Posted in Current Projects, Fiber Events

Rhinebeck 2011 – The Purchases

Time to share all the things that just HAD to come home with me from Rhinebeck this year! 🙂

This year I came with a list of yardages for different projects I had in mind, just like I did last year. I find this is the best way for me to shop so that I don’t come home with things I can’t figure out what to do with and end up destashing it later. I knew I wanted to get yarn for the Peak Island Hood and enough yarn for a sweater, but the rest of my purchases would be left up to what I came across.

Saturday I got my goodie bag when I checked in for my class. The bag was for being one of the first 250 people to register for a workshop. The tote bag is pretty nice and inside there were coupons, catalogs, and a skein of yarn from Knit Picks.

Rhinebeck Goodie Bag
Goodie Bag

The very first purchase I made was on Saturday afternoon at Good Karma Farm. The yarn was so soft and I fell in love with a bright blue they had. I decided it would be the perfect thing to make the Peak Island Hood out of and purchased 3 skeins of 60% wool/40% alpaca in a worsted weight.

Good Karma Farms
Good Karma Farm Wool/Alpaca

Sunday was the day I made most of my purchases. I took my time and went through the different booths a few times before deciding on what I wanted. Here’s all the loot!

Rhinebeck Purchases
Top (L to R): Goodie Bag, Goodies in the bag, Handmade Basket, Brooks Farm Trio, Brooks Farm Solo
Middle (L to R): Bittersweet Woolery Star Dust Lace, Socks That Rock Lightweight, Twist of Fate Spinnery (Worsted), Loop Batt, Into the Whirled Superwash BFL
Bottom (L to R): Bosworth Walnut Midi Spindle, Jessalu Spindle Bag, Good Karma Farms Wool/Alpaca, Signature Arts Needles (US 6, 24″), Non-fibery goodies

I think the red Brooks Farm Solo will become Parcel and the Twist of Fate Spinnery yarn will likely become Anaya with 3/4 length sleeves. Not sure what the Bittersweet Woolery Star Dust Lace or what the Socks That Rock will be, but I’m sure I’ll find suitable patterns for each!

For those that went to Rhinebeck, what came home with you? Any purchases you couldn’t live without or anything you’re now itching to cast on?

I’m hoping that I can knit up some swatches for sweaters soon! I’m thinking that Anaya will be first on my list to knit. After all these new purchases, I’m itching to cast on for new things! I’m making myself finish the Grove mittens I’ve been working on and I’d like to get another project or two off the needles first, but I can swatch in the mean time, right? 😉

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Posted in Fiber Events

Rhinebeck 2011

I can’t believe how quickly the last few weeks have gone by! I had the best of intentions to blog before Rhinebeck, but I ended up not having time. A small part of it was also that while I had been knitting, I didn’t have any pictures to share because I’d been too busy to take or upload any, so it seemed boring to just say “Oh I’m going to Rhinebeck, hope to see you there!” Ah well. Life happens sometimes!

Last weekend was New York Sheep and Wool, also known as Rhinebeck. I planned to take Wednesday off to get packed and ready for the road trip, leave Thursday, see people and shop on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, drive home Monday, and take Tuesday off to recover. All went according to plan! Diana shared the drive with me again this year, but we had our own hotel room. Friday she had a workshop at the fairgrounds. I spent some time driving around Kingston when Hillary sent me a text saying she was getting into town earlier then planned, so we met up for lunch and went to a sushi place. Friday evening we went out with a few of Diana’s friends that were there for the weekend.

Saturday morning we were at the fairgrounds early since I had workshop in the morning. I took Fit-to-Flatter with Amy Herzog. The class was fantastic! I learned quite a bit from it and would recommend the class to anyone who likes to knit sweaters. I spent the afternoon walking around, checking out vendors and met up with quite a few folks. I wish I could remember and link everyone, but I think my brain was a bit on overload from everything going on that I know I’d leave out a lot of people! It was so great to see all the familiar faces and meet some new folks, too. I only bought yarn from one vendor on Saturday, Good Karma Farms. I think there was just so much going on and so many people that I was just overwhelmed by the vendors. I was really glad I planned to go both days this year! Saturday evening we were both so wiped out from all the socializing, the class, and the vendors, that we went back to the hotel and relaxed. We did meet another group of Diana’s friends for dinner, but only went to the diner across the street, which was probably all we could manage at that point after all the action of the day.

