Saturday, October 22, 2011

Well Traveled

I'm in Howell Michigan, at the Spinning Loft, a spinners dream shop: there are wheels, and spindles, of course, but there is a wall (actually two full walls) of fleeces. Almost any breed you can name, multiples of some breeds. Lots of options. All there. In one place. You can buy as much or as little of any breed you wish: in fact Beth, the owner, makes up sample packs, just perfect for trying out All The Longwools, for instance, or All the Down Wools.

Beth also has dyed fibers, from local and distant dyers, and despite being a dyer myself, I have been known, in the past, to succumb.
12 days of spinning fiber

I bought this fiber the last time I was here, in January. I spun it on spindles, in April while I was in Denver visiting the grandchild (have you heard? I'm someone's grandmother! I know! News!):

spindle yarn april

The yarn sat for a while, resting, waiting, but also enticing me as I passed it in my studio. I mentally tried out patterns for it: hand warmers, a scarf, or shawl, a woven fabric; lots of options.

I started knitting this only recently, knowing I would be traveling. I wanted a simple project, nothing taxing, no pattern if possible, because traveling? I could easily lose a pattern, so it had to be in my head (I occasionally lose my head, but, so far, I have always managed to find it again).

I liked The Age of Brass and Steam (Ravelry link), but it's a little too orderly for me. I liked this version especially, with a bit more color, well used: the pattern changes where the color changes, nicely done.

But I also liked this shawl, and I liked that the directions are more a recipe than a pattern. What I like most about this shawl though is the garter stitch border which can be incorporated into anything, including my scarf.

So I started knitting:
howell 2011 043

So far so good. The yarn changes color nicely, I get to change stitch patterns at will, and throw in a garter stitch section, or a yarn-over section. I have a few other colors to work in, and plenty of yarn to make a sizeable scarf or small shawl. Easy to knit on planes, in airports, or hotel rooms, a pick-up-and-put-down kind of project, it's been traveling with me, and has traveled a lot before me: The fiber is dyed by Abstract Fibers in Portland, to me via The Spinning Loft in Michigan. It traveled back with me to California, then to Denver still as fiber, and back to California as yarn. The yarn has already been to New Hampshire, and now is back again in Howell for the weekend. Back and forth, back and forth, somewhat like the rhythmic activity of spinning and knitting, and life actually, but I'll stop there before I go all philosophical and zen.

Instead I'll just go all grandma and leave you with this:
Marin October 2011
a happy little girl :).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara -

We had a great time at this summer's class at Shuttles. I've not yet had the chance to weave with my dyed warp - first I have to get the Rock Day project fleece combed, spun, and woven into something.

I hope we get t o see you in a workshop again next year.

-the redhead-

8:13 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Now I'm wistful to visit the Spinning Loft again. And to take another class with you. When are you coming out more-or-less my way again? I neeeeed a dyed warp class.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Charlene said...

Oh, SO grown-up! Watch carefully, as she'll one day change from soft and squishy baby-toddler to lean little girl. It can be a shock.

Word Verification of the Day: Reazoid: pseudo reason; not a real one

12:57 PM  
Blogger 505whimsygirl said...

Well traveled yarn!! The project looks wonderful.

And the granddaughter -- love the polka dot dress!!

9:10 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I just read Valerie's blog where she claims to have been "that" student in your class in Michigan. It was a humorous post but at the same time I fully appreciated her struggle to change from warping from back to the front. I have long appreciated your question to me when I was trying to warp from the back. Why? I assumed that was what serious weavers did. You assured me that you only warped from the front and I'm content to agree with you.

I realized that I don't remember you offering workshops to FFG. If you ever do, may I nominate the subject of weaving with handspun yarns? I'm terrified to experiment and I want to do it so badly.

8:38 PM  

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