Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Spinning

Sunny Riverwalk Scarf Finished and Project Updates

The day prior to leaving for Rhinebeck, I finished the scarf I was hoping to wear while there. It ended up that it wasn’t really cold enough to need it, but I did finish it in time and brought it with me.

Sunny Riverwalk
Sunny Riverwalk Scarf

Pattern: Riverwalk (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: October 2, 2010
Completed: October 13, 2010
Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky, 4 skeins in Butter
Needles: US 10.5 bamboo straight needles
Notes: I did the wide version of the scarf (two cable/chart repeats) and used up exactly 4 skeins of Malabrigo Chunky with none left over. This scarf is soft, squishy and warm. I have a feeling it will get quite a bit of wear this winter! I’ve decided to call it my Sunny Riverwalk scarf because of the lovely yellow color.

Try as I did to get at least the front and back of the Climbing Vines Pullover done to wear at Rhinebeck, it didn’t happen. I’ve finished the back piece and half of the front piece. It’s moving along pretty quickly and I’ve enjoyed working on it. The dark red of this sweater is pretty hard to photograph properly! I always seem to have difficulties with reds. I’m still undecided on the sleeve length of this, though I’m thinking that I’ll do 3/4 length to get more wear out of it. I think I just tend to get too warm to wear long sleeves, even in the winter.

Climbing Vines Pullover
Climbing Vines Pullover (Yarn: Cascade 220)

I’ve been itching to cast on something new in the last week or so. Sweaters have been calling me! As soon as I saw Anne Hanson’s new pattern, Bel Air, I knew I needed to make it and exactly what yarn I wanted to use. I got the pattern, swatched, washed the swatch, checked my gauge… then came to my senses that I needed to finish the Climbing Vines Pullover and start my handspun Featherweight before starting this. I think as soon as Climbing Vines is done, I’ll be casting on for Bel Air. The way I’m going, I don’t think that will be too long of a wait!

So, instead of casting on Bel Air, I cast on for Featherweight. I had to do a little math because my gauge is different (the gauge I thought suited my yarn best). I’m knitting to the smallest size in the pattern, but it will end up about the size of the 43″ in the pattern had I used the gauge the pattern called for. Working with my own handspun has been lovely! I have an idea of what I’ll use for the collar since I don’t think I’ll have enough yarn for that. Waiting until the body is done to decide, though.

Handspun Featherweight
Handspun Featherweight

I’ve been doing some spinning as well! Currently breaking in the spindle I purchased at Rhinebeck. 😀 I never thought I’d say that I enjoy spinning on a spindle, but I love this one! It didn’t take me long to feel comfortable enough to drop it and let it spin while I draft. I think the smaller size of this one compared to other ones I’ve used really helps me feel more comfortable with it. I’m sure I’ve learned plenty from the wheel spinning I’ve done, too. It’s nice to have a portable spinning project now. The fiber I’m spinning is superwash merino from Bonkers Fibers in Deep Sea.

Breaking in the New Spindle
Breaking in the New Spindle

After finishing the Maelstrom socks, I haven’t felt the desire to knit socks, despite it being Socktober. I had a pair of Jaywalkers on the needles that I’d been working on here and there. When I picked them up after finishing the Maelstrom socks, I just wasn’t loving them. The pattern is just a bit too snug on my leg and since I wasn’t totally in love with the pattern or the yarn, I frogged them this week. I think sweater knitting has taken over the sock knitting for the time being. I’m sure the sock knitting will return and I’m considering a few sock patterns currently, but for now it seems to be All Sweaters, All The Time around here!

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Posted in Fiber Events

Rhinebeck Recap

I’ve been putting off posting about Rhinebeck because I’ve had withdrawal ever since I came home. I had so much fun, with some lovely folks, and it all went by so fast! I didn’t take a ton of pictures this year like I did last year. I think I spent more time taking everything in rather then photographing much. (You can see all the pictures I took in my Flickr set here.)

