Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

One of These Things

Is not like the other. Can you find which one?

Last weekend was a much needed trip to Knitting Camp. It's been five years since I attended. This time I joined Camp 3--the Oft-timers groups. I was a little nervous about it as most of the participants have been together for 30 some years. But, there really was no need as they were a most warm and welcoming group filled with some of the best and most distinguished names in the knitting world. I hope I managed to leave a favorable impression as I tried very hard not to gush too much over their accomplishments nor try to monopolize the proceedings. My aim was to be quiet and listen to soak up as much as possible.

Alot of times, people ask why one would want to attend something like Meg's camp. Especially the 2.75 and 3 groups because there isn't a set type of instruction or anything for them. Besides the few new and different unvented techniques I learned last weekend, the knitters in attendance are the real draw. Such a wide and varied group of people with really important life lessons (not just knitting lessons) were there. The whole energy of the group has left me so enthused about knitting and getting on with things which is exactly what I was hoping for. So, all in all, I'd call the experience a big success.

Every year there is a contest on Monday and this year's theme was Totally Useless Knitted Items. Did I mention that Debbie New was in attendance? Yes, she completely stole the show with her entry. It was the most incredible thing I've ever seen knitted! A still shot simply doesn't do it justice because you need to see it moving to get the whole effect. She brought a knitted kaleidoscope! It started with 10 identical knitted intarsia hats. The patterns in the hats were very small and she told me that she couldn't cut any corners with them but had to weave in all the ends so they would look smooth enough and the patterns would match up. The hats were mounted on individual cone shaped pieces that each rotated around so that new patterns were formed when she turned a handle. It was astounding to watch! One of the campers took video of it and I'll try to post a link when I hear that it's up on the net somewhere. My entry was the item in the top pic. It was useless because it won't hold liquid. But it certainly wasn't useless to spend the time knitting it. Some of those little knitted experiments have a way of mushrooming, which is exactly what happened with a little teddy bear sweater which became my Diamond Patch mittens/socks and led to Heartland Knits. No idea what will happen with this one, but it was good practice in inc/dec within a lace pattern.
So, I know you want to know what I bought! Here's the loot. A couple of Dover books filled with charts which can be used for knitted motifs, some Icelandic laceweight for a Faroese shawl, some Briggs & Little for a pair of Dale Long's felted slipper pattern, a hank of Joslyn's silk/wool, some of Meg's new alpaca/wool yarn for a little tied garter shawl, some Satakieli, and a gorgeous roving that Liz dyed. Forgot to get a shot of the buttons from Jenny the Potter that have little knit sts embedded in them. I so wanted to get a big bun of unspun Icelandic but with all the fleeces around here, it could wait until another time. Plus, Michigan Fiber Fest is in 2 short weeks!

I have a few more shots of different campers that I'll try to post another day. I hope to be a more consistent blogger in the weeks to come and share pics of the things I've been knitting and spinning. Ta, 'til then.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Oh, Joy!

A baby Joy all my own!

As soon as I borrowed a friend's Ashford Joy last spring, I knew I wanted one for my own. I've been scouring spinning ad sites and put the word out that I was on the hunt to spinners in different parts of the country. Every time I came across a used wheel, it seemed it wouldn't work out for one reason or another. I was on the verge of buying a new one. In fact, I did check some out at shops but they just didn't feel right.

Then on a whim last week I called Susan's Fiber Shop to see if she had any in stock. No, she didn't, but she did have a friend wanting to use one as a trade in order to get a Lendrum wheel. It was an up again, down again transaction but Saturday afternoon I drove down to the shop to try out the wheel. The price was right so home she came with me. :)

It's in wonderful condition, a few minor scratches and a little oil stain on the footman. Neither one bothers me much. I'd rather see an oil stain because at least that shows it was oiled instead of used without any. tI've never bought a used wheel before and it's kind of nice adopting and giving it a home. I'm thinking it will fit in nicely with my other wheels. Gads, I never thought I'd have more than one!

The seller wanted to get down to one wheel after having collected a few. I'd sort of been feeling that way about my spindles. Then, completely unlooked for, a new spindle ended up in my lap and spindle fervor was restored.

This is an Avi Wasserman. The whorl is Maple with Wenge and Ebony inlay and a Mahogany shaft. At 40 gm, it's a little heavier than most of my spindles but oh, what a sweet spinner it is! The fiber is superfine superwash Merino from Gypsy Girl Creations in the Blue Hawaii colorway.
One of the best things about Avi spindles is that the inlay goes right through so they're lovely from the bottom, too. This may just be my favorite spindle ever. The workmanship is impeccable and the finish on the shaft is just right--smooth but not too slippery. It doesn't have a notch but I learned I didn't really need one. And, that for this spindle I needed to adjust the way I wound on a a beehive shaped seemed to work best. Yes, this was discovered after the photo was taken.

I'll leave you with one last photo. This is of the Moody Blues Coopworth/Silk shown on the bobbin last time.
Let the knitting begin!