So many colors!
There were so many great vendors and a huge range of colors!

Sunday we got to the fairgrounds pretty early, partially because we didn’t realize that it didn’t open until 10 am and partially because we were worried about parking. We had breakfast at the Eveready Diner right across from the fairgrounds Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning and on Sunday morning, we saw quite a lot of people in the parking lot, so we decided to go over early to get a good parking spot.

Eveready Diner
Everady Diner

We got over to the fairgrounds a little after 9 am. I walked around a bit, checked out a few of the vendors I wanted to see (who were all not ready for customers yet), then wandered around until Kim (aka crazywig on Ravelry) found me. We had coffee together and chatted for a bit until things started to pick up. While we were sitting and chatting, Jesh came walking by. I’d been trying to find her most of Saturday, but she had been good about not being at the Holiday Yarns booth any time I walked by! After things started picking up and vendors opened, I wandered around contemplating what would come home with me.

Around lunch time while I was sitting eating a chicken pita, Michelle finally found me! We tried to meet up on Saturday, but didn’t find each other. I was so glad she spotted me in my Angry Birds green pig hat (which got TONS of comments from people) before she left for the day. It was great to have a chance to talk to her in person. 🙂

The fairgrounds closed at 5 pm on Sunday and I admit I was a bit sad to see it all come to an end. I had a really good time, came home with lots of goodies, and was so happy to be able to see many of the folks that I have the pleasure of knowing through Ravelry, Plurk, and Twitter.

As I was leaving the fairgrounds on Sunday
As I left the fairgrounds Sunday

I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I wish I had (especially not of all the lovely people I saw), but I’ve uploaded my Rhinebeck pictures to Flickr and you can check them out here.

Did you go to Rhinebeck this year? If you did, how was it? If not, do you have plans to go next year?

Next time I’ll share all the goodies I purchased. 😀

Posted in Fiber Events

Knit Picks Warehouse Sale and a Giveaway

Last Friday, August 12th, Knit Picks warehouse in Columbus had warehouse sale. They’ve been doing the Connecting Threads fabric warehouse sale for years now and this year they decided to include the yarn they’ve had piling up from Knit Picks. Here’s the email that was sent out to Ohio folks. I wasn’t sure I’d go, not really knowing what to expect, but after some discussion at knit group, 4 of us decided to take a car up and check it out.

Between the time we decided to go and the day of the sale, I checked the Knit Picks Lovers group and saw a thread about the warehouse sale. Looked like there were quite a few people coming in from other states. Some were planning on coming from much further then we were (roughly 2 hours away). I was a little worried that the place would be crowded, but figured it wouldn’t be too bad based on the responses there. In that thread someone who works for Knit Picks said that the yarn would be returns, things missing ball bands, and discontinued yarns or colorways.

The sale started at 1 pm. Karen, Lani, Mary and I got there at 1:05 pm. By the time we parked and got inside the warehouse at maybe 1:10 pm, the place completely packed and a bit chaotic. I found out after getting home and checking the Knit Picks thread again that they started with 18 boxes, side by side in two lines, on the floor, that were most of the way filled. By the time we arrived, there were half the amount of boxes and tons of people bent over them trying to dig through and see what there was.

KP Warehouse Sale
This is near where the yarn was

I can’t stay bent over for really any length of time without my back hurting, so after a few minutes of seeing nothing but boxes of mostly tangled messes, I gave up on the idea of getting any yarn. I’m really not kidding when I say that every box that was left looked pretty much like this when I tried to see what was left.

