linky do's!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

KDO here i go!

i almost didn't go to KDO.  becos of the floods, several roads were closed in my area and down near KDO.  the route i take to is right along the river and i had no idear if the roads sustained damage from the floods.  for days i watched the news stations near harrisburg and checked websites for updates on road closures.

the roads around the college remained open, so the organizers chose to stay open.  the majority of the vendors set up shop, and instructors drove wacky routes to get to central penn college, and word spread that the show was on.

while we were safe from the flooding, i was nervous driving down.  all year i look forward to KDO.  most women have spa weekends or vegas weekends  or shopping weekends - i have KDO.  come hell or high water (HA!) i was going to go to KDO.

friday night our bridge opened and now there was a open route to the south.  i left at 6:30 in the morning becos i didn't know if i would run into any trouble on the road.  i made my traditional stop at dunkin donuts on the strip and got a pumpkin muffin and an orange coolata.  normally i get a bagel with cream cheese and a chai tea, but i'd eaten breakfast before i left (in case DD was closed) and they had no chai tea.  i should have known that right then, the day would be goofy.

the drive was uneventful and there weren't many travelers on the road.  i think there was more traffic running north becos of the penn state/alabama game.  i arrived at my destination shortly before 8.

i registered and dropped my hat off in the caps for kids bin.  i didn't get a door prize this year.  funny thing is, i didn't care.  i got such a grand prize last year (which still sits waiting to be knit up) that i was okay with not getting one!  i did round one of the yarn market (more on that later) then went to my class.

i took spindle spinning for beginners with tom knisely.  he's the fellow who often narrates the sheep to shawl competitions at the farm show.  tom's awesome.  he told us how to clean raw wool and showed us how to process fleeces in order to prepare them for spinning.  he brought carders, a variety of spindles and locks of wool.  he showed us how to prepare our roving for spinning.  my yarn was pretty rough looking - fine to thick.  he joked that someday we'd have to take classes in order to create that kind of yarn again!  i had trouble that my spindle didn't want to spin and it wanted to spin in the opposite direction (essentially plying the yarn).  he suggested that i might want to get a larger (heavier) spindle for spinning heavier yarns.  really, i just want to spin fingering to light worsted!  also, my roving kept getting caught in the spin and i'd get these weird fluffy bits hanging out of the thread!  i guess i gotta work on my pinch/pull more!

this is the little bag of roving i got at spindle class.  those two blobs of yarn are my pathetic attempts at spinning.  i don't need to buy thick and thin yarn anymore.  i can spin it instead!

there was a girl in class who annoyed the hell out of me.  you know the person who always has a comment or story for everything and never STFU?  that's her.  it got to the point that our instructor would say "uh-huh" or "that's nice" to shut her up.  once he was helping another lady out and she demanded that she needed help and he replied "i'm helping so-and-so, i'll be with you shortly".  during class her phone rang and she actually took the call - outside of course - but how unbelievably rude.  earlier i saw her at the yarn market, while i was checking out at kathy's.  the clerk was trying to get my billing information (they had an old fashioned slide credit card machine) and the girl talked so loudly about her pregnancy and how she wasn't going to have a c-section becos she'd already had a bowel resection and appendix removal that she didn't want any more ab surgery.  i was frustrated becos i couldn't talk to the clerk properly (the lady goofed up my address becos she couldn't hear me either) and her attitude towards a c-section made me want to tell her "you don't want a c-section?  well then, i pray that you don't have any complications that would require one."  

ahem.  i digress.

after a lunch of salad, chicken, rice and steamed veggies with bread pudding for dessert, i did round two of the yarn market.

my afternoon class was introduction to bobbin lace.  bobbin lace is basically weaving with fine thread.  this technique was used to make motifs for lace.  in the past, this wasn't a "craft" but mostly a cottage industry, as workers would create flowers or other shapes (often one person would create the same motif through their entire life), which was then given to the town seamstress to piece together.  our instructor brought several samples of lace, the oldest being a couple hundred years old.  she showed us different styles of bobbin lace and explained what it could be used for - edging of clothing, home decoration.  one thing she emphasized was that bobbin lace was not a traditional craft in our country.  lace production was primarily in northern europe (france, spain, italy and the united kingdom).  apparently bobbin lace pops up frequently at reenactments.  i never knew this - i knew that spinning wool, weaving and knitting were popular crafts at reenactments, but not bobbin lace.

