Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Please enjoy the pumpkins carved in fiber animal themes from the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival. 

I enjoy Halloween because it’s the only time of the year that other’s find it ok that I have spider decorations up everywhere.

The other 364 days of the year people just think I’m crazy,

Friday, October 28, 2011

New York State Sheep and Wool 2011

The NYS Sheep and Wool festival was everything I’d hoped it would be and more!  Two days of fiber and festival food free for all.  The first day of Rhinebeck involved targeted strikes in areas of particular interest.  These included fudge and cheese booths for the ladies.  While waiting for them to finish up at the cheese place I wandered over to the woolen items competition area and saw this.

Pic 1- Pretty Maids wool competition entry

A knitter had knit Pretty Maids in handspun yarn and entered in into the contest. (She won sixth place.Yay!)  It was really pretty yarn.  I wanted to leave a note for her, but the volunteer wouldn’t let me.  Happily, I found her on Ravelry when I got home and was able to tell her congratulations.

After leaving the food barn (really more of a very large shed) we moved on to Sanguine Gryphon.  I’d gone in hopes of finding some more of the delicious Gaia lace that I got last year (silk and cashmere, sssoooooooooooo fantastic!!!!!), but sadly, there was none to be found.  So I had to get a skein of Codex in Questing Beast to sooth my disappointment (see picture 5 below).  Or maybe it was because it was so beautiful that I couldn’t resist it.  Hmmm, it is really beautiful.  I also got a skein of Eidos for GiGi in Charybdis (see picture 3 below).  Then the ladies and I stood in the line for over an hour. 

Pic 2- Sanguine Gryphon line

It wasn’t all bad though; a very nice lady came by and brought everyone key lime cupcakes.

Pic 3- GiGi Yarns-Red: Eidos from Sanguine Gryphon;
Brown: Periwinkle Sheep Sport weight

After we paid for our purchases, we headed over to my favorite booth at Rhinebeck and the one I look forward to all year long.  Oasis Farm Fiber.  They sell angora yarn.  I’m in extreme love with their Glamour Bunny!  It’s a sport weight angora, merino, and silk yarn.  It is soft and shimmery and makes beautiful scarves.  Like the one I immediately cast on for Hubbie and finished in a few days because the fiber is just so yummy on the fingers.

Pic 4- Hubbie scarf

The rest of the first day is a blur of beautiful yarn, wonderfully smelly lotion, maple sugar cotton candy, and deep fried garlic and pickles.

Pic 5- Miscellaneous yarns (for me, weeee!)- Orange: Codex from Sanguine Gryphon;
Silk/merino worsted weight wool from Hudson Valley Sheep and Wool Company;
Green: Cashmere/merino/nylon from Oasis Farm Fiber.

The second day was spent much like the first, wandering around the fairgrounds looking at yarn with T.K., K.T., and Brandy.  I don’t believe you’ve met Brandy.  She is one of the members of our knitting group and occasional shawl model for me.  Here she is wearing the gold version of Semi-Precious and showing me just how huge that particular hank of yarn was. 

Pic 5- Brandy: “This yarn hank is bigger than I am!”

During the course of the day I acquired some lovely yarn from Periwinkle Sheep.  The orange skein (see picture 6) has sparklies!  The other two skeins are from Jill Draper Makes Stuff.  One is merino/silk, the other is angora/silk.  Yum! You may have noticed I bought a lot of orange yarn this year (and really every other year too).  What can I say, I have a well-documented love of the color.

Pic 6-Orange yarns- All lace: Periwinkle Sheep in Tangerine;
Jill Draper in Paprika (wool/silk) and Orange Crush (angora/silk).

I also bought Athie’s Christmas and Birthday presents while I was there. 

Pic 7- Athie’s presents

The hank of roving is from Joan Berner. The buttons, however, are from Moving Mud (the two in front) and Jenny the Potter (the multiple pack in back). 

One of the last places we stopped was at a jewelry booth called On The Bend.  K.T. wanted to go there because she really likes their work.  While there I fell in love with a sheep pendant so it had to come home with me too.

Pic 8- Sheep pendant

Finally, it was time to go home, but this year ranks as one of the best Rhinebeck’s ever!  And not just because T.K. and Brandy got free yarn from the people at Socks that Rock and I saw the Yarn Harlot (but it didn’t hurt!).