Yarn mess
By the time we got to the yarn, much of it looked like this

Right as I gave up on the yarn, I found that they also had books for sale at very deeply discounted prices: $1 for soft cover, $3 for hard cover. I quickly changed my game plan from finding a place to sit away from the crowd, to looking through the books they had. They were all books that they weren’t able to sell for one reason or another – torn or bent pages, torn or bent covers, missing book jackets, etc. In no time, I had a pile of books that have been on my wishlist for a while and some books I hadn’t heard of, but looked interesting.

After I was done looking through the books, I managed to find Karen and we got in what we thought was a line. Not long after being in what we and others thought was the line, we found it had started splitting off in a totally different direction. I asked the person in front of us what was going on after some people near us left and found out the line ordeal. She said to just stay here and we would merge with the line. I did and thankfully it all worked out because we’d been standing there for 20 minutes and I may have completely abandoned buying anything if I’d had to go to the back of the now VERY long line. I think we stood in line for well over an hour and shopped for a total of 20 minutes. Here was the scene as we were getting closer to the check out table.

Knit Picks Warehouse Sale
This is while we were near the front of the line

*See those boxes that the piles of fabric are sitting on? Yarn was in boxes the same size, just on the floor with holes cut in the tops.

From what was put out by Knit Picks and what was in the thread, I had a bit of a different idea of what would be there, how things would be organized (ie not on the floor in boxes, considering all the fabric was at knee to waist level), and the amount of people that would be there. I will admit that I’ve not been to a whole lot of warehouse sales in my life and apparently I have not been to any “true” mob type warehouse sales. I suppose the closest I’ve come is Kohl’s on Black Friday and while the lines were long, it was still nothing as crazy as this. I’d compare it to The Fold’s booth at Rhinebeck or MDSW (if you’ve experienced that), except with a lot of tangled yarn and everything in a few boxes on the floor. Now, I didn’t expect top-of-the-line, straight-off-the-warehouse-shelf type stuff, but I expected more than a tangled mess of yarn with a huge mass of people bent over and surrounding boxes on the floor that were difficult to dig through. The saving grace for me was the books, which I was lucky enough to get to before they were gone and that didn’t take long!

After I got home, I found out that they had announced to the people waiting in line that there wasn’t “that much yarn” and that the people that were closest to the front of the line waiting for the warehouse sale to start had the best/biggest scores. Full bags of yarn, knitting bags, more popular knitting books, and anything else that was likely gone before we even got out of the car. I do wish we could have been there earlier, but I had to work, so it didn’t happen. Then again I don’t think any of us expected the amount of people that ended up being there! From reading the thread later it seems a number of people were very happy with their deals, others were upset, and others just tried to make lemon-aid out of lemons. I would have abandoned my purchases and left had I not come with 3 other people. In fact my friends all scored some decent yarn findings when people abandoned their purchases and left! The sale ran from 1 pm to 6 pm, but I’m sure anyone that arrived after 2 pm didn’t find much in way of yarn or knitting books.

It wasn’t all bad, though. I scored some great deals on books and I’m thankful for that. I’m also thankful that it wasn’t a hot day and it was relatively cool in the warehouse once you were out of the crush of people. Would I go again? Eh… I don’t know. I’d say probably not. I have quite a bit of yarn already and considering the 4 hour round trip drive, I don’t think yarn at $10/lb is worth it to me unless I know what will be available. I think because this is the first time Knit Picks joined the Connecting Threads warehouse sale the staff really didn’t know what to expect in terms of how many people would show up or from how far away they’d drive for the promise of yarn at $10/lb and when hundreds of people arrived and waited in line, they were overwhelmed. I’m sure they learned some valuable lessons from this experience!

Now… on to the books I scored. I came home with: Victorian Lace Today, Knitting Nature, Vogue Knitting The Ultimate Sock Book, Favorite Socks, Romantic Hand Knits, Selbuvotter, Knitted Tams, Lace Style, Country Weekend Knits, Arctic Lace, Twisted Stitch Knitting, and The Great American Afghan.

Knit Picks Book Haul
The pile of books I scored!

Now for the giveaway!

