Friday, September 26, 2008

Rhinebeck Spreadsheet

I have put together a spreadsheet of the Rhinebeck vendors. I have put in the vendor name, location, address, website & type of items (when I could find any info).

I started this last year when I was a Rhinebeck newbie. I found it helped me have an idea of places I really wanted to go.

And yah, I am a data geek and a tad anal. smirk

I figure others might find it useful. It isn’t pretty at all. I am going to be making it into a Palm database for myself so I don’t need to be. (If that interests anyone else, let me know and I can send it to you.)

I have posted it as a Excel file & a csv file. CSV is a very basic spreadsheet/data format that most people can use.

I hope this might help others.

Yes. I Am Nuts. Why Do You Ask?

I haven't done a full sized sweater yet. Ever. Done some baby/children ones, but not adult sized.

So I decide the best thing to do is improvise my first full sized sweater.

Yes. I am nuts. Why do you ask? *grin*

I have been trying to figure out what should go on my needles. Twice within the past month I have had nothing on my needles. And it is bizarre.

I decided I really wanted something that I could have that was easy to knit yet and going to take a while.

Bring on the black alpaca I got at Rhinebeck last year. I bought five 8 oz skeins of it. It is the most I have spent on yarn. Ever.

Last spring, I had started a cardigan sweater with the yarn. I lost the bag with the 8 oz ball, some needles & the pattern. The GoKnit bag was snapped on my purse and somehow it came off. *sigh* So I lost it in NYC. Paul went and retraced our steps (I was on my way to a doctor's appointment). But it was never found.

So the alpaca sat. And sat. And sat. I kept debating what best to do with it. Wondering if I now had enough for a sweater or not. So thoughts on what to do with it have been peculating in my brain.

My mother-in-law suggested a while back that the drape of the alpaca might work well with something like a kimono. That sounded like a good idea. But again, I kept coming back to if I would have enough yarn given the loose fit of that (which would take more yarn).

I finally decided that the best move would be to start with the sleeves and see how much yarn I had left when I completed them. At that time, I could decide what to do with the body.

I figure there are a lot of options for the body. I could always do a different yarn for part of the body Heaven knows I could even do strips that go down. Or I could see how far I have gotten by Rhinebeck and pick up some more alpaca from the place I got it in a different color. I suspect that if I got more black they may not match which would look worse.

So there are a lot of options.

I am definitely curious to see what will come. *smile* And I will have something on my needles for a long while to come. *chuckle*

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oodles of Finished Object Photos & My Lovely Birthday Pressie

I finally got all the pics together. Hooray! So this is a picture intensive post.

First I have to share the pics of the knitting bag Silvercat made for my birthday. I love this bag!

Knitting Bag Made by Silvercat

This has been a weird couple knitting weeks. I worked on the Zombie Sock. They were done on the 13th which was cool. I cast on the Quick No-Purl Keyhole Scarf which was as the name said. Super quick. I finished it in less than 24 hours! *chuckle*

Then, I didn't put anything on my needles until six days later!! *blink* Weirdness.

I admit part is I didn't know what I wanted to do. I tossed around some ideas but nothing was talking to me.

I have still been spinning most mornings. But no knitting. Bizarre.

I should take some pics of some of the spinning too. But hey, I finally got the project pics done. So it is progress. *chuckle*

So here are the items in order of completion.

Zombie Socks in Scout's Swag Socktoberfest

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Cast On:

August 29, 2008


September 13, 2008


Zombie Socks by Sheryl Giles

Made for:

Me in Size 9


Knitpicks Options & Harmony Circs 1 1/2 / 2.5 mm


Scout's Swag Superwash Merino/Tencel in Socktoberfest colorway

1 skeins = 375.0 yards

Trade from Silvercat

The photos don't show the yarn well. The colors are grey, orange & purple. The thick stripes are the grey. The orange & purple look mixed. Also, the tencel gives it a beautiful sheen. And I am hoping it will help it wear really well.

