Monday, August 20, 2007

Secret Pal - Fiber Fest - Freeform Knitting

What a busy weekend! On Friday, I got a package from my secret pal from the yarn stash swap - Jenny from Stash and Burn (Thanks, Jenny!) - she was wayyyy generous in the awesome yarns she sent -

I got 2 skeins (yes, people, TWO!) of Lisa Souza - I think almost 1000 yards of a gorgeous dark eggplant yarn - then, the thing from her stash she hated - it needs no more introduction than the red in the photo... She also sent some pretty muted tomato colored yarn that's just like the other Lisa Souza, a pretty hand made book, a card (love the bunny!) and a cool little patons pattern book for mens patterns (which has a nice simple half zip sweater in it that I like). The swap was pretty successful, and I definately learned a little about organizing them with this first one... I also finished my self striping socks last week - I didn't think I'd be able to make them, but here they are! The only problems I have (which can be fixed next go around) are that I didn't get the two socks quite the same length (I think they're around 1/2" different in length) and I don't know how to kitchener stich or graft the toes... I tried to follow the tutorial, but when I was doing this, it was late and I was anxious to just get DONE - so I winged it. It's not horrible, but I don't think they'd win any competition for best first socks. I love them; and they're done. I have tackled socks. Hooray.

On Sunday I went with Terri to the Santa Monica Fiber Festival - we were suprised at how tiny it was (around 50 booths) but it was a great time - we found some neat needles and goodies at Carolina Homespun's booth (my favorite) - and we were inspired by some of the other crafting folks there. We saw 2 people here spinning yarn from the class we took on Saturday (I will talk about the class in a second) and I discovered a few cool buttons from one of the vendors. I saw some beautiful shawl pins from Cats & Cobwebs - but most of the show seemed to be about quilting - and the ONLY book booth I saw was selling the books at full price - the lady wasn't the most pleasant when she told me that the books were brand new (well, of course they are - but I for one am looking for deals I can't pass up; the yarn at the show was new, but priced a little more competitively than the non sale regular price yarn at my LYS) - Needless to say, I didn't buy any books...
I did see some cute animals though -

I wanted to take home the angora bunnies! I loved them - so cute (and big!) soft and fluffy - and nameless... these 2 were $50 each - and I wanted more than anything to take them home. I learned that they get plucked (yes, plucked) every 3 weeks or so - and that if they're not plucked, they groom themselves (like a cat) and get hairballs but they can't digest hair - so it's not a good thing to put off. If I were on a farm, or if I were really in love with spinning at this point in my life, I'd be more apt to dive into angora bunny fur harvesting - for now, I'll just admire them and pet them every chance I get...

In the morning before the show opened, it was a hoot to watch the alpacas coming in - walking through Santa Monica - helloooo little friends! I didn't go pet them, but they're super cute!

I also found out all kinds of info from the display from Michael Cook - and his company Wormspit - They were very informative and explained that these icky looking silkworms (which are very sweet and gentle) grow up, and spin a coccoon, then transform into beautiful moths (butterflies?)

Terri told me that lots of kids (including her and her husband when they were in Kindergarten) did some sort of experiment with these worms to learn about the metamorphosis - I didn't do this as a kid in Indiana/Kentucky - probably because these critters didn't live thre - but now, I'm in California, so things are different. I was entralled with how tiny the silk thread is, and how complicated the process is to get it into thread, even before it's woven or knitted into fabric - it's an amazing world we live in.
But wait - I also went to a Freeform Knitting and Crochet class at Simply Knitting taught by Janice Rosema on Saturday with Terri - we spent the day learning about this art and some of the techniques Janice uses in her projects - she brought a few pieces along for show and tell - and I fell in love with the art

A beautiful shawl out of greens that had lots of knitted "Leaves" in it

A fun freeform shawl that had lots of neat crocheted pieces mixed in. I learned about making the little bits and then trying to fit them together - I had the idea of making a blanket like this, but that blanket is turning into some sort of wrap probably for my Mom for Christmas - it looks fun and interesting - so I'm starting by knitting and crocheting bits to put together. I would love to have more experience in crochet - since I literally do not know how to crochet - I'm just improvising and having a good time at it - here's what I have started - on the left is my "class" piece that I did during the Saturday session, and on the right is a piece I made last night. I am mostly happy about the little bullion circles that we learned how to make - fun fun fun!

It was definitely a full weekend - I'm tired and ready for some rest - but I am anxious to continue working on my projects and to continue discovering new crochet techniques I can accomplish even at my beginner stage. I am wanting to try to find a doily pattern that's easy to do to be able to add into this shawl... if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to let me know :)


The_Add_Knitter said...

What a whirlwind of fiber-related activity!! Your socks look great...

Sara said...

I think the socks look fab! I would love to take home an angora rabbit, too... my husband believes it would be a bad idea. *hrumpf*

Charles said...

Great job on your first socks!
Just let you know Kyle My next yarn dyeing class is coming Saturday, Sep 15!
IF want to sign up for the class call Annie and Hissy Knit or email me at
Already five people are signed up!

Take care!


Lynne said...

Goodness me, sounds like you had a great time at the fiber fair, even if it was small. And those shawls are very inspiring... hmmm.... :-)

Judy G. said...

Hi! First time dropping in,; I'll be back! If you are like me, now that you've done socks, you never need to do them again. Or, if you want an easy toe-close in a hurry, you can do a three-needle castoff (even though it leaves a slight ridge across the toe). Or, if you really want to get fancy, toe-up socks eliminate the join altogether.

Don't worry about the tops and toes; the only time it's an issue is if you're wearing the socks and nothing else but a smile. (In which case the socks are the least of your concern.)