Cathartic Ink

putting my own spin on things

Bay Area Part the First: The Fiber

This is a picture heavy one.

A big part of the reason for the timing of my trip south was to be able to attend Stitches West. I have been purchasing much less than normal in terms of fiber for the past few months to prepare for this. Armed with some saved monies, and a vague plan, I set out. I didn’t really plan to hit any shops, instead saving my funds for Stitches, but on Thursday my doppleganger suggested that we hit Article Pract in Oakland. On our way there we had a run-in with a loud-mouthed idiot, because it takes time to remove one’s crutches from the back seat in order to get out of the car. Apparently, this woman felt that TheAmpuT should be magical and just hop out instantaneously. Luckily, her nine year old son didn’t really catch the string of expletives that was exchanged and we were able to go on our merry way without too much pause.

Article Pract was nice enough although the customer service was not the greatest. Mostly the folks working seemed to have a bored disinterest in the folks in the store, which doesn’t bother me while browsing, but it did mean that I spent a lot of time standing at the counter waiting to be checked out. At any rate, I walked out of there with this:


Two ounces of 50/50 tussah/cashmere blend hand-dyed by Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks in Peacock Plume.
Later that day, at Paper Source, I picked up these:

Sheep Clips

Clips in the shape of sheeps! I’m going to make photo holders with them, I believe.

On Friday, my friend Kelly and I ventured over to Artfibers. All I can say is that this place is fabulous! Absolutely the best yarn store I think I’ve ever been into. The lovely Kira was working and she was super friendly, and very very helpful. I walked out of there with this:

Art Fibers

The one on the left is Alfabeto in color 02. Tsuki on the right. I also bought some Artfibers Miso [spinning fiber] but it didn’t make it into the photo shoot. The tsuki is more turquoise than cyan like it looks here. The Alfabeto is 76% silk 19% superkid mohair 5% wool and the Tsuki is 40% silk 60% superkid mohair. They’ll both become scarves, the Alfabeto scarf is already in progress. So gorgeous, so soft, so shiny. And everything in the place is swatched. It’s great! Really helps to see how things are going to look.

And then came Stitches. I bought a few things here:


Two skeins of Southwest Trading Company’s Tofutsies which is made from 50% Superwash Wool, 25% SOYSILK brand fiber, 22.5% Cotton and 2.5% Chitin [which is made from shrimp and crab shells]. Apparently the chitin makes it antibacterial. The pink skeins is winging it’s way to my favorite [newly married!] Miss Rachel M. The other skein will likely be made into something. We’ll see. For now, it’s stewing.

I also picked up this wonderful skein:

Merino Tencel

This is 50/50 Merino/Tencel sock yarn from Ellen’s Half-Pint Farms. It is so soft and so shiny!

I visiting with Morgaine at the Carolina Homespun booth and walked away with these gems from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks:

Merino Cashmere

It’s 4 ounces of Merino/cashmere fiber in the sangria colorway.

And last, but finally not least. Two! Yes two! Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sheep to Shoe kits:

Sheep to Shoes

It’s Lucy in the front and I have no idea what in the back. My only complaint is that they are not marked with their colorways. I keep meaning to email Blue Moon and see if they can help me out.

All-in-all I spent much less money than I intended to and also bought a smaller amount of high quality items. I have a big enough stash that I’m not looking for huge amounts of things. Besides, my favorite purveyor of half pounds of goodness [Crown Mountain Farms] doesn’t travel for Stitches. At least not this year anyway.


  1. Bixby2

    OOOOOhhhhhh! The fiber is so beautiful! I adore those colors and the sheep are adoreable too 😀

  2. kelly

    I’m still bummed you had a so-so experience at Article Pract. I was in there last week and they were super-friendly. I even got a wink and a thumbs-up on a little impulse yarn purchase I made, which is always gratifying — when the yarn store clerk says, “Oh, yeaahh,” you know it’s a good ‘un. 😉

  3. Jodie

    Great hual. I think I’ll have to make my way to Artfibers when I’m down in that area for sure.

  4. TheAmpuT

    Oy, I had totally forgotten about that getting out of the car crap. It just blends in with the rest of the events I have like that on an almost daily basis LOLOL.
    I can’t wait to see how that fiber spins up!