i miss my table*

[written 12/03/06]

i went on a tour yesterday with my mom to some local maryland artisans’ open studios and boy, was it great. freezing, but great. large parts of montgomery county are still pretty green and open, and the northen part is even an officially designated agricultural reserve. next weekend i’m hoping to go to a blacksmith’s shop and a textile gallery, but yesterday we went to the two fiber places – kiparoo farm and dancing leaf farm.

at kiparoo, i got a cute purse pattern, some vintage buttons, olive oil shampoo, and a good fiber fix from looking at all the great colors they have in their yarns. beautiful stuff!

at dancing leaf, though, that’s where i found it raw – that’s right, roving galore. my mom fell for these gorgeous pink-and-gold yarns, in the second pic, and commissioned me on the spot to make her a loose-gauge drapey cardigan.. and offered to pay me in fiber. how could i resist! i quickly chose a lb. of smooth lustrous merino and another lb. of cushy border leicester (that i didn’t photograph raw but as fiber, below), along with some wool wash. my favorite part was when i was asking the owner what kind of wool was the brown fiber, she replied by looking out at the window and pointing to the sheep from which the fiber had been sheared. love that! it’s the first time for me, that kind of direct sheep —> roving —> me connection, yay.

as soon as we got back, i sat down and spun up two bobbins full of the border fiber. wow! it’s like butter, just really lovely stuff. the night before, i’d finally sat down and tried out, on some old fiber that i’d long mentally-discarded as ugly, paula simmons’ “spinning for softness and speed” technique. hooray! look at that single, freshly off the wheel and not rinsed yet or anything. barely a twist! i didn’t think that was possible with singles, and it’s still a bit of a headscratcher for me, but hey, it looks and more importantly feels great.

so, back to last night, i got the same results with the border roving. i plied the two bobbins, to satisfy my mom’s plying curiosity, but i think i’m going to try for a bunch of singles today, hopefully nice fat ones, though i’ll take skinny minnie ones as well. i’m tempted to go back and buy a ton more of this brown border leicester, though i wish i could dye it a different color. perhaps a stupid question, but i can’t, right? not unless i bleached it first or some other quality-ruining process, right?

(for my own notes, that 157 yards of the green skein, and 164 yards of the brown.)

anyway, all fiber chatty today, huh? last but not least, the answer to the colorwork kal questions:

What are your projects for this knitalong?

for now, the turkish cape from a past vogue knitting (though i can’t find my copy at the moment, help) that i bought as a kit, and nobody could guess!, a few months ago:

i’ve been hinting heavily for a poetry in stitches kit though, and.. oh lots of color wishes are going on in my head.

Is this your first colorwork project? If it isn’t, what was your first, and has it survived the test of time?

nope, this would be my third. my first was the flenten hat and my second was the fair isle bag from IK a few years ago. it’s only been a year, but they’ve survived so far! of course, they weren’t used at all in l.a. but here, it’s our first real winter together, so we’ll see. ;)

less fiber, more other in the next posting ~ can’t believe it’s december already. yikes.

no fears, the table was not left in l.a., it’s patiently sitting in the garage, waiting for some space to be made in my room. it takes the *best fiber pics though, shoot any pics. i gotta get it up here soon.