Archive for the “Stash” Category
After reading many accounts of Rhinebeck written by several people, it seems many of us were rather restrained in our stash enhancements this time around. I’m not sure if that’s the result of the global financial situation or just that many of us are finding ourselves having more than enough stash these days, but I thought it was interesting. In that same vein, I tell you in all honesty
I bought no yarn at Rhinebeck.
It’s true! Not a single solitary skein came home with me. I certainly looked at many skeins of yarn and even had a list of certain vendors that I was specifically thinking might have something that would need to come home with me. Alas, it was not so. And I’m ok with that. What I did buy made me quite happy. My first purchase was a split with Annie.
Yak/Alpaca fiber that was over carded by the mill so as not to be suitable for machine spinning. We felt very sorry for them as we forked over our money and
ran cackling from the scene whooping with glee quietly continued on. When I am brave enough to start spinning it and have a finished yarn, it may take a trip to the dyepot. We’ll see.
Superwash merino from Fiber Optic, purchased on Sunday. I spun up a sample of her fiber on Saturday night with my new spindle and decided that some needed to go home with me. One of my goals for Rhinebeck was to make some purchases of spinning fiber that I did not have to dye myself.
Speaking of spindles…
Oh hai Bosworth Midi that lept into my pocket before we left the festival on Saturday! You spin the alpaca/silk blend you are lounging on in that pic that was also purchased at Rhinebeck quite nicely!
And finally, I saved the best for last. Last year at Rhinebeck we found this interesting pottery booth (which turned out to be Wardell Pottery) that had mugs with “Alpaca Mom” and “Sheep Dad” and such on them. We lamented the lack of one for bunny parents to the owners then. Just before we were leaving the festival this year, we happened to wander almost accidentally past their booth again. And what did we find?!
The fact that these mugs also just *happen* to be in the appropriate colors for each of us was not lost on us as we laughed our way all the way to the front of the line. And get this, the people in the booth *remembered us* and were *so* happy that we came back! It was definitely a Rhinebeck moment I won’t forget soon.
My fun didn’t end with Rhinebeck however. This past Thursday HWJF and I were lucky enough to go see a live taping of Wait, Wait Don’t Tell me! at Carnegie Hall!
It was totally the best thing we’ve done in a long time. If you have a chance to go see them live, don’t miss it! It was hysterical!
And then, in a bout of sheer wool induced insanity, Sairy and I decided to hit Stitches East on Saturday. We met up with Annie there for a little while and perused the market place. I’ve never been to a Stitches show before, but the atmosphere was totally different then anything I’d been to before. The convention center setting was certain more industrial but we definitely weren’t worried about the weather. The market place wasn’t overwhelming in size and we were really able to see everything in just a couple of hours. The thing I found really shocking? Novelty yarn. EVERYWHERE. Weird.
My purchases were not as restrained this time, but I found some interesting stuff, mostly for gifts. Mom, if you’re reading this you may want to turn away now. Just sayin’.
Wool free sock yarn.
BMFA Luscious Silk which is 100% silk and certainly of the luscious variety.
4 oz. Merino/Silk in the campfire colorway. I sat down on Sunday and spun the whole dang thing up already. Incidentally, would you believe that my wheels both had copious amounts of DUST on them?! I haven’t touched one since August!!
It was yummy while it lasted.
Finally, the siren song of cashmere could not be ignored any longer. We found the booth right when we came in, squished the yumminess and finally succumbed. I couldn’t choose between these two beauties so I took them both!
OMG it was worth every penny! This yarn is just too beautiful to go on feet so it may become something for a neck near me sometime soon.
[For those of you keeping track for the STASH Kal, I added 1530 yds. to my stash. Having knit 3584 yds. up at last count that still puts me ahead by 2054 yds!]
But that’s not all! If you thought going to Stitches right after Rhinebeck was crazy, how ’bout this!
Sairy had never been to Webs. It’s 45 min. from the convention center. How could she resist when I made the suggestion? I made no purchases for myself after the
carnage ones I made above. I simply enjoyed watching someone else seeing all that is Webs for the first time. She made some lovely purchases and will have an awesome sweater as a reminder of her first Webs trip at some point.
And now I must publicly thank Sairy for her expert driving skills. Had I known that we’d be driving back to NJ in a torrential monsoon like none that I have seen in a very long time we may have skipped the Webs detour. At one point we came upon a puddle so huge that I was sure the little Honda that we were in would be swallowed whole and we would not make it out the other side. It was one of those moments where I start to yell Oh Sh*t but didn’t even get to the Sh*t part. With no where else to go but in, head on, Sairy negotiated the danger expertly and we only had elevated heart rates to show for it in the end. We celebrated with a stiff drink later. Thanks for keeping me alive my friend!
