oh, my spinning head

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, lace/shawls, projects

instead of going out to hunt flowers to headline the blog this morning, i decided that a yummy yarn photo might suffice—you like yarn, don’t you??

these gorgeous skeins of kami bison, a bamboo/merino/bison blend, are a new offering from my friend sylvie toupin, owner (with husband jacque) of fibre isle mill in prince edward island, canada. this yarn is sylvie’s new baby, which she proudly waxed poetic over while i petted skeins and sighed over lace samples she had knit up in it.

i finally got to meet this warm and enthusiastic woman in person over the weekend at the TNNA summer show. she is absolutely passionate about fiber and milling—her luxury yarns are proof of her love for fiber and investment in learning to produce breathtaking yarns (she is the maker of last year’s runaway show favorite, mooi, now distributed by louet, with which i knit the elm row scarf). because sylvie is equally passionate about knitting lace, her yarn offerings reflect her excitement—she is one of the few producers whose main endeavor is to create laceweight and light fingering yarns and she knows how to get the most out of her fiber choices to showcase the beautiful stitch/yarn marriage that results in a stunning lace piece.

fibre isle has now assembled a very respectable array of covet-able yarns for lace knitting that we can all drool over and purchase by visiting their website.

on friday afternoon i met up with valerie and karen from mountain meadow wool to pass off the morning glory and hillflowers samples i had for them

i think they were pretty happy! the pieces looked beautiful draped in their booth along with skeins of yarn and bumps of soft, creamy merino fiber. hopefully they also drew the right kind of attention to this wonderful mill.

another exciting new offering at the show was a preview copy of clara parks’, knitter’s book of wool

a complete guide to the mighty fiber that is the backbone of the knitter’s craft. while i haven’t been able to sit and read the whole volume yet, i see that discussions throughout include properties of wool and its behavior, various characteristics of wool types and breed, how spinning and blending are used to increase the breadth of yarns that can be produced from wool, a section of projects, and finally, a respectable resource section and guide for those that want to know more about caring for wool or further their knowledge about the fiber.

and as always, it was just lovely to see clara herself and catch up with her a bit.

i was invited to get on line for a book signing by another industry favorite (and good friend!) and though i already have a copy of cookie’s book, it wasn’t signed.

and i’m so glad i got one—this is one-in-a-million, yes?

which brings me to the fun, non-work (sort-of) parts of being at TNNA—catching up with friends. this was a great chance to spend time with real people i usually only keep up with through email, blogs, and internet news. i had long talks with ysolda, janel, cookie, kristi, erin (erin owns the most charming shop; i hope i get to teach there some day!), and jeni (oh man, jeni, i dunno how to link to you) that lasted late into the night, through which we explored ideas about our respective businesses and the knitting world at large. i also got to chat with numerous other designers, yarnies, publishing people, and suppliers. it’s a lot to take in all at once and one always feels like there are hundreds of loose ends to resolve afterward. still, having had a few days of real-time together left me with a powerful amount of inspiration and supportive encouragement.

so, did i take pictures? sorry, but the answer is “hardly at all”—bad me. cameras are not allowed on the convention floor so i left mine in the room during the day and never got back for it in the evenings. well, and we got talking so intensely that i also forgot i had a camera in my phone most of the time. my apologies . . .

i did get a few cute photos of the ravelry family when we all went to lunch together on saturday at the popular north market venue close to the convention center.

we had delicious vietnamese food and talked about all the new and exciting plans they have for ravelry

that was all well and good—and very very professional of us all—but we knew what we were really there for

ice cream.
you can’t leave north market on a warm summer day without a cone or dish full of jeni’s splendid ice creams. i’m a big fan of vanilla—i try it everywhere i go. coffee is a close second favorite and waffle cone is my first-choice of container. and that’s just what i got, but it was tough to stick to the usual—jeni’s has so many intriguing flavors . . .

back inside the show it was more yarn, more people, more chatting than i think i get to do the whole rest of the year, but all good. i got to take a close look at yummy yarns from madelinetosh (oops, her site seems to be down at the moment), pagewood farm, the fibre company, and many more. my head buzzed the whole way home.

we had some decent knitting time in the evenings, too, seasoned with wine and conversation.

