Monday, May 08, 2006

west valley alpaca + knitting knotes

I have to say, I was getting a little envious reading the blogs of folks headed for Maryland Sheep & Wool. I haven't been able to go to either my local SnB or my regular knitting class in awhile, and I've really missed talkin' fiber with "my people", you know?

So I was really glad when the new moderator of our SnB group (Miss Erin--Mama-to-Be, and Lady of the Baby Blankie), posted to the group that there was a little shin-dig going on up at West Valley Alpacas this weekend. She ended up carpooling a load of us up there for the day.

We got to tour the little ranch,

watch some shearing,

and see some spinning.

I watched the spinning for awhile and asked a lot of questions. There was a volunteer that was teaching another woman nearby how to work with a spindle. She kept asking me if I wanted to try, and I kept refusing. As I've stated on this blog already, I have a feeling I'm going to fall in love with spinning if I try it...and I'm fairly obsessive when it comes to hobbies. And me and my wallet don't need another obsessive hobby.

(* blank space*)

What I had planned on inserting up above in that blank space for you, is a photo of my not doing too shabby with my first attempt at a drop spindle.

I asked the lady spinning across from me to take a photo of me, because I thought you all could use a laugh. I figured I must have had a hilarious look on my face of excitement mixed with dread.
It turns out (go figure)...
Spinning is Fun.

(who the hell knows where the photo went...the lady snapping the photo looked at the digital screen and said she got it, but I failed to double check)

So the volunteer lady asked me why I don't want to spin...and I explained because I know if I start with a spindle I'll eventually (read as "quickly") get myself sucked into wanting a wheel, and what I like about yarn and all things knitting is it's portability. She of course told me a story about a woman in South America she heard of that had a wheel in her barn but never used it because she was more productive with her spindle. She could take it everywhere she went, tending sheep and children, yadda yadda.

So I flee the spinning area and make for the store, at which point Erin is quick to point me towards the ever so portable Ashford Joy, which I could easily carry on my back if the house were burning down. She even did a little demo.

I tried to spin on it, and I'd get the wheel going the right direction but then it would spin backwards, which actually made me very happy because....see? Spinning wheels aren't for me. But then the saleswoman stopped me later to tell me that it was probably doing funny things as so many folks had been tinkering with it all day (what an enabler). She even pointed out that I'd save $$ because I would only need a single treadle (takes two working feet to work a double...hahaha).

She also showed me where the spindles were, of course, but I decided to ingnore her and just made way for the yarn instead.

A picked up a couple of skeins of lace weight alpaca (a total of 874 yds for $ can you beat that?), and a couple of scarf patterns, one of them Estonian Lace.

Here's the kicker for the day, though.
As we were leaving, they were doing a raffle for a door prize good for a $10 purchase in the store.
Guess who won.
C'mon guess.
And I'd already bought and paid for what I wanted.

So don't laugh when you see what I picked out:

I know. Shut up.

(for those who aren't into the fiber...that would a spindle)

Next event at West Valley Alpacas: Saturday, October 7th, 2006 10a-4p
Fiber on the Farm, free admission, but 1-hour classes in spinning, knitting, weaving, needle felting and crochet for $10 each.

Knit Knotes:

For weeks now, it's been all about the socks.

I've been trying to figure out how to blog about it, because the bottom line is that it is hilarious to me that I somehow ended up with three separeate pairs of socks in progress at the same time, each pair with only one sock finished....but it probably won't be all that hilarious to you. Every time I try to write about it, it either ends up being way too long or not as funny as I seem to find the situation to be. The whole saga is one of those, "I guess you had to be there," kind of moments.

I'll just do my best with some pics.

Here's the three singles.

From L to R: socks for me, socks for Karen, socks for MyFK.

Yes, all three pairs are out of the same kind of yarn (Lana Grossa Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch).
Yes, they are all knit on the same needles (US#2 Bryspuns plastic new super duper favorite thing, which is a surprise to me as I thought I was married to wooden Lantern Moon dpn's).
Yes, I think it is silly that at this point I had knit three socks, but hadn't even completed a single pair.

I finally finished Karen's pair last week....

And I just finished MyFK's pair yesterday on the road trip.....

Now I'm trying to figure out if I should get my second sock on the needles (out of all three pairs, my single was the first one finished, but mine will end up being the last pair done), or if I should be focusing a bit more on the birthday knitting (which is probably the case).

Also on the needles right now is Branching Out in Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool:

MyFK's Spiral Socks, stalled right about here (I can't stand this yarn, sorry KnitPicks):

And then there's the sad and lonely MaybeByThe2008SummerOlympics? Shawl (which I really should get done soon, as it would come in handy for keeping warm backstage during the performances this summer):

The other stuff on the needles are things I can't talk about because they are gifts. And I've got some crafty stuff I'm working on, too...but also gifts.
(edited to add: whoopsie...forgot about the Mason-Dixon washcloths...the little knit-along project between MyFk-n-me. To see, go here.)

I can see that I am in a bit of a sock and scarf rut. I'm milling around the idea of starting my second sweater. My first sweater was "Under the Hoodie" from Stitch 'N Bitch (and I just realize that I never posted a picuture of it when I finished it! I didnt have a digital camera then. I'll do that soon). It fits me great, lands in all the right places, but it's not shapeluy--it's a drop shoulder sweatshirt, basically. I'm wanting to try my hand at something more fitted.

I'm considering knitting "Bombshell" from the Big Girl Knits book. I have some gorgeous Rowan wool left in my stash that I'd love to use, but I don't think I have quite enough of one color. I'm toying with the idea of knitting the body in a deep navy blue, and then knitting the neckband and the ribbing at the waist in a soft light grey. I'm not so sure about where that will pull they eyes when it's on me though. My hope is that it would bring the eyes towards my rack. I'm pretty sure the grey at the neckline will do that, and also make my waistline look smaller than it really is. I'm not as sure about whether or not doing a grey waistband would actually create the desired illusion, though. I'm not much for understanding garment design and how color plays into things. But if I can't use the grey through the waist, I'll probably not have enough of the navy to finish the damn thing. So like I said, I'm mulling it over.
Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Sucked in to the spinning! It's a great way to relax, I swear!

I'm not sure about the grey on the bottom of the sweater, but I'm really a solid-colored clothing kind of girl anyway.

MsAmpuTeeHee said...

to thebon: you're an enabler, too!!

Just to clarify one the grey around the waist...I don't mean at the bound of edge/bottom...I mean in the middle of the sweater where the waist shaping is. It's a part of the sweater where it is ribbed to create some shaping.

I think that grey around the hips would be a very bad thing ;-)

LeftCoast Knits said...

Hey there- spinning rocks! Did you know that there is a spinning event in Livermore at Retzlaff winery on June 3rd? Here's the info (copied from Knitter's Review!):

Treadles to Threads Spinning Guild is hosting the Spinning at the Winery again on June 3rd at the Retzlaff Winery. It starts at 10am until about 4pm, with a potluck lunch, wine tasting and lots of spinning and knitting. Admission is 5$ and T-Shirts may also be one sale.

Although it is not mentioned, they do sell some spinning stuff too!

And I love all of your socks!

Anonymous said...

I just started spinning with a drop spindle and it's great fun. I made a cheap homemade spindle, but I plan on getting a nice one soon. Someday I may even get a wheel, but that's not in the budget right now. I like the colors of you socks. I'm going to have to check out that yarn.