I can’t wait for next year,

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birthday handspun yarn

I received some beautiful handspun yarn from Athie for my birthday this weekend.  It's absolutely beautiful (as is all of the handspun I've received from her, I gotta say.)

The colorway is called Mina.  It's a wool, silk, sari silk blend from Enchanted Knoll Farm.  And, yes, those are sparkles!  Somehow Athie has tuned in to my secret (or perhaps not so secret) love of sparkly things.  Yay for sparkly yarn!

The big skein is over 700 yards of a two ply.  The little skein is just over 100 yards of a 3 ply. 

I think the little skein would make a perfect hat for the baby.  The big skein, however, is going to make a beautiful shawl for me.  (Sorry GiGi!)

Is anyone else thinking about Dracula now,

Friday, October 21, 2011

Van Cortlandt Park

I got the opportunity this week to got to Van Cortlandt park recently.  I had to be there at 8am (which meant getting up and leaving the house at ridiculous o'clock) but it was completely worth it.  The early morning sun was beautiful.

The Van Cortlandt mansion was even lovely in the early morning sun.

I'm looking forward to going again,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finish-it-upis 2011

I've threatened many times to go on a finishing kick, but never quite succeeded.  Until recently.

I'm happy to say that over the past month I have finished and blocked six shawls that have been laguishing in the knitting basket for upwards of a year or more.  They are all beautiful shawls, but during their construction, I got bit by the designing bug and, sadly, they waited to be finished.

One just needed the ends tied in and to be blocked. It started out as different shawl and ended up with an edge modified from Elina.  It's made with Knit Picks Andean Treasure.

A couple of them I just worked to a seemingly natural edge and bound off ('cause otherwise they wouldn't get finished.)

Dracula's Bride: A Goddess Knits shawl that I started it two years ago as a present for GiGi.  It's in Knit Picks Palette in Garnet Heather and Black.

Butterfly Garden:  An Evelyn Clark Shawl that I knit in Knit Picks Gloss lace in Blue Bird (a discontinuted color).  I changed the edging to leaves because I liked the effect from Butterfly Bush.

Spider Web Shawl: From Victorian Lace Today, I decided to just bind it off because it was too big to rip out.  It's knit in Palette in Calypso Heather

Lace Leaf Shawl: Another Evelyn Clark shawl knit in Filatura Cervinia Calzetteria which is, unfortunately, quite itchy even after washing.

Plus a couple of shawls that I improvised when I was in need of movie knitting.

Schaefer Heather in the Wendy colorway.

Knit Picks Gossamer in the Caribbean color.  (So old that even the yarn line is discontinued.)
And last, but not least, Citron. 

Citron was the first not-from-my-head project that I knit after I started designing.  The crazy part is that for the first week or so that I knit it, I felt guilty, like I was stealing someone else's pattern.  I managed to get over that, but poor Citron stalled at the edge.  I'm happy to say that it's finished and I love it.  Worked in Malabrigo Lace in the Snow Bird color way, it is soft and delightful.
I should be nice and toasty this winter,

Friday, October 14, 2011

NYS Sheep and Wool Festival!!!

Rhinebeck starts today!!!  It's time for a weekend of fun, fiber, fried pickles, and maple sugar cotton candy.

Plus the Craft Yarn Council has declared today National I Love Yarn Day!  Since I love yarn every day, it's nice to have an official day to celebrate it.  Plus it's a great beginning to Rhinebeck weekend.

Hope to see you there,

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baby sweaters and bibs: or what I did on my summer vacation

I am pleased to say that I that I managed to finish the sweater and bib for Athie before the baby was born.

And by pleased I mean shocked that I finished it before the baby was born.  Partly because I'm not good with deadlines but mostly because it, like most of my sweaters, stalled on the sleeves. I am aware of how ridiculous this is because it's a baby sweater. Baby sweaters are easy to make, so it's not like I'm going to have to spend months knitting intricate cabled long sleeves for a man's sweater. It's a baby sweater.  But it's finished now (with short sleeves).

It's also the first time I've sewn buttons on a sweater.  Yes, there are at least five buttonless sweaters out there just hanging open and unable to meet their full warmness potential because I'm a lazy finisher.  But not this one, by golly!

