Monday, March 1, 2010

Restraint and the lack thereof

Running this morning reminded me that workouts are as individual as dyelots. Although I can do this distance, today was more of a slog than usual. It's grey and gloomy outside -- who knows if that contributed to it? Sunshine seems to act as a battery charger for me. In the absence of actual sun, bright colors seem to help, too (this may explain the colorways of some Scandinavian designs. My brother who moved to Sweden says it's grey much of the time. Get your sunshine where you can!).

I was lucky enough to go to Stitches West this year with friends. Somehow it always feels too far away, and I don't need any more yarn, or fiber, or books, or anything. But a day out with the girls did sound terrific, so off we went.

It was so much fun, of course. Turns out it takes longer to look at everything than I expected, so if we do this again we'll take that into consideration. Also, I think taking classes would have been more fun than just the marketplace, but that's also for the future.

One of the nicest things ever to happen to me was over before we made it through the doors -- a woman in line for tickets said, "That is a great sweater. Where is the pattern?" So I got to point at my head. She was so flattering that we gave her our spare ticket. Then wandering about, I had my muse/voice of reason with me, my sister. She suggested that I might want to look at colors other than green, for instance. So -- red became the Color of the Day. She was obsessing over brown and orange, so it seemed even.

The find of the show, for me, was Miss Babs handdyed yarn. The woman I spoke with was lovely, and seemed to understand how important it was to find just the right red. Meet "Vlad."

Right behind my delight at finding this yarn came a typical worry: How was I to find the perfect sweater for it? To do the color justice, be able to be made with this yardage, to flatter me? Does anyone else do this? Eventually I shook myself mentally, and realized that an imperfect finished sweater trumped a theoretical sweater any day, and that there would be, in fact, more yarn made.

My wardrobe used to have three neutral-colored sweaters, all by the same commercial designer. One was thick and cable-y, one thin and slubby with silk, one was thin merino. All flattering, all the kind of neutral which could really pull a look together.

All, alas, irrevocably stained. Two were the victims of leaky tea cups; one has some sort of oily stain right over a nipple. Lovely, let me tell you. I tried to overdye the tea'd ones with more tea, but it wasn't successful. So finding neutral replacements became another Stitches quest.

Yarn? anyone can buy yarn. I ended up with fiber. Pound of BFL; half pound of BFL/silk. I bet I can get a sweater out of the first, and you can see that it's spinning up into a nice mix of colors.

Spinning up, in fact, on a spindle. I don't, as a rule, like spindles. I drop them, they're hard to use, give me my wheel any day, etc. But this spindle, which I picked up on a whim at Asciano FiberArts Tools seemed to spin itself. I'm no expert, and I'll probably do the bulk of this yarn on the wheel, as I'd like more loft than I'm getting with this, but it's a nice breakthrough feeling. I may have to get Abby Franquemont's new book.

After I toted up everything I spent while there, I thought I'd been pretty restrained. But the Russet and orange yarns (I don't remember the name of the second) at Miss Babs had been left behind. I swear I could hear them calling me. So I went online and got them, too. One good itch scratched. I have got to get my papers graded, my baby sweaters knit, all to get to the good spinning/knitting waiting for me here.

Anyhow, everyone seems to love Vlad:


Kristin said...

Beautiful photos and glad you had fun with the run in the gray weather today wasn't so hot either.

allisonmariecat said...

Ooooooh! So much pretty :) Lack of restraint is pretty much why I haven't gone to a fiber festival!