she showed us our pillows (known as "cookies") and bobbin kits - six bobbins, which were already wound with thread.  there is a pair of "passive bobbins" (this was orange thread) - which act as the "weft", and a pair of "worker bobbins" (this had the colored thread) which act as the "warp".  she showed us the two stitches - cross and twist - and the three basic stitches.  we worked the bobbins from left (which was a stitch), which we pinned, then worked from the right (and pinned that stitch).  back and forth, twisting or crossing.  she gave us a small heart to work on, which was already pinned to the pillow.

i had a horrible time figuring out how to make the stitches.  actually, i understood how and when to twist or cross.  i didn't know i had to work all six bobbins at the same time.  there were symbols for adding extra twists, and the pattern was so tiny i couldn't see where i was supposed to add the extra twists or crosses.  we had a larger pattern, and i wished i had a small post it or some way to mark off what stitch i completed.  i had to rip back several times.

i wanted to ask for help, but other ladies had trouble like me and my teacher spent quite a bit of time with them.  she did help me (that's when i learned that i had to work all the spindles, not just 4 at a time!).  i still struggled.

we were supposed to cast off (i have no idear how i was supposed to do that), trim off the threads then stick the piece on a post card.  (the heart was the head of a flower, it was stuck on with glue dots).  by the time i finished, my body ached and my head pounded.  i shouldn't even complain becos supposedly lace workers worked in damp cellars (if they were working with linen threads).  i can't imagine working hunched over in a dark damp cellar!  i left my name tag with my address - she offered us stragglers to fasten our pieces and send them to us.   she gave us order forms - she also sold lace supplies - but warned us that it was also a costly hobby.

most of us seemed to struggle with this.  our teacher admitted that she requested to have this class in the morning, when most of our minds would be fresh and alert.  i'm not sure that would have helped in my case!  it was a fun class though.  i'd be willing to give it a go again!  this lady also taught the tatting class, which i wanted to take so badly, but it was up against spinning.  on my eval form i wrote and asked if they'd have the tatting class again next year, so i could take it!

now for the damage...

i got a huge haul at the mannings.  i go there first becos their corner gets busy really quickly.  i bought a bigger spindle for my spindle class becos i thought the one i had was too small.  i got current issues of debbie bliss, interweave knits holiday gifts issue, and spin-off, becos it was about spinning wheels (let's see how far i get with that, considering how well i spin with a drop spindle!).  three cute buttons.  a new project bag.  whimsical little knits #1 and #2.  yarn.  that's heritage in cerulean on the left.  sterling silk and silver in tuxedo (another black yarn!).  and mal lace in VAA.

i was excited to learn that crafty chick creations, who makes lampwork beads, buttons and other beautiful glass bead crafts, would be at the yarn market.  i found these stitch markers.  in keeping up my strange obsession with orange lately, the long bead on the right is a glow in the dark bead.  can't wait to knit at night and see what it looks like!

juli by plymouth yarns.  i got this at carol's needleworks.  i think this is going to be mittens.  sparkly brown mittens!

look familiar?  i got this same yarn at the mannings!  this yarn i got from sweitzers fiber mill.  i liked this shawl.  they had a few kits set up but i really wanted another yarn to use (it was a worsted yarn but the pattern called for fingering).  the designer was there, and trying to explain how i could adapt the pattern so i could use the heavier weight, but she would not leave me alone.  and there was corner i wanted to look at except someone else was already there.

june pryce fiber arts superwash merino/alpaca/nylon in sage.  this stand had really pretty braids of fleece too.

glinda the good wool in dark matter II.  this stand also had a really cool sock pattern (which was going to be in an upcoming knitting magazine) and i accidentally picked up the sample mini skeins that she used.  she had one skein in australia and she offered to sell it to me and give me a break on shipping.

my haul from kathy's kreations - naturally nazareth by kraemer yarns in autumn;  tosh sock in lichen, smooshy in deep seaflower and cocoa kiss:

and i got this lovely carry bag at one of the vendors.

i'm glad i was able to go to KDO this year.  i look forward to it every year.  i love learning new knitting techniques and supporting LYSs in the process! 

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