Sunday, May 30, 2010

Still recovering from a fiber coma :-)

Yesterday I went to the 2010 Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster with my friend Jan.  She's been for the past 3 years but it was my first time.  I was so excited I could hardly sleep on Friday night!  

My main goal was to do some "investigative research" on spinning wheels.  I am itching to buy my first wheel, but I don't want to make a huge investment like that until I'm sure of what I like.  Makes sense, right?  So we got there and decided to look at all the vendors before buying anything (great plan!).  There was so much to see!  Vendors from all over the country were there, including some folks that I follow on Twitter (like CreativelyDyed).  The fiber was soft and colorful, the yarns were amazing, the animals were fun to watch, and the people were very friendly.  So off we went!  Made our first rounds, stopped for lunch ("fair" food, ya know ... french fries, lemonade, Jan had a pulled pork sandwich and I had an Italian sausage sandwich.  Yum!), and then started round two.  That's when I saw some wheels (-drool!-)

First stop was Majacraft, and the first wheel I tried was the Suzie Pro.  I think that's the one I fell in love with.  It treadled so smoothly and I took to it like a duck to water.  See?


I also tried the Little Gem, which I also loved.  Both seem to be very portable, were easy to spin on and just a joy to use.   Another plus is that all of the Majacraft parts are interchangeable with each other.  Of course I wasn't planning to buy a wheel (this was only a research expedition!), so after a bit I moved on to the next booth and tried an Ashford Traditional.  Nice, but not as nice as Majacraft!  (Thanks to Jan for taking such great pics!)

Then it was off to try a Lendrum.  That was also a great wheel to spin on, and is currently a very close second to the Majacraft wheels (and it's a plus that it costs a bit less, too).  It was smooth to spin, and easy to fold down for traveling, which is a definite plus.  I don't have any photos of me spinning on the Lendrum, but here's the yarn I spun on it:

Let's see.  I also tried out four different Spinolution wheels (Mach II, Bee, Echo and Hopper). 


Those are neat in that you basically get the wheel going with your toes rather than the whole foot but I found them a little fiddly.  For example, I found it a little tough to feel the wheel taking up the yarn ... I didn't feel much of a pull, ya know?  I like to feel a bit of a tug as I'm going to help me get into my spinning groove, but everyone is different, right?  Spinning on those wheels didn't feel as natural to me as the Majacraft wheels did.   Not only that, but a few times my yarn slipped off the pegs on the flyer/spindle thingy so I had to keep stopping to adjust.  Didn't like that at all!

I saw some Babe wheels but gee, a wheel made of PVC pipe?  I didn't try one, but maybe I will in September when Jan and I go to A Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs.  I hope to also try the Schacht Ladybug as well.  That's the wheel that Jan has and she will let me try it out sometime.  

One vendor (who wasn't vending wheels but had a Ladybug that she was spinning on) encouraged us to get Woolee Winders for our wheels.  These flyers are made to fit several different wheel models and what's super cool about them is that it automatically fills your bobbin evenly so you don't ever have to stop spinning to change hooks.  That's a huge plus too, so I will be buying this flyer and some extra bobbins when I'm ready to order my wheel. 

So that's it for my spinning wheel report. Next time I will show y'all all the beautiful stuff that came home with me!

Until then, happy knitting, and do enjoy this long holiday weekend!


Monday, May 24, 2010

A night at the game

It's time for Stitch N Pitch @ the Indians game! I'm here with Nyketa. It's our first SNP and so far it's fun. Look at Slider joking around with some fans in our section. But note to selves: next time eat at home, or else go broke buying stadium food!  Now to pull out some knitting ...


Friday, May 14, 2010

Sweater yarn!

So I'm in West Lafayette, Indiana for a couple of conferences this week (leaving today actually) and some of the knitter among us visited a local yarn shop called River Knits. I decided to specifically look for yarn to knit the famous February Lady Sweater.  Look at the great yarn I found ... 100% wool from Jojoland. 110 yard balls for $3.75 each! What a great deal! I bought 10 balls (more than enough for FLS) plus 4 more to maybe knit something to match.  I'm really excited and can't wait to finish some stuff so I can cast on!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Enabling a new knitter!

My friend Heather saw me knitting socks at the 2008 USAIN conference and recently asked me to give her a lesson on knitting socks. I bought her a set of double pointed needles, grabbed some charcoal gray yarn from my stash (one of her preferred colors) and printed out a color copy of the first sock pattern I knitted.  In turn, she agreed to buy my dinner.  We met up @ an Irish pub last night, where I got her started with casting on, joining the needles and knitting/purling in the round.  She's doing great!

... this has been a QuietStorm production, dahling ...