But seriously? It was worth every moment.
How ’bout we save those FO’s for next time, eh?
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I’m back in NJ again and ready to share the crafty stuff I’ve been doing lately with y’all.
First off, on the way down to camp we stopped in Roanoke, VA for the night. To my surprise, DPUTiger was working an event nearby and asked if we could do dinner or something!
We had a great dinner at a downtown BBQ joint that we had been to before and then took an adventure out to find ice cream. The place was rather charming, what with the Big Ass Umbrella and all.
See? I wasn’t kidding. It was huge. HWJF couldn’t resist a picture (even with the iPhone at night). The ice cream he had was of similar size. I do believe a fun time was had by all and I was glad we could spend some time with Amy considering it was her birthday and I truly believe that No One should have to work on their birthday!
At bassoon camp, I mostly spent my crafting time spinning. I’m starting to think about fall shows for Zarzuela’s Fibers (which I hope to open again sometime this week!) and making samples for display in the booth. With that in mind, I took some of my “Blue Jeans and Leather Shoes” colorway in superwash merino and spun it up into a two ply yarn.
I sent this yarn and one other home with our friend Gerry who is a wonderful knitter and will be knitting up a sample for me in this yarn.
The other spinning project I worked on was sort of a test run for a new colorway and a return to making a true three ply yarn.
It seemed to take forever but I’m very happy with the results. It turned out to be a good solid sock weight yarn, which was exactly what I was going for. I’m not sure how many more skeins of this there are in my future, but I’m pleased with how the colors worked out in this merino-tencel fiber. What do y’all think?
There was also a bit of knitting on the trip. I’ve been in a “finish old projects” mood so I took this pair of socks with me that had been on the needles since last August!
Narraganset Bay Socks
Pattern: Narraganset Bay Socks from “A Fine Fleece” by Lisa Lloyd
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport (2 balls)
Needles: Size 1 knitpicks
I really love the end product with these socks but knitting them felt like it took forever and a day. I thought the pattern would be interesting to knit, but either I just wasn’t in the right mood or knitting and purling just wasn’t enough to keep my attention.
The yarn was a bit splity and the needles quite sharp so that may have had something to do with it. Still, I’m glad I made them. I think they are quite pretty and will be a good addition to the winter wardrobe.
Lest you think that I’ve turned into a slow sock knitter, I spent the last week while I was home with my parents making up for my failure to get my Mom a pair of socks for Mother’s Day (nevermind that my surgery was the next day and I was a bit preoccupied ).
They’re just a plain old pair of stockinette toe up socks using my usual construction. I knit them in two different colorways of Blue Moon’s Sock Candy, alternating the yarns every couple of rows to blend the colors. Mom has wide feet in a size 10, so I was worried that I would have enough yardage to get a complete pair out of them.
I really had no reason to worry because I ended up with plenty left over. I knit these in about 7 days. Much more reasonable time frame there. I finished them just before we left for me to come back to NJ yesterday. Perfect timing.
Getting back to the actual trip away, no vacation would be complete without at least a little stash acquisition. Believe it or not, it took until just about our last day on the road for me to buy yarn. I looked in some of the usual places, but I think I’ve honestly gotten to the point where if the colors don’t call out to me or there isn’t something really special about it, I’m just not too anxious to buy yarn. I have plenty of stash to work through at the moment and with job concerns and hospital bills still possibly on the horizon, it just doesn’t seem that important. But we stopped at two yarn stores on our way back through Roanoke and I came home with these three yarns:
From the top they are:
Blue Ridge Yarns Kaleidoscope
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock
Not sure if I’ll knit them up or something else during SOS’09 just yet, but they’ll wait for me no matter when I use them.
So I think that just about covers it!
I’ve got grand plans for this (hopefully) last week that I’m off work. We’ll see how much I actually get done. I just want to thank you all again for all the well wishes I’ve received on my recovery. Things are going well and I see my surgeon on Thursday to find out if I can drive again and go back to work next Monday. I’ll keep you posted!
Finally, make sure you go check out the SOS’09 group later today. We’re gearing up for the start this weekend and I hope to have a good announcement or two to share. See you there!
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I guess I’d better tell you about Christmas before 2008 comes to an end! I’m having a hard time trying to think of what to tell you. There was food, there was family, there was shopping. It’s all kind of a blur at this point. HWJF’s parents gave us a lovely holiday as always. Among the gifts was a bread board, which is sort of a rite of passage in his family. I guess we have to be grown ups now. There was also this beautiful vase they brought back from Kaiser on their trip to Germany.
