offf '09

I was able to attend the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby again this year.  Wow, it was a lot bigger than I remember two years ago.   I forgot to send off my class registration so I didn’t take any classes this year, but I did still have to be there on Friday since my friend, Emma, had a booth (Dragonfibers)  and about half of her supplies were in the back of my truck.  After the booth setup (and let me say I’m glad there were four of us!) we headed back to our hotel and hit a bar across the street for dinner and, possibly, a bucket of drinks.

Now, with no classes and a festival ground of booths before me, what do you think I did?  Shopping, you say?  Well, heck, you’d be right.  I was a good girl on Saturday, I picked up a basket (I had to have something to carry my purchases)

round basket

and a Taylor/JMM Clever Kate,

then there was lots of browsing and watching the livestock judging.

Sunday was the parking lot fleece sale.  I was so tempted.  I walked through, and may have drooled on a couple of the fleeces, some beautiful CVMs and shetlands.  Sigh.  Oh, and the Gottlands.  Double sigh.  No fleeces for me this year, but that doesn’t mean I went home fiberless.

This is 4oz of 50/50 Merino Silk, from Butternut Woolens.

Tweedmaker

These are from Dicentra Designs, 100% BFL

Forget Me Not

and 80/20 Merino Tussah

Agate

This is one of the mystery batts from Superior Fibers

My creation

Did I need stitch markers?  No, but Betty did, and while she shopped, I browsed.  Found myself buying these beautiful stitch markers with the matching tin, from Miss Purl, how cold I not.

Stitch Markers

I also did some blogger stalking.  Saturday I was doing some innocent browsing when I saw a man who looked a LOT like Franklin Habit, The Panopticon, but it couldn’t be, because he blogs in Chicago, and what would he be doing in Canby, OR.  Well, it finally dawned on me that it WAS actually Franklin, could have been one of his companions saying ‘hey, Franklin’ – no grass growing here.  It took much self restraint to not squee and fawn and gush.

Sunday while Betty and I were watching the booth for Emma, so she and Jen could go shop, Rabbitch stopped by.  This time I did gush a bit, we chatted about her loss of virginity in Portland, alpacas, and car repairs.  Good times.

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Tour de Fleece, day 1

After fortifying ourselves with a hearty breakfast, the gals and I headed down to the Third Place Books Commons for a little quality time with our spinning wheels.

P1000335

I had planned on starting the tour with a new project, what is it they say about plans . . . anyway, I ended up finishing off the 2nd and spinning the 3rd bobbin of 8oz of DragonFibers Corriedale (Potluck #73), then plying.

P1000336

After a good soak and thwak, I have 2 skeins of 3ply drying outside. I’ll get a yardage and weight after it’s dry.

P1000345

While the Corriedale was soaking I moved on to some of the oldest fiber in my stash, a Dragonfibers BFL. This is from deep in the stash, so deep that it technically isn’t even Dragonfibers, just some BFL that Emma dyed up for me. Shocking!

P1000339

I managed to spin up about 2oz of the 8oz waiting to be spun before passing out.

look . . . spinning

 I bet you all had just about given up on ever seeing any fiber content on this blog again.  Well, I fooled you . . . right? . . . no? You mean you all knew I was just a slacker and eventually I would post again?  Okay, that works too.

I signed up for the Tour de Fleece (ravelry), (there is another one, but this is the one I found out about first, so, whatever) and I’ve actually been spinning.  I KNOW, I’m shocked too.

Stages 1-5: July 5-9

Alpaca Merino batts purchased at Black Sheep Gathering 2008. The batts actually had quite a fewnoils/second cuts (or the merino wasn’t treated quite as gently as it likes to be).

alpace/merino batts

DSCF4808

Stages 6-9: July 10-13

Finished spinning the DragonFibers Merino/Bamboo, I had prolly finished 1oz of the 4 before the start of Tour de Fleece.

Sunset - merino/bamboo

DSCF4871

Stage 10 and Rest Day 1: July 14-15

I thought the first rest day was on Monday, so I took Monday off, then I took Tuesday off, cuz, well, it was a rest day.

Stages 11- 14: July 16-19

Spun up 2 bobbins of Romney to ply with a previously spun hand dyed roving.

DSCF4885  DSCF4886

Stage 15: July 20th

Ply and wash the Alpaca/Merino.  A bit ‘rustic’ but I like it.

tour de fleece: alpaca-merino

Rest Day 2: July 21st

Already took 2 rest days so went ahead and spun today.

