Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's Woolgathering Weekend!

Today was the annual Woolgathering fiber festival in Yellow springs and I went with Catherine and Rita. As usual, it was tons of fun and also exhausting - I'm not sure why it wears me out. Maybe something about walking for 3.5 hours and being in hot tents! Speaking of tents, this year there were 3 instead of 2! well, actually more like 2.5, but still - more vendors! I didn't go with any notes or plans this year - usually I have a bunch of potential projects written down with necessary yardage for each one. I decided to just keep my eyes open for local stuff, hand spun, hand dyed - that kind of thing! I didn't need more yarn, but the woolgathering isn't the time for that kind of thinking - It's once a year and I let myself splurge because I won't be able to get the majority of it any other time. I think I did pretty well with my plan to get get commercial stuff - in fact, I feel like there was less commercial stuff being sold this year!

I bought some cashmere! I'm going to make my mother a triangular shawl for Christmas. She, of all the people I knit for, deserves cashmere!

Then I got this alpaca handspun yarn from Alpaca Meadows - I don't think the colors really show in the picture well - it's fantastic! only 66 yards though - I'm thinking I can eek out a hat if I use relatively big needles (it's pretty thick and thin stuff) and maybe do the ribbing in a solid yarn. I think it'd be a great semi slouchy beret!

Then, from one of my favorite sellers - Amazing Grace farms - I got this handspun hand dyed wool. It's actually yarn from Hilltop Heritage Farms, but the woman at Amazing Grace was selling it for her. I believe she sold the babydoll sheep to the Hilltop Heritage folks who recently move in just a few miles from her! She's a great lady and she obviously loves what she does! oh, I also got some soap from her.

Additionally, I got some big alpaca socks from Stewart Heritage Farm, in Xenia, for my uncle. They have the socks made for them, but the wool is from their own alpacas, which is very cool! The husband was really selling those socks - he was just standing by the basket talking about how much he loved them - and my favorite line was "I've never been a guy to get all that excited about socks!"

While we're talking yarn, I've got a quandary involving some on the needles. I've been working on these Alpaca Sox legwarmers (which in my case are not made of alpaca sox yarn) and i've realized that they're just way too big - and when i look at other people's projects on Ravelry, I've seen it's a common problem. why didn't i look at that sooner? i want them to be very legging like - like a sock that comes over the knee, but doesn't have a foot! these are slouchy. I decided to just do the top ribbing now and see if I can wear them pulled up over my knee so that the bottom hits me about mid calf - sort of like knee warmers! the bottom won't show anyway because I'll wear them with boots. If they're still slouchy being pulled up like that, they're going to have to be ripped!

goodbye legwarmers?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Guess who arrived?

After a long plane trip from Hong Kong, Miss Pinky finally arrived today in Dayton! She says hello!

Even though she's a knock-off Blythe, I adore her! I'm also aware that Miss Pinky is a terrible name for her, but it's all I've got for now. I kind of wanted to see her in person before I gave her a name! So there are certainly some differences I can see right off the bat between this doll and a real Blythe: 1) her joints are much looser - her waist, arms, legs, and head swivel like a Blythe, but much easier - in fact, if you have her standing with her weighty head a little too far off center, she'll bend right over backwards! Also, her arms are on ball sockets so they can go outspread, not just up and down - I think that's different (?) 2) her eye movement is odd! You pull the string and her eyes close. And they stay closed. you manually flip her eyelids open and her eyes have changed but there's just no opening mechanism!
She has pink eyes (it might just be me, but these seem a little off center!)

Blue (which has a little glue residue on it, but that can be cleaned.

I didn't take a picture of the others, but she also has bright green and a very clear pale blue - I love those!)

Even though she was super tired after her pan-Asian flight, she agreed to try on some new outfits, like these jeans and a sweater (which is totally going to be a cardigan after I get some buttons! however, right now it's on backwards as a pullover.)

She'll be a little jet lagged still tomorrow, but she's totally up for meeting everyone at knit night!

{just for the record, I'm very aware that a grown woman with a doll is somewhat goofball, but I'm ok with that. Making tiny clothes is great fun!}

Friday, September 3, 2010

Victory at the Fairgrounds!

This morning my friend Catherine and I went to the Montgomery county fair (and to the Butter Cafe for breakfast!) I suppose a fair in the morning isn't as action packed as a fair in the evening, but I still expected a little more of something - it was fun, but there just wasn't as much to see as I thought there'd be. I've never been to the Montgomery county fair, and I suppose I'm maybe comparing it to the Ohio state fair that I went to as a kid (which is probably not a very accurate memory - kids tend to remember things much bigger than they really were!) Regardless, we didn't have to fight any crowds, which was nice, and we got to see a bunch of animals, which i LOVE!!

These little pigs were only a week old! I put my hand through the cage and go to pet them as they ran past - they were sooo soft and their little snouts felt like rubber (as did their teeth - which was good since they were chewing on my fingers!)

We also saw a bunch of sheep, goats and cows, but I did't take any pictures of those, for some reason - I was probably too buy petting stuff! These chickens weren't really up for being touched, but doesn't this one make you want to? it looked like fur.

The bunnies were, of course, adorable! There were a couple angoras there too!

Then there's other stuff you see at the fair - like prize winning bales of hay, plates of field corn, apparently really perfect onions (i dunno), and odd stuff like elaborate displays involving bushel basket and what Catherine decided was a petrified baby (it was one of those freakishly lifelike dolls that do look kind of like a drugged child sitting there!) and stuff like these decorated vegetables with googly eyes:

Then of course, the important stuff - MY STUFF! I won ribbons for 6 of the 7 things I entered!! I got a couple spoiler reports from people who went before we did, so I knew about it and was pretty excited. However, when we got there and I saw the competition, I realized that I wasn't beating out much in most of the categories! oh well. it's still exciting. The one odd thing (to me, anyway) was that my Wollmeise Ishbel didn't win anything! and it was somehow put by the sign for stuff made by people 65 and older! nice.

Catherine and I felt that their display skills were a little lacking - for example - why lay a lace shawl out all folded up? Catherine took it upon herself to rearrange some of the ribbons that they put across the items so that you couldn't even see the stuff!

My mom's cabled sweater got a blue ribbon! oddly, there were no other adult sweaters there at all! what?
My apron won a blue ribbon! the apron next to it was its only competion

My bird in hand mittens won a blue ribbon! this was the category with the most other items in it, but honestly it was kind of mostly stuff like odd hats and fun fur scarves.

My little amigurumi lamb won 3rd place in the crochet animal category, but strangely I did not see what won second place. This big thing next to him won 1st place. hmm. I guess he's impressively loopy.

My little turtle came in 2nd in the sewn animal category - a batik elephant won, and he was pretty cool. Bender got 1st place in the knitted character category! oh yeah, no other competitors there either. However, the rules DO say that if there's no competition the judges will only award a ribbon if they feel it's warranted. I'm still baffled by the Ishbel situation. It's just a county fair, I suppose it's not worth getting so miffed about!

So that's how I ran the row at the county fair! (don't worry - I won't let it change me!)