Knit Flix

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Best Day Ever - Part 2: What is "Other Fiber Art"?

When filling out the entry form for the California State Fair, I am challenged when I need to choose a category for certain pieces. For example, is a shawl "Knitted Wearing Apparel" or is it "Any Other Knitted Item"? I would think that if it is worn it is considered apparel, but maybe it's considered an accessory and belongs in the "other" category. Just to be sure, I checked with the folks in Sacramento and they confirmed it was apparel. Good enough. But here's the thing--there was another shawl submitted to the "Other" category--and by the way there far fewer entries in the other category than there are in the apparel category--and that shawl won 1st place. I wonder if I didn't ask and labeled it as "other", would I have done better? Well it doesn't matter now and my sense of fairness says I did the right thing. My items were judged against other items that were made to be worn. But still... oh, never mind.

There's another division called "Other Fiber Art". I view it as a catch-all category for those pieces that don't fit into the obvious knit or crochet divisions. Within this division, there are these classes:
  • Lace/Tatting
  • Traditional Hooked Rugs
  • Any Other Fiber Art
So we have an "other" class within an "other" division.

"Other Fiber Art" -> "Any Other Fiber Art" is where you'll find handwoven items, handspun yarn, felting, basket weaving, rag rugs, etc.. It can be a rather large and diverse class when you think about it. So why did I bring this up? Well it turns out that my sister's handwoven blanket not only took first place in the "Any Other Fiber Art" class, but it also won Best of Division for all "Other Fiber Art"!

Best of Division, 1st Place, 165 - Other Fiber Art, 03 - Any Other Fiber Art
Grace Kang

Wow! This was the first year that she entered something in the fair and she had a fantastic result! Well deserved congratulations to Grace. Kudos!!

I'm sure this means we will be competing against each other for years to come. Not sure that I'm excited about that idea only because I don't recall that she and I competed against each other (much? ever?) in the past. This is a new thing. But at least if I come in second (or third or honorable mention) to her pieces, I can be happy for the both of us. Speaking of second place & honorable mention, that's exactly what happened this year. One of my entries in the "Any Other Fiber Art" class received a second place ribbon and another received an honorable mention.

2nd Place, 165 - Other Fiber Art, 03 - Any Other Fiber Art
Janice Kang
Crackle Sac

Honorable Mention, 165 - Other Fiber Art, 03 - Any Other Fiber Art
Janice Kang
Merino, Baby Camel, Silk

Last but not least, here are a few of the other entries in the Other Fiber Art Division. All in all I'd say we did well with 3 of 36 items that placed in this division. We have no way of knowing what the total number of submissions was.

3rd Place, 165 - Other Fiber Art, 03 - Any Other Fiber Art
Eve Broughton
Series VII #14

1st Place, 165 - Other Fiber Art, 01 - Lace/Tatting
Eve Broughton
Series VII #14

15 - Camellia City Rug Hookers Guild Award, Honorable Mention, 165 - Other Fiber Art, 02 - Traditional Hooked Rugs
Elizabeth Williams
Long Runner

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Best Day Ever at the CA State Fair - Part 1

This was the last weekend of the 2014 California State Fair, so we got up bright and early for our drive to Sacramento to see our entries. Lucky for us, (can you hear the sarcasm?) it was only going to be 104 degrees in Sacramento. We look happy, don't we?

Best Day Ever

My plan was to take photos of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners as well as other entries that I liked. Well, those plans soon went out the window as I was snap, snap, snapping away and I felt like I had taken 100 photos in the first 1/4 of the exhibit hall. Anyway, I hope you enjoy these photos of some of this year's entries.

The exhibits looked like this:

California Crafts Exhibit

California Crafts Exhibit

Oh hey, she looks familiar! Let's take a closer look at what she's photographing.

Entries from The Kangs

And closer yet.

Best of Division, 1st Place, 165 - Other Fiber Art, 03 - Any Other Fiber Art
Grace Kang

2nd Place, 160 - Knitting, 02 - Knitted Wearing Apparel
Janice Kang
Wind on a Wheat Field

How cool is it that they put our entries together? That was probably the highlight of the day for me.

With regards to the photos, let me say that the lighting and the colors in the room were very challenging for my (albeit limited) photographic skills. Case in point, this is probably the worst photo of my handspun ever. The persistent yellow background and glass display case wreaked havoc on the colors in the image. Believe me, the yarn looks better than this.

