day 1

great fiber no buy: day 22- a rather heated debate

i found a post this morning on ravelry while i was looking for inspiration on what to blog about for today.

the post amounted to, don’t you dare knit with acrylic for gifts because oh gods what will pepole think of you!!!?!!!

sigh…the man-made versus natural fiber debate.

i think that if you knit with a group or are relatively active on ravelry you’re going to come across this at some point. you’ll be knitting along happily and someone will come along and tell you that your fiber choice is shamefully wrong, and HERE’S WHY.

personally, i have no idea what making statements like ‘acrylic is a bad fiber to work with and here’s ten reasons why you should never touch the stuff’ is supposed to accomplish. it doesn’t matter what the fiber in discussion actually is- if you don’t like red heart, then don’t use red heart. if you hate cashmere, don’t knit with it. if you don’t like x then just. don’t. knit. with. it.

i’m not sure what commenting on the materials choice of others does other than make the person who’s knitting with it feel bad. there was a moment fairly recently at my knitting group where i just wanted to crawl under the table because the only retort i could come up with was, ‘why yes i would love to work with madeline tosh or some of the other indie dyers, but you know what, most of the time the only thing i can afford is red heart.’

that’s right people. i’m broke. i would rather keep knitting with red heart (and quite happily at that) than only knit every few months when i can get the money together for ‘better’ yarns. (and i have no interest in taking apart other people’s sweaters for yarn).

my personal stance is, the only time you should be commenting on another’s fiber choice is when it’s blatantly a bad idea for the project, and even then proceed with caution. maybe they’re aiming for something to felt, or they just like acrylic socks.



great fiber no buy: day 7- the sock issue.

one week down!

apparently my mom bought me roughly 14 ounces of alpaca at the show that she went to. it’s very odd, the area that i grew up in is becoming something of an indie dyer region. i guess it’s good for raising fiber producing animals- the weather is good, the grass is good, and it’s already heavily agricultural based. i’m not complaining since it means that i’m finding a lot more local producers, but it still strikes me as a little weird to go into, say, and etsy shop and see names that i recognize.

day one-birth of a sock

blogs are better with pictures, and i finaly discovered how to use the camera on my phone this afternoon while i was starbucks before work. congratulations,  have an akward picture of my leg.

mid has been very excited about his new socks, which could work out to be an weird situation for me.

here’s the thing. socks are great, but i have a love/hate relationship with handknit socks.

on the plus side:

-the patterns are, at their most basic, fairly straightforward. while there’s a ton of ways to make heels and different toe shapings, the basic shape remains the same from sock to sock. at the truly most basic, a large enough tube will function as a perfectly good sock.

-they’re small enough to be portable.

-socks require so little yarn that even the most expensive sock yarns aren’t that much of a budget hit.

-they’re fairly low stress knits.

-they can last forever- i have a pair kicking around


-i just find them boring. i can’t get into them. they’re just not all that exciting. i’m much rather work lace

-sock yarn….i know that there are plenty of sock yarn dyers on etsy that do some really pretty stuff (i love this) but there’s a lot of really ugly sock  yarn out there. i sometimes think that companies just stick the ends of dye pots together and see what happens. i remember the rise of the self patterning sock yarn, and i’ve never really understood it. i like the idea of self patterning yarn, i just wish someone would do it in pretty colors.

-they’re mindless. i’m not big on mindless knits, not for entire projects at least.

-people always want socks. i never have people ask for sweaters. it’s a weird con.

-they feel like they take forever. for such a small project, they just drag, and drag and drag…

i admittedly have a very weird relationship with socks. i’d much rather work lace on small needles than socks, but socks are admittedly much more useful in day to day life…

The Great Fiber No Buy of 2010, Start and Day 1

The Great Fiber No Buy of 2010

What does it amount to?

Well, as much as I love to shop- I really need to work down the stash that I have (both yarn and spinning fiber). I’m also facing some melodramatic, potential budgeting issues that don’t need to be discusses here, so therefore my access to fluff money is significantly smaller than it had been.

With that in mind, the Great Fiber No Buy is a month (starting today) where I don’t buy anything fiber related, with the exception of:

-a drop spindle (the whorl on my plying/travel spindle is working loose and I don’t think I can fix it) IF i don’t eat out for a week

-gifts (it is the holiday season)

-materials such as needles

My calculation for stash reduction will work as follows: each 50+ yard skein of wool spun will be subtracted from the amount of skeins used over the period of the month. at the end of the month, that total number will equal the number of skeins i can replace in stash. for braids/bumps, 1 braid can be purchased for every 2 braids/bumps spun up.

Day 1

The first day of something is always the hardest (though i’m not all that great at follow through either-hello, what happened to that rhinebeck sweater? well, it did get finished and i wear it to work all the time), and of course, the day that i decide to this formally, i discover that the whorl is coming off of my ashford student spindle. i love that spindle for the rougher wools that i’ve been working with lately. i’ve told myself that if i stay away from resturants (i eat lunch out a lot) i can buy a new spindle on the wednesday before thanksgiving, since i should have saved roughly the amount of money needed for it by that point.

i’ve been working on spinning up this pound of purple short stapled wool that my mom bought from a woman at her workplace for me as my work project. i actually get several hours of spinning done there a day, on average. i’m liking how it’s spinning up- i’m letting it spin up as it wants to, including any bumps that may develop and then n-plying it into what i’m sight gauging it as a heavy sport/very light worsted weight (i need to do a wpi for a better estimate than that).

i have no idea what i want to make out of it yet, because i’m getting fairly good yardage out of this wool, and it’s not all that cuddly. it’s going to be something fairly rugged, whatever it is. and this is presuming i even want to knit with it in the end- i may end up trading it just to get it out of my sight.

projects worked on today:

-purple wool: did a little plying/winding onto bobbin (i need to empty the bobbin and skein up the first batch)

-green shawl: knit for half an hour on the green shawl i’m working on