Shown on a placemat my Mom needlepointed for us. It’s got bunnies!!!
I told HWJF he’ll just have to buy me flowers more often now.
There was one funny story I have to share. We stopped in Freeport on our way up to visit LLBean. After another awesome late lunch at Gritty’s we headed over to the Bean campus and what do I see on the side of the road but two people with live sheep!
I know the pic sucks, but it was the best I could do. They must have had a living nativity going on or something and they were wrapping it up. I got back to the street just in time to shoot a couple of pics and watch them load the two sheep in the back of…
A SUBARU WAGON!!!
This is much more funny when you know that HWJF’s car is a very similar one and there have been multiple jokes about me not being able to take his car to a Sheep and Wool Fest for fear that I will come home with a whole sheep in the back. I don’t know where he would ever get that idea. Needless to say, we had a good laugh at that one!
Of course, I know that you mostly come here for the fibery stuff, so why don’t we just get to that?! When we are in Maine for Christmas, we’ve begun to make it a tradition to visit Yardgoods in Waterville on the 26th for their annual sale. I love this shop! They are very friendly and have a great selection of yarns and 20% off doesn’t hurt either! After much debate with myself I decided on yarn for two sweaters, one of which I can’t believe I found the pattern for, as I’ve been looking around at it online for quite sometime now and haven’t really been able to locate a copy. Wouldn’t you figure I wasn’t looking for it at the time? This lopi book:
Has this sweater which I adore:
I kind of have a thing for roses. Of course, since I get to pick the colors, my roses will be BLUE! I’m sure you are shocked. Since there was no lite lopi to be had and it got the same gauge, I choose some lamb’s pride instead.
Then I found some DIC Classy hiding on a bottom shelf. I’ve heard good things about this yarn (although I hear now that it stretches when it hits water, which can be resolved by a quick trip in the dryer- wouldn’t you know our dryer died a couple of weeks ago?!?) and there were two lovely colors. Unfortunately the rich brown that I really loved was only one lonely skein, so I went with this instead:
It’s going to grow up to be a Red Rings pullover, because after I saw Kim’s, I decided I needed one.
One other item followed me home. This shop has everything you could possibly imagine for crafting, so I took advantage.
Expect to see that on my shop materials very soon.
The next day HWJF was kind enough to humor my still burning desire from this summer to visit Halcyon. So we ventured out on the 2 hour drive and let me just tell you, Totally Worth It. It’s a lovely shop with knitting, spinning, felting, rug hooking, weaving and other supplies. They have a ton of books, all sorts of samples ready made and great shelving and lighting so you can wander about and find things. The help was also kind, friendly and knowledgeable. It was a great experience. They weren’t having a sale per se, but I did find some things I haven’t found elsewhere. First up, two more bobbins for the wheels:
These are the high speed bobbins that go with the high speed whorl I bought at Rhinebeck. I was getting good take up without them, but I have some plans for some serious lace spinning this year so I thought it was time to make the investment. I have yet to have a chance to try them out.
I also found Harrisville Shetland on cones! I plan to make two pairs of these mittens, one set for me and one for HWJF and I should have plenty of yarn to do it with now. We decided on a russet red and a dark blue:
I have dreams of making the Ivy League vest someday, which also calls for this yarn, so I think this will be a good test run.
As if all that wasn’t enough, on the way back home we stopped in Portland and by a stroke of luck, Tess was open on a Sunday! I had a really nice time talking with the owner (and being greeted by her daughter’s dog!) about dyeing and festivals and such and tried to put the bug in her ear to come back to Rhinebeck soon! You may recall that I bought two skeins of her superwash merino this summer, which I only returned home to find out was not enough to knit Portland. I wasn’t able to get another skein, so I remedied the problem another way:
This picture doesn’t do the yarn justice. Trust me. But I have enough for Portland now.
As many of you noticed, there was also another stop on the way back. After spending the night with friends in CT we took a quick detour to Webs! I haven’t been back there since I moved to NJ in 2006 so it was really awesome to get the chance to go back. I visited the new bead store, which was quite nice, but didn’t have what I was looking for at the moment (and honestly, I walk past 12 bead stores every day I go to work that are at least twice the size) so there were no purchases there. I saved it for the yarn!
