Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Aloha Knitters and Estes Park Wool Market

June is always chaotic at my day job during the month of June, with this year being no exception. I flew off on a 5 day business trip to Hawaii the first full week of June. Before going, I looked up local yarn shops and stitch groups on Ravelry and discovered that the Aloha Knitters (they like crocheters too) had regular meetings near my hotel on Monday and Thursday evenings.

So, fighting jet lag and a 4 hour time difference I joined the Aloha Knitters at the Ward Centers for a evening of chat and finding out  what they like to make in Hawaii. They were intrigued by my crochet (it involved the Solomon's Knot stitch) and I was intrigued by the fact that they were making shawls, scarves, fingerless gloves, and coffee cozies. I had to remind myself that when you're acclimated to a tropical weather pattern, the upper 60s and low 70s can feel cold. All I have to say to that nice group is Aloha and Mahalo for letting me come and hang out for an evening. If you're ever in the Honolulu area, consider joining them.

I had hoped to visit the yarn shops I came across, but unfortunately my schedule, the pervasive one way streets, street only parking, and my bladder prevented me from getting to even one of them.

I got home on Thursday night at midnight and after a day at home my husband and I took off for the Estes Park Wool Market. We had thought of camping but went with our intuition and reserved a hotel room. I'm glad we did because it was unseasonably cold and wet. Miserable weather for camping.

However, the weather didn't affect my ability to enjoy all the wonderful vendors and spend all the cash I had brought. I was glad that I had looked for Churro at the Pagosa Fiber Festival since I didn't see any vendors there, except LaPlata Farms, that obviously carried it.

I was glad to see Magpie Woodworks there because I needed a spindle. His tools are incredibly well crafted and he guarantees the balance on his spindles. Spindle balance can make or break your ability to effectively use one and I've found that most spindles one finds for sale these days are woefully lacking in balance. I purchased a walnut spindle from him that is perfect for spinning heavier weight yarns.

The other vendor I purchased from is actually a woman from my spinning group. Woodlake Woolies has a wide variety of exotic fibers and she introduced Pygora to me. I had never heard of it until that weekend and I purchased some type A from her that has spun up nicely. I also purchased some of my favorite mix: Silk and Alpaca.

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