I picked up two copies of Selbuvotter. I don’t really know why other then I thought it’d be a good idea. Obviously, I don’t really NEED two copies of this book, so I’m going to give one copy away to someone. It does have a little damage to the bottom of the spine and there’s an “X” on the back (all the books were sold this way), but it’s in good shape otherwise and has no missing pages from what I can tell.

Selbuvotter (front)
Selbuvotter – Front

Selbuvotter (back)
Selbuvotter – Back

If you’d like to win a copy of this book, leave a comment on this post (be sure to leave your email address) by midnight eastern time in the US on Wednesday, August 24, 2011, letting me know you’d like to be entered in the drawing. On Thursday, August 25, 2011, I will use the random number generator to pick a winner and will announce it on the blog. Good luck! 🙂

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!

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Fiber Events

KY Fiber Fest, Tempest, and New Projects

Last Sunday, Karen, Emily, and I went to the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. It was rainy and overcast, but we still had a pretty good time. There were quite a few vendors, though less then I had in my head there would be. I was amazed at how much fiber and spinners there were! There was a whole group spinning. I wish I’d taken a picture! There was also a good amount of yarn, alpacas and sheep, and vendors selling non-yarn/fiber things. I didn’t get many pictures because it was icky out, but here are my favorites.

Baby Sheep
Baby Sheep

Alpaca
Alpaca

Pretty Yarn
Yarn

Of course you know I didn’t come home empty handed! I purchased two skeins of sock yarn from MacKintosh Yarns and one skein of lace weight tencel from Weaver’s Loft.

KY Sheep and Fiber Festival (Purchases)
Top: MacKintosh Yarns Celtic Sock in Sumac and Skye Sock in Camo Girl
Bottom: The Weaver’s Loft Yarns of Distinction Tencel Lace Weight

No plans for the lace yet, but I’ve seen their booth at festivals before and have wanted to try this yarn for a while, so I decided to go for it finally. The Camo Girl definitely needs to be socks (fun bright ones!). Undecided about the Sumac, though with sock yarn, can you really ever have enough? hahaha 🙂

I know I just showed this WIP for the first time last week, but look what I finished!

Tempest (Modified) - Hmmm
Tempest (Modified)

It still needs buttons (not going to keep it closed with DPNs forever!), but I have some picked out and I’ll be washing and blocking this tonight. I absolutely LOVE how this turned out. This is the best fitting sweater I’ve knit so far. I love everything about it. I can’t wait to get it washed so I can start wearing it! Even though it’s getting warmer, there are still some cool nights and it stays cool in my office, so I’m sure it will get some use before it gets really hot here.

Tempest (Modified) - Back
Tempest (Modified) – Back

Since I finished the sweater and was in the process of deciding what to knit next, I’ve started working on the Labyrinth sock again. Yesterday I turned the heel and I’m about halfway done with the leg. Here it is two repeats into the chart (I’m on the 5th repeat now).

Labyrinth Sock
Labyrinth Sock

I have to admit… I’m feeling project withdrawal from Tempest pretty badly. I put all my other projects aside to work on this one. I was enjoying the designing of the modifications, the yarn, the colors… everything! For about a week I’d been considering what I want to knit next when I got an email from Interweave Knits about the Jail Cardigan.

Jali Cardigan

I knew I wanted this to be my next sweater with a few modifications. I’d like to make it shorter in length (take off 2-3″ from the bottom) and possibly do 3/4 length sleeves instead. Once I finished knitting Tempest, I started considering my yarn options. I ended up deciding to get Knit Picks CotLin after reading up on it and getting some opinions from other knitters on how it holds up as a garment. My major concern was that the yarn is a cotton and linen blend and that it would be too heavy as a finished sweater. I love Ravelry for this! It’s a great way to find out about a yarn before committing. I ordered the yarn Wednesday morning, it was shipped a few hours later and on my doorstep when I got home from work today! That’s amazingly fast for Knit Picks, especially when there’s free shipping. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that I live in the same state it gets shipped from.

