Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Lootfest 2009

I went to Woolfest 2009 on Saturday, on the Scottish Fibres bus.

Everyone arrived punctually and we kept good time, superbly and unobtrusively managed by Spinning Fishwife and her clipboard.

I bought blue yarn.
Blue Faced Leicester Sock in Mamba by Fyberspates
I used to think that I wasn't going to make Shawl That Jazz. Now I'm not so sure. This would suit it.

Hand-Dyed Sock in Summer Clouds by Ripples
I think there's enough white in this that it will be like Delft china when it's knitted up. It's an intense blue.

I got it from Helen at Ripples. She lives in a very beautiful part of the world where my mother used to go every summer and we spoke about that. Stall holders must have to get used to customers coming up and launching enthusiastically into an unpredictable range of topics. Helen's blog has a lovely photograph of her stand filled up with yarn, and then another after it was stripped bare and turned back into an animal space. Do go and have a look.

2-ply Expressions from The House of Hemp
I'm going to a wedding in October and have been thinking about making a top from some sort in magical yarn. I'm very tempted by Deep Breath, but I also like the House of Hemp pattern that came with this yarn. The important thing is that I should actually knit it, instead of just making plans for all the things that I could knit with it.

I bought some that isn't blue.

Toddy yarn in Woolfest '09 by The Yarn Yard
When I'm not wearing blue and turquoise and green, I wear neutrals. A Baktus maybe; I keep admiring other people's. Certainly something scarfy. The colours are so much nicer in reality.

I got the two things which were on the very short list of Things I Have To Get, a pair of 5.5mm rosewood needles from Scottish Fibres
and a tapestry-needle holder from Twist Fibre Craft Studio in Newburgh. They're about 46 miles north from where I live, and I have my Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting subscriptions with them, so it was a bit strange to travel 130 miles in the opposite direction to buy it from them. It's from Ireland and made of yew.

I should have taken a photograph of the smell. I was reminded of Loudon Wainwright's line from Dead Skunk - You don't have to look, You don't have to see, You can feel it in your olfactory, but in a good way. It was made by delightful creatures like this.

She's not a sheep; she's an angora goat. (I realize you probably know this, but I didn't.)

There was a couple of newly sheared alpacas but they looked very cross so I didn't take their picture. Ambermoggie did.

I got buttons. Someone on the bus said to me afterwards, 'I never buy buttons unless I know what I'm going to use them for,' and I said, 'Yes, I used to have that rule too, until today. '

Sorry the photo's so dull. We're having very overcast weather and lots of mist just now and everything looks as if it's been put in a hot wash with a black tee shirt. They're from Injabulo. I've pored over their website in the past, unable to make a decision, so I was really pleased to come across their stand. When one of my nieces was small and was faced with a difficult decision, perhaps between two kinds of ice-cream, she said, 'That's a hard choose, Granny.' This was indeed a hard choose.

I don't mind if I don't use them actually. The smiley cats might go up on the kitchen wall.

I started winding some blue yarn on the bus.

Lost label yarn from Fyberspates, possibly Self Striping Sock
I cast on for a Baktus with it, but when it got home it became a swatch because I couldn't get the needle size right. It has now become something else, which you shall be seeing shortly.

Also on the way home, the spinner sitting in front of me turned a bit of something black and scruffy into beautiful fine yarn, before my astonished eyes. It presumably wasn't really scruffy, but if I'd found it, I probably would have thrown it away.

When I was at the Twist stall, my card was 'declined' and I had to use a different one. I thought this was a bit strange, because I knew there was about £300 in the first account and a negative amount in the second one but I rolled with it. On Monday I sent Fyberspates a frantic email because I had used the card with her and I thought she might blacklist me, and I rang the bank (complicated by the fact that my landline is out of order, sigh) who said they had suspended my account because of 'unusual activity' and went through said unusual activity with me, which was my usual few pounds here and there with Amazon and iTunes, nothing odd at all. I thought they were going to say I'd booked a hotel room in Dubai, which happened to a friend of mine. Anyway, it's all sorted now.

Sunday, there was more knitting excitement. Knitting Linguist was passing through Edinburgh before going north and we met for coffee. It was as if someone had pressed a buzzer, and we were off, non-stop talking for 90 minutes until her husband came and took her away - well, no he didn't but you know what I mean. Hi, Rick.

It's very odd, this business of meeting someone whom you already know very well, or think you do. I once met my French pen-pal and we hardly had anything to say to each other, not least because we could write each other's language better than we could speak it. At Woolfest I met three people whom I already knew online, but I thought there were probably others there, whose darkest secrets I have read, but whom I walked past unknowingly. This time anyway, it went very well and it was like talking to someone that I'd known for years.

She gave me these. The amazing thing is that the box isn't empty yet.

What with talking pretty incessantly to my companion Lindsay (who bought even more purple yarn than I bought blue) on the bus most of the way there and most of the way back, and to other passengers, and stall-holders, and then to Jocelyn on Sunday, I reckon I talked more over those two days that I usually do in a week. I had speech difficulties as a child, and it has often been remarked that I've been making up for it ever since, so it was good to know that I still can.

And Phone Guy came today and fixed the phone, so now I can catch up on my calls. More talking.

P.S. I don't know why the font size in this post keeps changing and I have given up trying to put it right. Sorry.


Mary Lou said...

Unusual activity? Hah. Don't you think they could figure out a pattern to purchases, like this woman spends the gross national product of a small country on yarn annually? You know, like the Amazon recommendations. See's Choc. Yum. and Yum to that hemp.

ambermoggie said...

It was good to finally meet you Helen:)

Lisa R-R said...

I enjoyed the Baktus as one of the fastest possible projects. I made one on a recent plane trip, and it was so satisfying to finish it.
I am contemplating making the new lacy version next ...
BTW I was very impressed by the photo of the pattern that came with your House of Hemp yarn. Looks good!
Lisa in Toronto

Susan said...

What I wouldn't give to take a bus ride and have a day like that? Oh my I am chartreuse with envy....sigh
When I am fortunate to travel or rather when I was, I used to buy buttons as souvenirs.
Her loves buttons.....lol

Lynne said...

I also buy buttons when the notion strikes, often they age some time before I use them. But its so nice to just have an assortment when one lives 3 hours from closest town (smallish) and 12 hours from a major center.

Bonnypurr said...

Hi there Helen - I am that spinner of scruffy black stuff! Thanks for the compliment :-)

The black stuff is merino tops and I put some gold silk tops into it as well. I've spun a little more of it and once it's been washed I'll maybe even put a pic of it on my blog.

Don't quite know how I found your blog - just been surfing around - but so nice to find out your name after chatting to you on the bus :-)

Knitting Linguist said...

It's such fun to see all of the yarn that you got and that we talked about -- I'd been visualizing, and it's even better than I'd imagined. I had a fabulous visit, too, and only wish that we'd had more time! Thank you for making my visit to Edinburgh even more special :)

Now, off to see what you decided to knit with that gorgeous blue yarn...

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