Diana (from my local knit group) and I drove up Friday. We stayed with Jesh and Hillary Friday and Saturday night, which was a lot of fun. It was great to finally meet both in person and have a chance to spend time with them. 🙂

Saturday was spent at the fairgrounds. We got there before the gates opened and were first in line to get in. Shortly after we arrived, I went to use the restroom and when I was coming out, I managed to trip over an acorn. A lady saw me fall and immediately rushed over to see if I was okay and asked if I wanted her to get help. I let her know I was okay, just startled and a little scraped up. I scraped and bruised my knee pretty badly, but I had Band-Aids in my bag, so it was only a minor problem (and the first aid building wasn’t too far had I not brought Band-Aids with me). Mostly it just hurt really bad and looked terrible! It was a little sore to walk for a while, though not bad enough that it bothered me. I was just glad I didn’t drop my camera, which I had hanging around my neck when I fell.

While at the fair, I made sure to try one of the chicken pot pies I’d heard lots of people rave about. I found the booth well before the long line and crowd started, which was around 10 am. I was hungry, the line was short, and I didn’t want to miss it, so I went for it! It was quite yummy and I was glad I got one when I did. Later, closer to lunch, the line was really long and I heard it was an hour or so wait. The fried artichoke line was the same way! Long line and wait. I had intended to go there early, but forgot and the line got long, so I passed on trying those.

Infamous Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken Pot Pie – YUM!

The other memorable fair food that Hillary and I had was spaghetti and meatballs on a stick. It was quite good, though the sauce they give you could use some work. We’ve both decided we need to learn to recreate this one! I wasn’t able to finish all of mine because it was really filling. Definitely not something one could (or should) eat every day, but was definitely a unique fair food I hadn’t seen before that was worth a try. Isn’t everything better on a stick when at the fair? 🙂

Spaghetti and Meatballs on a Stick
Spaghetti and Meatballs on a Stick
Curious what the inside looks like? Click here.

My absolute favorite food item at Rhinebeck? Maple cotton candy! I love maple anything and when I heard about maple cotton candy, I had to try it. I didn’t find it to be nearly as sweet as regular cotton candy (I was worried it would be) and it was deliciously maple flavored. I had to convince myself that I didn’t need to go back and buy 10 bags to take home with me.

Fiber?
Is it fiber? Nope! Maple cotton candy.

Of course there were plenty of sheep, fiber, yarn, and all sorts of things to see, try, and buy besides food.

Hillary tried out a charka that was set up on a display for people to try out. It looked a lot harder then I imagined it would be! I didn’t try it because it looked like it was tough to get the hang of. Maybe next year I’ll be brave enough to give it a go. 😉

Hillary and the Charka
Hillary tries the charka.

There was a spinning competition on Saturday. The goal was to spin as much as you could in 15 minutes. There were wheel spinners and spindlers. Not entirely sure, but I think the spindlers and wheel spinners were in separate categories (it wasn’t very clear). Two of the three wheel spinners were guys, which was a pleasant surprise. We stayed to see them finish, but left before the results came back.

Spinning Competition
Spinning Competition

I saw lots of folks throughout the day, at the Ravelry Meetup and at the Ravelry Party. Many were folks I’d met in person previously (at Rhinebeck last year or the Spring Fling this year) and some were folks I knew on Plurk or Twitter or Ravelry that I finally got to see in person. Wishing I’d taken more pictures of everyone!! There were also some folks I managed to miss because I didn’t run into them or they were only going Sunday. Makes me wish that Rhinebeck lasted all month so I could see and spend time with everyone more!

Soooo… what did I come home with? I was surprisingly reserved in what I decided to buy and ended up with more fiber then yarn. I purchased a Bosworth Mini Spindle in Purpleheart, enough yarn for a sweater from Brooks Farm in Solo, a half pound of Corriedale from The Sheep Shed and Mountain View Farm, 4 oz alpaca/silk roving and 2 oz of silk from Gale’s Art.