Ply the Merino/Bamboo and realize that the plying was very sloppy so you have to run it through again.

Stage 16: July 22nd

Re-ply and wash Merino/Bamboo.

DSCF4880

Resulting yarn is a Sport wt. and ~360 yards.

i've been thinking

. . . about my knitting/fiber goals for next year. With only 10 days left in 2007 it is apparent that some of my goals for 2007 will not be realized (no, I’m not going to make it easy for you and link to my list of 2007 failuresgoals) and that perhaps I should go for more general goals in 2008.

  • Knit sweaters:  I already have several ready to cast on. (Peace Fleece KAL, at VYT, cardigan for mom; yellow Peace Fleece cardigan for Bug, Kauni, handspun sweater, Laughing Carrots, EZ colorwork sweater)
  • Steek:Eeek, a steek! This one is a bit scarey for me, but if I do knit up Kauni or the EZ cardigan this year, well, there’s a steek.
  • Spin a fleece:  This is a big one, but I have four fleeces waiting to be spun up and I keep buying hand dyed roving from my friend the roving pusher. Must spin more.
  • Knit socks: Once again, sock yarn stash, must knit socks.  If I keep a pair on the needles all the time socks will be knit.
  • Shawl or wrap: And again I have the yarn and patterns for several projects waiting, and waiting, to be cast on. Swallowtail (or Mermaid Wrap) in Handmaiden Sea Silk, Touring Wrap in Fleece Artist Suri Blue, Juno Regina (or Estonian Garden Wrap) in Elann Pure Alpaca Fina, Victorian Shoulderette in Wolf Creek Wools Alpaca (or Silky Wool).

I’m sure I’ll think of something else, but I think this is a good start.

pickin' and grinnin'

This evening I didn’t knit and I didn’t spin, I sat and picked and flicked a fleece I bought at OFFF.  Very therapeutic, except when I clawed my finger with the flicker a couple of times.  Apparently I am a slow learner.  Even though I worked on the fleece for a couple of hours the bag of fleece still needing to be picked looks no smaller.  Looks like pick a little, spin a little, pick a little more, will be the plan of action on this one.

I’m still trying to decide if I want to spin the finn in the grease, it’s quite clean, and so soft.

The Unoriginal Hat is finally dry so pictures tomorrow.  Yes, Aunt left today, will have to mail it to her.  Lesson learned, don’t wet block when it’s cold and wet when you need it done the next day.  Doh!

why yes . . .

 . . . I have been knitting.  I’ve been working on a sweater vest, nothing ground breaking, but a fun little knit. 

KPS Vest

Haven’t been spinning much lately, though.  Finished up the 4oz of Candy Corn BFL (at least I think it’s BFL) but haven’t started the brown roving to ply with it.  Did the prep on the Spook Targhee, but haven’t even set up the wheel since then.  It’s ok though, I seem to go thru this, spin or knit, not both, and right now it’s the knitting.

I have been thinking about getting out the knitting machine, it’s my Aunt’s and it’s been in my garage for too long.  Need to figure the thing out and see if I can create anything on it.

nablo07_120x90 

OFFF part 2

 These are samples from my all day class on Friday with Susan Forsythe.

  class samples    silk merino from class

By the end of the class I had a need to buy fleeces, lots and lots of fleeces.  I had a need to flick them, to comb them, to card them and then finally to spin them.  I resisted, I guess it helps that the vendors were only setting up, not actually open.  In spite of that fact, I did manage to buy these . . .

combs

flicker

Back at the hotel that night I finished off the Bluebells and Buttercups Superwash from Dragonfibers, and plied it.  Love the colors.

bluebells and buttercups superwash 

Saturday there was the much shopping, but no buying.  I know, I was shocked too.  My class in the afternoon produced these samples . . .

color class 

I learned how to andean ply in class.  I had tried it before, but this was the first time I had it work the way it’s supposed to.  The yarn barf on the bobbin, that we will not speak of, it is cursed. 

yummy alpaca

This beautiful skein of alpaca, from Sweet Grass Wool, was a birthday gift from Emma.  (Thanks Emma!)

