Yarn Everywhere and Not a Thing to Knit!

As some of you wisely pointed out to me recently, during times of change, busy-ness or stress, something has to give.  And yes, housework has been low on the list of priorities to be sure.  Blogging, cooking, crafting, and knitting have also fallen low, which makes me a little bit sad.  I reassure myself that this is a temporary state, and try to enjoy these things as time allows.

Over the weekend I made a trip to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival to pick up some orders for Stash.  It was a lovely day of meeting with the dyers and artisans that will be making up a large part of the shop.  It’s so exciting to see these lovelies in person after all the planning and ordering.  Finally, there is yarn in the shop!

There are so many pretty skeins and a ton of great patterns, and yet I find myself paralyzed when it comes to choosing my first project from the shop’s stash.  Not a bad problem to have, I know!  But seriously, one of my concerns about opening a yarn shop was that it would take the shine off my cherished knitting, make me lose interest.  I’m not saying that’s what is happening, but I do need to remember this as I go forward:

Make Time For the Thing You Love Doing.

A good reminder, no?

This week I’m going to focus on my personal knitting, and will decide on a sample knit for the shop. What do you need to make more time for?

The Loot

It seems I forgot to share my fiber fest loot with you last week.  So sorry!  I realize the following photos of yarn and yarn-related goodies may be drool-inducing to some, perhaps even inspiring a link click or online purchase in others.  I understand and support your addiction.  Personally, I think I’m going on a yarn-buying freeze for a bit, not because I bought so much last weekend, but because there is so much beautiful yarn out there to buy.  How can I possibly bring home every skein I fall in love with?!

Without further ado, may I present you with my  OFFF 2010 purchases.

Abstract Fiber Supersock in Sweet Pea

Abstract Fiber Matisse in Manzanita

I’ll admit it: I went to this festival hoping to fall in love.  I had a short list of vendors I wanted to hit up in person after hearing about them online and in podcasts.  Abstract Fiber was one such yarn company, and I was not disappointed.  The colors and skeins were gorgeous.  Saturated colors in every imaginable combination, all with great names evocative of the colors or places in Portland and Oregon.  My friend Burk was tempted by a skein named after his Portland neighborhood, Laurelhurst.  Everyone in the booth was very friendly and helpful, even encouraging me to look through the “knotty” yarn basket for a color I had in hand in order to save $5.  I think I ended up with a knotty Manzanita; fingers crossed the knots are few and concentrated toward the beginning or end of the skein.

Next I hit up the Knitted Wit booth to meet up with Michelle.  I wasn’t familiar with the yarn offerings of Knitted Wit, but I wasn’t disappointed.  This was my first glittery yarn sighting, something that became a theme throughout the day.  I bought this skein of yarn which has real silver spun into it.

Knitted Wit Bling in Stellar

And that’s all the yarn I bought!  As I explained in an earlier post, my ability to buy yarn left me after lunch when I was struck dumb by all the beautiful options.  Instead, I got inspired to buy some fun and useful pieces to enhance my knitting experience.

Doormat from Lantern Moon

Some of you noticed this gem in the photos from OFFF.  I found it at the Knitted Wit booth.  It was the deal of the day at just $10.  I had to bring this doormat home, no hesitation.  Spike’s glad I did, and so am I; it really helps warm up our new entryway.

Project Protector and Magnetic Book Marks from Slipped Stitch Studios

I could have bought one of everything from Slipped Stitch Sudios.  Instead, I limited myself to two things I had never seen before.  This adorable hedgehog-adorned folio is one of the most original things I saw all day.  It opens up to reveal a plastic-covered pouch slightly larger than an average piece of paper.  You can slide a pattern in and then refer to it flat or propped open pyramid style.  The magnets can be used in books, magazines, or on loose paper to mark your place in a pattern.  I slipped one onto the plastic shield in the project folder and it highlights the line of the pattern I am working on.  Brilliant and cute all in one, a favorite combination!