i finished quite a few repeats on my green scarf, which proved to be the ultimate traveling and wine-drinking-while-talking companion. i can’t believe how this pattern just knits itself—at first glance, the chart looks completely discombobulated. but it all works out fine.

i also got a LOT done on my blue sock, which i showed to beth at lorna’s laces when i saw her sunday.

i dunno even know how that happened—i don’t remember knitting on it at all. in fact i’m all the way up to the top cuff now, having added even more to it in class this morning. i’ll be done with this by the end of my afternoon class today, hmmm.

the only thing i didn’t really knit on much was my pompa scarf—i took it out and showed it to sylvie and we both squeezed the fabric, but that’s about all the action it got this weekend. i’ll make it up to the scarf tonight, i promise . . .

now it’s time to get ready for my next class and to release something new.

22 thoughts on “oh, my spinning head

  1. I was privileged to met Sylvie while visiting PEI a couple of weeks ago (through my sister who has her own knitting business) and yes, I too fell prey to the magic of Kami! Haven’t wound it up yet, I’m still in the stroking-and-admiring phase and mulling over patterns. Her own lace knitting is nothing short of phenomonal, absolutely breath-taking – hope I can do justice to the yarn when I finally cast on. Love the blue sock, Anne, and am looking forward to the pattern release…will the zigs “zag” (be mirrored) on the second sock?

  2. Who is that dog on Cookie’s book? (How come Amazon has a different cover?)

    I’m sorry. I suppose I shouldn’t barge right in and ask questions without introducing myself and commenting on your lovely yarn and great green scarf (I’m a sucker for texture!) But, I can’t help myself — that dog looks like a samoyed.

  3. Sounds like it was a blast! Can’t wait to see that green scarf blocked too. 🙂

  4. Hey, Anne!

    Just wanted to say hello and thank you and all the other lovely folks that were in Columbus this weekend for TNNA.

    You all rock.

    Thank you and all the Ravelry folks and the entire knitting community for your kind words and support.

    We love you all. Hope see you again soon.



  5. Hi Anne! Welcome back! It sounds like a great trip–that laceweight Kami is lovely. I wonder how similar it is to the Buffalo Gold Lux that I have? I have a skein of the Mooi (for the Elm Row Scarf). I pet it occasionally, but haven’t started it yet! Ooh-new plans for Ravelry! It’s hard to imagine it getting even better than it is. I’ll bet your veggies all looked bigger when you got home…lol.

  6. Oooh! I just love your blog… and I’m really loving that green scarf! I’m glad you had a great weekend. 🙂

  7. Wow, I can see why your head is spinning. I’m impressed you managed to condense it into a coherent post! I need to get me some Mooi… But I did just get Cookie A’s book, and you’ve reminded me that I’ll need to bring it to SS to get it signed! Welcome home 🙂

  8. I attended TNNA once when I had my store and I wasn’t into knitting at the time – oh how I would love to go back now! Such fun!

  9. I really really like you too! Glad I met you this past weekend and I really enjoyed the time we all had, over a couple of bottles of wine, to get to know each other. I’m adding you to my Google Reader right now. 🙂

  10. sounds like fun! i got a chance to pet some mooi over the weekend up at purl soho (i’m visiting the east coast right now), but i had to go home with some less pricey (but still lovely!) yarns. but the mooi was fabulous, and i’ll be keeping an eye out for sales!

  11. Hi Anne!

    Thanks for the shout out! I hope you can get to my store someday soon too. I’m so glad that we had the opportunity to meet and get to know one another. I think you are great and am so impressed by your work, determination, and poise. Looking forward to a great friendship.


  12. I cannot WAIT for the Book of Wool to come out! I’ve been trying to curb my knit-book-buying habit, but this one is definitely going to be added to my collection at the earliest possible moment. 🙂

  13. I’m going to Columbus in October for a (non-yarn-related) conference, and hope I can get to Jeni’s for ice cream!

    And I love the green scarf….

  14. Oh, I miss the North Market! We moved from Columbus about 12 years ago and I can still taste the pepita butter sold with the freshly baked bread. thanks for the memory!

  15. Oooh, Thanks for the link to the Fibre Isle mill, Anne! I’ll definitely be ordering something from them in the very near future. *Sigh*

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