Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Michigan Fiber Festival (2009): What I Got

Now that I've told you all about the Fiber Fest, are you wondering what I actually got? You might be surprised...

I've been hankering for some mohair to make this very sweet little item
from Glamour Knits by Erica Knight which I snagged at Big Lots for $5. (I thought that was a killer steal til I found out that this particular pattern is available for free. But the book is inspiring to look through and has other patterns I like so I won't cry over it.) Back to the mohair, it was nothing urgent, but I was just keeping my eyes open...

And what I found was this beautiful bundle of gorgeousness:
dyed by Betty Todd out of White Cloud, MI. I love the colour even though it's not one I wear a lot. Of course, I don't wear a lot of fuzzy either so this will be "out of the box" for me. I think it is, however, perfect for the pattern and I'm looking forward to making it.
I especially love the ruffled fake placket. Can't wait!

The other thing I got a the fair wasn't from a vendor. Remember I mentioned that Amy bought a spinning wheel? Well, it came with all sorts of accessories, some of which duplicated what she already had. Like a ball winder. She mentioned it to me, knowing I kind of wanted one, and we struck a deal.
I set it up the next day and put it to work on some yarn I had laying around from a sweater ravelling session.
My ad hoc set up worked pretty well and let me work while sitting on the couch. Can't beat that! It's meant to be used in tandem with a swift, and my tinker toy swift worked great.

In case you're wondering what the big deal is (after all, I can wind balls by hand, can't I?), the ball winder turns skeins of yarn into nice neat center pull yarn cakes. (I call them cakes; that might be a misappropriated quilting term for a certain cut of fabric. I'm not sure)
I say, "Ta da!"

Center pull balls are a lot nicer to work with while you're knitting because the ball sits still and doesn't try to roll around the whole room. (Or all around my knitting bag, tangling itself with everything.) And they just feel more professional.

The only issue I noticed with this ball winder is that it doesn't have room for very big yarn cakes.
I got about 100 g of this bulky yarn wound but then the guide started hitting the ball itself. You need the pin to put the yarn in the right place as the ball turns around on its tilted axis. I was able to cheat by holding my fingers very steady and guiding the yarn by hand. Troy says he can extend the pin out for me so we may pursue that.

And that takes me back to my 1000 yards of mohair. I haven't decided if that would be a bigger cake than 100 g of bulky or smaller. I may just ask Amy if I can do it at the store, just in case. (Winding it off of the hank may be an adventure in itself because mohair loves to stick to itself. Could be a lot of "fun" doing that!)

1 comment:

  1. Aren't ball winders the best! ! !
    Can't beat 'em when I re-wind yarn for doing 2-at-a-time sox.
    And, lots of entertainment for the money.
    Yarn cakes are so much easier to store.

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