Knit Picks CotLin "Whisker"
Knit Picks CotLin in Whisker

I decided on a light grey for this sweater. I figured that way it would go with all of my wardrobe and I don’t have any sweaters like that yet (though Tempest does go with most of it). I’ve already done one swatch and it looks like I’ll need to go down a needle size, so I’ll knit another swatch tomorrow. I do like how it knit up and washed. I’ve not experienced any of the fuzzing that some people mentioned and it’s really quite soft – softer then I expected. Can’t wait to get this started!

Posted in Current Projects, Fiber Events

Project Updats and KY Fiber Festival

After finishing up the Camber Cardigan, I was bit by the cast-on bug. I initially decided I wouldn’t let myself cast anything on until I finished the Summer Breeze Vesper socks, but since I didn’t have much on the needles, I cast on for Ishbel in Handmaiden Sea Silk to bring to the Spring Fling with me.

Ishbel
Ishbel

I did work on it a little bit while at the Fling, though since I’ve been home it hasn’t seen much progress. While I was at the Fling, I finished up the Summer Breeze socks, so I decided to cast on my Spring Fling socks. A number of people going to the Fling decided to all knit Vesper socks and take a picture at the Fling, so I decided to use Damsel for mine. By the time I got home after the Fling, I had one sock finished.

Spring Fling Socks
Spring Fling Socks (Vesper in Damsel colorway)

Just before the Fling, I started another sock. I thought it would be good to have something with a little bit of a pattern that was interesting, but simple enough to work on while socializing. I decided on doing the toe-up version of Ampersand using Socks That Rock Lightweight in Farmhouse. I didn’t end up working on it much while at the Fling, but I’ve made it up past the heel and onto the leg (the photo below shows just before I turned the heel). After getting back from the Fling, I worked on this sock while figuring out the details for another project I’m working on.

Ampersand
Ampersand

The big project I’m working on right now and the one that has been getting all my attention is a modified version of the Tempest cardigan. Recently Adrienne (in my knit group) knit Tempest in three colors of Wollmeise and I really like how it turned out. It had been in my queue for a long time, so I decided I needed to make this sweater. I kept trying to decide on three colors of Wollmeise to use, but didn’t think any of the colors I had really went together that well. I had two skeins of Bugga in Faithful Beauty in my stash (which I bought thinking I’d make a shrug or shawl with it), then I caught a Bugga update and got two skeins of Ruby-Tailed Wasp. Once I got the colors together, I knew I had to make Tempest with this yarn. I had the yarn just before the Spring Fling, so I decided I wanted to wait until I took Jared’s sweater class before casting on since there were a few things about Tempest I wasn’t totally in love with: the neckline, that it is knit in pieces and sewn together, and that it didn’t have much of a border/edging.

After an excellent class with Jared where I learned a lot about sweaters, I decided to use the striping pattern of Tempest, go with a gauge I liked that is slightly different then the pattern, add a garter stitch edge to the bottom, change the neckline to be a v-neck shape, and knit it in one piece. I started it on May 1st and it’s been the only thing I’ve worked on. I really love working with this yarn and these colors! It’s been exciting to figure it all out and see it coming together. I’m up to the yoke now and I think I’ll be done with the body of it this week. After the body is done, I’ll do the button band, then the sleeves.

Bugga Sweater
Tempest – Modified

Now that the sweater is getting too big to be portable and I’ve been wanting to jump back in the Socks from the Toe Up KAL, I decided to cast on the Labyrinth socks Monday. I’m using Bigmouth Yarns Buxom Sock in “You’re Turning Violet, Violet”, which is a sock club colorway from the Willy Wonka Sock Club. I like how it’s working up in this yarn. It really shows the pattern well.

Labyrinth Socks
Labyrinth Socks

Even though I’ve got a number of projects on the needles, I’m already thinking about what I’m going to knit once I finish up Tempest. I bought a number of sleeveless summer dresses recently, so I’ve been looking at patterns for shrugs and cropped cardigans. What’s your favorite shrug or cropped cardigan pattern? I’m still undecided on what to knit that will be versatile and go with at least a few of my dresses. I’ll likely need yarn, too, since I don’t have any colors that would match well with any of the dresses I have. What’s your favorite summer yarn? I’m thinking maybe cotton or a cotton blend. I don’t want anything keeping me too warm during the already hot summer months!

