Thursday, October 25, 2007

I made it!

I've been sitting on this for a while, out of laziness and distraction. I'm still hoping to spin up and ply enough of this to knit Mr. Greenjeans (with mods, of course).

Merino from my two favorite sources: Brook and Amy. I'm calling this 2-ply Brooking--it has a woodsy, quiet feel to it and it's homage to two great ladies.

There are four photos total of Brooking--you can find the other three here.

Rhinebeck ramblings

I've been watching the Rhinebeck boards on Ravelry and reading the things that people will do differently next year, provided they don't, uh, pull wool over their eyes. There's not a lot I'd do differently--I made a list this year and got just about everything on it, I stayed within a free-form sort of budget (my budget was less about how much I could or couldn't spend and more "that's on my list, I bought it, so what does that bring my total spent to?" kind of thing), and I eased back into work with a day off on Monday.

Still, there are a few things I could do next year:
  • I don't need to go to the STR booth first thing. Don't get me wrong--it's lovely, lovely stuff and I enjoy being part of the tradition, but The Fold just sucks me in and threatens to clean out my wallet. It's a fiber vortex!!!
  • Do price comparisons before going to the festival. I think I got burned on one of my purchases and I vacillate between crying "The NERVE!" and accepting the price as fair enough, all things considered. This really applies more to equipment moreso than fiber.
  • Take more pictures! I only brought the camera in the second day because I didn't want to lug it around the first day. I don't feel like I missed any shots, but it might have been nice to get a few more shots in--Boogie, Ella, Anj, Jody, Christy, the Ravelry t-shirt march, the sheep that wouldn't stop bleating....
  • Be a little more social. A few people recognized me because I'd posted a picture of my squirrel tote here and on Ravelry. I remember at one point, a pair of knitters recognized me and I was a bit grumpy. I had no reason to be grumpy! Must have been a yarnover--you know, a fiber hangover?
  • Knit something in lace, like a shawl or a cardigan, to better prepare for the unpredictable weather. The forecasted highs were in the 70s for both days and both days seemed to fulfill that promise--in the sun. Shady areas were delightfully cooler. I made out nicely with my Clapotis on Saturday, and I think a cardi over a tee would be a perfect additional option.

My goals to achieve before next year:

  • Spin up the Liberty Ridge Merino and use it to knit one of the vests in Clara Parkes' book.
  • Knit at least one lace shawl OR one cardigan.
  • Abandon any Rhinebeck sweaters or shawls if I haven't started on one before August 1.
  • Knit at least 3 pairs of socks--the Jaywalkers and simple 2x2 ribbed socks are getting lonely without any other handknit socks to keep them company.

Rhinebeck is it for me--I'm pretty sure I've already got plans that take me in the complete opposite direction the weekend of Maryland Sheep and Wool--so, I've got months to prepare for next year.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Let me count the ways

Sunset at the cottage
Where we stayed.

the way i roll
The way I roll.

alpaca models
And I do my little turn on the catwalk.

str silk merino roving
God damn you, Loch Ness Monster!

tussah baby camel
Baby camel. Tussah silk. If only my bed were stuffed with this stuff...

rhine fiber kingdom carders1
The big purchase. Already put into use...

rhodie llama caramel and golding 5oz
I *heart* Golding spindles.

Gorgeous weather!

More photos, including lots of foliage shots, are here.

I had such a great time at Rhinebeck this year! Part of that was hanging with good friends--thanks, Jody, for driving, thanks, Michelle, for cooking an amazing Saturday-night meal, and thanks, Christy, for knitting socks! There's much more to thank you three for, and I'll do that in my own way. I saw so many more people this year than last year--Anj, Ella, Amy Boogie, Sharon, Min, Min's friend (Rachel?), and more... I caught glimpses--I'm sure of it--of Vicki, Black Bunny Carol, the Harlot, and dozens of other bloggers and Ravelers, including Jim Bob Spins. Once again, I was somewhat overwhelmed by the festival as a whole--the fiber, the food, the friends. It's not a big secret that I've been struggling with some personal things lately, and Rhinebeck was just what I needed.

I stuck to my list and got nearly everything on it, save sock blockers. I even got a shawl pin from Moving Mud--that was a last minute purchase after a Ravelry-button-wearing fest-goer tipped me off--THANKS! I don't think I even saw Moving Mud the first 3 times I went through the barn they were in. The one thing I found myself wanting at the end of the trip, besides the iced coffee I was denied at a stop on 87 (what kind of coffee place in a rest stop runs out of coffee? Seriously.) was a Turkish spindle. I think I'll wait on that until Christmas or my next trip up to Maine. Or, if I get a really bad itchin' for one, I'll just call over to my girl Brook. It could be the plan!

The Anastasia sweater, for those asking, didn't get donned the entire weekend. Turns out I should have modifed the pattern--the arms need shaping. Not more shaping, but shaping period. Fortunately, the body fits great. The arms shouldn't be any big deal to frog and reknit, and I'm confident that I can do this by Christmas. For now, though, I've got spinning fiber up to my ears. This is really the good life.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Can you feel it?

Less than a work-day's worth of hours to go and we will be hitting the road!!!! No more sleeps! Everything still needs to be packed!

BUT! I finished the sweater!!!!

anastasia blocking
It's blocking...

I haven't tried it on all seamed up, though I did try it on with one sleeve done. The body fits, the sleeves make me feel goofy, but I'll elaborate more when I post about the pattern itself.