Sunday was the parking lot fleece sale, where I walked away with a Finn lamb.  This is the softest fleece I have ever felt.  Look at that crimp.

finn lamb fleece     finn crimp

And this is the washed Romney from Iron Water Ranch

washed romney fleece 

Sampler packs from The Dizzy Ewe.  Breed Variety Pack:  BFL, Corriedale x, Shetland Moorit, Merino, Jacob, and FInn.  God’s Critters Variety Pack:  Angora Bunny, Tussah Silk, Fine Count Alpaca, Merino and Young Mohair.

sampler packs 

My last purchase of the day arrived today . . .

DSCF3517 

. . . and is now in the freezer.  

fresh lamb

the baseball bat of reality

 This last weekend was the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival.  Friday, I picked up Annie at 4:20am . . .

early_annie

. . . and Emma at 4:45am . . .

early_emma

 . . . both agreed it was way to early. We made a quick stop to stretch our legs, top off the gas tank and get a nice view of Mt St. Helens with the sun rise.

mtsthelens 

Upon arival at the fairgrounds we met up with Betty and she and I headed off for an all day class with Susan Forsythe and by the end of the day I was in search of a set of Forsythe MiniCombs and even though none of the vendors was officially open I managed to purchase a set. oops. 

Although we were up before the crack of dawn, we managed to stay up late, spinning, in our hotel room.

emmaspinning 

We arrived Saturday and things were really cooking, so many vendors that every time you walked through there was something new you had missed the first time around.  It was amazing, but never felt overcrowded since the vendors were spread out over two buildings, the open grassy area and the barn.

vendors2 

vendors1 

There was another class in the afternoon, this time with Janelle of Chameleon Colorworks.  I now understand the fractile stripe article that was in Spin Off Summer ’07, along with three other methods of spinning painted rovings.  Dinner was wonderful as we met up with Betty and her mom, Martha, a good time was had by all.  For photographic proof, see Emma’s blog, here.

Sunday was bad for the budget.  The parking lot fleece sale . . .

fleesesale 

emma_fleece1 

annie_fleece     ginger_fleece

Emma and I were looking at some Finn fleeces, so soft, and I swooped in bought one of them while she was still deciding.  All’s fair in war and fleece sales.  There was more wandering and shopping, no classes for us today.  Here is Annie with her alpaca shawl and new basket, I wish I had bought one now, but there’s always next year. 

annie_basket 

In addition to the Finn fleece I bought a washed Romney fleece from Iron Water Ranch, pics tomorrow.  Emma and I also bought a lamb, we opted not to get the head, and it will be FedExed to us to be placed in the freezer.  Grass fed, no hormones from SuDan Farm

The ride home was uneventful and we resisted stopping at Ikea for some tax free shopping.

ETA: On the way home hubby called to see how far from home we were.  I may have told him I would call before we headed out, oops.  I asked how the weekend had been for him, it was the first time I had left him with the kids for more than a day/afternoon.  He told me he had grand plans of what he was going to get done while I was gone. Ha!  The quote, directly from his lips was: “I was bitch-slapped by the baseball bat of reality.”  Yeah, staying home with the kids isn’t as easy as it looks is it!?

I can’t wait until next year!

view of the ocean

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Here is the first finished yarn off the new wheel. The roving is 4oz of targhee, hand dyed by Emma of DragonFibers, in the colorway Oceanic.

DSCF3289    DSCF3290

Although it did end up being thick and thin in places all over, I am quite pleased with the plying, it is a tighter ply and over all more even.  I believe it ended up being about 260yds, I need to recount.

photo shoot helper

spinning sunday

(for now I am going to pretend I hadn’t stopped blogging and continue on)

This has been a good week for spinning.  I spun up this roving  from Emma.  It still needs to be plyed, but it is all spun up.

But the big news is this . . .

sonata

a Kromski Sonata from Woodland Woolworks.

the new wheel!

I had been going back and forth on which wheel to buy, but finally decided on the Sonata because of portability.  We have a small house so having the Ashford in the living room all the time was not the best idea, and with two very inquisitive children, a wheel that can be packed away, well, out of sight is out of (the children’s) minds.  The Sonata has a very nice padded bag and the whole thing can be placed in the closet when I’m not spinning.  The Sonata bobbins are much larger than the ones for my Ashford, a big plus in my mind. The optional plying head and faster flyer add to the range of the Sonata.  I will be getting the plying head, but I think the faster flyer can wait, my spinning isn’t ready for it yet.

With my purchase, Woodland Woolworks sent 2lbs of targhee and 1lb of corridale cross.  No lack of fiber to spin here.

(It looks like I already have a buyer for the Ashford. I am not going to start collecting spinning wheels. Thanks Emma!)