Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fiber Fest, dry this time

There's nothing like good weather to improve an outdoor festival, especially the kind of weather that graced Pagosa Springs, Colorado this past Memorial Day weekend.

My second visit to the Pagosa Fiber Festival had it all over my first, the one that I blogged as the Wet Fiber Fest. Of course, a snowy, rainy day in May is somewhat rare, even in Southern Colorado. Besides the great weather, this festival offers the all the usual attractions, just on a smaller scale. There were 30 vendors, mostly from Colorado and New Mexico, with a couple from Texas adding to the western vibe.

There was a variety of animals, notably a Wensleydale sheep, the festival mascot (an alpaca named Thunder), Highland cattle, and this pair of llamas imitating a pushmi-pullyu.

The one facing the camera looks a little different than your average llama. With the dreadlocks, a slim and elegant body and those finely curved ears, he reminds me more of a Suri Alpaca than a llama. He's llama-sized, though. Whatever he (or she) is, I think I have a crush.

There was shearing.

Just one shearer, though. He made his way through a pen full of sheep while I shopped the booths. Here's my haul.

The pretty colors in the back are the work of The Natural Twist from Albuquerque, NM. It's a chunky weight mohair/wool combo. I picked several colors in their Enchantment Series, planning more fair-isle pillow covers.

The front-and-center hank is Blue-faced Leicester and silk sock yarn, dyed by a mother-daughter team from Boulder, Co. Their company, Wild Orchids Fiber Arts, offered a selection of unusual yarns, beautifully and tastefully dyed. Mink yarn, cashmere, bfl, merino, I was really happy to get the bfl, touted to be the best sock yarn ever. The unusual sage colorway is just my taste. Don't expect to see it knit up anytime soon. I usually enjoy my favorite yarns in a hank for a while before I wind them up. It's like the knitting project I took on the drive to Pagosa Springs.

The yarn I used in these socks is a perfect example. It was part of my prize for second-place in the Socks Revived pattern contest last summer. It's the Spring Grass colorway of North Loop's superwash merino sock. I puzzled for a while with it, but once I settled on the Chouwa pattern from Knitted Socks East and West, everything fell into place.

I just love how the slight pooling works with the feather and fan pattern in the leg. The cables in the pattern tighten the leg considerably, though. It's a little tight pulling them on over my heels, but once on, they are a good fit. I followed the pattern through the heel flap, taking a chance that the shorter-than-my-usual heel flap would still fit. It does, barely. I turned the sock inside out after the heel turn to knit a smoother, princess-style sole with no purling.

I plan to blog incessantly about this method of sock knitting as I work up to my next pattern launch. I have found that turning the knit side toward my foot makes a more comfortable sock. Since the entire foot in this sock is reverse stockinette, I'm not satisfied with the term princess sole. These socks have a princess heel, princess sole, princess toes, and a princess instep--what should I call it? A royal foot?

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1 comment:

Marjorie said...

I think that is a great way to do the foot. On one pair of socks, I turned them inside out so that I'd have the smooth part against my foot.

That looks like a nice fiber fair, and the colors of the yarn you selected are very nice.