We were on a bit of a tight schedule, but I managed to make it out only one min. after my deadline. And that was mostly because the place was Crazy Busy. Gotta love that end of the year sale. I was very glad we got there when they opened! By this point, my credit card was pretty much screaming at me to knock it off, so I managed to limit myself to yarn for just one more sweater. Colorwork is definitely on my goal list for 2009 (more on that next time) and I’ve been dreaming of a Dale of Norway sweater for quite some time. What should I happen to find as a browsed their patterns?
Say hello to Sirdal, who has been patiently sitting in my queue for quite some time. I’ll be knitting this baby in a dark navy blue and white, because lets face it, this one is going to last a while and it had better be in colors that I’ll wear!
I also found the Canadian Olympic commemorative edition booklet and will no doubt have a couple of those sweaters in the queue none too soon. Especially Lake Louise (since I’ve actually been there)!
I’m so excited about these projects I don’t know what to start first! And you should have seen the car. HWJF started calling it the “jersey wooly” there was so much yarn! I guess it might have been cheaper if we’d flown after all.
I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve! I plan to kick off 2009 on the blog with a 2008 wrap up and then it will be on to a new year of knitting and spinning fun. See you then!
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… how’s about I tell y’all about Maine!
It was awesome!
No wait! There’s more!
Despite leaving after work on Wednesday we didn’t actually get into Maine until Thursday morning. It seems that we must have officially reached “old” or something because the prospect of getting in at 1am or later did not appeal to us this year. We stayed with friends near Boston Wednesday night and were on our way Thursday morning.
First stop was Portland. There’s something so very charming to me about this city. Perhaps it’s the smallness compared to my daily fight with NYC, perhaps it’s the smell of salt on the air that instantly makes me crave steamed clams and lobster, or maybe it’s the people who totally dress like I would want to dress on a daily basis and don’t seem to notice that they’re special. Either way, I just love Portland. And this time around I finally got to go to Tess’ Designer Yarns! Every time we’ve tried before it hasn’t been open but this time we were lucky. I was so excited I didn’t even get a picture, but you better believe I got yarn!
It wasn’t an easy decision, but I ended up with these two skeins of their Superwash Merino. It’s so silky and the colors just imidiately grabbed me when I walked in the door. There is a touch of buyer’s remorse with these only because I probably should have gotten a third skein. Now that I’m back to Ravelry access, I find that the sweaters I had in mind need a touch more yardage. I may just call them to see if I can get more though. I also bought sock yarn for HWJF which has become the yarn of choice for his Ravelympic socks.
I didn’t start them until Saturday because I wanted to work on the Morning Surf Scarf first (more on that another day) and I wasn’t too sure how they were going to work out, but they’re starting to grow on me. I decided to go with this instead of the handspun that I had originally planned when I discovered the gauge was going to be way off otherwise. HWJF seems to like them so far and that’s all that matters to me.
We almost literally tripped over another yarn store while we wandered the city, Central Yarn Shop. This was a really cute store with a wide variety of yarns and some really interesting samples, not the least of which were some with a serious lobster theme that we saw in the window.
We picked up another skein of sock yarn there. This time Berroco Sox.
HWJF says that I “hog all the blues” so this one is for him too.
We made several other stops including a couple of record stores, an asian grocery (hello Pocky!), L.L.Bean outlet and a Stonewall Kitchen to stock up on our favorite Sunday breakfast, but I think HWJF was most happy when we found out we could take a tour here:
While the video was interesting the “tour” was less than stellar. They basically took us into the packaging room to show us all of this:
Which was kind of cool to see all the bottles going around but less than what we were expecting. But hey, it was free and there was a tasting afterward. I’m not a beer girl so I gave the boy my samples. Obviously, we went home with a couple of beverages.
Then it was on to Freeport for lunch at Gritty’s which was Oh.My.God. amazing. Try the lobster bisque if you’re ever there and the pulled pork over sweet potato fries with cheese and maple sour cream. Sounds gross but was amazingly delish! The food was so amazing but we ended up scarfing it down because it was 3pm and we found a brochure for an Alpaca farm nearby that closed at 5pm! Meet the alpacas of Winters Gone Farm!
We only had 30 min. before they closed by the time we made it there (who knew there was traffic in Maine?!?) so I didn’t want to keep the owners, but I did manage to score 8 oz. of the softest spinning fiber ever! Expect to see that spun up sometime soon!
Our day ended by going back for the mandatory stop at L.L.Bean (it’s a state law according to my Dad ) and then heading home.
On another day we also made it to another yarn shop that I hadn’t been able to get into before, Pins and Needles. It was a really lovely little shop with a great selection of different types of yarn, most of it from Cascade. We picked out this skein of Cascade’s new sock yarn, Heritage.