I have been debating what to do with the Scout's Swag in Socktoberfest that I got from Silvercat. I was worried that the Zombie pattern might be too busy for the yarn. But I really like the way it looks.

I did these toe-up. The pattern is cuff down but the pattern repeat doesn't matter which end is up. So it is easy to switch to toe-up instead.

Some striping happened that I think is interesting. Though it isn't as neat on the leg as it was on the foot. But it still looks good I think.

I worked the toe up to the 64 stitches recommended in the pattern. It fits my foot well. It is a little loose, but I am hoping that it will tighten up a smidge when I wash it.

Given the orange in these, I want them knit by Halloween. Unfortunately, there isn't enough orange in the yarn for them to count for the September Sock Knitter's Anonymous KAL on Ravelry. Ah well. I really enjoyed the pattern & the yarn.

Quick No-Purl Keyhole Scarf in Handspun Merino

Quick No-Purl Keyhole Scarf in Handspun Merino

Cast On:

September 13, 2008


September 14, 2008


Quick No-Purl Keyhole Scarf by Saralyn Harvey

Made for:

Not sure. Maybe me, maybe a present


Knitpicks Options US 13 / 9.0 mm


Handspun made from Merino Wool Top Roving

Purchased at Adirondack Woolery

I didn't realize this one was still waiting to be posted. It was a super fast knit.

The photos really don't do justice to this fiber. It has a beautiful sheen to it.

Cast on 23 stitches to add 2 more pattern repeats.

I made a mistake with the slip 1 purlwise. I got a good way into the pattern and realized that it specified to bring the yarn forward. I hadn't done that.

I placed the hole in the wrong spot. It is too close to the center. I am debating what I want to do with it. I may pick up some more fiber & spin more, adding to the ends. Or I may just accept it is a bit funky. Not sure yet.

I will check out the Adirondack Woolery when I am up in the Adirondacks again for Columbus Day weekend. If they are open, I will pick up some more fiber and add some to each end. I might make another pattern for the ends just to mix it up. We will see.

Basic Socks in Handspun Superwash Wool

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Cast On:

September 20, 2008


September 23, 2008


Improvised Toe-Up Pattern

Made for:

Me in Size 9


Knitpicks Options & Harmony Circs US 5 / 3.75 mm


Handspun yarn made with a Ranches Angoras Superwash merino batt in Ember

Purchased from

4 oz. ~ 235 yards - used most of it

I spun the superwash wool I got from (Ranches Angoras). It is their Ember roving. I really love the way the fiber came out. It is red and grey.

Given I didn't know how much yarn it would take, I decided toe-up was the better choice. This way, I could see if there was enough stretch in them to make decent socks. If not, I would rip it out and do something else with the yarn.

I decided that a simple 2x2 rib was a smart choice. It has a lot of elasticity to it which helps.

Honestly, I am surprised that they seem to have enough stretch. I was worried. But they fit pretty nicely.

The thicker yarn made these a super fast knit! 4 days total.

They are definitely house/boot socks as they are thick. But I like the way they came out. And I am super happy about the yarn having enough elasticity. Hooray!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

7 Deadly Spins Club

I got the latest shipment from the 7 Deadly Sins club.

And again, I was disappointed. It is actually a nice shawl. But it is pink and orange. Yet again, the colors are ones I will never, ever wear. *sigh* There is definitely more yarn with this one which is good. But what good is it if I won't ever use it? So I wrote the woman today and told her to please remove me from the club.

Given the sin theme as well as the color scheme of the website & promotional materials, I was really hoping for something darker. Clearly this isn't the direction of this club.

I have also been very disappointed in the amount of yarn in the projects. For $39.25 a month, I really had expected more. Paying that much for a washcloth & soap sack is insane. Even that much for socks & a pattern was pretty steep.