If you're going to Rhinebeck and want to say hey, look for my bag:

you will know me by the squirrels on my bag
It has SQUIRRELS on it. It's awesome.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone. Hope to see some of you in Dutchess County.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

When nobody's watching

Most of the details have now been lost to consciousness, however, I had to share parts of my bizarre dream last night. The subject: Going to Rhinebeck.

For whatever reason, I was flying to Rhinebeck. The girls (faces mosaic'ed in my dream-world) and I were all packed and running down a hotel hallway to one of our 8 rooms (there were only, like, 5 of us, though). We got to the room and all jumped on the bed, sighing sighs of relief. Then, we each went around and shared our secret purchase that we were planning. One girl wanted to buy a pound of silk yarn. Another was looking for orifice hooks. I forget what I was looking for or what the rest of the dream girls were looking for, but at some point, we started to compile a list of all these secret must-haves. I don't know why these things were secret, they just were.

After writing lists for over 30 minutes, I began to get super-anxious--we were going to miss our flight. What time did our flight leave? How long would it take us to WALK to the airport (none of us drove, for some reason)? What about security? And checking bags? And what if we miss the flight? Could we get on another? I got so worked up in my dream that I actually woke up sweating!

I certainly hope I've not just had a vision!

In other Rhinebeck excitement--I have a sleeve. One. Sleeve. I cast on for the other this morning (on the bus, no less), so I should have TWO SLEEVES by... Friday night? We'll see. If I'm not caught up in a whirlwind of finishing this weekend and early next week, I will post about how much I dislike this pattern. Don't get me wrong--the sweater is turning out to be beautifully knit. The pattern? Borderline crap. You'll see.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

High in fiber

I'm going to say that it was pre-Rhinebeck jitters that led me to the following shopping frenzy.


Hibicus corriedale from Spunky Eclectic.


September FOTM edition: merino/tencel blend in the Aspen colorway. Yum.


16oz of merino in the Bark colorway. This'll be plied with the Wangum merino I got off of Brook a few weeks back. In fact, if you just wait another day or so, I'll post a shot of the first 4oz of that magical pairing.


It's shiny, it's pink, it's green, it's RAVELRY!!! This'll be spun finely and plied with the superwash below.


Superwash merino in the Hosta colorway. I know the greens aren't the same as the green in the Ravelry merino/tencel above, but I think it'll be a wonderful yarn once plied together.

The next batch of fiber I picked up when I took a trip down Peepytown Road. You know, to get to The Mannings, Pennsylvania's own little slice of fiber nirvana. I fondled Noro and Debbie Bliss and Cascade and just...everything. I touched drop spindles and hand carders and loom shuttles (I don't have a loom. I was just touching everything...). And I spun on a Reeves, great big swooping spins of the curvy wheel, feeling the therapeutic waves of spinning and fiber wash over me. I mean, it had been a good 36 hours since I last spun! Onto the haul...


This might get paired with the Hibiscus corriedale above. Or not. Undecided. This is merino in the Semiprecious colorway.


Gaywool dyed merino/silk (85/15), Boronia colorway. Gorgeous stuff with subtle variations.


So nice a blend, in fact, I bought it twice. Same specs, except this is the Belladonna colorway. For both of these shots, there's a much larger image on the Flickr page--really let's you see the gorgeous color.


I'm thinking these two merino/silk beauties want to be plied with each other. For now, though, I'm just going to gaze upon each and marvel at their softness and luster.


50/50 soy/wool. This stuff is my surprise favorite from the trip. When we got back to our hotel room (we were staying in Hershey for the last cross-stitch convention...), I whipped out the drop spindle immediately and dropped about 15 fingering-weight yards of this fiber. Yummy, yummy stuff.

fiber orgy

Fiber. Orgy. Might be time to put out the Do Not Disturb sign....

Monday, October 08, 2007

Baby done a bad bad thing

Remember how not that long ago, I was working on RPM from Knitty? And remember I said that the FO was for Mike because one, he picked out the yarn (OK, so he grunted and pointed--that's good enough for me!), and two because he likes records?

Yeah. The socks are done.

RPM what's under the slippers

RPM fits me

They just don't fit Mike. BUT, they fit my little feet perfectly...

RPM not done

Post-Rhinebeck, I'll rip back on these socks and rework them to fit the true recipient. Think of it as Sock Karma. Until then, I really need to finish the first sleeve and start and finish the second sleeve before Friday. Because this weekend? It's all about finishing.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Heading for Venus and still we stand tall

It's the final countdown!

Knit-bloggers all over the place know I'm talking about RHINEBECK, the knitting and fiber event of the season, nay, the year. Two weeks from today, I will be comfily established in the cottage I'm sharing with my traveling companions. Lists will be compiled, reviewed, revised, and rewritten (neatness counts!), hand-knit socks will be worn, hand-knit sweaters will be keeping us warm while we soak in the Hudson Valley chill.


Hand-knit sweaters? *screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech*

I know what I'm doing this long weekend--in addition to attending a funeral, helping a friend move, backing up files, and cleaning the house, I'll be spinningknitting the last sleeve and a half of my Rhinebeck sweater. If (and really, it's when) I get bored/tired/frustrated of knitting without adding inches (you all know there's a point in the project where you knit 10 rows and you feel like you've only knit a quarter of an inch. On US10s. With Cascade 220. Doubled.), I'll turn to blocking the front and back and go about seaming those two together.

Hey--anybody wanna come help me do some mock-steeking? That is, I'm cutting the excess of the back off after I seam... I DON'T WANT TO RUIN THE SWEATER BY CUTTING IT.

Oooh, and if I either manage my time well or get bored-er-er, I'll post photos of my pre-Rhinebeck fiber haul. It's a sickness, I tell you. And the only cure is MORE FIBER.