Posts tagged ‘county fair’

Today we went off to the fair, to have a look around and get a picture of my yarn in the display case. Fortunately there is more than one digital camera in the household.

Skein of yarn and ribbon: First Place San Mateo County Fair

My friend predicted I’d get a blue ribbon and I did. I’m not personally all that motivated by winning, so I had to be convinced to enter. It is another way to explore further what judging yarn means, so I can learn something there. (I won’t get the comments, if any, until after the fair ends.) Perhaps somebody will be inspired to explore traditional yarns as a result, and that is a good thing.

There was a group of spinners demonstrating in front of the yarn and weaving display, one turned out to be a yarn judge. I asked her about how they evaluated the entries and the judges were looking specifically for technical skill. I’ve talked to many people about entering their yarns in competition and have heard several stories of seemingly random results, so this is encouraging. It isn’t that I don’t care at all about creative visual design (let’s just say it isn’t high on my list) but I do think that some people don’t look past it to consider structure. It is the structure that interests me, and that is best seen by starting with even and consistent yarn. Such that apparently there was some discussion about whether on not my skein was actually spun by hand.

I get this comment once in a while, it’s still always weird when I do. (People ask me all the time where I buy my clothes, you would think I’d get used to it.) Some spinners believe one shouldn’t worry too much about making fine and even yarn because irregularities give it “character.” If they wanted even spinning, they would buy it already made. I actually don’t consider if yarn is machine or hand spun when evaluating it’s qualities, only that it has certain characteristics. Handspun yarn tends to have particular ones and machine spun others. It’s all still yarn. It’s the whole subject of what is “good” yarn where I get bogged down in the sea of opinions and personal preferences.

While we are on the subject of pictures, there were some other things on the camera once I got everything off. Here is the yarn I sent off to the San Mateo County Fair:

I didn’t even measure it, it’s somewhere around 100 g I’d guess. I think it’s a nice medium-ish sock yarn size and it’s good and solid. One thing I don’t like about the yarn I bought is I keep splitting it with the needle. Here’s the swatch:

Yes, that’s a roll of coins there. I say it was a teeny tiny hat, remember? I did it on 2.25 mm (US 1) needles. I like how that worked, so I expect I’ll do the actual projects on that size also. I even got a second matching circular needle for the occasion.

With all the excitement going on with the loom, I haven’t done any spinning the past few days. I have to prep more fiber first, which I’m not so excited about at the moment. I’m also doing some computer stuff, which is why these past few entries didn’t get posted right away.

I started this blog post yesterday, but it’s just been too damn hot. So instead I took advantage of free Caltrain and went for an air-conditioned train ride. In the process of going to San Jose and back, I got almost all the way through the heel on the sock. I still haven’t quite gotten this wrap and turn thing down, the knit end looks fine but the purl end is awful. It fits correctly, at least.

I did get the fair yarn done before I headed out, however. It takes no time at all to ply compared to spinning the singles. I skeined it off the bobbin, gave it another scour soak and then a vigorous wash. Last night I started a swatch, a teeny tiny hat. (Yes, there are pictures but the camera batteries are currently charging so I can’t get them to the computer.) I figured I should do something in the round, and when I get it back I can send it off for my mother’s doll collection. I delivered the yarn today to the designated fair-goer, who predicted it would take first place because it’s way better than hers. Eh, who knows. It’s not like I’m all that worried about it. I mostly did it because she asked, so her yarn wouldn’t feel lonely. There aren’t all that many spinning entries in the fair these days. Apparently the top prize is $15 and passes to the fair, all I had to do was send in the form and deliver the goods. She’s doing most of the work, drop-off and pick-up. It’s a yarn I was working on anyway and nothing particularly special.

Now I go back to spinning the single, and I think I’m just going to fill the bobbins again to make up for what I plied. I’ve got plenty of fiber and the yarn is something I would use for other things. I’m contemplating trying to overdye it to get a real black. This is considered black for a sheep, a very dark brown. But it’s not really a proper black. I just have to decide what to dye it with. Blue has been suggested, and if I’m going to do that then I’ll just wait until the next indigo party. It’s going to be a while on the rest of the yarn anyway.

My hats are on their way back from Convergence, I should have them early next week. I was concerned at first because I got a call from the shipping place wanting to know how I was going to pay for return shipping (HGA was supposed to cover it.) But when I called back later with my FedEx account number, it had all been sorted out. The person I talked to said Convergence package handling had been disorganized, but at least now I’m getting my stuff back. So everything is ok.

I’ve been thinking about this county fair thing and I can’t see how it’s going to happen. I just don’t have enough done to feel comfortable having it finished in time. I could just send off the entry form and if I don’t make it then it would just be a waste of $4 or something, but I really don’t see it having any chance of happening. I’m not much interested in competing, but a friend asked and I figured it would be good to give it a go at least once. Oh well.

The heddle sorting continues. As does the spinning of solid color singles for sock yarn. I’ll spare you the details, other than to say I’ve got a bobbin and a half done. The president of Spindles and Flyers, a friend of mine, has been trying to talk me into submitting a skein for the San Mateo County Fair. The entry form deadline is coming up fast and items must be delivered near the end of the month. I don’t know if I will have anything finished by then. I have a day or so more to think about it.

So, of course, I went shopping at monthly spinning night instead of actually getting any spinning done. I’ve been thinking I should try some socks from commercial sock yarn before I set out to do with handspun, so I can contemplate what I want. I’ve only done a couple socks and it’s been a while. So I picked up enough to do two pairs, one short and one tall. I’ve been looking at sock yarns but not happy with what I’ve seen in a few other shops, the colors were oddly muted and mostly they were the instant Fair Isle stripy things. Stripes are ok, but I didn’t want funky patterns that would only get weird if I don’t work on the recommended number of stitches. After pawing through an entire bin, I found some I could live with at Carolina Homespun. Everyone was amazed that they were not gray. (There was only one skein of gray in the yarn I wanted.) Now I just have to work out the toe-up thing so I can knit until I run out of yarn.

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