While the extras have been nice, they should be just that, extras. They feel in some case they make the bulk of the package. When the washcloth shipment was so light, the people who run the club kept pointing out how many extras they sent. Ummm. Sure. But I joined for the yarn & patterns. Not the extras.

I did recommend strongly suggest not using colors like black & red as the colors for their materials. It was very misleading in the direction and colors of the club. There haven't been any darker colors. The darkest thing has been the brown in the sloth hat. And even that was more chocolate than deep brown. The others have been either pastel or in the neon/bright shades.

The saddest part for me opting out is that I have liked most of the patterns. The Gluttony sock pattern looks terrific. My sister-in-law knit it for her daughter and she thought about keeping the socks as the arch in the pattern makes them really comfy. I ended up buying additional yarn to make them because the original yarn is in painfully bright colors. The Sloth hat is also great. It looks like a really interesting knit/pattern. But I will probably knit it as a charity donation as there really isn't anyone I know who will wear it. Again, the Pride shawl will probably be lovely in a different yarn.

I really love many of the basic concepts of club. It is great that the projects are only every two months. This gives time to work on a project. And varying the type of projects is terrific. It is nice being surprised by what type of project may be next. I really don't have much interest in sock clubs and I knit socks regularly. But the variety makes it nice.

I told her that if they ever decide to do a club that is darker in tone, I would join. But I am just sad to have spent almost $120 on four shipments. Yet none have been something I wanted to start work on the minute I got it. And none items I would actually wear/use.

I am debating if I should try overdyeing the yarn for the shawl. If I did a red or purple, it could be interesting. Though I am not sure about what color would work to do it. I could play with some snippets and see how it works out with different colors. I will have to see. It isn't like I don't have other things to work on! *chuckle*

Ah well. I tried the club. It just apparently wasn't right for me. Though I do wonder if I wouldn't really be happy with any club other than maybe something like a goth one where the colors were more to my taste. Live and learn.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Am Awed By the Kindness of Ravelry Folks

I love Ravelry. It has allowed me to 'meet' other knitters from across the country.

And through I met Silvercat. She is a terrific woman in Washington state. I really wish she were closer so perhaps we could met some day.

I got back to my office after nuking my lunch to find a large box sitting in my inbox at work. It had her address on it. I was totally bewildered but couldn't wait to see what was in it.

It turns out she made me a birthday present!! It is a knitting bag. It is black fabric with some red needle holders on the side. The inside is lined with purple. All my favorite colors! I love it!

I am still stunned by her kindness. I definitely will have to share some pics of it. It looks great. (Though I am going away this weekend so it will have to wait until the beginning of next week.)

She is such an amazing woman. Thank you so much!

On top of this, Maple on Ravelry sent me some fiber. She has an etsy shop - When she heard I had gotten into spinning, she sent me some fiber to test out. It was so kind of her.

I was looking for something to blend with some other fiber I spun. I wrote her and asked if she could send me a sample of some fiber she has on her etsy store. I told her to just let me know what she wanted for it. She said no worries. So I am figuring a little piece for me to see about the color.

Nope. She sent me 2 oz. of the stuff!! *blink* It is amazing stuff and spins beautifully. Of course I will be ordering more of it and making sure she charges me for the whole amount (including the 2 oz. I already got). It was so sweet of her.

Then there is Cathyz from ravelry who met with me to help to teach me to spin & sent me home with fiber. I don't think I got to talk about how amazing that was too and that was a few months ago.

There are so many others who have been amazing on there too. I am really grateful for the incredible people on Ravelry. I am amazed on a regular basis of just how great knitters & spinners are. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Argosy Scarf & Zombie Socks

I finally got around to editing the pictures I took. Yay me! *grin*

Here is the picture inspired by the Yarn Harlot's pics. *grin*

Zombie Socks in Scout's Swag Socktoberfest In the Adirondacks

Argosy in Unique Designs by Kathy Handspun

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Argosy by Vyvyan Neel


80" long

32 of the repeat #2


US 6 / 4.0 mm


Handspun Wool/Silk by Kathy at

Unique Designs by Kathy Withers in Tucson, Arizona

257 yards and only a little bit left

I had been wanting to knit this handspun I bought at Unique Designs by Kathy while I was out in Tucson, AZ. It is a beautiful yarn and wanted a pattern that would feature it. I think this should be a good one for that.

