Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I am a mad scientist

I'll be honest: there hasn't been much knitting here. I'm five rows away from finishing a Baby Surprise Jacket, and I'm not sure that I like it. It's smart, and that's cool, but my decreases look miserable. I'll post pictures when I get to it.

I went to the California Sheep and Wool Festival with Mom. It was nice, but a letdown. I honestly expected it to be... bigger. I had a good time, but it wasn't worth the eight hours we spent in the car to get to and from the fair, and the hour round trip from the fairgrounds to our NASTY hotel.

The hotel is a story in itself. In the Boonville/Ukiah area, it seems that lodging options are limited to a $200/night B&B, or a one-star, $50/night hotel.

Given the choice between paying out the nose to a B&B and the option of staying for a little less cash (leaving more for recreation), we chose the hotel. Given that it was a one-star hotel, I packed my own sheets.

Thank God I did. You didn't need a blacklight to see the stains on the bedding (and every other flat, fabric-covered surface). Ew. Even the carpet was sticky. Grooooooooooss.

The mattress was that classic, cheap motel, squeaky mattress that was intended for illicit liaisons. Not so much for a good night's sleep, oddly enough. Given the quality of our room, we spent only the time that we slept in the room.

We ate at a couple of fabulous places, including the Ukiah Brewing Company and the Bluebird Diner, and that was awesome.

The Fiber Festival itself had some high points: the fleece judging was edifying, as was the sheep shearing. Other than that, it was a lot of chatting with the vendors. [And buying fleeces.] We won't be attending next year. Too much driving, too little fiber.

I transgressed against the Social Pressure Experiment, but I've bought absolution. Or would that be indulgences? In any case, I slipped, and now I'm even MORE committed to the cause.

Early Saturday morning, I woke up with a Migraine. A combination of Vicodin, coffee, and water helped to alleviate some of the pain.


The magical thing about Vicodin is that I have the BEST ideas when I've taken it for pain relief. [NOTE: I have a prescription, for Vicodin, to me, for migraines. I use it judiciously. No need to worry, internet-friends!]

I thought of a BRILLIANT way to dye roving, so when we got home, I took a nap, and then Andrew and I set out on a course to buy the $10 worth of materials needed for my experiment.

The Goal: Day-Glo rainbow colors, in Superwash Merino [I already have this in my stash.]

I'll be honest: 3 out of 4 of my experiments worked out EXACTLY the way I wanted them to. #3 (the failure) may also not be a failure, just not what I intended. Given that they dye for #3 was clearly MUCH older than the other experiments, this may have had something to do with it. Adding a little fresher dye to the bath will resolve this, we think.

Thus far, for the day-glo, I have the "red" (which will ideally be more on the fuschia side), "green" (which is an AMAZING chartreuse), blue (turquoise with bits of navy), and yellow. This leaves: orange and purple. Pictures pending... you know, uploading them.


  1. That letdown feeling was my experience at Stitches and most certainly at the TKGA show.

    I am not following your plan to not buy anything, but have always been judicious in my purchases. So much so that there's no point in going to fiber things alone, I won't buy anything without being chivvied into it.

    Yeah, Booneville really sucked for lodgings. Sorry you didn't know that in advance.

  2. Thanks for the review of the festival-- I was like, 25% wanting to go (I get sick sick on those hwy 1 roads but always want a new fleece :)), but twisting my back out over the weekend clinched my day-trip idea. Was the fleece buying as good as Lambtown, Monterey, the other local haunts?

    Can't wait to see your rovings!


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