Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer Hiatus, apparently

I didn't mean to take a hiatus, but it seems to have happened. It was an accident though. I have the time to work and I want to work, but it seems that I've been ordering such a high volume of supplies that I've been cleaning my supplier out, and then getting caught in her supply dip when I want to reorder. It has happened twice this summer. Once, I had a forced break of only a week, and that was fine, I just devoted myself to spinning, but this last break lasted three weeks. I had no supplies, I had a rapidly dwindling stock, and I could do nothing whatsoever about it.

I do not mean to criticize my supplier -- I have nothing but love for her service, her attention to quality, and her prices. I'm just growing is all. I am working out a deal for a standing order with her, and that should help. She's growing too -- namely, she's growing some storage space so she can keep more in stock, herself -- and the timing is perfect for that. With any luck, this won't happen again.

I did get my first box of supplies on Tuesday: 5 lbs of Corrie, 22 lbs of BFL, 1 lb of Wensleydale just to try, and another pound of wool/soysilk which is oh so pretty. I have attempted to work. My mom is visiting though, so you really can't blame me for taking Tuesday afternoon off to go see Brideshead Revisited instead. And yesterday, I apparently pissed off the gods of electronics. I had Internet connectivity troubles all day (this is unrelated to the dyeing), and my electronic scale went on the fritz. If I can't weigh the wool, I can't dye the wool.

As a result, although I got supplies on Tuesday, this is all I have managed to achieve:

That's 4 lbs of BFL. 4. On a decent single day, I can do 7, and that's if they're all handpainted colourways. If I mix up some semi-solids in my workload, on a day when I'm burning through the wool I can do 12. So 4 -- not so impressive. But as I keep reminding myself, there is NO SUCH THING as a wool emergency, so I try not to fret. But still, I'm feeling less than impressed with my output.

Something I am impressed by, though, is this:

For those of you playing the home game, that's tweedy yarn, spun from those mixed batts that were cluttering up my desk a few entries back. I am so beyond thrilled with this yarn I can hardly tell you. I'm spinning it long draw, so it's a little uneven, which is perfect; I'm going for a look that's really sort of arty. I plan to use this yarn in my next Sweaters Without a Pattern class that I'll be teaching at the Port Moody Arts Centre this fall. I always like to have a personal project to do so that I can demo the various techniques on a real project.

In other news, Black Sheep Yarns is days away from opening. I'm so delighted by this development. For one, Port Moody is ready for an upscale yarn store. The local knitters are numerous and artistic, and are apparently tired of driving to Maple Ridge or Vancouver for good yarn. Now me, I spent a decade living in a very boring town that was 2 hours from any really good yarn stores, so driving 35 minutes to Main Street to visit Three Bags Full was always just fine with me, but that's me. Living away from a decent city for so long, I relish the chance to go a mere half hour away to be in the midst of the interesting people, the cool shops, and the swank little coffee shops with wireless access.

However, a local yarn store -- really local -- is fantastic. And it's excellent for me, because I finally have a teaching home. I've been given more or less carte blanche to offer whatever classes i want, at whatever schedule I want. I'll still teach a couple classes at the Arts Centre (Freeform Knitting and Sweaters, this fall), but most of my teaching will happen at Black Sheep. I absolutely love teaching knitting, love to share my passion and my skill, so I have great hopes that I'll get to do a lot more of it now than I could at the Arts Centre.

The expected opening day for the new store is August 19, and the first knit night will be held the night before.

Lastly, here is a picture of cute children with a sheep. I took my daughter to Maplewood Farm the other week, and she loved it. She fed bunnies who were stuffed but tried to be polite and take a few nibbles of the profferred apple wedges, frowned at goats who were trying to nibble her shoelaces, and petted the sheep. I petted the sheep too. Or rather, I crouched down and poked at their fleece, gauging it for staple length, texture, and crimp. As the sheep looked back at me with an unmistakable "What *are* you doing?!" look on its face, I thought, most people probably don't do this.


Uli said...

Anxious to see all your new dying adventures!!! I didn't make it out last Sunday to the market.... guess the lack of fiber... well, it just didn't work out in the end.

And you're right, there is no fiber emergency....... not at my house anyways, except maybe that the stash is growing faster than my hands can spin it.

Gigglestuff said...
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