Rhinebeck Purchases
Rhinebeck Purchases
Top (left to right): Bosworth Mini, Bosworth Mini Whorl, Brooks Farm Solo
Bottom (left to right): Corriedale, Alpaca/Silk, Silk

As always, these wonderful fiber events seem to go by far too quickly. I always suffer a bit of withdrawl from all the lovely fiber folks that I don’t get to see all the time that I wish lived closer to me. Is it time for Rhinebeck 2011 yet?! 🙂

Posted in Fiber Events

Rhinebeck!

Rhinebeck (aka New York Sheep & Wool) is nearly here!! Despite the horrible disaster of my Rhinebeck sweater and the fact that it’s very unlikely I’ll finish the Climbing Vines Pullover I started to replace it, though I may end up with a vest version done in time to wear Saturday, I’m still quite excited about going. I’m especially excited about joining in on the Rhinebeck Bingo fun!

What’s Rhinebeck Bingo? This will tell you everything you need to know. Short version is that it’s like bingo, but instead of getting numbers called to you, you have to find people who will be at Rhinebeck and mark them off your card (or have them sign it or check themselves off… whatever you prefer). There are prized awarded randomly and the fun is in getting to meet a people you may not have otherwise. 🙂

The great thing about the online knitting community (and the knitting community in general) is that you get to know lots of great folks, who you wouldn’t have got to know otherwise, and events like this is a great way to finally get to say hi to them in person. I don’t know if I ever would have made it to Rhinebeck last year or this year without getting to know so many fabulous knitter/crocheter/fibery people online through Ravelry, Plurk, and Twitter. I thought Rhinebeck Bingo would be a great way to interact with even more fiber folks, so I signed up to be a square and player this weekend at Rhinebeck. There’s still time to join in and be a player if you want to. Information on that can be found here.

If I’m a square on your bingo card (or if you just want to meet me and say hello), you can find me at the fairgrounds all day Saturday as well as the Ravelry meet-up mid-day and the Ravelry Party Saturday evening. Saturday is the only day I’ll be there! I’ll be wearing Iced and my Riverwalk scarf and whatever other handknits I may need to keep me warm.

Iced (Closed Front)
I’ll be wearing my Iced sweater at Rhinebeck!

There’s also a small chance I’ll be wearing a vest version of the Climbing Vines Pullover, but who knows if I’ll get that much done!

I have just over 60 little treat bags put together, so if you find me at the fair or Ravelry meet-ups/party on Saturday and I still have them, I’ll give you one.

Treats!
Treats!

Will you be at Rhinebeck this weekend? If so, I’d love to meet you. Don’t be shy, come say hi! 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Fiber Events

Sweater Disaster, Sweater Success

Tragedy hit my knitting over the weekend. Specifically, my Rhinebeck sweater.

I took a risk and wet blocked my Cottage Garden late last week. Pre-blocking it fit me perfect. When I washed and blocked it, I was worried the silk in the yarn would stretch and make it too big. I tried to sort of squish it together when I laid it out, but apparently that didn’t help. It finally dried Saturday and it was way too big on me. The sleeves hung well past my fingertips and the body came to about mid-thigh. After a lot of thought, I decided to throw it in the washer in warm water for about 10 minutes, thinking it would felt just a little and shrink up enough to be worn. Well… after 10 mins when I checked on it, it was completely felted. The yarn is a 50% wool/50% silk single and I’ve had yarn that is 100% wool take WAY LONGER then 10 mins with HOT water to felt, so I really didn’t expect this outcome. I thought “maybe I can stretch it out and it will still fit!” Yeah… no such luck. It’s small enough to fit a child or possibly my youngest sister, who’s rather petite. I suppose all is not lost if it does fit her, but I’m still rather heartbroken that my Rhinebeck sweater is completely ruined. 😦

Camber vs Cottage Garden
My Camber sweater on the left (fits very well) and Cottage garden on the right

Sadly, I don’t even have any pictures of me wearing it pre-blocking, but as you can see above, it’s definitely too small for me to wear. While it was still wet, I put it on and tried my best to stretch it. I did get it on, but the armholes were too tight and even if I was able to stretch it, I doubt I’d be able to get it the size I needed. Not sure if I’d knit another one to replace it at some point. I think the pain of ruining this one is still too fresh to tell.

