Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm on the straps of the Brown Blob Bag, but I will not subject you to a silly progress picture.

Instead I will give a little report of the Knitting Guild of America Show at the Valley Forge Convention Center, which I attended on Sunday. I believe that this is where Stitches used to be held before it moved to Atlantic City. The "show" (well, really it's just the Market) was considerably smaller than at Stitches, which made it more manageable, but made me feel a little begrudging about spending $7 just to browse (I think Stitches charges $5.)

Because I work in a yarn store, I have pretty stringent requirements about what I will allow myself to buy at these things. Obviously, it has to be something I can't get at the store - I like things from small farms, handspun, hand-dyed or unique in some way. I also have to have a project in mind when I buy. There were many independent farms and spinneries represented at the show which was very cool. Handpainted yarns, which will be big here in the fall, were everywhere. The yarns, though beautiful, were not so interesting to me. I've already got my beady little eyes on some stuff that's coming into the store this fall.

What I was most interested in was some fiber to spin - I was sorely tempted by some hand-dyed silk and also by a merino/hemp blend that was surprisingly soft (isn't hemp rope fiber??), but passed. I'm not sure my spinning skills are up to the challenge yet. Instead I bought this roving from Grafton Fibers:

Kinda gorgeous colors, eh? Almost zinnia-like!! It's Corriedale, which my orange and brown roving is also - long staple, very easy to spin. Plus Grafton is in Vermont, one of my very favorite states in the whole country. Okay, so I don't know what I'll do with it, but I'm toying with the idea of only spinning a single-ply to knit with, instead of plying it with itself or with another yarn. Do you know how to do this, Diana, you may ask? No, I don't actually know how to do this exactly, but hey, that never stopped me before!!

The other yarn in the picture is 100% organic cotton laceweight yarn from Skaska Designs. I love the brown color!! There was also an ecru that reminded me of antique lace that had yellowed a little. It was a devastating color - I stood with both skeins in my hand for a lonnnggg time debating. I finally decided on the brown; brown is my 2nd favorite color (next to olive green - were you asking?), and I thought it would look cool in a not-too-lacey shawl to throw over a jean jacket or something like that. I haven't knit with laceweight cotton - perhaps I am fooling myself that I will like knitting with it, unlike how I feel about working with all other weights of cotton. Selective Yarn Memory is a powerful thing.

The little pin in the picture is this:

Aren't their little faces funny? They cracked me up! This will go on the aforesaid jean jacket.

While I was pondering the earth-shattering decisions outlined above, my husband and son went here to soak up history. Then they picked me up, we bought lunch from Taco Bell and ate it at Port Kennedy so we could see a freight train go by, which it did! Now that's a great day!!


Blogger DMJ said...

Diana: Interesting that you should show Valley Forge Natl Park, where Matthew and Gus visited. Back in 1972, when I became Democratic County chairman, VF was a state park, and the patronage system was still in full swing. One of my first visitors was Horace Wilcox, the director of Valley Forge State Park, who was a professional historian. He was very nervous coming to see me, and I was surprised at his mission, because I had not known that I had just come into control of his whole staff. (Actually I think a small number of his jobs came under the jurisdiction of the Chester County chairman.) Old Horace could hardly believe his good fortune when he learned that I was not only county chairman but a historian too. I told him, "Horace, anyone you feel would be a good hire for the park, let me know and I'll send the name to Harrisburg." Horace walked out of my office with a huge smile on his face, and that's how we took care of VF State Park during my tenure.

7:01 PM  
Blogger DMJ said...

Diana: I put together a comment about Valley Forge State Park (now a national park), and somehow before I could post it I had to start my own blog, as Wingouvhal. So my comment is on there, and I have no idea how to transfer it to yours. But I tried.

7:05 PM  
Blogger diana said...

I didn't know that! The things you learn from this new-fangled internet! Valley Forge is beautiful now; you must have put it on the right path back in 1972!

7:06 PM  
Blogger diana said...

O Wingouvandhal! It's sounds like a Wagner opera.....

7:07 PM  

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