Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Sometimes one stumbles upon something really useful or long forgotten. Thought I'd share a few of my favorite finds from the last couple of weeks.

Last week I happened by the book sale at the local library. Always hope to find some elusive and valuable Alice Starmore book, but no such luck again this time. Though, I did find a copy of the book that taught me how to design sweaters! It's A Knitter's Guide to Sweater Design by Carmen Michelson and MaryAnn Davis. I used to check this book out of the library for months at a time--devoured every part of it. It has lots of mathematical formulas for figuring out sleeves and armholes, and advice for every kind of collar or garment shape. Being a little math-phobic, the equations weren't so valuable, but just sort of inhaling the overall big picture helped me to understand and translate it into my own thought processes. This book helped me immensely. There's lots that I wasn't ready for at the time, or have forgotten, but it's been OOP and sells for $95 to $150 so never even considered trying to track a copy down and buying it. What find it for $1. Certainly not in pristine condition, but that doesn't matter.

The second item, the green Aqua Ball is something Dale Long was praising at Knitting Camp last summer. I admit not paying too much attention at the time, but became very interested as this winter my skin became even more sensitive than normal. There are quite a few varieties of these balls at widely varying prices. After finally tracking down the one he liked, I decided to go with it, even though it was at a mid-price point. These Aqua Balls are used instead of laundry detergent and will last for 60 washes. I've been using mine all winter and it's still going strong. Everything gets very clean and the colors even look brighter. Love it!

Finally, we have a superwash Corriedale braid from Spunky Eclectic in Neapolitan. June posted several times about the Fiber Club and it looked so interesting I took the plunge, too. The Corrie braid was my test purchase to see if I liked the way she dyed fiber. Figured the fiber club would be a good way to get outside my colorway comfort zone. BTW, June has a lovely new post with lots of pretty spinning and another great fiber source, so go check it out.

The next Find isn't something I found, but rather that Hollywood has found my hometown. Starting tomorrow, and for the next couple of weeks, they're using our downtown to shoot portions of Public Enemy starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. Shooting is centered around the old First National Bank building built in 1928. Johnny Depp plays John Dillenger and at one point is going to rob it. All last week the movie set people have been here painting, changing signs, and even building additional buildings. This morning there were 30's era fashions in the windows along Main Street. This might not seem like a big deal to those of you who live in big cities where this happens all the time, but it's huge around here! They're also going to shoot scenes out at the EAA and the Pioneer Airport. Oh, and friends of my folks that own antique collectible cars are going to be included, too.

Still working on the Forest Path, up to Tier 23--the last tier! After that, it's just the top triangles to even out the rectangle and then the edging across the top.
Should be finished pics next weekend.


At 6:55 PM, Blogger June said...

Oh wow! I love the color you chose from Amy at Spunky Eclectic! It will be fabulous! And what can be said about Forest Path. . . oooh, oooh, oooh!

I have to admit to being a bit ignorant here, though, what is the green ball thingy and how exactly does it replace actual laundry soap?? Hmmh? I don't understand. . .off to google I think!

At 7:05 PM, Blogger Vicki said...

I know, it sounds strange and until I tried it myself, I wasn't convinced it would work. But, it does. There are some little pellets inside the ball but they are all natural and not detergent. Also included with the ball is a little tube of stain remover--worked like a charm with a stain from cherry pie. The color brightening is supposed to be a result of getting rid of some of the buildup from additives in conventional detergent.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger A Fiber Frolic said...

As always your blog is much fun to read. What a lot of knitting you've done on your Forrest Path, and you'll be finished before your big trip. Great!


At 4:25 PM, Blogger annmarie said...

nice score on the design book! :)

At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Kerry said...

JOHNNY DEPP????? Can I come and stay with you for a while??????

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Melanie said...

I can't believe you've nearly finished Forest Path - that's got to be some kind of a record!

I had never heard of the Aqua Ball, but it sounds like it would be a good thing. I'm glad you shared that.


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