In a fit of crazy and after the loss of my Rhinebeck sweater, I cast on for the Climbing Vines Pullover with Cascade 220 Heathers in a deep red color. I’m almost done with the back piece. I have NO idea if I’ll finish in time, but hey… I can try right?? Hahahaha

On the plus side, I did finish Iced last Monday, blocked it last week, and it fits quite well! It still need buttons, but I haven’t found any yet, so I’ve been using a DPN to hold it closed until I find some.

Iced (Closed Front)
Iced – Closed Fronts

Pattern: Iced (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: September 15, 2010
Completed: October 4, 2010
Yarn: Universal Yarns Deluxe Chunky, 5.5 skeins in Cappucino
Needles: US 11 bamboo circular needle
Notes: I did make some modifications to this pattern. Instead of knitting it a few inches larger then my bust size, I picked the size closest to my bust measurement so there was no ease (for me this was the 42.5″ size). This gave me a more fitted sweater, which was exactly what I wanted. The other thing I did was modify the collar. In looking at the notes on other people’s project pages in Ravelry, I noticed that many people mentioned being displeased with how the collar hung lower then the body of the sweater. To counteract any hanging/sagging the collar may do, I slipped the first stitch of each row, then when I picked up the collar, I picked up one stitch in each of the slipped edge stitches instead of the 3 stitches for every 4 rows the pattern called for. This made it look like the collar was bunched up before I blocked it, but it worked great for keeping it from hanging lower then the body and is even with the edge of the sweater. The last change I made was to give it long sleeves and adding more sleeve decreases. For the 42.5″ size, you only decrease a total of 4 stitches, which leaves some very wide sleeves when it’s done. To make long sleeves that weren’t really wide, after the last pattern decrease row, I k 8 rows, then worked the decrease row. Worked “new” decrease repeat 1 more time, then knit 8 rows, worked decrease row in purl (p1, p2tog, p to last 3 sts, p2tog, p1), worked until garter stitch cuff measured 2″ to match garter stitch edge of body. Long sleeves measured 16″ from where the underarm stitches were picked up.

Iced (Open Front)
Iced – Open Fronts

Iced (Back)
Iced – Back

A few days after finishing Iced, I suddenly had the urge to finish the Maelstrom socks that had been hanging out on the needles for far too long. I picked them back up Saturday and by Sunday, the second sock had been completed. It felt good to get them done and off the needles and I like how they turned out.

Maelstrom Socks
Maelstrom Socks

Pattern: Maelstrom (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 23, 2010
Completed: October 10, 2010
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy, 1 skein Ruby River
Needles: US 1 Knit Picks circular needle
Notes: No modifications. I followed the pattern exactly, including the number of repeats on the leg. I like short socks, but I can definitely see adding more repeats if you like longer socks. They fit really well and hug my feet. Love them!

Maelstrom Socks (Legs)
Maelstrom – Leg

Maelstrom Socks (Foot)
Maelstrom – Foot

I ended up frogging Xeriscape, but haven’t cast on anything new with that yarn yet. I have some other ideas of yarns in my stash that I might use for Xeriscape or I may pick up something at Rhinebeck for it. Since I frogged that scarf, I started another! The pattern is Riverwalk from the same designer, Mary-Heather Cogar. I’m using Malabrigo Bulky in Butter. This yarn is lovely and soft to work with and it’s going to make a great scarf! The pattern has been a lot of fun to knit (I can hardly put it down) and I’m nearly finished with it.

Riverwalk
Riverwalk

Off to keep working on my sweater in an attempt to finish it by this Saturday!