April 02, 2016

Oh, for a Linen Sweater

I have set aside the first grey mitten because there is something wrong with the gauge.  I need to fix it and just haven't.  Actually, I haven't made anything at all for three weeks, fibre or metal.  I have been resting and procrastinating on non-maker tasks.

I like to browse the online listings of a local auction house.  I like secondhand things and also material culture: it interests me to see what people had.  There is an estate sale up right now that includes something like ten storage tubs full of unfinished quilts.  Let this be a lesson to us all!

I've also been browsing Ravelry's project search function for finished sweaters, finished sweaters in linen, finished sweaters in undyed yarn, lace-weight finished sweaters, and handspun finished sweaters.  Many of the handspun sweaters were stockinette with thin stripes in multiple colours that were blurred and indistinct as they changed from one colour to another.  I would guess their owners spun the yarn from those 4 ounce bags of of roving dyed in multiple colours that have been so popular the last while.  There was a dainty Waterlily sweater, which is a solid colour in mostly stockinette stitch with some knitted lace at the yoke, knitted with the most beautiful linen yarn.  I went so far as to look up where to buy the yarn.  And then I thought of all the supplies I have already.  I may lack linen knitting yarn (and a nice linen sweater to wear) but there's a fair bit of linen weaving yarn, wool yarn, hemp yarn, wool roving, and raw fleece waiting for their turn.  I also have a 1990s thrift store linen sweater that might yield some knitting yarn some sweet day in the future.

Speaking of linen, and keeping in mind that I aim to get as much linen in my life as possible, I treated myself to a purchase of linen placemats from my favourite furniture and housewares store.  I don't know why I waited so long.

You may remember I had a booth at the Fiber Farmers' Market for the first time.  It went alright.  The best moments for me were when I talked to someone who was thinking about buying her first spinning wheel and to someone else who had an antique spinning wheel that needs restoration.  This probably makes me a terrible salesperson, because none of this has to do with the fibre arts-themed jewellery, tools, and supplies I sell.

Selling at a market is a very immediate thing, you have to focus on totting up prices and taking payment.  It is very different from the weeks before when you are planning ahead and watching products take shape under your hands.  I pushed myself to produce before the market.  I got some extra help from one of my metal instructors which enabled me to complete two necklaces with silver coins, one of an Australian sheep and the other of a handspinner with distaff and spindle.  I also finished a necklace with a silk cocoon pendant that I cast in silver.  I still need to get that one up for sale on the website.  Anyway, it put me in a good position, stock-wise, for my booth at Powhatan's Festival of Fiber which is coming up at the end of the month.

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