The Cat Knits...

A singular forum to discuss knitting as craft, therapy, and way of life (with or without the benefit of cats).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Face Cloths

The mood struck and I've been knitting facecloths for the last few weeks. It's not my favorite thing to do, although it's a project that is easily started and quickly finished. Michael's sale on Lily cotton yarn was a little too successful and I really had to work the stash down. Face cloths seemed more appealing than dish cloths, but dish cloths are also looming for the near future.

This was also a good opportunity to weed through the burgeoning pattern file. So I've been knitting the different patterns in the collection and finding out what I really like. Would I knit it again? It's interesting that some patterns do much better to have a border on all four sides, even if the designer makes no mention of a border. One of the lace work cloths pulls severely to one side, and I'm not sure blocking will fix the skew. Feather & Fan, my all-time favorite, always seems to work into a pleasing pattern.

There are so many local soap makers around, that a face cloth and bar of handmade soap is becoming my go-to  birthday or special occasion gift. Okay. Remember the first lesson a knitter must learn? Be conscious of who you give a hand-knit gift to. I did have one person say it made the perfect "doily" for her sofa...another refused to use it... and the third said it was just the kind of big dish rag that her neighbor liked. Lesson learned? Most of the face cloths found happy and grateful recipients.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Spinners Day on the Farm

Who knew there was such a thing as Spinner's Day or that this was the 15th Annual gathering of hand spinners, knitters, fiber producers, and vendors in the greater Bay Area. I guess I'm glad I finally got a clue. Wow! June 9 was the best day in recent memory. The event was sponsored by Sonoma County Fibertrails and vendors at Westside Farms in Healdsburg. Google Maps was a little deceptive about the journey that we would have to make in order to reach bucolic Westside Farm, but we persevered, and arrived to find the parking lot was already pretty close to full. Rather than wait for the next hay ride, we chose to walk.

Gathered under a grove of oaks beyond the vineyard, were the vendors with bags of fleece: dyed, washed, or recently shorn from their sheep; or purveyors of spinning wheels, supported spindles, hand carding equipment, books, videos, and all other nick-nacs so essential to fiber enthusiasts. There were fiber mavens who had carded and dyed fleece into top or spun it into yarn that was ready to knit or crochet. It seemed everyone there was smiling while greeting friends or being kind to newcomers (like me and my husband). 

People set their dishes on the picnic tables for the pot-luck lunch, and then hurried off to join spinning circles. And more spinners kept arriving with their wheels atop a tractor-pulled trailer with hay bales. Soon the quiet, shady grove was a center of bustling activity with half-a-dozen large and small circles of spinners treadling and chatting over the whir of their wheels.

My husband and I picked up my hand carders and small bag of Romney fleece and headed out. Hopefully, the event will happen again next year and, maybe by then, I'll have the courage and know-how to get an entire fleece to wash and process!