Since this was sort of HWJF’s birthday trip, most of the sock yarns ended up being for him. But one ended up coming home for me:
This time it’s J. Knits which is another yarn I’ve not yet knitted with. We picked this one up at our favorite stop in Waterville, Yardgoods. We also had to visit our favorite lunch place in Waterville, Big G’s. The sandwhiches? Insanely huge!
And totally yummy. Of course no trip to Maine would be complete without a stop at Gifford’s either, especially when our favorite flavor (Pumpkin!) was available.
Yeah. Totally raining and cold. Did we care? No way.
We also managed to take in a concert at the New England Music Camp in between the raindrops.
Note the handknit socks and the new shoes.
There was also a visit with HWJF’s father’s turkeys.
And the hilarity of HWJF trying to find eggs for us for breakfast one morning.
Before we knew it, it was time to head home. Only we decided to make a little detour. HWJF’s parents were nice enough to give us two bikes to bring back to NJ, so we decided to stop and try them out.
I’d never been to Kennebunkport and I must say it is a very cute town with a lovely beach.
Of course, I can only look at the water from a distance, so I made HWJF go find me some sea shells.
Unfortunately it was 5pm before we knew it and we were still in Maine! We didn’t get home until 11pm and well… you know the rest.
Someday I hope we can live in Maine. It just seems like it would be a good fit for us in so many ways. In the meantime, I’ve definitely added to my list of places I want more time to explore!
Did I mention we’re driving up there for Christmas?!
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…since I obviously didn’t get around to posting then. *sigh* It’s already been that kind of week. And seriously? Couldn’t we all use a 48 hour day (as long as extra sleep and going to work weren’t necessary?!?!)?!?!? I know I could.
Our trip to Pittsburgh was fun if not hot as hell in the car. It was so hot I had to drink two fisted when we stopped for lunch on Sunday.
One was water, the other was some fruity thing that tasted good despite probably not being on my diet. I didn’t care at that point.
Thanks to Kim I did get a fibery fix while we were gone. We stopped at Natural Stitches and I was not disappointed. Witness if you dare, the wall o’ Cascade 220.
Nearly every color they make. Crazy eh? If it had been a little cooler and I could even have fathomed sweater knitting, I might have picked some up.
What did I actually come home with? Sock yarn of course!
Noro SILK GARDEN sock yarn!! First time I’ve seen it live and in person. And since I’ve been in a spinning mood lately…
Lorna’s Laces roving. Love these colors! Hopefully I’ll get to spin it up soon.
Believe it or not, I’ve even managed to finish a pair of socks too!
Pattern: Express Lane
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy, Blue Lagoon
Needles: Size 1 addi turbos
Mods: I used my usual toe and heel
This was a really lovely pattern to knit. Easy to memorize and it works up pretty quickly (if you actually don’t have your attention on 27 other things). It was easy to insert the toe and heel I am most comfortable with in this pattern. I also love the fact that the patterning is continued on the back of the leg.
If you’re looking for a pretty simple lace sock, this would be a good candidate.
This was my first time knitting with this yarn and it did surprise me a little. I found it to be a little on the splitty side and it didn’t feel nearly as thick knit up as I thought it might be when looking at the skein. The yardage is definitely generous though. I had plenty left over and could have made the legs a bit longer (which is saying something when you’ve got a size 11 foot!). The dye work is definitely the highlight of this yarn though. There are very slight variations in the color throughout the skein that keep you wondering what could be next.
I definitely think this is going to be a pair of socks I’ll get a lot of use from this winter. For now it’s on to the next pair, which I’ll show you tomorrow. You know. 48 hours from now.
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I seem to buy a good deal of my yarns either at fiber festivals or on vacation. There’s just something about having a great yarn to be a great reminder of a fun day or trip that holds memories for me, almost better than photos. I can relive some of my happiest moments as I knit my next garment and continue the flow of memories as I knit new memories into that garment. It seems that wool is a good holder for my thoughts these days, so I did a little bit of stash enhancement on the trip.
As you can imagine, my happiness with last year’s Bovidae yarns and the resulting sweater necessitated a new purchase.
The colors you see from left to right are Wild Grape, Thistle, Natural Light Gray (there are actually 5 skeins of that), Wild Aster, Rosebay and Peacock. The Gray will be the background color of what I hope will be my first steeked cardigan with some sort of fair isle yoke incorporating each of these colors and perhaps some that were left over from last year’s sweater.