Sweetie surprised me with this little treasure box from Miss Purl, giving me the not-so-subtle hint that I may have outgrown my repurposed stitch marker containers.  It’s just as well, I like this much better.

stitch marker box from Miss Purl

And that concludes my presentation!  I may have purchased a couple other little things that I can’t show right away, but trust me when I say there was no shortage of inspiration and temptation.

Fun at the Fiber Fest

I wasn’t sure what to expect as we drove up to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this weekend.  My only other festival experience has been attending Rhinebeck the past two years.  I know that is one of the shows held in high regard, and its size and scope was always a bit intimidating to me.  Would OFFF be as big/diverse/interesting?  Either way, it was a gorgeous day, I had knitting time in the car, and plans to meet up with 2 friends, so even if the festival was a bust I planned on having a great time.

Abstract Fibers

Good news: the festival was fantastic!  First of all, let me tell you this, Rhinebeck: FREE parking and FREE admission.  That meant more money to spend on yarn and notions!  I tend to go one of two ways at these sorts of things; either I get really overwhelmed by all the choices and end up paralyzed, unable to make up my mind about purchasing anything, or I go into a free fall of fiber purchasing, buying up everything I like.  On Saturday, I think I experienced both phenomena alternately.  The morning was a total spending spree.  We took a break to eat lunch and let the baby play, then spent a couple more hours wandering around the booths and animal exhibits.  I didn’t buy a thing during this time!  I found myself wanting to buy a certain type of yarn but was ultimately unable to decide on a skein.  Sigh.  Oh well, I did get some gorgeous stuff that I will have to photograph properly before sharing.

In all my excitement over yarn, fiber beasts, and knitting-related treats, I made sure to coordinate a meetup with a blogging friend, PDX Knitterati.  It was wonderful to meet someone face to face who has been such fun getting to know through blogging.  Here we are in our hand-knits despite the heat; she’s wearing her newly released shawl, Pacific.  Hey, a knitter’s got to wear something she knit to these events, whatever the cost!

Sweetie was even wearing wool socks I made her.  Peaceful Baby did very well all day, enjoying the sights atop her other mother’s shoulders.  We also met up with a dear friend from college, Unlce Burk.  This was his first time meeting little PB, and I think it was mutual love at first sight.  I think Burk also may have fallen in love with some yarn from Abstract Fibers and, after a long love affair with yarn, has taken up the needles.  I love men who knit!

The yarn selection was fantastic, and there seemed to be so many other things there to look at!  Plus, if you’re a spinner this was probably even more heavenly as there was no shortage of fleeces, fiber, and spinning accessories to peruse.  Overall, I am so happy I got to enjoy a fantastic fiber fest in my new state.  Thanks again to PDXKnitterati for telling me about it before I even moved; it was so nice to have this to look forward to as I packed up all of my yarn and cancelled hotel reservations with my friends for Rhinebeck.  And you know what else happens in Oregon?  Sock Summit.  Just saying. ; )

Foot in Hand

Hey, I thought this was a knitting blog!

Oh yeah, I have a knitting blog because I love to knit… And, my fellow knitters, I promise that there has indeed been some knittin’ going on.  It’s just been a bit slow and intermittent, with no FO’s to share.  Over the past 2 weeks it’s been a little knitting while visiting with family, some more while driving to our new place, and lots of little stints of it while watching PB entertain herself.  (sidenote: 8 months is an awesome age!)

I am progressing down the foot of a second sock, knitting at a near frantic pace since I decided I wanted to knit myself a new hat to wear to the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival on Saturday.  And for some reason, I feel I need to finish the socks before I can start.  Could be I’m having a brief turn as a monogamous knitter, or that I am using the painful yet pleasant promise of a new project as motivation to get through the last of these socks.  Either way,  a little something I picked up at my new LYS, Fiber Nooks & Crannys, waiting for me.

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran

Wish me speedy fingers and plentiful knitting time!