Honorable Mention, 165 - Other Fiber Art, 03 - Any Other Fiber Art
Janice Kang
Merino, Baby Camel, Silk

Honorable Mention, 160 - Knitting, 02 - Knitted Wearing Apparel
Janice Kang
Mixed Tide Shawl

2nd Place, 165 - Other Fiber Art, 03 - Any Other Fiber Art
Janice Kang
Crackle Sac

Those are all of our entries and what follows are the rest of the knitted & crocheted entries I took photos of. Why I there are more photos of the latter, I have no idea.

1st Place, 160 - Knitting, 02 - Knitted Wearing Apparel
Inger Blood
All About Texture

1st Place, 160 - Knitting, 03 - Any Other Knitted item
Betty Fryer
Medallion Lace Shawl

1st Place, 160 - Knitting, 01 - Knitted Afghans, 14 - Camellia City Stockinettes Sacramento Knitting Guild Award
Jardee Worcester
Sunshine Christening Blanket

1st Place, 155 - Crochet, 01 - Large Crocheted Afghans (over 3' x 4')
Kathleen Bennett
Bordeaux Matelasse

2nd Place, 155 - Crochet, 01 - Large Crocheted Afghans (over 3' x 4')
Alice Smith
California Splash Afghan

3rd Place, 155 - Crochet, 01 - Large Crocheted Afghans (over 3' x 4')
Lynda Brushia
Thread Beauty

1st Place, 155 - Crochet, 02 - Small Crocheted Afghans (under 3' x 4')
Cynthia Chally
Kevin's Peacock Kolors

1st Place, 155 - Crochet, 03 - Wearing Apparel Adult
Noelia Briones
peacock shall [sic]

3rd Place, 155 - Crochet, 03 - Wearing Apparel Adult
Wilma Keith
Birds & Blossoms Shawl

1st Place, 155 - Crochet, 05 - Coverings
Kathleen Bennett
Peacock Eyes

2nd Place, 155 - Crochet, 05 - Coverings
Kathleen Bennett
Baby Animals Filet

1st Place, 155 - Crochet, 06 - Any Other Crocheted Item
Amy Lin
Spike the Dragon

2nd Place, 155 - Crochet, 06 - Any Other Crocheted Item
Linda Olinger
Amigurumi Bunny Backback

Honorable Mention, 155 - Crochet, 06 - Any Other Crocheted Item
Kim Raven
Summer Leaves Parasol

Honorable Mention, 155 - Crochet, 06 - Any Other Crocheted Item
Kim Raven
Summer Leaves Parasol

I'll have more photos of other divisions in the next blog post.

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Friday, July 25, 2014


It's Hand Knit Friday! What hand knits are you wearing today?

Hot temperatures are going to make this a challenging HKF. I'm wearing WWJD* Matchy Matchy Socks and hoping for the best.

WWJD Matchy Matchy Socks
WWJD Matchy Matchy Socks

*What Would Janice Do: Stash yarn, toe-up with heel flap, matched to the nth degree.

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Friday, July 18, 2014


It's Hand Knit Friday! What hand knits do you have on today?

HKF looked sketchy with the hot & muggy weather earlier this week, but fortunately it's cooler so I can wear these cotton/wool blend socks.

Primavera socks
Project details on Ravelry

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Friday, July 11, 2014


It's Hand Knit Friday! What hand knits do you have on today?

I'm wearing Zingibers.

Zingiber socks
Free knitting pattern

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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Gamp warp

The next chapter in the story about the G-A-M-P, Gamp is about warping the loom.

The warp was 5 yards long with 34 ends of each of the 27 colors plus 2 ends at each outer edge for floating selvedges. Let's see... ((27 colors * 34 ends) + 4 floating selvedge ends) * 5 yards = 2.6 miles. Well, that's a good amount of yarn, isn't it? But someone once explained to me that the warp is 1/2 of the project, so once you get the loom dressed, you're 50% finished. That always makes the task sound better to me.

If only it was this easy

I warped the loom from Front to Back using Madelyn van der Hoogt’s instructional video, Warping Your Loom. I find this technique works well for me and it will continue to be my primary method, at least until I get or make a raddle. So I started out with sleying the reed. Looking at the time stamps of these photos, this took me 2 days. Granted this was over Memorial Day weekend so I had another day off to do the mundane household chores, otherwise the elapsed time would have been at least a week.