On the same day as the trip to Bovidae my compatriots and I also made a quick stop at Yummi Yarns in Burnsville. This is another lovely shop, packed to the gills with amazing yarns. One of the members of my party was a new knitter who hadn’t quite seen anything like it before and the enabler in my loved watching her glee as she petted lovely yarns and oooooed and ahhhhed. I managed to restrain myself enough to only pick up a bottle of Eucalan (you wouldn’t believe how hard it’s been to find that locally) and this:
I have succumbed to the Noro bug. There are just too many gorgeous pairs of socks out there knit in this yarn, knots or not. I consider this my little indulgence.
On my trip to Earth Guild on our day off during camp (which really is a fantastic store that must be experienced in person) I picked up some wheel oil and a copy of Traditional Fair Isle Knitting by Sheila McGregor. I had purchased Traditional Scandinavian Knitting by the same author last year and can’t wait to use this book in much the same way.
After we left camp this year we actually were able to take our time getting home. We definitely took the scenic route, winding through some of the back roads around tight corners and some steep slopes until we made our way into Blowing Rock, NC. It’s a cute little touristy town with some nice little shops on the main drag, although I wouldn’t actually recommending going to the actual “Blowing Rock” because it’s a bit of a let down after the brochure hype (trust me on that one). While we wandered the shops we happened upon Dee’s Yarn Nook which was a cute little store with a nice variety of products and a nice little seating area on the porch for boys-who-tolerate-yarn-stores-but-maybe-need-to-make-a-phone-call-or-something. That’s where I finally broke down and bought one of these:
Yep. That’s my first Barbara Walker bible. They didn’t have the first one or I may have bought that too. I think this book could be really dangerous. I already have several ideas for sock patterns.
After Blowing Rock it was a short drive to Boone. By this time it was getting pretty hot and sticky and we were in search of relief in the form of ice cream. [side note: those of you in the north east who have been dealing with this wicked heat wave- you totally have my permission to blame me for the awful weather. It was perfect the whole time we were away except for one day of rain and the last couple of days we were down there. I fully believe it hitched a ride on the back of our car as we made our way home and we couldn't defend ourselves since we couldn't see out the back of the car. Mea culpa.] Our faithful GPS (a.k.a. Gromitt) lead us to a Marble Slab (apparently the southern equivalent of Cold Stone) in a mall in which HWJF suddenly noted a huge sign for YARN right next door! I love that we found yarn even when it was the furthest thing from our minds! Turns out it was Laura’s Yarn Tastic which was another lovely (air conditioned!) store full of fantastic yarns and even a little bit of spinning fiber. I resisted the urge to buy a sweater’s worth of Blue Sky Cotton and instead ended up with…
more sock yarn! Miss Babs Hand-Painted Sock and Baby to be exact. The colors in this one just couldn’t be ignored.
I definitely thought I was pretty restrained with my yarn purchases this time around. Perhaps the new wheel had something to do with that. Speaking of which, that isn’t all the yarn I came home with! Some of the fiber I brought with me actually turned into yarn too. For instance, remember how I saw some tulips and hydrangeas in the park one day? I dyed the fiber before I left.
And made it into my first spin on the ladybug.
That’s 360 yards of BFL goodness at about fingering weight. The purple needed to be a bit bluer to match what I was going for but I’m pretty happy with how the colors played out in the finished yarn. And I totally loves me the Ladybug!
I also brought a pound of some wool from sheep named Khalu I had purchased from a local farm with me and spun it up into this:
All told there is about 542 yards of this Rambouillet/Columbia/Dorset cross in this lovely dark chocolate brown. I spun it to a good worsted weight and after washing it bloomed really nicely and has a great bounce to it. It isn’t next to the skin soft, but it isn’t super scratchy either.
Finally I also spun up another pound of something that definitely isn’t for me.
All together there is about 696 yards of this 100% merino in a nice bright orange. I tried to spin this with a little less twist in both the plying and the spinning to retain it’s lovely softness. I picked this up at Rhinebeck last year from The Sheepshed with HWJF in mind. It definitely isn’t going to work for socks, so we’ll have to figure something else out.
Well I hope you’ve gotten your fill of delicious yarns with this post today. On Friday I’ll prove that I really did do some knitting. Honest!
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Another Maryland Sheep and Wool festival is in the books and didn’t disappoint again this year. This was my second time at this particular festival and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Risa and I drove down Friday night (Thanks for driving again Risa!) so I got some bonus time to work on my new pair of socks (which I still cannot reveal for a bit). Our trip was uneventful (except for that little weasel incident at Cracker Barrel which we shall not discuss) and we settled into our hotel for an early morning the next day.
