Getting to Meet the Knitterati

In the knitting world, I tend to call the superstars of knitting the Knitterati. Knitterati come in a variety of forms – most often they are designers and teachers, because as knitters, they are the ones who come up with the fun stuff for us to knit. And the ones I have met are almost always lovely and down to earth, because outside the knitting world, they are just normal people. For example, I was interviewing for a job, and we came to the question about what I do when I’m not doing the work thing, and I mentioned that I teach knitting. One of the interviewers then tells me his friend, a guy, works in orthopedics but does this teaching to knitters thing, and sure enough, it was Carson Demers, who’s classes I have never been able to get into!

Yesterday I got to spend time with another kind of Knitterati:

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His name is Stacy Charles, of Tahki Stacy Charles fame. He makes yarn, lots and lots of yarn. He’s on a West Coast tour of yarn stores and the like, getting intelligence about what the world of knitting is up to, and I was invited to hang a bit with him. Unlike some of the more recently started yarn companies, he is not a “face” for the company the way some others are (although he has a lovely face – just sayin’).

In addition to having been in the world of yarn-making for over 3 decades (his aunt was the first person to introduce the USA to the whole line of Annie Blatt yarns, which is how he got into the business), he is charming, encouraging, curious and insightful. I walked out feeling a whole lotta excitement about the world of knitting, and the people who inhabit the world.

Thanks, Stacy – you are a delight in person, and I will smile every time I use one of your yarns!

Unpaid offering: If you go to their website, you can sign up for their weekly email, and I hear from my LYS owner that their Facebook page is inspirational.

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Not Quite What Was Expected

Longtime readers know that it took me a couple of years to spin a 3-ply sock yarn. This time, the goal was for something much simpler: to spin a 2-ply  sport-weight yarn, about 250 yards, to go into a Friendship Ball.

Mysterious fiber

What I got: Worsted weight yarn – and used about 5 ounces to get it:

Mysterious fiber

Those four spindles of yarn only made about 120 yards, so I spun a lot more to get this yarn. It’s now spit-spliced together and wound into a yarn cake for our coordinator. It’s lovely, and feels good, and will keep someone warm, but it is not sport-weight. Oh well.

And that completes my goals for Tour de Fleece – I ended with a Pile O Yarn:

Pile o yarn

and  each of them is a different wool, and sometimes different fibers and prep. I’m getting more versatile.

Now, coincidentally, this box arrived from Benny Fibers (Florence MT) from my friend Suzanne – lovely combed Targhee in a variety of natural colors – I’m very excited about spinning this for a gradient project!

Tar ghee from Benny fibers

Thanks, Suzanne!

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I might be a little addicted.

I am loving beads and knitting and necklaces, and I even get to teach about it – one sold-out class at Bluebird Yarn and Fiber on Saturday, and another coming up on Sunday, July 28th at 12 noon. There’s a new sample I knit at the store, and I wanted to try out some linen yarn from Shibui.
Beaded Neckace

This will be for my friend Carol, who hosted me on my Montana trip.
Beaded Neckace

A little addicted, but it’s legal (for now).

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Tour de Fleece – Day 13

The Tour is progressing, and so is my spinning. I don’t think I’ve spun this much yarn ever, so yay for this tour to get me going.

My current projects are a study in contrasts. I’m doing a batt from Crosspatch Creations, and I love, love, love this funky yarn so much!

Tour de Fleece

I’m thinking of a large cowl, and maybe saving a bit to do an edging for a coordinated hat with some smooth yarn.  And the big spindle really worked for both the singles and the plying.

In contrast, I need a sport-ish weight smooth yarn for another team I am on – and for this, I am spinning some pencil roving that I bought when I was at Rhinebeck two years ago (and plans are to go again – yay work life that syncs to important fiber events). I’m not sure why I bought it, because the colors are kinda meh, so it’s nice to have something to use it for, or make space for incoming fiber, but let’s not talk about that quite yet.  Here’s where my multiple shaft KCL spindle comes in handy.  I weighed out .75 oz bumps, and then spun four of them, one on each shaft.  They’re just sittting in a row, resting for a bit before I ply them together:

Tour de Fleece

And with that plying done, I hope that my planned Tour projects will be complete, as I have a lot of other things in the works – patterns to complete, submissions to make, and a conference to lead for my real work!

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Tour de Fleece – Day Six, County Fair Edition

On July 4th, I spent about four hours doing a spinning demo at the Marin County Fair. The organizers were very attentive to us – we walked into the room for the demo to find this:

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Our spinning ribbons and samples had been put on a spinning wheel – and they definitely picked our ribbons to show here because we volunteer every year! So thoughtful and very much appreciated. I had a bit of cognitive dissonance, because while Judy had deservedly won two firsts and a second here (she had more elsewhere), I got a third but also the special award from the Knitting Angels. It’s from one of the local fiber guilds. Third place gets the special award? The only thing I can think is that I got it because my yarn was spun on a spindle.

My hats did pretty well – a third for one, and the scarf and hat combo won a 2nd prize:
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The sock category was brutal this year. My handspun socks (the one I quested for years to do), only got a fifth place ribbon:
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and my sweater, while lovingly displayed, was totally bare of ribbons:
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Which means that there were many, many lovely things in the fair. A couple of my friends won Best of Show, including a gorgeous lace shawl by Gail, to whom long ago I taught a beginning lace class – I guess she learned pretty well!

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And another friend, Christine, put in some delightful jewelry that she won a Best of Show for:
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It was great to share our skills with young and old in spinning, and for the fair to have so many talented makers show off what they can do!

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Tour de Fleece -Day Five

Happy Independence Day! (NSA approved message)

Onto the spinning. I’m finished with one of the three projects for Tour de Fleece.

First, fingering weight BFL wool, spun on my Lovely Asciano spindle. So smooth and lovely that I have to figure out a good pattern for it.

Tour de Fleece - Day 5

Second, a yarn very different from the first, a wooly untamable kind of funky tweed. I love it!

Tour de Fleece - Day 5
I love this yarn – it’s fluffy, bouncy, full of texture. This is just the first half, so more fun to come!

Today I’m at the Marin County Fair to demo spinning with my much more expert friend, Judy.  I’m sure we will evangelize some into the fiber world.

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Tour de Fleece – Day Three

I’ve made some progress on two f my Tour projects. I’ve plied about 1/2 of the lovely lace BFL:

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And also I did some of the very fun batt:

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All the color and little bits are so fun to see. This will make a fun accessory.

Most of the spinning occurred on Saturday and today, because yesterday was a very full day. It started off worshipping with the good folks at Christ Presbyterian, where Pastor Linda encouraged us to go Barefoot in church — we were invited to walk the labyrinth out side (which was a total ouch moment). After a cup of coffee and bagel, I was off to six hours to be trained as a lifeguard assistant. I was laughably bad at the swimming, but made it through, and did well enough to pass.

Th last part of the day was a craft night at church. Linda knits and does lots of crafts, so she was open to having this. Her 7th grade son came to learn how to knit, which he did. Linda says that he now is saying, “I can’t believe that I’m knitting!” I’m thinking he needs to knit a hat soon.

Evangelism takes many forms. Knitting isn’t Jesus or God but I think crafting is pretty close to spiritual practice.

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