Monday, September 25, 2006

The OFFF Report

No, my finger didn't get stuck on the F key. OFFF is the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival, an annual event in these parts. It was held this past weekend and my experience can be summed up quite simply:

I went, I saw, I bought lots of yarn.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts was there and I got to see the Lucy yarn in the wild. I don't know why that seemed more suprising than having it arrive in my mail box but it did. It was like stumbling across a familiar friend in an unfamiliar place. Need I tell you that I bought several skeins of Socks that Rock?

For those STR junkies out there, from left to right, we have: Christmas Rock; Falcon's Eye; Coral; Kryptonite; Brick; Gold Nugget; Rocktober; Sun Stone. Lying across the top is Seduction in the Mermaid colorway. This is a Merino/tencel blend. I've been reading about this blend lately but haven't tried it yet. The ladies at Blue Moon said that the tencel, which is a wood by-product, is very strong and the yarn wears well.

I also bought two huge skeins of a gorgeous dark teal mohair/silk blend worsted weight yarn from Blue Moon but that was Saturday and today is Monday and I can't remember where I put it so no photos. You'll just have to take my word for it that it's gorgeous. I think they said this was a close-out but can't remember for sure. Either way, the price was very reasonable and I've got a couple thousand yards of pretty yarn to play with.

Interlacements was the other booth that left my credit card melting around the edges. Interlacements is one of my favorite of the smaller yarn companies. (Are they artisanal dyers? Like the artisanal bakers that are cropping up everywhere?) They have a wonderful selection of yarns and Judy Ditmore's color sense is simply wonderful. I have quite a bit of their yarn and all of it's gorgeous.

This time around, I bought a hank of Toasty Toes, their sport weight sock yarn in the most wonderful mossy green. My mediocore picture does not even begin to catch the depth and richness of this color. Think deep forest glades lit by dappled sunlight. It's breathtaking. This is destined to be either something with cables or my third version of Faina's Scarf.

They had a stunning sweater knit up in this yarn. It's called Squirrel Monkey and it's an interesting combination of cables and openwork. I can't tell you how beautiful it was knit up in this mossy green, which is mostly solid but with that wonderful mottling that hand-dyed yarns have. But what was really shocking to me was how heavy it was. It weighed a ton. It made me really aware of what a full out aran sweater must weigh and how little use I'm likely to get out of it. That won't stop me from making one because what does good sense have to do with knitting? But at least I'll know going into it that it's not likely to get heavy use.

Also at Interlacements was a rayon boucle yarn called Ric Rak. The display was gorgeous but, for my tastes, this teeters on the edge of being a novelty yarn so I wasn't in any particular danger of buying it until I fondled a vest they had on display. The vest itself is a simple, asymetrical number - nice but maybe not my style - but the fabric was simply fabulous. Knit up in a slip stitch pattern on size 7 needles, this relatively skinny yarn turns into something silky and beautiful with a fabulous drape. And the colors, as always with Judy's yarns, are wonderful. She had so many beautiful combinations in this particular yarn that I probably spent twenty minutes trying to decide which one I wanted.

There were a few other purchases that I didn't get around to photographing - some gorgeous chocolate colored alpaca, a glass circular knitting needle and it's possible that I bought a little more sock yarn because a girl can never have too much sock yarn, right? I'll tell you about the glass circ when I've had a chance to try it out a bit more. It looks very intriguing.

I also wandered through the sheep barns and ogled the alpacas. Is there any animal on the planet with bigger, softer eyes than an alpaca?

In other knitting news, in a moment of insanity, I cast on for Lizard Ridge, the blasted Kureyon afghan in the new issue of Knitty. I don't know how it happened. I had no intention of starting this now but, last night, I found myself with needles in hand and it's like eating potato chips. I keep wanting to knit just one more set of short rows. It's not fast and, at first, I found the whole short row thing very confusing but by the time I'd finished the first repeat, I had figured out how it worked and the pace picked up. I need another project like I need another hole in the head. How did this happen?


Blogger LauraP said...

Dallas - I've heard of that festival, and it does sound wonderful. Did you get to hear the alpacas hum? I love hanging around the pens after they've had time to settle in and feel content - that's when the humming starts. So cool.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

I'm in love with Lizard Ridge too but am also in love with the Kureyon blocks you made a few years ago -- I think it's a Cora Hamilton Tuttle Tuttle Hamilton Cora something or other pattern. And there's a Kureyon mitered octagonal bag in a book on modular knits that's caught my wandering eye.

I'm still trying to limit myself to only one or two projects at a time. I'm not sure how well it's working for me. I don't seem to knit more than a half-hour a day on average and when it's something like those damn black socks that half-hour seems like a long loooong time. (Maybe that's a good thing??)

11:19 PM  
Blogger Dallas Schulze said...

Laura - Alpacas hum? Now, I definitely need to own an alpaca or five. Not only are they pretty but they're musical. Now, if you tell me they do windows....

Barbara - The Kureyon square from a couple of years ago was Star-something-or-other and it was by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton. Given your affection for log cabin designs, I'm not surprised you liked it since it's a log cabin-ish pattern.

Only half an hour of knitting a day?! Don't you know the Surgeon General has determined that knitting less than three hours a day can be hazardous to your health. You must pick up your needles immediately.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Alpacas are great, aren't they? I love their eyes, too. And they look like they'd have the softest noses.

6:37 PM  

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