Monday, February 18, 2013

Madrona 4


I'm going to continue writing about the vendors I saw at the Madrona Fiber Festival in Tacoma, WA.

RainShadow Yarn, from Kingston, WA carries specially spun yarn and rovings from fiber from their own sheep and wool from other Pacific Northwest farms.

The unspun fiber was just beautiful.
I felt like I was in an artisan ice cream shop.
The idea of being able to eat this stuff is not too far off the mark, either, as they use only natural dyes.  Ok, I wouldn't really eat it, but you get my meaning.  They also had the dyes for sale.
I had the idea that naturally dyed fibers would have pale, muted colors. And that the colors would be rather limited.  These were vibrant, and covered just about any color you could want.

The Artful Ewe, from Port Gamble, WA carries beautiful hand dyed yarns

and fibers for spinning, knitting, and weaving.

Abstract Fiber, from Portland, OR carried handpainted yarns and fibers.

I mean, just look at these colors:

Some of the colors were so eye-popping, I felt a bit overwhelmed, but in a great way.  You know that dizzy feeling you get when you walk into a really great yarn store, and you have money and know that you need yarn for a few projects?  Better than candy.

Black Water Abbey Yarns from Aurora, CO bucked the local fiber trend and carried yarns imported from Ireland.

They had a nice selection of patterns to support the yarns.  You could see the garments knit up, and even try them on.

I will continue my Madrona posts tomorrow.

On to my own knitting!

I knew I shouldn't have posted that I had gotten the Smaug Socks pattern under control.  Somehow, I had reduced the gusset too much, and was short the correct number of stitches in the feet.  I have lost quite a bit of weight since last summer, and this has really slimmed down my feet (why can't it affect my waist and big butt as much?), but although I could still get the socks on, they were a bit tight.  Because I have sock group deadlines, I was tempted to just keep going, finish them and deal with it all later, but I was afraid that I wouldn't deal with it, and just end up giving the socks away.  I really love this pattern and the sock color.  I took a big breath and frogged back quite a few rows.
I would rather have the socks fit, than win a prize and never be able to wear them.  If I hurry and catch back up, though, I can wear them, AND still be in the running for prizes.

I also started a pair of fingerless mitts.  These use the Toast pattern by Leslie Friend.  These are for the Quidditch Challenge 3 which is a partner challenge.  We have to find a partner, pick a pattern jointly, then both modify the pattern.  When I say I am using the Toast pattern, I say that in the loosest way.  The pattern is for "fingerless mitts."  Really just 2 tubes of knitting.  I don't think I am breaking any copyright rules here by saying the pattern states something like, "cast on X stitches, divide over 3 needles, knit in the round for Y inches."  I am using some mystery yarn from my stash that I got in a School Charity Auction Basket years and years ago that doesn't quite make the gauge.  So my first modification is to cast on extra stitches.  Mod #2 is that I am knitting mine in a ribbed pattern (KKP).  Mod #3 will be that I plan to make them a bit shorter than the pattern length.  I also hope to donate these to charity, and get a Quidditch Charity Bonus.  This is perfect brainless knitting so I can do it while watching NCIS with the Doc tomorrow night if I haven't finished them by then.  The yarn is pretty, though, and I think they will look very nice when I am done.

Back to the Smaug Socks.

shaping the planet with frogged socks.
knitting at Madrona

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