Audience crafting during concerts – Thoughts?

I know I am only one of many many folks who often knit during concerts - I don't *think* that this is disruptive - but don't know for sure. But I was looking at the concert schedule for Windycon this weekend and realized I would probably be spending hours at a time in the concert room and thought that it would be great to spin (like with a spinning wheel) during the concerts - I rarely get that kind of extended sitting time, especially with such excellent entertainment and kind of wanted to take advantage of it.  It is a great hobby for me, i find it relaxing for my hands and body and great to do to music or an audio book.

Does anyone have an opinion - I wouldn't want to do it if it was rude or distracting for the musician or the other audience members - thoughts?

Some stuff I have been up to

I sometimes realize how terrible I am at updating with any useful content up here.  So while I sit here and let bread rise (yes at 11:55 pm) I'd try to write up a bit. It feels like its been about 6 years since the winter holidays.  We had a bit of a tough time around here, and while it isn't my story to tell, suffice it to say the resulting stress has used up quite a bit of our resources.    I've been being a bit more of a homebody, and a little less "grossly" social.  This has done great things for many of my hobbies.  I did a lot of knitting over the holidays, some spinning and picked up a new hobby as well (more in a bit).  I unfortunately lost my camera over the holidays (really the least of the crappy things) but it does mean that I don't have pictures for a lot of the knitting, spinning and dyeing that I did. I know that some of you know and some of you don't know, that my mom used to be a professional baker. Over the thanksgiving holidays I helped her make some bread, and I got a little caught up in the process and result.  I started doing some reading and then was given some fabulous books and I then started playing. At new years I went a little berzerk baking bread, and since then I have tried to keep it to 1-2 loaves per week. :) I am kind of liking it as a Sunday morning ritual. I tend to wake up much earlier than everyone else, and I can get started and have fresh bread by the time the rest of the house is awake.  I have created my own Buttermilk Oatmeal Wholewheat bread recipe which I am pretty proud of - it still needs a bit of tweaking but is pretty darn good already.  Tonight I am experimenting with bread made with a starter I have been growing all week.  Last weekend at 's house she let me play with 's sourdough starter, and I was pretty impressed with the bread we created.  So tonight I am trying a bread with a starter that used in part the starter that i created.  Hopefully tomorrow morning I might make bread that leavened completely from my starter.  We'll see how that goes. Work has been getting kind of interesting - we have been very very busy, and I am taking on a bunch of new responsibilities. Its a bit of lateral change, and I haven't yet determined if its because I suck at 1/2 of what I am doing, or just because they really need someone almost full time doing the rest of the stuff.  I am a bit trepidatious about how the change will go, it will put me back doing mostly IT work, which I left many years ago. And there is much more, but well maybe I'll get to it later  . . .  

Sock Fiber Blending

About a month or so ago a few of us trekked up to The Fold, we of course purchased but-loads of yarn (I got the yarn for the PTBNL's Blanket). While I was there, I was asking Toni about fibers she might recommend for spinning sock yarn, and I ended up going a little overboard. Ultimately she said I would have to see what I liked best and of course I walked out the door with a whole variety of stuff to try:
  • Superwash Merino
  • Blue Faced Leicester (although now I wish I had waited, I found a source for *Superwash* BLF)
  • Targhee
  • Cultivated Silk Top
  • Kid Mohair Locks
  • Tencel
  • And last weekend at the Stephenson County Fiber Fair I added
  • more silk (I decided I needed more)
  • blending nylon
  • Bamboo
  • cotton
  • Black Diamond
I am going to split it all up into sections and card it and run test batches. I will actually need a bit more superwash merino to get it all done, but I can get that later. I have already split up the first purchases into weighed, bagged batches of SWM/BFL/KidM0 and SWM/BLF/Silk etc. Now the carding will commence - I REALLY wish I had a drum carder. There should be enough in each batch to knit a pair of socks (assuming I don't flub the spinning and plying). I am planning on spinning them all in their natural colors, and then dyeing them. Eventually I'll have time to turn them all into socks and see how they knit and wear, and hopefully by then I'll know something about *my* ideal composition for sock yarn ;)

Boutique Yarn vs. “Big Box” yarn . . .

Originally posted at Which-Crafts

It is my understanding that the yarn companies are going through a bit of a renaissance due to the massive increase in the quantity of knitters out there. From what I understand they have increased the both the variety and quality of what is available by a noticeable amount. This is certainly something I can get behind.

OTOH this renaissance (combined with the internet) has also allowed quite a few smaller more artisan spinning and dyeing companies to flourish. Today while contemplating the yarn I might purchase for an upcoming project, I was wondering how purchases of either kind might affect the market and supply.

In general (for me) supporting smaller, more local businesses is a no-brainer. The BNBrands have some v.nice yarn, and I am certainly not implying that I’d never buy from them, but I am wondering how much of an impact the artisan yarn movement has on the BNBrands and what they choose to create and sell.

New perspectives – spoiled by spinning

So I am working on a super Sekrit project. But I have something really specific in mind, and I think I finally found the pattern I want, or something really close to it. Now to the yarn to knit it with. . . . . . . . . . I am not sure it exists. I start searching and am not coming up with much (something v.soft, preferably worsted weight, superwash wool, variagated, with fairly long and gradual color repeats). Next up, I think well I could buy "bare" yarn, and dye it myself, but I am not finding a lot of superwash options that come in the weight/style I want. And I am thinking of the process it would take to get the long color progressions. And because now that I spin, I have some real ideas about what I want my yarn to be like, and what options I have for fiber content. And whether or not it would be easier to dye the fiber or the yarn etc. I realized how MANY options I have now, its pretty cool. It sort of opens up a whole new horizon of choices for creativity and that is pretty exciting. OTOH I have to balance how much time I have for this project and whether I really want to blend fiber, dye it, spin it and then knit it. It would certainly make the project special, but i am not sure that it won't be cherished no matter what I make it out of.