We arrived at the festival at 8:30am to primo parking and long lines for STR and the festival T-shirts which we avoided carefully. Tess yarns wasn’t quite ready yet so we went off and I did my usual stock up on fiber before 9am. We are power shoppers! After that it was back over to Tess where I picked up four skeins of sock yarn.
The blue one is a new yarn called Peruvian Dream which is a blend of silk, alpaca and merino. Quite yummy! I’ve got colorwork sock ideas bouncing around in my head for these.
The next purchase was the most major for me of the festival. My first fleece!
It’s a 6 lb. cormo fleece and it is incredibly clean and in beautiful condition. It was a bit more expensive than I was expecting, but I think it was totally worth it. Risa is being kind enough to let me borrow her drum carder so that I can mix this baby with some angora when I have it. I think I should experience the process of bringing wool from sheep to yarn so I decided to make the investment. And check out the crimp in this baby!
At this point details begin to get hazy. There was much walking and fondling of fabulous fibers and calculating of budgets. There were also wonderful people sightings! I finally got to meet Carole in person!
It was nice to be able to thank her for three years of SOS help in person!
I also ran into some of my old buds from CT, Sneeksleep and Jenn.
Unfortunately it seems a seriously intermittent case of camnesia set in after that because I know I saw Elinor, Heather, Laura and probably several others throughout the festival, but there is sadly no photographic evidence.
I do have photographic evidence of the NJ Fiber Fanatics meetup on Saturday:
It was really nice to see many of these ladies again since I haven’t been able to get to a spin-in since I moved.
Somewhere along the line there was also a stop at Cloverleaf Farms booth on day one where I picked up some bamboo to spin:
and a little more BFL to add to my collection as well.
After a long day at the festival we went over to Liz’s to say hello and relax for a few hours. I should have gotten pictures of her beautiful cat and dogs too, but obviously I was a bit fried by then.
Then it was off to the Ravelry party where apparently winning something will erase camnesia!
Kim and I both won woolwash! It was a nice party despite the crowding caused by being forced to move inside. If the energy level hadn’t been so low by that time I might have been more social, but it was still fun and rather nice to have something like that provided for all of us I must say.
Day two was much more low key. I finally bought some undyed merino that I had been thinking about all night since Little Barn didn’t have any this time out. It’s pictured here with the other fiber for dyeing.
The final purchase of the festival was four more skeins of sock yarn, Trekking XXL this time because I found a tiny little sign that indicated they were selling it for $3 less than the usual price:
At least two of these are for HWJF and I’m sure nearly all of them will be going on the CSM at the first chance I have to get to it.
Definitely a fun festival overall. I’m still trying to dig out a bit as there were many e-mails and postings for SOS while I was gone. I also came home to a boy with a horrible sunburn and a hell of a hangover from a weekend bachelor party in Miami, Florida. Yeah, when my household goes out to play, we play hard! Hopefully Wednesday’s post will be more punctual. See you then!
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Posted by Jessica in Stash
The following was written in the heat of the moment. A moment of overwhelm and perhaps a brush with insanity. It’s about stash and feeling like I have too much, especially in the context of the world at large. After I wrote this I told HWJF of my dilemma and he told me I was being ridiculous, that I love yarn and who cares how much I have. That made me feel a little bit better, but I still wonder if I’ve passed over some sort of karmic line of indulgence. Read on if you’re interested in the rantings of a slightly overwhelmed yarnaholic or wish to make some commentary.
Read the rest of this entry »
, stash control
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I had all good intentions of putting up another post before we left for Maine and our Thanksgiving holiday, but it just didn’t happen. I hope all of you who celebrated had a wonderful holiday. We certainly did! Our travel plans had nary a hitch (which is saying a lot considering we flew out of Newark!) in both directions. In fact, we got back to Newark about 30 min. early which I do believe is a bonafide holiday miracle! We stuffed ourselves with so much food it darn near hurt. Sadly, camnesia struck me pretty badly while we were there, but let me just tell you that a 24 pound home raised turkey is a sight to behold. And 15 people around a dinner table in one house is certainly not typical for holidays in my world, but I was continually told how “small” the gathering was by HWJF and his relatives. Considering I’m used to 4 people tops, I thought it was pretty “big”. We did manage to get one picture before we headed to the airport:
It had gotten up to about 18 degrees at that point. Excuse me if I’m shivering.
We also saw an amazing sight on the way to the airport and had to pull off for a picture:
A MOOSE!!! I can’t tell you how happy I was to see this
little big dude. I have lamented many a time to anyone who would listen that I had been to places far north many times and had never seen a moose. Elk – yes. Deer – yes. Other critters – yes. But never a moose. I can no longer say that. He was gorgeous! I think he may have been looking for a lady friend moose and we were totally cramping his style, but he sure was a sight to behold!