The repeat on the pattern was pretty easy. So it is ideal for some social knitting. It was a great summer knit as it could be social, but given it wasn't too wide, it wasn't too hot to knit. It was an ideal project to take with me.

There is something about this pattern that keeps me wanting to knit it. I really like the pattern. Enough going on to make it interesting yet easy enough to make it okay for social & tv knitting.

I really like the way it came out. It is definitely a decorative scarf, not one for warmth given it isn't very wide. But I like it. And I don't normally think about scarves as accessories. So it should be fun to wear it.

Maybe if Rhinebeck is at all chilly this year... *crosses fingers* But then do I wear my dragon scarf instead... Decisions decisions. *grin*

Zombie Socks in Scout's Swag Socktoberfest

Zombie Socks in Scout's Swag Socktoberfest


Zombie Socks by Sheryl Giles

Ravelry Only pattern -

Made for:

Me in Size 9


US 1 1/2 / 2.5 mm Knitpicks Option & Harmony

2 socks on 2 circs


Scout's Swag Superwash Merino/Tencel in Socktoberfest

1 skeins = 375.0 yards

I really should have taken more pics of these. I am past the heel and into the leg. *chuckle* But at least this is something, right?

I am doing these toe-up. The pattern is cuff down but the pattern repeat doesn’t matter which end is up. So it is easy to switch to toe-up instead.

I have been debating what to do with the Scout’s Swag in Socktoberfest that I got from Silvercat. I was worried that the Zombie pattern might be too busy for the yarn. But so far, I really like the way it looks.

There is definitely some striping happening that I think is interesting. Though it isn't as neat on the leg as it was on the foot. But it still looks good I think.

I got to the 64 stitches recommended in the pattern & it fits my foot well. It is a little loose, but I am hoping that it will tighten up a smidge when I block it.

Given the orange in these, I want them knit by Halloween. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough orange in the yarn for them to count for the September Sock Knitter’s Anonymous KAL. Ah well. Still enjoying the pattern & the yarn.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happiness Is a Long Weekend with Fiber

I am pretty happy. I took off last Thursday & Friday as well as this Tuesday. So I got a super long weekend.

Friday was my birthday. My husband bought me a POUND of black alpaca roving! He bought it from someone in Minnesota/Missouri/some M state in the middle. *chuckle* He found it through He was trying to find something close, but that is about the closest he could find. It is yummy stuff. *sigh* It has some pre-drafting done so it should be lovely to spin!

Thursday I asked Paul if he wanted to go up to the Adirondacks which is always pretty unfair as questions go. I don't know if he has ever said no! *laugh* We are still going up Columbus Day so I didn't know if it was really feasible. But we decided that if we brought groceries and didn't eat out much we should be good. So we head off Friday morning.

In the car on the way up, I finished the Argosy Scarf in Unique Designs by Kathy Handspun. I *really* need to take some pictures of it. But I want to wait until I block it. Which if I am good should be tonight. But I don't honestly know. It is already 6:30 pm and I haven't left work yet. So we shall see.

I like the pattern a lot and think it works well in Kathy's Handspun. I am hoping it will look even better after it is blocked. *crosses fingers* I will post more details when I get the pics done.

I have some Scout's Swag Superwash/Tencel Sock Yarn in Socktoberfest that I got from a trade with Silvercat. It has some orange in it which really isn't my colors. But I figured I really should do them up for Halloween. (There is also greys & purples which definitely are my colors! *smile*) So after finishing the scarf, I cast on the Zombie Socks. (Ravelry only pattern)

I wasn't sure if the pattern wouldn't be way too busy for the yarn. But I really like the way it is coming out. I got about 6 hours of knitting on the way home on these as well. I really like them.

