Ack! I uploaded these photos on Sunday morning so I could post about them, and here it is Wednesday already! The annual Madrona Fiber Arts Festival was this past weekend in Tacoma (Why Tacoma? Really, why not Seattle itself?), and Katrina and I headed down Friday after work. To be fair - we left early. Working in a lab is very flexible. After braving the traffic, we arrived at the hotel and prepared ourselves for battle. Armed with detailed lists and debit cards we attacked the market. In the end Katrina didn't buy anything and I didn't really buy that much, although I'm really happy with what I got. First I bought two skeins of Shibui Sock for the Transition Gloves, started here: That's what Ihad Sunday morning - by now I'm about 2/3 finished with the first mitt, and it's really lovely. I was also looking for unique laceweight yarn that I couldn't get in Seattle (harder than you think, we have a lot of yarn shops here), and I found some: This is undyed wool from Ireland from Black Water Abbey Yarns, and it's very sheepy. I'm imagining some rustic lace with it. I already have yarn for the Cobweb Lace Stole from Interweave, but this might be better. We'll see. Here's a close-up: And I bought some yarn that I probably could've found in Seattle but hadn't, for Anne Hanson's Morning Glory Stole, which Rachel bought me the pattern for a couple of years ago (!) now. It's almost exactly the color of the yarn in the pattern, and it's very lovely in person - the photo doesn't do it justice.So, that's all I bought, and I have plans for all of it. I avoided the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth. Well, I didn't avoid it, but I didn't buy anything there. None of the STR leaped off the shelf at me, even though I was looking for some to match a colorway that I already have for a striped scarf. We met Rachel and Pam there and neither of them bought anything either, although they were taking classes and still had Saturday left for shopping, and I've not heard the final damage report.
All in all I thought the mood seemed a bit subdued compared to past years. That's probably the economy talking - I think people are hunkering down a bit with what they have, and although they were there browsing, I didn't see much being purchased. One thing I really noticed, and I think I noticed this two years ago as well, is that the market has too much handdyed sock yarn. Now, don't get me wrong, because I love me some handdyes, but there were SO many vendors selling it, and how many socks does a person need? I realize the purple yarn above is actually sockweight, and I'm not intending to use it for socks, but really a lot of the crazy dyed stuff really won't translate that well into a lot of other items.
In other news, I have started the purple Urban Aran (twice) and it's moving along. I jetisoned my original plan of knitting the medium because it was looking really wide, so now I'm knitting the small and hoping for the best. It's looking reasonable so far, about 5" in...I'd be further along had I not started those addictive orange and white mitts!