This weekend is the First Annual Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. Looks like I’ll be headed down with some of the gals in my knit group on Sunday. I’m looking forward to going and hoping it’ll stay as nice as the forecast is predicting! If you’re going, leave a comment and maybe we can meet up while there. 🙂

Posted in Fiber Events

Spring Fling 2010

I’ve been contemplating which I want to do first: FO’s or a Spring Fling wrap up. I decided I should write about the Fling while it’s still fresh in my mind. 🙂 (Warning – photo heavy post!)

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Spring Fling hosted by The Loopy Ewe. From the time I arrived, to the time I left, I had a fantastic time! It was so much fun to meet the folks I’d been chatting with and getting to know on Ravelry through the Spring Fling group (or elsewhere on Ravelry), Plurk, and Twitter.

I posted pictures on Flickr, here, but here are a few of my favorites with the recap.

I left the house at about 8 am and on the way to St. Louis, I picked up Lana. It was nice to not have do do the whole drive solo. I met her at a local yarn shop, then we had lunch and headed on our way. We made it to St. Louis around 3:30 pm (EST, so really 2:30 pm St. Louis time) and got settled in. At check in we got our Swag Bag.

Swag Bag!
Swag Bag

The Swag Bag included: a messenger bag, Little Loopy, TLE mug, Wollmeise in a special Fling colorway, TLE stitch marker, sample of Baby Boom, a Wendy sock pattern, a scarf pattern, and a little book of various sized sticky notes.

The first night a large group of us enjoyed dinner at Casa Gallardo, which was organized by the fabulous Jen. As I expected, the service was a bit slow with such a large group, but it wasn’t a problem since I was in the company of fellow fiber folks!

First Night Dinner
First Night Dinner

After the dinner was the desert reception. I did take a few pictures, but they all ended up quite blurry. I got to meet my roomie, Lauren (who was great to room and hang out with!) at the desert reception since she got in a little later in the day. Friday I had the morning free to hang out and knit. I got to meet Stacy (of Tempted Yarns) and the Gray Ladies during my morning free. They are so fun to hang out with! In the afternoon I had Jared Flood’s sweater class. The class was fantastic and gave me a whole new love and desire to knit sweaters. I’m already planning on what to make next!

Jared's Sweater Class
Jared’s Sweater Class

On Friday night I had dinner at The Drunken Fish with Lauren and I can’t for the life of me remember who else. Typically sushi isn’t my first pick, but the last few times I’ve gone to sushi restaurants, I’ve really enjoyed it, so I gave it a chance. I had a Fried Philly Roll, which was really, really tasty. So good that we (Lauren and I) went again on Saturday night! (It helped that the second time we had coupons and got some happy hour specials.) Friday evening was pretty relaxing and it was great hanging out, knitting and chatting with people. At 9 pm there was a breakout session on photographing yarn with Sheri’s husband. I thought there were a lot of helpful tips, but personally they were mostly things I already knew (however it did seem that many people got a lot out of it and I’m aware that I know more then most).

Photography break out session
Sheri introducing her husband
for the photography session.

Saturday I had the morning free. I sat and knit with Leslie and Laura of The Knit Girllls in the morning and they are as much fun as they are in their videocast. The afternoon was spent at…. LOOPY CENTRAL!!

Me at The Loopy Ewe
Me at Loopy Central

Many previous Flingers warned that it’s a bit overwhelming and when I arrived, it definitely was. So much pretty yarn I didn’t know where to start!

Wall of Cascade 220
Wall of Cascade 220

There was even some Bugga and sock kits from last years club (and the first shipment of this years sock club). I decided not to get any of the kits or Bugga, but I didn’t come away empty handed by any means.

The Loot
The Loot

I bought five skeins of Fiberphile Merino Cashmere Sock in Turkey Hill (for a sweater), one skein of DIC Starry in Happy Forrest and one in Punky Fuchsia (for the Daybreak shawl), a sock blocker peacock, DPN sushi holders from Wants & Kneeds, and TLE red sweatshirt. The mug was a gift you received when you went to TLE.