1/3 sleyed

2/3 sleyed

922 ends sleyed

After 2 days of getting all those pesky ends through the reed (12dpi, 2 ends per dent for the weavers in the crowd), it was time to figure out how many heddles I had and make sure I had enough on each frame. I probably should have done that earlier because in the event that I didn't have enough, I would have had to order more. Well, it turned out that I had enough heddles with a few to spare. I redistributed the heddles on the loom so I wouldn't run out on any of the frames and threaded the heddles. I divided each color into 4 groups with 8, 9, 8, and 9 ends each. Each group was double checked for threading errors and then it was knotted.

Again, checking the time stamp of the photo I see that the time elapsed from when I sleyed the reed to when the heddles were threaded was just 1 week. That surprises me, I thought it took longer.

Color gamp warp

The next step was to tie the ends to the back apron rod and do what's called crank & yank. Funny, huh? You basically turn a crank which pulls the warp threads through the heddles and the reed and winds it onto the back warp beam. It's a slow process because you crank a little bit, then come back to the front and pull on groups of warp threads to even out the tension (yank). After most of the 5 yards is wound onto the back of the loom, the free ends are tied onto the front apron rod.

Color gamp warp

Now the loom is dressed and weaving can begin! Actually I consider all of the above weaving, but you know what I'm saying. Once you start weaving cloth, the pattern is visible and you can see if there are mistakes in the warp that need to be fixed. But that's why I checked every group of 8 or 9 warp threads to make absolutely positively sure that there wouldn't be any issues and I could start weaving right away. Well, it didn't turn out that way.

I started with some tabby weave or in other words, just some plain over-under weaving. In the picture below, you can see where there is a threading mistake. There's a group of 3 magenta warp threads that are moving together. What should be happening is the thread in the middle of the group of three should be moving up when the outer two move down, and down when the other 2 move up.


It wasn't a huge mistake and it was the only one I found in 922 threads, so that was actually pretty good. Basically, I mistakenly threaded the middle warp thread through a heddle on the wrong frame. To fix it, I had to untie that group of magenta threads from the front apron rod and rethread that one thread through a heddle on the correct frame. The only problem with that was I didn't have a heddle in that position on that frame. Madelyn van der Hoogt to the rescue! In her video, Weaving Well, Madelyn describes how to make a heddle out of string for just this purpose. Done and done.

Here's the fixed warp, the plain weave with hemstitching in blue, and the first color stripe woven in point twill in teal.

Color gamp

I'm finding that getting the right number of picks per inch (density of weft threads) is tricky. If I beat the weft too hard, the weft threads are too close together and the squares of color end up being short fat rectangles. If I don't beat hard enough, the squares end up as tall rectangles. So getting that just right AND having neat selvedges (edges) is my challenge now. I'll weave a color stripe find a number of things wrong with it, then I'll unweave and reweave it. Having a critical eye can be a pain, but some of the issues I've fixed are things I would notice forevermore, so for me it's better to take the time to rework them. With that, you don't need to leave any comments about galloping horses.

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Sunday, July 06, 2014

In the garden

I'm a little sad. Our fruit cocktail tree is nearly finished producing for the year. On the positive side, the fruit has been delicious and we're still enjoying it.

The first to ripen was the Blenheim apricots. What we didn't eat fresh, we dried and froze.

Blenheim apricots

The Independence nectarines were next and they ripened about a week earlier than expected. That's okay, we were ready for them. I turned a bunch of them into a cobbler.

Nectarine Cobbler

The Santa Rosa plums are the last to ripen and they're really delicious. They're so juicy, I have to eat them over the sink. Seriously.

Santa Rosa plums and one nectarine

I used the cobbler recipe above and made plum compote. We've been spooning it over pound cake and also mixing it with yogurt. This weekend I used it to make a Red, White, and Blueberries dessert.

Red, white, and blueberries

I picked most of the remaining plums tonight, saving them from the pesky birds and furry varmints.

Santa Rosa Plums

In other garden news, we picked the first tomato of the season today, an Amish Paste tomato. This plant was a surprise as it was self-seeded from last year's crop.

First tomato of 2014

The heirloom tomato plants are doing really well. It seems like they're growing 2 inches per day. We need to corral them into the cages about every other day. Each plant has flowers, so the heirlooms are weeks away.

Heirloom Tomato Plants

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