Saturday, January 05, 2008

A jaunt in the valley

I received an email from a friend who asked if I had done business with Fantasy Fibers. He was interested in their mystery batts. I had seen Fantasy Fibers at OFFF (it's in their back yard practically) but had not investigated their mystery batts. Further investigation indicated that the shop was not open on Saturdays but if an appointment was made someone would be there. I arranged to be there this Saturday to check them out.
A fiber jaunt is fun but it's more fun with a buddy. I emailed Bobbie to see if she would be interested and sure enough she was. There was an alternative reason to meet up with Bobbie: her Toolman was done making a floor lazy kate for me and at the time I learned about it I wasn't sure if I was going to meet up with her at Wednesday night knitting. It turned out well. I met her downtown then we headed for Canby.

Fantasy Fibers is a processing mill. Their main business is processing fiber for people to specification; even spinning it if desired. The drive out to Canby was wet and cold with some of the raindrops looking like melted snowflakes. I had no idea what to expect when we got there but it would be mounds and mounds of fiber.

We did find mystery batts and at first glance they look like a blended carded mess of fibers. Wool, alpaca, mohair, bits of tencel and angelina, you name it. There were faint streaks of dyed fiber in the batts with some more than others. It would make one wary but Bobbie was enthusiastic about the adventure of what may come out of one of these things. At $1.35 an ounce it wasn't like we were spending a fortune on what may end up being cat bed lining. I took home a couple of pounds. We opened Bobbie's batts at her house and there's quite a bit of variety of color in them so they promise to be an interesting spin.

The same batt turned over

Her second batt

We made a side trip to Woodland Woolworks via the Canby Ferry, one of the few river ferries still operating in Oregon. I had never been on it so it was a bit of touristy fun. The storm waters that were filling the creeks and rivers made the Willamette high and full. We could feel its power as we crossed but we were safe in a matter of minutes. As we drove past farms and fields we saw downed trees and limbs from the recent storms. There's still a bit of a mess out there that is being cleaned up and the winter storms are far from over.

It's hard to walk away from Woodland Woolworks emptyhanded. Even more so when you want to get something from them and can't pull yourself away from other goodies. I did find a treasure of Dale of Norway sweater patterns with traditional motifs that I couldn't walk away from. Some Mountain Colors targhee also ended up in my basket. And all I wanted was a set of ultra short dpns for working the fingers of the gloves I'm making. I'm such a pushover.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at Bobbie's and Toolman's home. Toolman had made up a scrumptious batch of pasta with Italian sausage, bell pepper, and other goodies. He unveiled the lazy kate which is just the way I wanted it (see pic above). Bobbie and I knitted while Toolman puttered with his tools before I headed back to the barn with my load. Tomorrow when the light is better I'll investigate my batts and see what I came home with.


Ted said...

This will be very interesting...

Wish I'd been along on that trip!

tallguy said...

Did you get any for yourself? Or are these all for someone else?

Yes, very interesting, and could produce some nice effects. I'll wait until you spin some up to see what it looks like.

TheBunny said...

Ooo, I didn't know about the ferry to Woodland Woolworks, I'll have to try that. It sounds like fun.