After the shopping trip there was the group photo. While everyone was coming in to the area we would be taking the picture in, Wendy came up to me and said “I’ve been looking for you!” It was a “OMG you, Famous Knitting Designer were looking for me?!” moment for me! I’d left my copy of Toe-Up Socks for Every Body at home and hadn’t been brave enough to go up to her up to that point (I’m rather shy in person). It was great to meet Wendy and chat with her for a bit. 🙂

After the group photo, there was the Vesper photo. A thread was started on the Spring Fling board about Vesper and suggested that we get as many people going to the fling as possible to knit a pair of Vesper socks and then take a picture of all of them together.

Vesper Socks!
Circle of Vesper

Lina was kind enough to take a group photo with all of us and our socks, which you can see here. (I’m in the front row in my February Lady Sweater.)

Saturday evening was the door prize drawing with Sheri and one of the Loopy Elves. I didn’t win anything, but it was fun! We also got to hear some upcoming things happening at The Loopy Ewe (which Sheri has email about, but we got to hear it first).

Sheri and one of the Elves
Sheri and one of the Elves

Once the drawings and announcements were done, a group of Flingers got up to sing the Spring Fling song, which was written by Tammy. You can see and hear the whole song here.

Sunday morning it was breakfast then back on the road to head home. As always, wonderful events like this end too soon and seem too short! I had such an amazing and wonderful time. I’m so very glad I got to go this year and meet such fantastic people. I hope I can attend next year!

Posted in Fiber Events

Maryland Sheep & Wool

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to get to go to Maryland Sheep & Wool! Jessica was nice enough to let me stay with her for the weekend and go up for the fest. I met Jessica through Ravelry in the Vesper Yarn Lovers group and we got to know each other through there (and Twitter and Plurk). I’ve been able to get to know a lot of fantastic folks through Ravelry, Plurk, and Twitter – it’s been really fantastic!

Anyhow…

MDSW was great! We went on Saturday. There were a lot of people and it rained for a little while in the morning, but wasn’t bad the rest of the day. There was TONS of stuff I wanted to get, but I only had so much money to spend, so of course I couldn’t get everything I wanted. You can see all of my photos here, but here are a few of my favorites:

Baby Goats
Baby goats

Baby Bunnies
Baby bunnies

Teeswater Sheep
Teeswater Sheep

Brooks Farms
Brooks Farm booth

Golding Spindles
Golding Spindles

Golding Wheel
Golding Wheel

This photo just might be my favorite, though. While at the fest on Saturday, I got to meet Laura!! We became fast friends through Ravelry and it’s been really great getting to know her. I’m so glad we were able to finally meet and spend some time together at the fest and it looks like I’ll get even more time to hang out with her this fall at Rhinebeck – we’re already making plans :o)

Me, Jessica and Laura
Left to right: Me, Jessica and Laura

The drive to VA and back wasn’t bad at all. The way back I had to drive through a lot of rain, but the drive out was nice the entire way. I was sad that Jessica (a different one!) wasn’t able to make it out to MDSW this year, but I’m hoping we’ll get to meet at Rhinebeck. Send lots of good thoughts her way, if you can! She’s having surgery next week and I know any extra thoughts/prayers/whatever would be well appreciated. Surgery isn’t an easy thing to go through… all the nervousness, stress, and anxiety leading up to it, then the recovery. NOT easy!!

Speaking of which, I feel pretty good about my own surgery. I’m doing great. I have times where I’m more sore or have a little pain, but it’s nothing like before. Had my doctors appointment on Monday of this week and things went well. He said I’m doing quite well, which was good to hear! I go to the PT people tomorrow, then next week I’ll be back at work. I think the toughest part will be keeping up the walking, but since I have an hour lunch, I should have no problem getting in a walk then on the days I work.

So, MDSW was great! Totally want to do it again next year! Next time I’ll show you what came home with me and my finished Leyburn socks :o)