In addition to the sweater, I also knit Athie a bib.

The bib is more of a gag gift than a baby gift. You see when Athie told me that she was having a girl, she forbid me from making her something in what she called 'baby pink'. Athie is not fond of pastel colors. She is very into the earth tones and deep saturated color. So the sweater I knit for the baby is in a warm yellow with slight shades of green and red. The bib however is in baby pink (the picture does not do the color justice). Those of you that know me, and after several years of friendship Athie should, are aware that expressly forbidding me from doing something in like waving a red flag in front of a bull. So of course when she said "Don't give me anything in baby pink." I had to make something for her in baby pink. So I got some Sugar-N-Cream cotton and improvised a bib for her. I'm going to give that one to her first and then the sweater second. I cannot wait to see the look on her face.

Hopefully she doesn't kill me,

Friday, October 7, 2011

Oh, the glories of yarn

There has been some lovely yarn coming into the house lately. 

An order of Knit Picks yarn from Hubbie for my birthday.

Their new Stroll Glimmer yarn in the Frost colorway.  It's quite soft (like their regular Stroll yarns) but the sparkly is irresistable!  Except it's in a GiGi color.  It's all wrapped around itself because it is currently being used to make GiGi's Christmas present.

Their new special reserve Sugarbunny in the Wine colorway.  It's as soft as you would imagine for an angora/merino yarn.  I'm trying to find the perfect project (read: shawlette) for it.  I may have to design something special.  I was super excited when I found out that they'd used Deja Vu in the email advertisement for it because, well, you know how much I love love love angora, right. (However, I think they're trying to break my heart by finally selling an angora yarn but having it be limited time only.)

A skein of Gloss heavy worsted in Fedora for another shawlette for GiGi.

And last, but most certainly not least, four skeins of Bare Gloss lace for a large circular shawl I have planned.  I can't wait! 

And if that weren't enough, when T.K. and I stopped in at Knitty City this week, Pearl, the owner and queen of enablers, dragged us into the back of the store to show us a new yarn called Baah! that she'd just received from the dyer, Mira Cole.  It's a fingering weight 100% superwash Merino wool.  Super soft and fantastic colors.  T.K. was draw to the blues and cooler hues. (She and GiGi have a very similar color preferences.  I occasionally use one to help pick out yarn when buying some for the other.)  I, however, was drawn to the more vibrant warmer colors and went home with these:

Gold Rush - It was love at first sight.  I don't really wear yellow, but I think I can get over that for this yarn.

Pink Tourmaline- I couldn't stop petting it while I was in the store, so I brought it home for a little knitting love. 

So much lace to knit, so little time. 

I should probably get started,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Semi-Precious Shawl

My friend, Athie, is a very talented woman.  She has spun great yarn out of the amazing fiber she's acquired for the nearly two years since she started spinning.  And, much to my joy, has given some of that yarn to me. 

You may remember the skein she gave me for my birthday last year.  Beautiful magenta colored yarn spun from 100% Targhee from Enchanted Knoll Farms.

Also during the last year she has given me several other skeins, but each skein came with a condition. "If you want to keep getting my handspun, you must design a shawl with some of the yarn I've given you and submit it to KnittySpin."  I have to admit that could just be the way I heard it.  She may have said something along the lines of, "You know, you could use some of my handspun to design something for KnittySpin."  I guess it's just a case of she says potato, I say "mmm, french fries!"

Regardless of wording, and considering how much I love her hand spun yarn, I got right on it.  I'm happy to say that not only was I able to design a shawl for the lovely handspun yarns that she'd given me, but it was released in this season's (Deep Fall 2011) KnittySpin!

The Semi-precious Shawl

The Magenta Targhee version. (I'm thinking Amethyst.)

The Wood Elves wool and silk version. (I call it Jade.)

The Mango Lassi wool and silk version. (A little gold to accent the jewels.)

I'm not much into jewelry (don't get me wrong, I'm a girl so I still like to look at it and watch it sparkle, but I don't really wear it).  These pieces, however, I would happily wear (except the green one because I'm going to give it to Athie for Christmas, but that's our little secret.  Right?). 

Hooray for fibery friends,

P.S. All three colors of fiber were produced by Enchanted Knoll.