness and softness. Overall I’d give this a 8/10 for those issues pointed out. Once the project is off the needles I may revisit my analysis. I do feel I need to make a sweater out of this yarn before I pass final judgement. =)

Little Red

In addition to upping the variety of yarns I use, I chose also to up my skills in drop spindling by purchasing a new spindle without a notch. I’ve decided to name it Little Red since it is the smallest, and cutest, of the two spindles I now currently own. At just under an ounce, I’ve used the Cheviot to try it out and boy is it light! I think I can make some really nice three ply lace weights with this spindle…with enough practice of course. The Kundert is still my workhorse that I seem to always have a project going on.

Lastly comes the Unicorn Wash. I see this stuff everywhere! I’ve been using some wool wash that came with the Knit Picks blocking mats. Small little bottles of soapy smelling stuff that I’m not entirely sure why there were two different kinds because they smelled the same. I’ll have to do more investigation into the difference between an wool soak and an actual wool wash. But that’s for another time.


TL;DR Bought stuff that I haven’t used before in new brands, color ways, and material. Pretty excited for this year’s knitting projects!

 

 

 

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