Thursday, September 30, 2010

Buddha's Sorta Fedora

Or, "[Handknitting] means never having to say you're [finished.]"

This is a hat I knitted for a friend a couple of years ago.  It was the first time I had worked with the now-discontinued Auraucania "Loa."  It was also the first time I had knitted a hat for this friend, whose head is considerably smaller than mine.

The super bulky Loa didn't have much give, and I did not incorporate any ribbing into the hat.  And, after having looked a lifetime for hats big enough for my head, I err on the big side when making hats, "just in case."  In case of what, I don't know.  Sudden head size mushrooming?

So anyway, after a couple of years, though it still looked fine, K.'s hat had stretched and become much too big to wear comfortably, despite the adjustable "hat belt" I had knitted to go with the hat, complete with mother-of-pearl buckle.  I finally convinced K. recently that she should return it to me for adjustments.

In a move that was half-hat chiropractor, half-hat plastic surgeon, I tightened its sagging midsection with the judicious application of elastic thread.  It worked great, and brought the hat circumference almost to a Scarlett O'Hara-like 17 inches.  I believe that the operation succeeded, the hat lived, and will fit much better now.  Elastic thread is my new favorite knitting toy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oregon's Fabulous Fiber Festival! (OFFF)


Okay, so it's actually called the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (OFFF), and this photo of a llama was not taken there, but rather at a farm-ette outside Corvallis, en route to OFFF. 

Nevertheless, we did get there, and it was all the fabulous, fibery fun I've come to expect.  First of all, the Clackamas County Fairgrounds setting is wonderful.  There are freshly-planted flowers by the entrance, big trees, and several pleasant, people-friendly buildings where most of the vendors are.

However, the overwhelming impression I came away with was vendors, booths, fibers, and eager fiber consumers, everywhere you looked.

Sometimes, it felt like being in a kaleidoscope, (or maybe just staring at the top of a hat made from previous years' rovings purchases spun into yarn!)

And then, every few feet:  another big pile o' pretty, calling your name.

A nice break from the explosion of color and people were "the animals...who made it possible."  This is a sweet "Blue-Faced Leicester" ewe.  The animals' faces only get "blue," when they are ready to breed.  I will make no comment on the fact that I was told that the boys were currently ready for love, and rarin' to go, but the girls wouldn't be ready for another month or so!

And, finally, a post-festival visual of our modest haul.
Go to OFFF next year, if you can.  If you can't, go to another fiber festival near you.  If you like fiber, you'll like a fiber festival!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival!

Or:  Canby, Oregon, here I come!

This is the weekend of the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (OFFF) the Clackamas County Fairgrounds.  When I have attended in past years,  the weather has cooperated nicely for the festival, about half of which takes place outside.  The animals---many varieties of sheep, goats, and alpacas, primarily--- are fascinating, the fiber and yarns are beautiful to look at, and soft to the touch.  The many vendors are generally friendly and helpful.   I especially enjoy the fibery goodness of Dicentra Designs.  Her colors are amazing, and her booth is beyond beautiful. Here's a link to her Etsy shop, in case you can't get to Canby this weekend.

Last year my big splurge was a pair of glass needles from Sheila and Michael Ernst.  In order to make the purchase as "practical" (yeah, right) as possible, I got a pair of size 8 16" circular needles in Amber.

 These are the needles reposing in a skein of handspun.
One of the needles, in sunset light.  You really should come to OFFF to see Sheila and Michael's display, too, but here's their website, in case you are otherwise engaged this weekend. 

Finally, here's a hat I knit, partly out of yarn spun (by Jane) from Lisa of Dicentra Design's hand dyed roving.  Lisa calls the multicolor yarn colorway "Pelennor."  I call it "yummy."

Pattern:  Elizabeth Zimmerman's Tam, from her book, Knitting Without Tears.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Signs of the Autumn Equinox

Some things I've been aware of recently:

Chanterelle mushrooms, fresh from the forest

An autumn leaf, fresh from the tree

Dog hair, fresh from the dog