Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fibres West Recap

Bad blogger didn't take one single picture while I was out in Cloverdale yesterday at Fibres West! I had a lovely time even if we only stayed for a couple of hours and left for home after lunch. Of course I did manage to succumb to the wool fumes and spend a silly amount of money. You knew that was going to happen, didn't you?

I was not wrong about all the indie-dyed yarns and fibres that were available. In fact I would say that at least 3/4 of the vendors carried brightly coloured skeins and braids. There were a few selling weaving yarns, an occasional llama or alpaca farm booth, a couple of sheep fleeces and blended and undyed rovings. Of course I fell for some naturally coloured roving from Birkeland Bros. Gotta take advantage of my opportunity now that they are no longer located three blocks from my house! This one-pound bag is Shetland in moorit to add to my coloured Shetland roving collection. One day there will be a project...

And this huge bag (5 lb!) is Coopworth (33-39 micron) in a natural warm grey:

It's actually a little darker than it looks in this photo. It's quite long-staple and very clean and is earmarked for another sweater for Thom - and of course several other projects. Well, in my defence I would have needed to buy 2 lbs for that project anyway and this bulk bag was discounted a little. Trust me, I have plans for it all. Besides Thom is very happy with the colour and the feel of this wool so a definite good purchase. He's looking forward to having another sweater since this winter he's worn the heck out of the two I've made him recently.

I also went a little nuts at the ancientFUTURES booth! The lovely owner, Ali, sews and sells her garments in hand-dyed merino, bamboo, organic cotton, hemp and soy fabrics. Last year at Fibres West I asked her if she sold some of her undyed wool knits by the yard and she said she did but sadly hadn't brought any along. Happily she remembered to bring some this year! So of course I had to reward her for such great customer service and buy some:

This one (above) is a very lightweight wool crepe knit that washes and dries into delicious crinkles. And this one (below) is a heavy ponte doubleknit:

It's not especially soft in this form but I was able to handle some of her finished garments and it softens up a lot in washing and wear and develops a little bit of texture. I got 3 yards of each (ouch! My credit card!) but I'm already envisioning things to make from it.

I forgot to mention the wares in some of the other booths: African baskets, polymer clay buttons, coloured wires for bobbin lace, silver knitters' jewelry, needles, spindles, wheels and looms. There were also a number of guild displays and several classes being held in a curtained-off area at the back. It was delightful to see all the gleams in everyone's eyes as they chatted and ogled and fondled and purchased! My travel companions and I cheerfully dragged our respective hauls out to the car and had a wee show-and-tell before heading home.

A good time was had by all. Now I have to let my poor credit card recuperate and start playing with all my new acquisitions. Which reminds me, I have a new piece of spinning equipment:

Thom played around in his woodworking studio while I was gone and made me this fabulous (and very heavy duty) lazy kate. Isn't she a beauty? Ticks all the boxes: 45-degree angle, heavy enough not to tip, rubber feet so no sliding around, long enough rods for any of my various bobbin sizes, a handle to drag it around by, hard rubber washers to protect bobbins and wood from wear, rubber stoppers at the top to prevent anything from falling off, and even a little peg to store the stoppers on when I don't need them. The base is somewhat thicker than was really necessary because that was the piece of maple he had available. It's rather pretty I think. We purchased the handle, brass rod and feet but all the rest was from his stash. I'm very pleased! Want another view?

The design was inspired by a couple of kates we saw on the Internet but modified for my own needs and desires. And before anyone asks, sorry, no, he isn't making them for sale. I'm definitely using this for the 3-ply yarn I'm going to be spinning from the Coopworth. It'll be fabulous to be able to place my plying bobbins in a more convenient spot behind and to the left of me instead of on my Louet S90's built-in kate that is too close in front of me even if I splay it out to the side. And the kate that came with my Victoria wheel (older version) is just not great though very light and portable for packing in the backpack. It only holds one size of bobbin and only 2 of them at a time. The lace bobbins (the black plastic one in the photo) don't even fit on it at all. (Now you know why Louet doesn't make this kate style anymore!) My new Killer Kate is going to solve all these problems - even if it isn't very portable - plus I saved a bunch of money and got exactly what I wanted. At least the handle helps to move it around the house. I wasn't planning to take it camping or anything. Good and enough.

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