The pattern has drop stitches which isn't as scary as I feared. I think these will be fun. Though the drop stitches do cause gaps. And I do wonder if they will indeed be warm enough for Halloween! But just have to see.

Saturday I stopped at the Adirondack Woolery in hopes of picking up some more roving. No luck. It was during their hours. But my guess is that the women who run the place were away for the long weekend. Too bad as I really want some more of the grey sliver roving and maybe some other stuff. Their prices were good so I will stop by over Columbus Day weekend.

Paul and I walked around the Newcomb Visitor Interpretive Center.

We did the Sage Jr. trail (yellow) and most of the Sucker Brook Trail (blue). There is part of the Sucker Brook trail that you skip to make a longer loop. I think we did the Peninsula Trail (green) a couple years ago. And I know we did the Rich Lake Trail (red) in the past as well. It was a beautiful day.

Though of course, fiber was still lingering in my mind. So I asked Paul if he wanted to wander off to Lake Placid. Luckily, he can be bribed with the lure of some tasty Ubu at Lake Placid Pub. (And I was smarter than to every think about yarn shopping *after* the beer... I need every bit of willpower I can get! *grin*)

On the way there, we stopped at Adirondack Yarns.

in Lake Placid. I really like the place. I stopped there last year. That is where I got hooked on Catalina yarns last year.

This years addiction may become Great Adirondack Yarn Co. *sighs lustfully*

I got this lovely Great Adirondack Yarn Co yarn. It is called Silky Sock. There were a lot of lovely colorways. I decide I wanted the Charcoal colorway.

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It is 70% wool, 20% silk, 10% nylon.

This yarn feels so yummy. The silk makes it amazing to touch. I kept rubbing it against my face. Can't wait to see how this knits up.

I also got some Schaefer Yarn Lola in different purples.

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It is 100% Superwash wool. I got some Lola at Rhinebeck last year and love it. It was th first superwash wool I purchased to see if it would irritate me. It definitely doesn't. It is super smooshy and soft.

Mind you, this is thicker so it definitely makes house socks/winter boot socks. But I love my Lola socks in the reds. So when I saw they had the Lola I had to get some more. The purple is brighter than I normally would get, but I really like it.

Sunday & Monday were a whole lot of spinning.

Most of the time was spent spinning the Adirondack Woolery natural wool carded with colored fibers into singles.

Adirondack Woolery Natural Wool Carded with Colored Fibers - Singles

It is 6 oz. of natural colored wool carded with colored fibers. I purchased this at the Adirondack Woolery over the July 4th weekend but this is the first I have spun it.

I am spinning this for my mother-in-law for Xmas. I was going to create a 2-ply it with the same fibers. But given the random colors and the combos that could happen, I think that is a bad idea. I am going to pick up some other fiber to pair with it. But I don't know what yet.

I could use a grey easily as there it a lot of grey in the blend. But then there will be large segments that are all grey and I am not sure I want that. If it were for me, I would default to my beloved black. *laugh* I need to hold this against some reddish brown fiber. I don't know why, but I think that might really work well. I need to find the right one, but I am hoping to find something that would work.

Also, I am *very* tempted to go with something much softer. I found some of the wool in the blend is nice and soft. Some was hard with a lot of tight crimp. So I would like something else to balance that out and make a nice yarn. I am leaning towards alpaca. But I am not sure yet.

I also finished plying the Ember superwash wool from Etsy.

Ember Superwash Wool from Etsy - Spun Into 3-Ply

I got this roving from The Ranches Angoras aka theranch Etsy shop and had created the singles for the Tour de Fleece. I had already plied part of it but was glad to finish plying it.

This is my first 3-ply yarn. I am hoping to use it for socks. I will have to see if it has enough give or if I will need to do something else with the yarn.

So all in all it was a great long weekend filled with fiber. Hooray!