However this is a knitting blog, not a wildlife blog. There was some definite knitting progress along the way. There was also a couple of yarn store hits. The first was an old favorite at this point, Yardgoods in Waterville. In a desperate attempt not to purchase sock yarn I came home with these:
Yes. That would be sock yarn. But one in a solid color and one that I did not purchase! HWJF bought the second skein (Classic Elite Alpaca Sox) so that totally doesn’t count. I also picked up a book which you’ll see in a second.
From there HWJF decided that it was time to bring me to his old hometown of Orono. He also happened to scope out a yarn shop in advance and although we didn’t have much time there because we were trying to have a look around town before it got dark (rather unsuccessfully I’m afraid) we definitely made some good purchases. HWJF decided that he needed yarn for another sweater and picked out 8 skeins of this:
That would be Peace Fleece and yes, it is blue and I had nothing to do with it! The boy has good taste, what can I say?! He picked it out while I was looking at books:
The sock book was from Yardgoods. The cabled sweat socks pattern in there sold it to me. I’ve seen it around and really like it. The other books will satisfy my extreme jonesing for colorwork for a while until I can actually get around to doing some. And the EZ book is something that I figured would be a good addition to the bookshelf, especially considering that the Toney Road fiber is almost spun up and ready to go into a sweater that I plan on sort of making up as I go along. I’m sure EZ will have something to teach me before I embark on the knitting portion of that endeavor.
All in all, a wonderful trip and a wonderful holiday which yielded a completed sweater. You’ll have to come back to see that though.
, yarn shopping
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While I was in Maine I did manage to get in some sock knitting. I even finished two pairs!
Gift Socks #1 – Summer of Socks Pair #4
Pattern: Plain stockinette toe up sock.
Yarn: Austerman Step (No idea on the colorway)
Needles: Size 1 addis
Yes indeed, I am already thinking about Christmas gifts and that is exactly what these will probably end up being. As you can see, these are definitely not my colors, but I think the recipient will find them to their liking. This is pretty much my usual pattern, which has gotten a few tweaks as of late.
Incidentally, I really loved working with the yarn. Maybe the whole deal of it being infused with Jojoba oil is a crock, maybe it’s not, but it is soft and strong and really lovely to work with. As you saw in the last post, I bought three more skeins, so it definitely grew on me! Now if only I had paid more attention to the stripes, maybe they would have matched. Ah well… I think they will still be appreciated.
If you really want to know who these are for, you can check my page for the project on Ravelry.
Purple Herring – Summer of Socks Pair #5
Pattern: Red Herring from Knitty.
Yarn: Tess supersocks and baby. 1 ball purple and 1 ball of black
Needles: Size 2 addis for the colorwork, size 1 for the foot and heel.
My first top down socks of the summer. I really enjoyed doing this pattern. It was interesting enough that I had to pay attention, but intuitive enough that I was able to memorize it for the second sock.
I modified the pattern slightly by using a size smaller needle to knit the foot. I prefer a sturdy fabric for my socks and it was just going to be too loose if I stayed with the size 2 needle. I switched needle sizes just a few rows after I put in the waste yarn for the afterthought heel.
I’m still not crazy about this type of heel, but it’s about the only way to get the heel to be a different color in the manner that the pattern calls for and I do like the use of the different color for the toes and heels. I think the toe came out quite nicely as written.
And I must say again that I absolutely loved working with this yarn. It has a good bit of stretch and is soft and oh so nice to work with. The dyeing is quite nicely done as well. You can see some slight variations in the purple in the picture of the cuff and while some might call that a flaw, I actually like it. I’m also a big fan of the yardage. After knitting this pair, I may almost have enough to do a second pair just like them if I reverse the colors. Not sure I’ll do that any time soon, but I always like to have plenty of yarn. I’m disappointed that I couldn’t secure some more while I was in Maine. I could get some at Stitches East, but I’m seriously thinking that I probably shouldn’t go to that considering it is the weekend before Rhinebeck (anyone want to bring back some sock yarn for me? ). Then again, can you really have too much of a good thing? Like socks?!?!
This puts me one pair away from my goal of 6 for the along. Not bad considering it feels like I’ve been very busy and distracted this summer. These will also qualify as my August submission to Sock a Month 4 (which I joined a while back and have yet to mention, much less get the button on the blog). If you haven’t had a look at that group, please do! Many beautiful socks being shown over there! I do of course have another pair (or two!) on the go again already. But you’ll have to wait for another day to see them.
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