Saturday, September 03, 2005

I'm Bad...So Very Very Bad...

I've been itching to try out a drop spindle for a while now, so when I heard that Stu was going to be driving by Birkeland Bros. on his way to an appointment, I decided to hitch a ride. I was also going to try to find some "non-pink" Fleece Artist sock yarn.

No luck on the sock yarn, but while I was browsing around, waiting for the sales lady to have a free moment, I noticed some White Buffalo patterns. I had just been looking at these patterns on the internet the day before, and absolutely fell in love with the Reindeer Sweater. Unfortunately, all of the White Buffalo products have been discontinued, and I didn't want a set of all 5 pattern books off of ebay for a few reasons...

1. It would take me forever to knit everything, and that would be overwhelming.
2. I only really wanted one pattern.
3. I didn't want to spend $20 for one little pattern.
4. I am not going to pay $4 USD for something to be shipped from Canada in an envelope.

So, I decided I was SOL, and moved on. But when I found the pattern in Birkeland Bros. I was overjoyed, and decided to get it, even if the yarn was discontinued.

The sales lady was finally done helping the other customer in the store, and I asked her if she had a yarn suggestion for this sweater (to keep in mind for the future). She said, "Um, yeah. Use the White Buffalo, it's over there, and there, and there, and there's more in the back."

Wow, my lucky day! Unfortunately, they didn't have the right shade of charcoal for the main color, so my main color will be black, and I'll keep the red and white accents. The one really weird thing about the black is that the color kind of rubs off on my hands while I knit. I'm hoping that once it's blocked it will be fine.

White Buffalo yarn is really neat. It's unspun, and six strands that you kind of have to twist together as you knit. That takes some getting used to! If you pull on it too hard while it's untwisted, it breaks apart, which sucks, but I learned that before I actually started. I've completed the ribbing for the bottom of the back. I'm stuck at that part though, because the ribbing is done with 9mm needles, and the rest is done with 10mm needles, and I thought I had both sizes, but I only had the 9mm, so I have to get some 10mm needles today. I picked up the Stitch 'n Bitch Journal when it came out, and have been meaning to do the needle inventory for a long time now, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I've got to do it soon though, so this doesn't happen again.

White Buffalo yarn was made to mimic the yarn used by the Cowichan people to make the oh- so-popular Cowichan sweaters, that's why it's unspun. It comes in "cakes" instead of balls or hanks, so there's no center pulling here. I've wanted one of these sweaters for a long time, and my dad loves them too. Maybe if this one goes well, he'll get one next.

Oh, yeah. I got the drop spindle, after trying one out at the store for about half and hour. It was nice having a mini lesson, and I had fun learning. I also picked up a smallish bag of coopworth wool to spin with. I wanted to spin merino, but it's finer, so it's more difficult to spin. At least, that was what I was told. Once I get better at it, I will definately be picking up merino. The fibre I have spun so far is amusing to look at. The last thing I would call it is even. It has lots of character. Lots and lots. I think you can sort of see it in the picture.


Felicia from sweetgeorgia said...

How awesome that you had a mini-lesson with the spindle! I bought my spindle at Birkeland Bros and was totally on my own -- the comment I got from the store staff was "just follow the pictures on the instruction sheet"! =)

Fiona and Gary said...

Sapporo Canadian is having a clearance on their white buffalo yarns, 99 cents each. They are at 1055 Alberni St, Vancouver, BC. They are like you said, in a cake with 6 strands. I came upon your message because I was looking for a pattern. They actually have the pattern there for free but I forgot to take one. I might have to go back. They have finished cowichan jackets on sale for $29.99.What a great deal, down from $200. They are 100% wool and made in Canada. But the sizes are very big, smallest is 42, that is why I need to make my own.